"Curated Conversation(s): a Latinx Poetry Show” is returning for a second season later this month, but with a twist.
Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, is collaborating once again with The Writer’s Center and Poet Lore to co-produce this year-long program. They've partnered with Un Nuevo Sol, a literary arts organization in the United Kingdom, as part of a new effort to facilitate discussions between U.S. Latinx poets and their counterparts across the Atlantic. Funding for the series is provided by the Poetry Foundation.
To kick off the new season, Letras Latinas director and poet Francisco Aragón will carry out an inaugural conversation with British Latinx poet Leo Boix. Their discussion, which premieres on January 24th, will function as a prologue and model for season two’s six installments. The two poets are also serving as artistic co-directors this season.
“The seed for these transatlantic conversations was, I think, the friendship that Leo and I have been forging these last few years, which we discuss in the prologue," Aragón said. "Letras Latinas’ involvement with the Lorca Latinx Poetry Prize, which celebrates the value Federico García Lorca placed on transoceanic friendship, also provides relevant context. It’s gratifying to see all of this blossom into season two of this initiative which, as we know, emerged from the challenges we faced during the pandemic two years ago.”
Boix, born in Argentina, lives and works in the UK. His debut English-language collection, Ballad of a Happy Immigrant (Chatto & Windus, 2021), was awarded the Poetry Book Society's Wild Card Choice. Aragón exchanged books with Boix, mailing his most recent collection, After Rubén (Red Hen Press, 2020), as a preparatory step for their pilot conversation.
“We’re very excited to be working with Francisco Aragón, Letras Latinas and The Writer’s Center for season two of 'Curated Conversation(s),'" Boix said. "This collaboration will help connect Latinx poets from both sides of the Atlantic for what we hope will be a rich and creative dialogue."
After a successful partnership between Letras Latinas and The Writer’s Center for season one, with twelve episodes spread across 2021, the two organizations decided to extend their efforts into new territory, said Zach Powers, artistic director of The Writer's Center, which is based in Maryland.
"The first season of 'Curated Conversation(s)' really showed the power of literary organizations working together. While we all have unique missions, there's overlap, and finding those places where we overlap allows us to pool our resources and create something truly outstanding," he said. "At The Writer's Center and Poet Lore, we've been eager for season two. And, with the updated intercontinental format, we're excited to establish new connections and welcome new writers from around the world into our literary family.”
Longtime literary activist and organizer Nathalie Teitlier, who co-directs Un Nuevo Sol, expressed her excitement about reaching a global audience.
“Nuevo Sol nurtures British Latinx writers, creating new communities and audiences," she said. "It builds links with Latinx & Latin American writers around the world. We are proud to support the important work of 'Curated Conversation(s)', led by co-director Leo Boix at the UK end. We look forward to amplifying the work done through our website, newsletter, events and social media.”
The US poets slated for season two are:
- Christopher Soto
- Vickie Vértiz
- Alexandra Lytton Regalado
- Raina J. León
- José Olivarez
- Janel Pineda
The UK poets are
- Maia Elsner
- Andrés Ordorica
- Oliver Sedano Jones
- Juana Adcock
- Adriana Díaz Enciso
- Monika Radojevic
To see the episodes and full schedule with pairings and poets bios, visit the event page.
About Letras Latinas
Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the Institute for Latino Studies, 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. Letras Latinas is a founding member of the Poetry Coalition.
About The Writer’s Center
The Writer’s Center supports writers and everyone who wants to write. Every year they host hundreds of writing workshops and dozens of free events for writers, virtually and in-person. They are also the home of Poet Lore, America's oldest poetry magazine.
About Un Nuevo Sol
Un Nuevo Sol is an organization based in London that develops British Latinx writers and builds bridges with Latinx and Latin American writers worldwide through collaborations, translations, cross-arts films, masterclasses and community and school workshops. One of their main objectives is to build audiences for Latinx and Latin American writers in the UK, enriching the literature landscape of the UK and the world.
About Poet Lore
Poet Lore is a biannual print journal of poetry, featuring the finest in contemporary writing. Book-length issues deliver news from the interior — poems that make concerns of our moment both urgent and intimate. Published with the conviction that poetry provides a record of human experience as valuable as history, Poet Lore’s intended audience is broadly inclusive. Poet Lore is published in Bethesda, MD, by The Writer’s Center, a literary arts nonprofit.