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Chilean Author and Human Rights Activist to Speak Sept. 23

Marjorie Agosin, Chilean author, poet and advocate for underprivileged women in Third World countries, will speak at Bridgewater College on Monday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Cole Hall.

Raised in Chile, Agosin and her parents moved to the United States upon rumors of an impending coup.

Coming from a South American country and being Jewish, Agosin’s writings demonstrate a unique blending of these cultures. Within her poetry collections and multi-layered stories, Agosin captures the very essence of Jewish women at their best.

Agosin writes about the Holocaust, as well as anti-Semitic events that occurred in her native land. In a collection of bilingual poems, Dear Anne Frank, she shares a remarkable imaginary relationship with this Jewish girl who perished in a concentration camp during World War II. One of the poems from this collection, “Tapestries of Hope–Threads of Love,” details the life of a young woman under the Pinochet dictatorship.

She also is the author of two books that reflect her close connection to her parents and family, Always from Somewhere Else: A Memoir of My Chilean Jewish Father and A Cross and a Star: Memoirs of a Jewish Girl in Chile.

Agosin has won several distinguished prizes including the Letras de Oro Prize for Poetry, the Latino Literature Prize and the Morgan Institute Prize for Achievement in Human Rights. Scholastic Magazine chose Agosin as 1998 Latino Mentor of the Year.

Agosin has received numerous honors in recognition of her work as a human-rights activist, including the United Nations Leadership Award for Human Rights, the Good Neighbor Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Jeanette Rankin Award in Human Rights, the 2004 National Mujer Award from the National Hispana Leadership Institute and the Gabriela Mistral Medal for Lifetime Achievement awarded by the Chilean government.

Agosin is the Luella LaMer Slaner Professor in Latin American Studies and professor of Spanish at Wellesley College.

The program is free and open to the public.

Posted 9/6/13

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