Poet Airea D. Matthews will speak at U-M Ford School

November 1, 2023


DATE: 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9

EVENT: Poet Airea D. Matthews, an alumna of the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy, will discuss her latest work, “Bread and Circus.”

Described as a “memoir-in-verse,” “Bread and Circus” combines poetry, prose and imagery to explore the realities of economic necessity, marginal poverty and commodification through a personal lens. Following a poetry reading, Matthews will be in conversation with poet and Ford School writing instructor Molly Spencer.

“At the Ford School, and at U-M more broadly, we’re accustomed to thinking about economic and social theory in the abstract, and about the consequences of policies that create and perpetuate economic and racial injustice through analysis and research,” Spencer said.

“I’m excited for our community to engage with Matthews’ inventive poems, which invite us to reckon with the intersection of theory and policy with one person’s life and family—and to think about the implications of this as we continue our work as a community dedicated to the public good.”

With poems that range from tragic to humorous, in forms as varied and nuanced as the ideas the book considers, “Bread and Circus” explores the area where theory and reality meet.

“The Center for Racial Justice is deeply honored to host poet and alumna Airea D. Matthews, a writer who powerfully weaves discussions of structural racism, inequality, lived experience, and creative expression into an inspiring tapestry of deep reflection and contemplation,” said Dom Adams-Santos, managing director of the Center for Racial Justice.

INFORMATION: The event is part of the Center for Racial Justice’s fall 2023 Racial Foundations of Public Policy speaker series and is free to the public. A reception will follow. Registration is required.

PLACE: Annenberg Auditorium at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

SPONSOR: Center for Racial Justice