Writers House to Host Final Events of Academic Year

The Writers House, Merrimack's center for creative writing, reading and thinking, will host its final two events of the academic year in the coming days.

On Wednesday, April 19, Robert Orsi, the Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies at Northwestern University, will discuss his most recent book, “History and Presence” (Harvard University Press, 2016), in which he challenges modern conceptions of the “real presence,” the Catholic doctrine of the literal, physical, embodied presence of Christ in the host. Orsi researches, writes and teaches about religion in the United States, in the past and in contemporary contexts, with a particular focus on American Catholicism. His 4 p.m. talk will be held in The Writers House in the Academic Innovation Center.

On the following Wednesday, Syrian composer Zaid Jabri will perform musical pieces from his new opera, “Cities of Salt,” in the atrium at the Rogers Center for the Arts. Jabri, whose work is inspired by Western and Middle Eastern musical traditions, will be accompanied by librettists Yvette Christianse and Rosalind C. Morris. Jabri will also discuss the relationship between words and music during the 12:30 p.m. event.

Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Andrea Cohen, director of Writers House, at or 978-837-5515.