Poetry Night at Wilson House: Local Creatives Speak Truth to Power (Washington, DC)

It’s Poetry Night at the President Woodrow Wilson House, Wednesday, December 13, 2023. Come listen to three local creatives from the DMV area speak truth to power.


Quique Aviles is a poet, performer, teacher, and social provocateur. Originally from El Salvador, he has been performing and leading community arts projects in the Washington, D.C. area for close to 40 years. A graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Quique co-founded the LatiNegro Theater Collective (1985) and Sol & Soul (1999), projects that created socially conscious art with people from the community. Quique has written and performed 15 one-man shows dealing with issues of race, identity, and poverty, bringing his solo work to theaters and universities around the U.S., Mexico City, and San Salvador. He published a book of poetry, The Immigrant Museum, an artbook printed in Mexico City.


Quique recently worked with filmmaker Ellie Walton to produce La Manplesa, a documentary film about the 1991 riots in D.C.’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. Currently, he is writing and directing Las Muertes Mas Bellas del Mundo/The Most Beautiful Deaths in the World, a documentary film about the Salvadorean diaspora in the Washington D.C. region through the eyes of Salvadorean and Salvadorean-American artists – singers, poets, visual artists, dancers, and DJs.


The night will also feature two other compelling voices, Susan Strasser and Marcia E. Cole performing “A Double Take on Lynching.” The two will share a series of poems and an illustrated lecture on lynching. Marcia Cole uses original poetry to personalize and humanize the lives that would be lost in statistics. She won the College Language Association Creative Writing Contest awards across three genres: Playwriting, Short Story, and Poetry. Susan Strasser is an award-winning historian, Richards Professor Emerita of American History at the University of Delaware, and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.