Friday, March 30, 2012

Letras Latinas and Split This Rock: March 23, 2012....

Part of what Letras Latinas Blog attempts to do, to the degree possible, is document, in some form, the initiatives it has a hand in. I lament that I wasn’t able to be at the third edition of Split This Rock. Letras Latinas was proud, nevertheless, to partially underwrite a panel close to its heart (see below). Below is the description of the session that took place. Related to this panel, in many ways, is the special Floricanto issue that will be slipping into the Beltway Poetry Quarterly archive April 1.  Francisco, Carmen, and Odilia were part of that collaborative gesture, as well.



March 22 – 25, 2012, Washington, DC

Poetry of Resistance: Poets Take on Reasonable Suspicion (Arizona SB 1070) and Xenophobia.

Francisco X. Alarcón, Carmen Calatayud, and Odilia Galván Rodríguez – Friday March 23, 9:30 – 11 am at True Reformer, Board Room. Co-sponsored by Letras Latinas, The Literary Program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

In response to a controversial law in Arizona, a Facebook page, "Poets Responding to SB 1070," was created. It is now, literally, a public forum with 600,000 visits and more than 1,300 poems posted. The poets/moderators will discuss the lively mixing of poetics and politics and will read works posted on their Facebook page.

This panel will focus on the building of a community of writers as empowered poets taking action and will discuss how historically poets (like June Jordan) have been at the forefront of many liberation struggles in the Americas and how poetry has sustained others in their pursuit of social justice. Questions from the audience will be encouraged as part of this panel.

Francisco X. Alarcón is author of twelve poetry collections, including Ce Uno One: Poems for the New Sun, From the Other Side of Night; Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation; Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes, and six bilingual children’s books. Among his many honors: the American Book Award and the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award. He founded the Facebook page, Poets Responding to SB 1070, and he teaches at the University of California, Davis.

Odilia Galván Rodríguez, a poet/writer/social justice activist, is of Chicano-Apache ancestry born in Galveston, Texas, and raised in Chicago. She worked with the United Farm Workers of America. Most recently she edited the English edition of Tricontinental Magazine in Havana, Cuba. Her poetry has appeared in Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writings of North America. She is the author of three books of poetry. Migratory Birds: New and Noted Poems is her latest.

Carmen Calatayud is a poet and psychotherapist in Washington, DC. Born to a Spanish father and Irish mother in the U.S., her poetry has appeared in journals such as Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts and PALABRA. Her poems are anthologized in various collections, including DC Poets Against the War: An Anthology. Calatayud lived and wrote in Tucson in the 1990s, where she worked as a literacy advocate. Her first book, Cave Walk, is forthcoming this fall by Press 53.

Note: still on the horizon: a photo gallery of Emma Trelles' recent visit to Washington, D.C!

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