Public Program- Nicole Cooley

Lectures and Performances
Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 7:30pm

Re-imagining the Salem Witch Trials: A Poetry Reading and Discussion
by Nicole Cooley

Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association

The Afflicted Girls, book coverDuring the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts (1691-93), twenty-four people were executed or died while incarcerated and many others were imprisoned. More than three hundred years later, the Salem witch trials still retain an enormous cultural power. In this presentation, poet Nicole Cooley will read from her recently published book of poems, The Afflicted Girls, which focuses on this event, and will discuss the background, research, and writing of the project. The poems explore what happened in Salem from a variety of perspectives the accusers, the accused, and those whose lives were forever changed by the accusations, trials, and executions and meditate on the lasting effects of the trials on present-day America.

Nicole Cooley teaches English at Queens College, City University of New York. Her poems have been published in such periodicals as the New England Review, The Nation, Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, and Poetry Northwest, among others. Cooley is also the author of two books, a novel, Judy Garland, Ginger Love, and a book of poems, Resurrection, which received the 1995 Walt Whitman Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets. In 1999, Cooley held an AAS Creative and Performing Artists and Writers Fellowship in which she conducted research for The Afflicted Girls, to be published this spring by Louisiana State University Press.

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