"Read & Greet" With Poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Blackburn Distinguished Artist in Residence

Crowd photo from Toby Martinez de las Rivas “Read & Greet"

A packed crowd joined Duke English for a reading and an opportunity to meet and chat with poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas, the 2023-24 Blackburn Distinguished Artist in Residence. Martinez de las Rivas joined the department for the 2023-24 academic year and is teaching two sections of an “Introduction to Creative Writing” this semester, a multi-genre course designed to allow students to experience imaginative literary texts. The "Read & Greet" allowed the Duke community to hear Professor Martinez de las Rivas read some of his poetry with multimedia elements to accent the overall presentation. Professor Martinez de las Rivas shared some of the poetry he has been working on as a visiting professor here at Duke and his discoveries during his first visit to the United States. 

"The poems themselves were first-rate: by turns evocative, poignant, haunting. Moreover, the incredible showing of faculty and students alike is a testament to the tremendous impact Toby has had on the community in his short time here."Professor Michael D'Alessandro 

Toby  Martinez de las Rivas presenting to crowd at “Read & Greet"

The audience consisted of undergrad and grad students, faculty, and staff, all of whom seemed excited to have the opportunity to witness Martinez de las Rivas read in person. Following his reading, the crowd chatted with the poet and learned more about him and his work while enjoying refreshments.

“I was so happy to hear some of Professor Martinez de las Rivas's poems he has been working on in Durham and reflecting on the particularities of this place. His presence while reading and his command of language resonated with me, and it was wonderful to come together with our department to share it.”Hannah Jorgensen, Duke English PhD candidate

“Toby's "Read and Greet" was the first poetry reading I have attended, but it was nonetheless such an amazing and fulfilling experience. I immediately felt very welcome; being part of a collective audience that was so captivated by Toby's words, that took time out of their busy Tuesday to simply listen to and enjoy poetry, reaffirmed the idea that I am not alone in my belief of the importance of poetic creativity."Natalia Harnish, '27, English major

During the Spring '24 semester, Professor Martinez de las Rivas will teach English 220S - "Intro to the Writing of Poetry"and English 290S.4 - "Poetry Beyond the Page."

Recording of "Read & Greet" with Professor Martinez de las Rivas