Williams College Presents a Conversation with Poet José Olivarez and Activist Andrea Schmid

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, executive assistant; tele: 413-597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., November 4, 2019—The English department at Williams College presents a joint presentation by Andrea Schmid, co-director of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, and poet and award-winning author José Olivarez. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Friday, Nov. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3. The speakers will lead a discussion after the talk.

In addition, two workshops hosted by Olivarez and Schmid, respectively, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 16 in Sawyer Library’s Mabie Room. The workshop with Olivarez will start at 1 p.m., and the workshop with Schmid will start at 2:30 p.m. The workshops are free and open to the public.

Olivarez, the award-winning author of Citizen Illegal (Haymarket Books, 2018), won the Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize and was selected as a top book by NPR and the New York Public Library. As both a poet and an educator, he recently conducted his #GenteficationWorldTour, in which he traveled the country leading poetry workshops and performing at high schools and universities.

The Pioneer Valley Workers Center (PVWC) is an award-winning community organization empowering low-wage and immigrant workers in western Massachusetts. In their mission to eradicate systematic exploitation and oppression, the PVWC has won wage theft protections, stopped deportations, and built new worker cooperatives.

Together, the two speakers will address their own work and facilitate a discussion in which they offer their insights on the intersecting roles of activism and the arts in envisioning the future of immigrant rights movements.

This event is part of the Brew & Forge Lecture Series, which aims to put poets and activists in conversation with one another. This event is co-sponsored by the Davis Center, the Lecture Committee, and the W. Ford Schumann ’50 Program in Democratic Studies.


For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications 413-597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map