Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), is pleased to co-present “Poetry en La Plaza,” a series of readings featuring nine poets—in partnership with the Latina/o Studies Association (LSA) on the occasion of their upcoming gathering in Washington, D.C. The readings will take place on the afternoons of July 12, 13 and 14 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park and are free and open to the public.
Among the LSA’s activities is their biennial conference. “Latinx Studies Now” is its third iteration. The previous two were convened in Pasadena, CA (2016) and Chicago, IL (2014), respectively. At the 2018 edition, a special space at the conference book fair will be designated “La Plaza,” and will feature film screenings, poetry readings, publisher talks, professional workshops, book and art exhibits, and more.
The poets who will be performing in La Plaza are: Quique Avilés, Leticia Hernández-Linares, and Alexandra Lytton Regalado on July 12; Blas Falconer, Manuel Paul López, and Vanessa Angélica Villarreal on July 13; Naomi Ayala, Joshua Escobar (aka DJ Ashtrae), and Urayoán Noel on July 14.
“Letras Latinas is thrilled to present this slate of poets, and offer a glimpse of Latinx poetry’s rich and varied landscape,” said Francisco Aragón, director of Letras Latinas. “My hope is that this pilot collaboration will foment deeper awareness and appreciation between the Latina/o Studies scholarly community and the Latinx poetry community,” he added.
“The LSA is so pleased to be showcasing these writers. Now, more than ever, we need to amplify the voices of our storytellers—poets, filmmakers, journalists, who are chronicling these challenging times,” said Ana Patricia Rodríguez, the current president of the Latina/o Studies Association (LSA) and author of the book, Dividing the Isthmus: Central American Transnational Histories, Literatures, and Cultures.
Letras Latinas, strives to enhance the visibility, appreciation and study of Latinx literature both on and off the campus of the University of Notre Dame—with an emphasis on programs that support newer voices, foster a sense of community among writers, and place Latinx writers in community spaces.
The Latina/o Studies Association (LSA) was formed to further the goal and objective of promoting the research and teaching of Latina/o studies, advocating on behalf of Latinas/os, and using its expertise in order to encourage positive policy change related to Latinas/os. It embraces an expansive definition of Latina/o to mean those long-established communities in the U.S. of Latin American origin as well as more recent arrivals. As such, they are also interested in the connections between U.S. Latinas/os and transnational and/or diasporic Latin American and Hispanic Caribbean communities.