February 1, 2008
On Thursday, March 27, 2008, Julia Alvarez will deliver the 2008 Ellsworth Lecture at Johnson State College.
Alvarez is an award-winning writer, storyteller, and poet who is currently writer in residence at Middlebury College. Her books include "In the Time of the Butterflies," "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents," and "Once Upon A Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the U.S.A."
At the 7 p.m. program in Bentley Hall, Room 207, she will speak about storytelling and how it provides guidance in our lives in ways that are mysterious and important to recognize. In her own life as a writer, storytelling has influenced her work both in this country and in the development of a sustainable farm - literacy center in her native country, the Dominican Republic.
At 4 p.m. in the Ellsworth Rooms (Library and Learning Center), she will talk about her work in the Dominican Republic and her coffee farm/literacy center, Alta Gracia. While doing research for a piece for Nature Conservancy, she was astonished by what she calls the "green desert," or once-forested land stripped of its cover where acres upon acres of sun-grown coffee is produced. She and her husband had been wanting to find a way to give back to her country and the possibility of remedying or at the very least contributing to this situation caught their attention. The result was their 1996 purchase of Alta Gracia, a 260 acre farm in the impoverished central mountain region of the Dominican Republic.
Programs are free and open to the public.