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Williams Reads aims to foster new connections among students, staff, faculty, and community members by exploring diversity through a common reading experience. Developed by the Committee on Diversity and Community (CDC), Williams Reads is an initiative offered as an opportunity for us to explore a book together that will help us to celebrate and deepen our appreciation of diversity. It is a goal of the CDC to select a book that will stimulate community engagement and challenging conversation.

Free copies of this year’s Williams Reads book will be sent this summer to all incoming Class of 2024 students in the preparation for First Days conversations. Special events, outside speakers, and other activities for the entire campus and local community will continue throughout the year.

2020-2021 Book: Subject to Change - edited by H. Melt

Featuring poetry and interviews, Subject to Change collects the work of Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Christopher Soto, beyza ozer, Cameron Awkward-Rich, and Kay Ulanday Barrett—five poets who are unreservedly transgender. Lauded by 2016-17 U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera as “a culture and power border-smasher & a piercing examination of brilliant, painful, and transcendent Trans consciousness and experience,” this anthology is a testament to the power of trans poets speaking to one another—about family, race, class, disability, religion, and the body. Through a range of trans experiences and poetics, Subject to Change expands the possibilities of what it means to be both trans and a writer in the twenty-first century.

'Subject to Change' ... is personal document, a set of trans community-journey notations and an at-the-edge howl of love for love. Each poet goes beyond poetry, that is, beyond being the gendered & genre-ed. Each writer calls out a manifesto against death, against “being pulled apart,” against frozen progressive movements and the “homelessness” of being. What does Freedom, Bravery, Self-realization look like? Enter these five poets—their questions, their investigations, their bodies on paper, their humanity. A superb diamond, in motion. I love this book. You will too.

 - Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate 2016-17



Reviews and Other Resources:

"An Interview with Poet and Editor H. Melt." - Alex Falck for The Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Blog (August, 2018)

"BOOK REVIEW Subject to Change: Trans Poetry and Conversation" - Liz Baudler for Windy City Times (October, 2017)

Recent Williams Reads Books

2019-2020 Book: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Called a “breathtaking novel…[that] arrives at an urgent time” by NPR, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West is an astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from … Continue reading “2019-2020 Book: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid”

2018-2019-Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

“MacArthur Genius and two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward has been hailed as the standout writer of her generation, proving her “fearless and toughly lyrical” voice in novels, memoir, … Continue reading “2018-2019-Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward”

2017-2018: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Williams Reads 2017-2018 Book: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson “Bryan Stevenson is America’s young Nelson Mandela, a brilliant lawyer fighting with courage and conviction to guarantee justice for all. Just … Continue reading “2017-2018: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson”

2015-2016: Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario ’82

Sonia Nazario’s website Sonia Nazario on Facebook Interviews With Sonia Nazario: Against Perils and Odds: A Boy’s Trek to the U.S. NPR, air date: February 20, 2006. Mendoza, Sylvia. “The … Continue reading “2015-2016: Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario ’82”