Poet Eve Rifkah Presents "Outcasts: The Penikese Island Leper Hospital, 1904-1921"

Co-Hosted by Falmouth Jewish Congregation and the Falmouth Museums on the Green

Monday, July 24 at 5pm at Falmouth Museums on the Green

Registration is required. Visit the Museums on the Green Website: https://museumsonthegreen.org/

Falmouth has had a special connection with Penikese Island over the years. Come connect to the island and its small group of forced inhabitants at the turn of the 20th century. You will come away with fresh perspective on this special place nearby. Join acclaimed author and poet Eve Rifkah, the 2021 recipient of the Stanley Kunitz award, for a performance based on her book Outcasts: the Penikese Island Leper Hospital 1904-1921. Rifkah based this moving poetry collection on the lives of inhabitants of the Penikese Island leper hospital on Penikese Island, the smallest of the Elizabeth Islands off Cape Cod. All the persona poems are based on the directors of the hospital and actual patients, who came from around the world, but were living in the Boston area at the time they were diagnosed with leprosy. They were Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim. 36 patients were sent to the island, 14 are buried there and 13 were sent to the newly built national leprosarium in Carville, Louisiana when the Penikese leper hospital closed in 1921.

A play based on Rifkah's poems will be performed this August, starting on the 11th, at the Martha's Vineyard Playhouse. Click here for more information: OUTCASTS – The Lepers of Penikese Island - Martha's Vineyard Playhouse (mvplayhouse.org)