Hiram College will host the fall 2021 Lectures in Religion featuring Kaveh Akbar, distinguished educator and author on Wednesday, September 29. The online lecture will begin at 5 p.m.  

The lecture, titled “The Word Dropped Like a Stone: Sacred Poetics Under the Reign of the Money God,” elevates the gift of sacred poetry to break through the dominant imagination and breathe new life into existence.  

“Today the great weapon used to stifle critical thinking is a raw overwhelm of meaningless language at every turn,” says Akbar. “Interesting poetry awakens us, asks us to slow down our metabolization of language, to become aware of its materiality, how it enters into us. Sacred poetry, from antiquity to the present, teaches us to be comfortable sitting in mystery without trying to resolve it, to be skeptical of unqualified certitudes.”  

Akbar has published several collections of poetry including, “Calling a Wolf a Wolf and Portrait of the Alcoholic.” His astonishing new work, “Pilgrim Bell,” has just been released and “The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 100 Poets on the Divine,” which Akbar edited, will be published in 2022. In 2020, Kaveh was named Poetry Editor of “The Nation.” He is the recipient of the Levis Reading Prize, Pushcart Prize, Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, and Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Furthermore, he is the founding editor of DiveDapper, a home for interviews with major voices in contemporary poetry.  

Born in Tehran, Iran, Akbar teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson College. His poems appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, PBS NewsHour, The New Republic, Best American Poetry, The New York Times, and elsewhere. 

Created with the intention to address the correlation between the pursuit of higher learning and the religious questions of life, the Lectures in Religion series brings both emerging and established scholars, clergy, and faith leaders to campus to engage in intimate and profound conversations with the Northeast Ohio community.  

For additional information and questions about the event, please contact the College Chaplain, Reverend Chris McCreight at McCreightCJ@hiram.edu.