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  • Laura Villareal

Latinx Poetics: a one-day gathering | Photo Essay

Inspired by the recent publication of Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry edited by Ruben Quesada, Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the Institute for Latino Studies, and the Creative Writing Program coordinated Latinx Poetics: a one-day gathering which featured poets ire'ne lara silva, Sheryl Luna, Orlando Ricardo Menes, and Adela Najarro as well as scholar José E. Limón. The event not only celebrated the anthology's publication, but also the Latinx community at the University of Notre Dame. While we have recordings of each session (linked below), we wanted to highlight some stills from the sessions and provide some pictures of the other ways we gathered surrounding this event.

April 11, 2023

Poets Adela Najarro and Sheryl Luna join MFA graduate students Alaina Johansson and Emiliano Gomez for a dinner at Rohr's.

Across the room poet ire'ne lara silva has dinner with Poetry Coalition fellow Brent Ameneryo and Letras Latinas Associate Laura Villareal.

April 12, 2023

In the morning, ire'ne lara silva and Adela Najarro visit Francisco Aragòn's undergraduate literature course, "Latinx Poetry Now" for a conversation with his students.

Adela Najarro answering one of the many wonderful questions the undergraduates had for the two poets.

Session One

Sheryl Luna, ire'ne lara silva, and Adela Najarro were each introduced by the MFA candidates Kristyn Garza, Emiliano Gomez, and Alaina Johansson. Each poet read some of their poetry then a snippet from their essays included in the Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry anthology before a discussion moderated by MFA candidate Kristyn Garza.

Emiliano Gomez reads his poetic and incisive introduction of Adela Najarro from the podium as the audience and panelists look and listen.

Inspired by a lively conversation with a table full of fellow Texans during lunch about the iconic Texas burger chain, Whataburger, ire'ne lara silva reads "roadtripping with Cipactli" from her book Cuicacalli / House of Song.

MFA graduate student Kristyn Garza begins the panel discussion with a question about "the stakes of silence particularly for Latinas" and how silence can be prevented or overcome.

Session Two

Director for the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) and professor of Political Science Luis Fraga provides an overview of ILS and its programs as well as an introduction for scholar José E. Limón.

José E. Limón reads from a scholarly article he's written about Orlando Ricardo Menes' poetry.

Orlando Ricardo Menes reads his poetry including poems from his most recent collection The Gospel of Wildflowers and Weeds.

José E. Limón opens up his conversation with Orlando Ricardo Menes with questions he's had as a scholar of Menes' poetry.

After the day's events, a group gathers at Rohr's for drinks and more conversation.

Behind the scenes: The Oral History Project videos

While the poets were on campus Letras Latinas took the opportunity to interview them for The Oral History Project.

This is actually the second time Luna has been interviewed for the Oral History Project. The last interview was in 2005.


The photos used in this photo essay were taken by Francisco Aragón, Brent Ameneyro, and Laura Villareal.


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