Visiting Filmmakers Series presents: Voices Beyond the Wall, with poet and film subject Spencer Reece

Visiting Filmmakers Series

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Research Hall, #163


Voices Beyond the Wall:

Twelve Love Poems from the Murder Capital of the World

Film screening and Q&A with poet Spencer Reece 


Founded 25 years ago in San Pedro Sula, a city infamous for its poverty and violence, Our Little Roses is the only girls’ orphanage in Honduras. Seventy girls, ages 1-18, have found refuge there from broken and destitute homes, murderous streets, and the neighboring Bordo, the worst slum in the Americas. Inside 20 foot high concrete walls topped with barbed wire, they receive medical attention, food, shelter, and the nurturing care of a vibrant and entirely female collective of other “Desechables” (a slang word for orphans).

Voices Beyond the Wall bears witness to the catharsis that occurs when marginalized adolescent girls are encouraged to find their voices, in poetry and their own words. In the winter of 2012, Spencer Reece, an award-winning American poet and Episcopal priest, went to live at the home for a year. 

Home is both setting and subject of the film, which is executive produced by James Franco. At the end of Spencer’s year, a book of the girls’ poems has taken shape and he returns to the United States to edit and publish it. The writings are moving and complex, operating both as emotional touchstone and an inspiration for the mosaic structure of the film.

Voices Beyond the Wall, like the poems within it, opens a door to an intimate universe. Voices will be heard, clearly and at long last, by a country that had no place for them and a world that, until now, has turned a deaf ear. In the histories and hearts of these girls resonate quandaries that have drawn poets for millennia and are no less vital today.

See trailer here

Our event is sponsored by the English Department, Film and Media Studies, and the New Leaves Writers' Conference. 

This event is associated with a reading by Spencer Reece scheduled for Thursday, April 6, 7:30pm in Research Hall 163. His debut collection The Clerk’s Tale was chosen for the Blakeless Poetry Prize by Louise Gluck and adapted into a short film by James Franco. His second book, The Road to Emmaus, was short-listed for the Griffin Poetry Prize and long-listed for the National Book Award. Reece is chaplain to the bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Spain. 


For more information:
Peter Streckfus