Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cindy Lyles gives opening reading at the EBR Learning Center

Cindy Lyles reads poetry in the Eugene B. Redmond Learning Center

Some years ago when the Eugene B. Redmond Collection and Learning Center at SIUE's Lovejoy Library was still just an idea, my then-graduate assistant Cindy Lyles gave an impassioned speech to the Friends of Lovejoy Library about why the development of such a room would mean so much to student research projects, especially students like her from East St. Louis.

Given her words and ideas, it was fitting yesterday that Cindy gave the first official poetry reading in the Learning Center. She presented for a group of 23 first-year collegiate black women. She inspired, encouraged, challenged, and affirmed the young sisters in a session that served as a wonderful introduction to this space for students.

I've been to dozens and dozens of poetry readings over the decades. I had never seen a poet invite listeners to participate and comment on the poems immediately after they were read the way that Cindy did yesterday. What an inaugural reading for the Learning Center.

Fall 2015 Programming

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