Award-winning Latino poet and gay activist to speak

Emanuel Xavier, an award-winning Latino poet, spoken word artist, author and activist, speaks at Bates College in observance of National Coming Out Day at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 8, in Chase Hall Lounge, 56 Campus Ave.

Xavier’s talk also marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, demonstrations considered the first instance of gay protest against government persecution of sexual minorities. Presented by the Bates Multicultural Center, he will discuss the importance of the riots as they relate to the modern civil rights movement for the LGBT community.

The lecture is open to the public at no cost. For more information, please call 207-786-8376.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, of Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian descent, Xavier is prominent in the world of spoken-word poetry. He performs regularly throughout the United States and internationally, sharing his sexually, politically, culturally and often religiously themed poetics.

He is author of the poetry collections Pier Queen (Pier Queen Productions, 1997) and Americano (Suspect Thoughts Press, 2002); and the Lambda Literary Award-nominated novel Christ Like (Queer Mojo, 10th anniversary edition, 2009). His work has been commissioned for the Walt Whitman Archives, UNESCO and the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review.

Xavier has received a number of awards, including the Marsha A. Gomez Cultural Heritage Award, a New York City Council Citation and a World Pride Award. He was recently named one of the “25 Most Influential GLBT Latinos” and is currently working on a new poetry collection and a spoken-word/music collaboration with producer El David.

National Coming Out Day is observed every Oct. 11.

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