One Book 2019-2020

The One Book program engages our college community in a dialogue about a common text that addresses a current issue. Students, faculty and staff share the experience of reading a text and examining its effects upon our community. Faculty who incorporate the text into their curriculum receive copies for their students. Programming is provided throughout the year to continue the discussions that begin in the classrooms of various disciplines. The culminating event happens each spring semester when the college invites the author of the chosen text to visit, interact and speak with our student body. The One Book program promotes literacy in an innovative way and creates interest within a subject that students may be encouraged to pursue and advocate for in the future. The program invites analysis, promotes critical thinking, and encourages positive change.

If They Come for Us: Poems by Fatimah Asghar 

Her work has appeared in many journals, including POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed Reader, The Margins, The Offing, Academy of American Poets and many others. She is the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-nominated web series that highlights friendships between women of color.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Live Virtual Reading and Presentation, 1 p.m.
Password: Bunker
To join by phone (audio only): Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada)
Access code: 474 567 617



an aunt teaches me how to tell
an edible flower
from a poisonous one.
just in case, I hear her say, just in case.

This imaginative, soulful debut poetry collection from One World/ Random House captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America. Orphaned as a girl, Fatimah Asghar grapples with coming of age and navigating questions of sexuality and race without the guidance of a mother or father. If they come for us ThumbnailThese poems at once bear anguish, joy, vulnerability, and compassion, while exploring the many facets of violence: how it persists within us, how it is inherited across generations, and how it manifests itself in our relationships. In experimental forms and language both lyrical and raw, Asghar seamlessly braids together marginalized people’s histories with her own understanding of identity, place, and belonging.

About If They Come for Us

  • Named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by the New York Public Library
  • Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award

An outstanding collection of poetry . . . wonderful play with form . . . These poems cover so much—identity, loss, brown girlhood, the complicated bonds of family, what home is when home is torn apart. Much to admire here. [I] will be thinking about these poems for a long time to come.” — Roxane Gay

A debut poetry collection showcasing both a fierce and tender new voice.” — Booklist

Elegant and playful . . . The poet invents new forms and updates classic ones.” — Elle

[Fatimah] Asghar interrogates divisions along lines of nationality, age, and gender, illuminating the forces by which identity is fixed or flexible.” — The New Yorker


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