Monday, June 6, 2011

CantoMundo in New York: A Reading

CantoMundo Poets to Participate 
in “Word for Word” Reading Series
at New York City’s Bryant Park

Highly Popular Outdoor Readings 
Feature Diverse Range of Poetic Styles and Voices

Austin, TXMay 27, 2011 – This summer, three widely recognized CantoMundo poets will participate in the annual reading series, “Word for Word,” at New York City’s Bryant Park on Tuesday, June 14, at 7 P.M. The event is free and open to the public. The series is known for presenting a broad cross-section of local and national authors to a large and enthusiastic audience.

The June 14 reading will comprise readings by poets J. Michael Martínez, Deborah Parédez, and Carmen Tafolla, who are CantoMundo Fellows (Paredez and Tafolla are two of the organzation’s Co-Founders). Established in 2009 as a national retreat-workshop for Latina and Latino poets, CantoMundo held its inaugural events in Albuquerque last summer. This year the retreat-workshop will take place in Austin. CantoMundo’s mission is to provide a space for “the creation, documentation, and critical analysis of Latina/o poetry,” which it accomplishes through “workshops, symposia, and public readings.”

“This reading affords CantoMundo a magnificent opportunity to share the power and myriad splendors that are Latina/o poetry—an integral but still largely underappreciated corner of U.S. letters—with a wider public,” said Deborah Paredez. “We are thrilled to bring a little bit of Colorado and Texas—originally Mexican soil—to New York City,” added Carmen Tafolla. “We hope this is only the first of what will be an ongoing exchange.”

The venue for this reading is the open-air library known as the Bryant Park Reading Room, a project of the Bryant Park Restoration Project. In case of inclement weather, the reading will be held at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, located at 20 West 44th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Following the reading, the poets will sign copies of their books. (Books will be for sale at the event.)

For more detailed information, please contact Deborah Paredez at or Paul Romero at (917) 438-5123.

Biographies of the participating poets:

A native of Greeley, Colorado, poet J. Michael Martinez is the author of Heredities (Louisiana State University Press), which was selected by Juan Felipe Herrera for the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award in 2009. Martinez received an MFA from George Mason University; currently he teaches at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a CantoMundo Fellow.

Deborah Paredez is the author of the poetry volume, This Side of Skin (Wings Press, 2002), and the critical study, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory (Duke University Press, 2009), which garnered the 2010 LASA Latino Studies Book Award Honorable Mention and the 2011 NACCS Chicano Studies Book Award Honorable Mention. Paredez is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin and is a Co-Founder of CantoMundo, a national retreat-workshop for Latina/o poets.

A recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Americas Award, the Tomás Rivera Award, the Art of Peace Award, Carmen Tafolla is the author of more than 20 books, among them, the award-winning Sonnets to Human Beings, and The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans. Tafolla’s books have been published in English, Spanish, German, and Bengali. She is a Co-Founder of CantoMundo and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

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