On Thursday, April 20, poet Eduardo C. Corral took to the stage as April's Gray Colloquium presenter at St. Mark's.
The C. Boyden Gray Colloquium Series is designed to engage St. Mark's students in an exploration of one complex global issue annually. Students hear from outside speakers with varying viewpoints, participate in small group discussions, write about and debate the issue, and take part in all-community events. C. Boyden Gray '60, former Board President and current Trustee, has committed $1.5 million to fund this annual yearlong learning exercise. St. Markers, Gray believes "should think in big terms and be inquisitive about the outside world." Gray, a former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, White House counsel to the first President Bush, and recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, hopes that tackling these topics in an intensive fashion will inspire students to serve their country and the world. The theme for this year's Gray Colloquium series is "Globalization."
A professor in the Master of Fine Arts Program at North Carolina State University, Mr. Corral is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He is the author of Slow Lightning (2012) which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition.
Professor Corral met with a group of interested students and faculty over lunch, where they discussed the process of creating poetry. After lunch, on the stage of the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall, he shared his poems with the entire school community. He highlighted intersectionality: how various cultural and social forces blur in his work. "How Spanish informs my English," he explained. "How living on the border gave me a glimpse into globalization. How English itself has been 'globalized' forever: English borrows words from all over the world, and this intersectionality makes 'visible' globalization."