Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Palabra Pura Special Event with Maria Luisa Arroyo & Roger Bonair-Agard

With this event, the Guild Complex will take a step toward enhancing the dialogue and awareness of work coming out of the Latino and African American poetry communities. Palabra Pura, Chicago’s monthly bi-lingual reading series, initiates Palabra Pura Special Events by inviting African American poets to share its stage.

Palabra Pura Special Events are the brainchild of Francisco Aragón, poet and Director of Letras Latinas at the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame, and Quraysh Ali Lansana, poet and Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature & Creative Writing at Chicago State University. The vision is to have writers from these two communities come together to share their work and respond to each other’s work.

The first Palabra Pura Special Event will be Wednesday, July 21, with acclaimed Puerto Rican native and poet María Luisa Arroyo reading alongside noted Trinidadian native and poet Roger Bonair-Agard. This is the first time a non-Latino poet will be featured on the Palabra Pura stage. After the reading there will be a moderated conversation and audience Q&A.

A short Open Mic will begin the evening.

Palabra Pura Special Event with Maria Luisa Arroyo & Roger Bonair-Agard
Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Time: Reading begins at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free
Location: Décima Musa, 1901 S. Loomis, Chicago

Born in Puerto Rico, bi-lingual poet and translator Maria Luisa Arroyo won a 2004 Massachusetts Cultural Council poetry grant. Her collection of poetry, Gathering Words: Recogiendo Palabras was published in 2008. A chapbook, Touching and Naming the Roots of this Tree, was published in 2007. Maria Luisa Arroyo writes for The Springfield Institute, blogs at Maria Luisa Arroyo's Blog, leads writing workshops, teaches GED courses.

Roger Bonair-Agard is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, a Cave Canem fellow and co-author of Burning Down the House. He is a two-time National Slam Champion and is co-founder of The louderARTS Project. Roger's work has been widely anthologized and commissioned and he has appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour. His publications include Tarnish and Masquerade published in 2000.


Francisco Aragón said...

Thanks for posting this, Oscar. The reading last (and the discussion that followed) was great, though there was one modification: Roger got stuff in Philadelphia with a cancelled flight. But Quraysh Ali Lansana graciously stepped in and read with Maria Luisa Arroyo, and the evening went wonderfully, with a lively and probing discussion afterwards, and with very good attendence.

A friend took some video with his flip camera video so the Guild Complex hopes to post some clips soon.

Oscar Bermeo said...

Sorry to hear that Roger's flight got canceled. He's one of my favorite poets and earliest mentors.

But glad to hear the event went well, happy accidents make for the best readings. I think. Looking forward to seeing the videos.