Willimantic, Conn. –The Division of Student Affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University hosted “Inscriptions of Air,” an event commemorating the release of Jake Adam York’s final book of poetry titled “Abide” on April 22. The event was part of “The Power of One: Engage. Enlighten. Empower” Spring 2014 Cultural Celebrations Calendar.
The poetry reading was organized by English Professor Daniel Donaghy, who knew York personally. “I’ve been a fan of his poems, a fan of his character, and a friend of Jake for about 20 years,” said Donaghy. “We are celebrating the existence of his poems that will never die.”
The event was a compilation of poetry readings of York’s work by faculty and students, and ended with Donaghy’s reading of York’s “Inscriptions for Air.”
York’s collection of poems sought to elegize each of the martyrs of the civil rights movement. In “Abide,” York was able to took known facts from different court cases and infused them into his poetry creatively to divert attention away from the death of these martyrs, and more on the lives of these people. In his book of poetry, York takes on issues of race and social justice.
Current United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey said, “We find a profound intervention into our ongoing conversations about race and social justice, a bold and necessary challenge to our historical amnesia in his body of work.”
“I feel there’s definitely a need for York’s poetry,” said Jonah Craggett, a student who read “Postscript to Silence.” “York’s a perfect example of someone successfully using their privilege to talk about issues on race and inequality.”
York’s work can be found in the Eastern bookstore located in the Student Center.