Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Letras Latinas at the Library of Congress

Blas Falconer and Lorraine López coming to Washington

Emma Trelles interviews Blas Falconer
about The Other Latin@ 
at Best American Poetry Blog
Letras Latinas, the literary program of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, is pleased to announce its collaboration with the Library of Congress to present two events in Washington, D.C., this week. On Thursday, April 26, Letras Latinas will partner with the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center, Hispanic Division, and Center for the Book to present Latino poet Blas Falconer and fiction writer Lorraine López, editors of the recently released anthology The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity. “The Library of Congress is pleased to finally be working with Letras Latinas, whose programs we’ve been following with great interest,” said Rob Casper, the director of the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center.

At noon Letras Latinas Director Francisco Aragón will moderate a discussion of the anthology. “This is a ground-breaking volume of essays by both poets and fiction writers, and the Library of Congress seems like an appropriate venue to discuss trends in a vital strand of American literature,” said Aragón. The discussion, which will be video-recorded, will take place in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue SE.

At 6:30 pm Falconer and López will read from their own works in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building. Falconer is the author of the poetry collections A Question of Gravity and Light and The Perfect Hour. In addition to The Other Latin@, he co-edited Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets. His honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maureen Egan Literary Award. He is an associate professor of languages and literature at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.
 López is the author of the story collections Homicide Survivors Picnic, which was a finalist for the 2010 Pen Faulkner Award, and Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories, winner of the inaugural Miguel Mármol Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of three novels, including her most recent, The Realm of Hungry Spirits. López is professor of English at Vanderbilt University.

Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies, seeks to enhance the visibility, appreciation and study of Latino literature, both on and off the campus of the University of Notre Dame, with a focus on projects that identify and support emerging voices. Letras Latinas’ programs in Washington, DC, are funded, in part, by the Weissberg Foundation. For more information, visit http://latinostudies.nd.edu/letras.

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress fosters and enhances the public’s appreciation of literature. The center administers the endowed poetry chair (the US Poet Laureate) and coordinates an annual literary season of poetry, fiction and drama readings, performances, lectures, and symposia, sponsored by the Library’s Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund and the Huntington Fund. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/poetry/.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress has become a major national force for reading and literacy. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s www.Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.

The Hispanic Division, established in 1939, is the Library’s center for the study of the cultures and societies of the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, the Caribbean, and other areas with significant Spanish or Portuguese influence. For more information about the divisions resources and programs, visit http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/

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