CSU–Pueblo hosts activist poet who will discuss state of Iraqi people

Activist poet David Smith-Ferri, member of Voices in the Wilderness, will report from his trip to Amman, Jordan, where he learned first-hand about the conditions Iraqi people face in their home country and the bleakness of refugee life in Amman.

A reception for Smith-Ferri will begin at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, April 14 in the Occhiato University Center Aspen Leaf with his presentation to follow at noon in the OUC Great Plains Room. His visit is made possible by a grant through the Grand Valley Peace and Justice Commission.

He also will read from his book, Battlefield without Borders, which portrays his encounters with Iraqi people and the events that have shaped their lives over the last eight years. Many of the poems were written in Iraq. Smith-Ferri writes in language that is accessible and powerful, and in a voice that is grounded in his experience. His poems are both a reflection on that experience and an attempt to voice the longings and the perspective of people caught in the vortex of war — Iraqi people, the families of U.S. soldiers, et al.

Through slides and poetry, he will raise awareness of the Iraqi people he has met, portraying their resilience, courage, and decency. He also will explain the Direct Aid Initiative, a grassroots effort which provides urgent medical care for Iraqis in Jordan and in Iraq. All proceeds from the sale of his book (all but $2.00 of the sale price) will go directly to Iraqi victims of this war. For more information, including brief portraits of the families we are assisting, visit www.battlefieldwithoutborders.org or e-mail the author at david@battlefieldwithoutborders.org
Smith-Ferri, who is the current Poet Laureate of Ukiah, CA and a winner of the Janice Farrell Poetry Prize, has read his poetry at events across the country. His poetry and essays have been published in Z Magazine, Yes! Magazine, The Other Side Magazine, and the print edition of CounterPunch, as well as numerous online publications.

For more information, contact Joyce Archuletta at 549-2089 or catholicstd@colostate-pueblo.edu

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