Dr Neal Hall, internally acclaimed poet at our sacred space

Lata Jain

Internationally acclaimed and award winning poet, Dr Neal Hall, a surgeon, a poet, and an activist read his poems at Our Sacred Space on June 21st, 2015. His powerful poetry immediately inspired and electrified the room.

It is heartening to know that there are powerful voices like Dr Hall’s in today’s world, reminding us, and making us question what racial equality, and freedom really mean. Poetry is a beautiful way to cut through and convey life affirming and life changing material.

“Dr Neal Hall ’78, was born and raised in Warren, Ohio. He received his medical degree from Michigan State and his ophthalmology surgical subspecialty training from Harvard University. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University where he achieved All Ivy, All East Coast, All America Honors, Co-Captained The Cornell Track and Field Team, Cornell’s Athlete of the Year in 1978, Gold Medalist ‘78 U.S. National Sport Festival Mini Olympics, Cornell Track Gatling Award, and was inducted in Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame. Dr. Hall was also elected to Quill & Dagger Senior Honor Society.

An internationally acclaimed award winning poet, Dr Neal Hall has performed readings throughout the U.S. and around the world. His poetic writings and readings bear strong witness to his passionate belief in equality and our collective rights to think, live and make harmonious decision based on our common good. Dr Hall’s first international award winning book, Nigger For Life, reflects his painful discovery that, in “unspoken America,” race is the one thing by which he is first judged.

Dr. Hall’s second award winning book, Winter’s A’ Coming Still is written from the same deep chasm of despair and pain. His poetic insights reflect vividly that the more things are said to change, the more things are made to stay the same. His poetic revelations reflect vividly that there is no post-racial America, no just America. There is just racist America.”

Cornel West, Ph.D., said of Dr Neal Hall, “[He] is a warrior of the spirit, a warrior of the mind, an activist, a poet. . .  his poetry has the capacity to change ordinary people’s philosophy on social and racial issues.”

Mumbai-based writer and poet Rochelle Potkar shared her poetry which was centered around women’s realities. Equally powerful and insightful, her poems spoke of objectification of women, and inequalities in the workspace.

Rochelle Potkar is a fiction writer and poet. Her works have appeared in several publications. Her first book, ‘The Arithmetic of Breasts and other stories’ was shortlisted for The Digital Book of the Year Award by Publishing Next. Her next book, ‘Dreams of Déjà vu’ is a speculative novel. She lives in the ‘pandoramic’ city of Mumbai with people real and imagined. She is also the co-editor of Neesah Magazine and one of the core team members of Cappucino Readings at Mumbai.

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