Patrick Murfin has been a fixture on the McHenry County scene for almost three decades as a social justice activist. Some might call him a gadfly. Others take a dimmer view.
He is also a writer and published poet who will read his work as part of Social Gospel in Words and Music, a program at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley Road in McHenry on Friday, April 6 at 7 PM.
Joining Murfin on the program will be Memphis based bluesman and roots music guitarist Andy Cohen. Together the two will explore social justice issues through the arts.
Murfin may be best known as the long time host of the Diversity Day Festival which ran annually for 14 years in Woodstock Square. He has also been out front in opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as a spokesperson for the McHenry County Peace Group, as an advocate for immigrant rights, and most recently for organizing support for Occupy Chicago. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation has long been a base for his activism.
In 2004 Skinner House Books of Boston published his collection of poetry, We Build Temples in the Heart. He is a self described eclectic blogger at Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout where he mixes posts of “opinion, history, poetry and general bloviating.” He also contributes autobiographical sketches to The Third City blog and labor history writing to another on-line journal, Working Class Heroes.
“I will include work from the book,” Murfin said, “but there will also be a good deal new material that has never been publicly read.”
The McHenry performance, sponsored by the UU Congregation’s Social Justice Committee, will benefit the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants post release program, which provides assistance to those released from Federal custody after it has been determined that they were not in violation.
A $10 donation will be asked at the door and a free will collection will also be made. A reception for the artists will follow the performance. Cohen’s CDs and Murfin’s collection of poetry, We Build Temples in the Heart will be available.
For more information call Patrick Murfin at 815 814-5645 or visit http://joomla.uucofwoodstock.org .