Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Letras Latinas colabora con ParaEsoLaPalabra (PELP)....

...para presentar:
Urayoán Noel
(photo credit: Emmy Pérez)

Carlos Parada, a Salvadoran-born poet I met in October of 2006 in Washington DC, is who first spoke to me about ParaEsoLaPalabra. PELP is a collective who puts on Spanish-language cultural events that typically include poetry, music and the visual arts---evenings that are multidisciplinary in the best sense of the word. The events take place at the Haskell Center, which is part of the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capital Hill. Last friday, I attended for the first time:

With Naomi Ayala's assistance, Letras Latinas partnered with PELP to feature Urayoán Noel, who performed from his recent Spanish-language book (with companion CD), Boringkén, published in Puerto Rico by Librería La Tertulia and Ediciones Callejón.

Also performing that evening were Gabriel Lora and Paco Galarza, who form the Latin Jazz duo Smooth Continent. The evening was rounded out with the presentation of selected works by Cuban-born artist, Lázaro Batista.

And after the event itself is the post-event: a two block stroll to a local Greek restaurant where a few tables are put together and the PELP folks, along with invited artists and guests, sit down for a late dinner---not unlike, one might say, what PALABRA PURA and The Wind Shifts TOUR attempt to foster: breaking bread, drinking wine---in the company of new friends.

And among those new friends (though he didn't make the meal) was Bronx Boricua transplant in DC, Sami Miranda, recent reader at ACENTOS and author of the chapbook, landing, is always a roll of the dice, with beautiful cover and interior art by the aforementioned Lázaro Batista. Miranda, along with Batista and a few others form part of a collective called Tres Raices Arts Collective.

And really, that's what's been on my mind lately: collectives; collectives with common goals doing their thing. Another one I got a glimpse of last week was the Brookland Area Writers & Artists (BAWA), founded by poets Dan Vera and Michael Gushue. The concept is simple: monthly gatherings in an art gallery space to read poems (usually other peoples' poems) around a particular theme. The one last week: dogs. I read "Yoko" and "Sissy Boy" by Thom Gunn and Steven Cordova, respectively.

Special thanks to Neida Pérez, steering committee member of PELP, as well as her colleagues Sonia Gutiérrez and Arturo Salcedo.


Naomi Ayala and Diana Pando read tomorrow at PALABRA PURA

Letras Latinas would lastly like to join
the celebratory chorus for the launch of
The Acentos Review.
Congratulations to co-editors
Raina León and Eliel Lucero


Ernesto said...

Sounds amazing, thanks for sharing that.

Francisco Aragón said...

Thank you for the comment, Ernesto.