October 9, 2003
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass -Poet Lisa Chávez, will read from her work on Monday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. in Porter Lounge in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The reading and refreshments, sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center, are free and open to the public.

Chávez is "a poet sensitive to the pulse of our times," according to Ilan Stavans, the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. Her second book of poems, In an Angry Season, is a poetic retelling of American history in four sections: "Captivity," "At the World's Fairs," "Surrender," and "The New World." With what Stavans describes as a "forceful voice that leaves a... mark in the reader's mind," Chávez, a Chicana Mestiza, weaves together histories of brutality and oppression, of creative passion and integrity. In narrative poems richly textured with her extensive research and political acuity, Chávez speaks in the voices of those who have been made captive-whether to racism or national policy, to bad marriages, alcoholism or poverty-and asks, ultimately, what it means to be civilized.

Born in Los Angeles, Chávez was raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and now lives in Albuquerque where she teaches at the University of New Mexico. Her first book of poems was Destruction Bay, and her poetry has also appeared in such publications as The Americas Review, The Colorado Review and Prairie Schooner and the anthology American Poetry: The Next Generation. She is currently at work on a memoir.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. See the Center's website, www.amherst.edu/~cwc, for more information.