W&L Groups Plan Poetry Reading

In honor of Tu b’Shevat, the Jewish “New Year of the Trees,” Washington and Lee Hillel, the Native American Cohort (NAC) and other campus community members will share poems celebrating the many lands people call home. W&L will host a virtual public poetry reading to commemorate the holiday on Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

The virtual event is titled “Celebrating Beloved Lands.” The reading is free and open to the public to view online, but advanced registration is required and can be accessed here.

According to Maggie Shapiro Haskett, W&L’s director of Jewish life, the Jewish holiday of Tu b’Shevat was originally an agricultural festival that marked the start of a new growing season in Israel.

“Over time, it has grown into a day for celebrating the environment, and many people plant trees on Tu b’Shevat,” said Shapiro Haskett.

W&L Hillel usually marks the holiday with a program that includes speakers on various environmental topics, a seder ritual that honors human connection to the earth, and a meal featuring seasonal local foods and foods from Israel.

“Rather than try to recreate that event digitally, the NAC and Hillel decided to host a poetry reading celebrating the many lands we love,” said Shapiro Haskett. “We’re looking forward to having poet and W&L professor Leah Naomi Green read one of her poems, as well as hearing poetry celebrating Israel, Appalachia and many other places, read by students, faculty and staff.”

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