Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Celebration of the Life and Work of Evelyn Shakir: October 4, 2010

A celebration of the life and work of VCCA writer Evelyn Shakir will be held on Monday, October 4, 2010, at 4:45 pm in the Adamian Academic Center at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Evelyn died in May after a two-year struggle with cancer. A gracious, generous presence, Evelyn had been a Fellow-in-Residence at VCCA seven times since 1992, often with her life companion, VCCA poet George Ellenbogen.

After writing on a range of literary figures ranging from Wordsworth and Louisa May Alcott to D. H. Lawrence, she found her subject material in her own community - specifically Arab American women, a group whose voices were largely unheard and unacknowledged. She provided a voice for these women in Bint Arab and in her award-winning collection of short fiction, Remember Me to Lebabon, a treasure of lived experience. Readers unfamiliar with Arab American women came to know them as we seek to know one another - as people rather than stereotypes. Of the significance of her work, poet Lisa Majaj observes, "...her ripples will widen outward for a very long time."

2 comments:

Michael J. Murphy said...

I knew Evelyn at Harvard some fifty years ago. She was an extremely bright, gentle, sensitive young lady, who made me feel good just by knowing her. That she went on to great things comes as no surprise.

Professor Michael J. Murphy
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Michael J. Murphy said...

I knewe Evelyn at Harvard some fifty years ago. In fact, I was her student teaching supervisor. She was a a bright, gentle, sensitive soul, who made me feel good just by knowing her. That she went on to great things comes as no surprise.