OWU hosts Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Poetry Festival


In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Ohio Wesleyan University will welcome poets with roots in Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Spain to take part in a two-day Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Poetry Festival.

The festival will be held Oct. 9-10 and include the following free community events:

• 6-8 p.m., Oct. 9 — All guest poets and translators will participate in a Poetry Festival Reading, in Room 301 of Merrick Hall, 65 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.

• 10-11 a.m., Oct. 10 — Poet Carlos Aguasaco (Colombia) will present “Don Quijote, Batman & El Chapulín Colorado,” in Room 301 of Merrick Hall. Aguasaco is an associate professor of Latin American Cultural Studies at The City College of New York and the founder of both the Americas Poetry Festival of New York, a multilingual poetry festival, and Artepoética Press, a Hispanic publishing house dedicated to publishing works related to Latin American cultures. Aguasaco has published six books of poetry, including his most recent “Piedra Guadalquivir /Guadalquivir Stone.”

• 6-7:30 p.m., Oct. 10 — All guest poets and translators will participate in Poetry Book Presentations, in the Bayley Room on the second floor of Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

In addition to Aguasaco, other poets presenting at Ohio Wesleyan’s first Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Poetry Festival are:

Guillermo Arango, author of six books of poetry, including “Ceremonias de amor y olvido/Ceremonies of Love and oblivion” and retired language professor. He has earned several literary awards and three National Endowment for the Humanities grants for research and creative writing. Now living in Ohio, he is a member of the (Exiled) Cuban Writers Pen Club.

Mauricio Espinoza, poet, essayist, and translator. He is an assistant professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at the University of Cincinnati, and his work explores representation of Latinos/as in U.S. media and popular culture. His latest poetry book, “Respiración de piedras,” was awarded the 2015 National Award from the University of Costa Rica.

Luis Fernando Macías Zuluaga, poet, narrator, essayist, author of children’s works, publisher, and professor of literature at the University of Antioquia. His more than 10 books of poetry include “El jardín del origen/The garden of the origin.” Macías is the executive editor of the Medellin’s subway book collection “Palabras rodantes/Rolling Words.”

Daniel Montoly, finalist in the Latin Poets for Humanity contest and a winner of the Editor’s Choice Award of The International Poets Society. His books include “Ritualidad del círculo/The Circle’s Rituality” and “Tránsito del agua/Water Transit.”

María Paz Moreno, poet, essayist, and literary critic. She is a professor of Spanish at the University of Cincinnati. As a poet, she has published seven books and been included in anthologies including “Poetisas Españolas 1976-2001/Spanish Women Poets 1976-2001.”

Carolina Zamudio, poet, essayist, and journalist. She is a member of the editorial board for Literariedad Magazine in Colombia and has published several books of poetry including “La oscuridad de lo que brilla/The Darkness of What Shines.” She has lived in several countries, among them Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Colombia, and Uruguay.

Professors Abeer Abdel-Hafez of Ohio Wesleyan and Jennifer Rathbun of Ashland University, internationally renowned and extensively published poetry specialists and translators, will provide readings of some of the translations at the community events.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Poetry Festival was created through the work of the National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Planning Committee, including students from Viva Latinx, Ohio Wesleyan’s Latin American student association, and Juan Armando Rojas Joo, professor of modern foreign languages and associate dean of diversity and inclusion.

“In Latin America, poetry festivals are organized to build a sense of community, where creative freedom, equity and multiculturalism can be celebrated,” said Rojas, who has published five books of poetry. “We hope that many members of the Ohio Wesleyan and Delaware community can take advantage of these cultural activities and enjoy this unique experience.”

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Modern Foreign Languages at www.owu.edu/MFL.

Two-day event planned for Oct. 9-10

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