Poet, Priest and Peace Activist Daniel
Berrigan to Read at Smith College
Editor's note: For a photo of Berrigan,
call (413) 585-2190 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- Smith College will
host poet, priest and peace activist Daniel Berrigan for
a poetry reading at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in Helen
Hills Hills Chapel. At 5:30 p.m. in the same location,
Fr. Berrigan will celebrate Mass. The reading is free and open to the
public, and all are welcome to join Fr. Berrigan for the Mass following.
For more information, call (413) 585-2750.
Berrigan's considerable literary
achievements are often overlooked in the context of his
heroic life. A Jesuit priest, he is best known as a tireless
activist for peace and social justice and one of the major
icons of the Catholic left. Berrigan has been arrested hundreds
of times for his acts of civil disobedience. In 1967, he was sentenced
to three years in prison with his brother Phillip for destroying draft
files with homemade napalm in protest of the Vietnam War, and was active
in the Plowshares raids against General Electric's production of nuclear
weapons. He teaches at Fordham University and lives in New York City
in a community of other Jesuit priests.
Berrigan has authored over 50
books of poetry, protest, biblical interpretation, prison
journals and a play, "The Trial of the
Catonsville Nine," which
dramatized the events surrounding his Vietnam protests and
garnered a Tony Award. "Time Without Number" was nominated
for a National Book Award and won the 1957 Lamont Poetry Prize.
Berrigan's most recent books include "And the Risen Bread," an
ample retrospective collection of poetry released in 1998,
and in 2002 "Wisdom:
The Feminine Face of God," which discusses the Wisdom of Solomon
in terms of contemporary culture.
Just as Berrigan bravely lives
a life of dissent in the public eye, his poetry takes a similarly
daring plunge, unflinchingly revealing the interior sides
of his public battles. A profound faith is evident in his poetic meditations
on Scripture, yet he struggles openly with doubt and despair.
Berrigan meets the Gospel on a deeply personal plane, speaking to John
the Baptist as a friend and brother and writing Lazarus monologues never
voiced in the pages of the Bible. While his integrity and
faith can seem saintly, Berrigan's true poetic gift is devotion to the
human. He treats his own weaknesses with the same honesty and compassion
with which he faces the world. The candor, simplicity and
decency that distinguish his life also mark his poetry as a gift of astonishing
personal and moral generosity.
Office of College
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174
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