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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Poetry Center hosts national Latino poet tour

    SMU, Faculty, Meadows School of the Arts, Art History, Roberto Tejada, PhD
    Hillsman Stuart Jackson
    SMU, Faculty, Meadows School of the Arts, Art History, Roberto Tejada, PhD

    Who knew that “the best living room in America for reading poetry” is right in the UA’s backyard?

    April is National Poetry Month — there will be no better time to dust off your beret, turn on some jazz and applaud by snapping.
    The UA Poetry Center is the perfect place to begin your journey of self-discovery and unleash your inner Walt Whitman.

    Tonight at 7 p.m., the Poetry Center will host a Latino contemporary poetry bash, called Latino/a Poetry Now. The event will feature readings from three nationally recognized Latino authors.

    J. Michael Martinez is a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado whose poetry collection titled “Heredities” earned him the Walt Whitman award.

    Carmen Gimenez Smith is another poet and author of the memoir “Bring Down the Little Birds” and the poetry collection “Goodbye, Flicker.”

    The night will wrap up with a reading from Roberto Tejada, a professor at Southern Methodist University who recently wrote “National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment.”
    Latino/a Poetry Now is a national reading tour about empowering contemporary voices in Latino poetry. It has been touring for the past year and a half. “The aim is to provide a sampling of the thematically and aesthetically diverse work being produced by a newer generation of Latino and Latina poets,” said Francisco Aragon, director of Letras Latinas, the sponsoring organization of the tour.

    The UA is known for hosting award-winning poets from classical prose writers to new age artists.

    “It’s a blessing and a phenomenal resource,” said Jessica Jenkins, a graduate student assistant at the Poetry Center. “Students should take advantage more, especially in this climate that fosters the arts.”

    The Poetry Center is one of three landmark poetry buildings in the nation, serving as an archive and library that emphasizes workshops, classes and lectures. There are more than 70,000 items in the center’s poetry collection.

    While some may argue that poetry is becoming something of a lost art, the Poetry Center is working to keep it alive with events and classes to help community members release their inner poet and literary artistry.

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