Bank Square Books presents a poetry reading and book signing with writers José B. González (When Love Was Reels) and Daniel Donaghy (Somerset). This event is free and open to the public.
About the Books
"My parents crossed when I started losing / teeth. My memory of them is broken, chipped / away." Expressing his longing not to be forgotten like so many abandoned children in his native country, José B. González writes about a young boy's life first in El Salvador under the care of his grandmother and later living with his uncle in New York City in this moving collection of narrative poems that uses iconic Latin American and Latino films as a guiding motif.
Somerset is an elegy for the Kensington section of Philadelphia in which the author was raised. Using a variety of styles and forms, it remembers people and cultures struggling to survive in the aftermath of deindustrialization and, now, an opioid epidemic. It is also a study in how our past continually informs our present, how we never fully leave those places in which our younger selves were formed. Somerset bears witness to racism, poverty, violent crime, and drug use, but also finds forgiveness, thankfulness, and love.
About the Authors
José B. González was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and immigrated to New London, Connecticut at the age of eight. He knew no English and now holds a Ph.D. in English. A nationally known speaker, González has presented at various colleges such as Harvard, Rutgers, and Cornell University; countries including Mexico, Spain, and El Salvador; and institutions including the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. He has been a contributor to National Public Radio and has published poetry in such journals as Quercus Review, Callaloo, andAcentos Review, and anthologies including the Norton Introduction to Literature, Theatre Under My Skin: Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry, Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States, and Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature, which he also co-edited. A Fulbright Scholar, he has received national and regional awards for his teaching, for his efforts to improve the conditions of Latinos pursuing a college degree or a career in higher education, and for his poetry. One of the major Salvadoran-American poets in the U.S., he is the author of the poetry collections, Toys Made of Rock, an International Latino Book Award Finalist, and When Love Was Reels. He is the founder and editor of LatinoStories.Com.
Daniel Donaghy is a Professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University. His previous poetry collections are Start with the Trouble(University of Arkansas Press, 2009), winner of the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, and Streetfighting (BkMk Press, 2005). He has received grants from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Artist and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts as well as the Southern Humanities Review’s Theodore Christian Hoepfner Award. He was raised in Philadelphia, PA.