Ethnic Voices Poetry Series


2014-2015 Series

Missouri Arts CouncilPartially supported by funding from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Poets in the 2014-2015 Ethnic Voices Poetry Series will all be interviewed before the audience by “New Letters on the Air” host, Angela Elam. All events are free and open to the public.


Xanath CarazaXánath Caraza

September 15, 2014
The Mid-Continent Library, Woodneath Branch 
Woodneath Library Center
8900 NE Flintlock Road
Kansas City, MO 64157
Phone: 816.883.4900

Please RSVP at the Woodneath Library Center website, if possible

7:00 “New Letters on the Air” Interview with readings
8:00 Book signing

Xánath Caraza is a traveler, educator, poet and short story writer. She is the recipient of the Beca Nebrija para Creadores 2014 from the Instituto Franklin in Spain. Her poem, “Ante el río/Before the River” was selected by the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum in 2013 to promote the Day of the Dead.  Caraza was a Finalist in the “Fiction: Multicultural” category of the 2013 International Book Awards.  Her book Conjuro was awarded second place in the “Best Poetry Book in Spanish” category and received honorable mention in the “Best First Book in Spanish, Mariposa Award” category of the 2013 International Latino Book Awards.  She was named number one of the 2013 Top Ten “New” Latino Authors to Watch (and Read) by http://www.latinostories.com/ . Her short story collection, Lo que trae la marea/ What the Tide Brings, is an Award-Winning Finalist in the “Fiction: Short Story Category of the 2014 International Book Awards”; it also received second place in “Best Translated Book of Fiction, Spanish to English” category and Honorable Mention in “Best Popular Fiction in Spanish” category of the 2014 International Latino Book Awards. Originally from Xalapa,Veracruz, Mexico, she holds an M.A. in Romance Languages. She lectures in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her latest poetry collection, Sílabas de viento  (2014) is from Mammoth Publications in Kansas, its publisher the recent Kansas poet laureate, Denise Lowe.  Her chapbook, Noche de Colibríes: Ekphrastic Poems (2014) is from Pandora Lobo Estepario Press. Caraza curates the National Poetry Month, Poem-a-Day project, for the Con Tinta Literary Organization since 2012.  She has participated abroad in various international literary events, including  the 2º Festival Internacional de Poesía de Occidente in El Salvador; in Segundo Festival de Música y Poesía de Puente Genil, Andalusia, Spain; in Mostra de Educação ciência e Arte 2014, Apucarana, Paraná, Brazil; and the XI Festival Internacional de Poesía de la ciudad de Granada, Andalusia, Spain 2013. Caraza is an advisory circle member of the Con Tinta literary organization and a former board member of the Latino Writers Collective in Kansas City. Currently she is working on her second short story collection, Cebollas moradas, among other projects.

Read the poem “Conjuro/Spellbound” in Spanish and English by Caraza


Vizenor

Gerald Vizenor 

November 12, 2014
The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

100 W 26 St, Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 888-8100

6:30 Cash reception
7:00 “New Letters on the Air” Interview with readings
8:00 Book signing

Gerald Vizenor is a prolific writer and literary critic. He is the author of forty published books including twelve novels, four collections of short stories, and seven books of poetry. Born in Minneapolis, he spent much of his childhood on the White Earth Nation Reservation in northern Minnesota and is a member of the White Earth Nation of the Anishinaabe. Vizenor held academic appointments at the University of California (Berkeley and Santa Cruz), University of Oklahoma, the University of Minnesota and served as a Distinguished Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico. His previous novels and short story collections from Wesleyan Publishers include The Heirs of Columbus (1991), Landfill Meditation (1991), and Hotline Healers (1997). Poetry collections include The Old Park Sleeper (1961); Empty Swings (1967); Matsushima: Pine Islands collected haiku (1984); Summer in the Spring: Anishinaabe Lyric Poems and Stories (1993); Raising the Moon Vines (1999); Cranes Arise (1999); Bear Island: the War at Sugar Point (2006), a narrative poem; and Almost Ashore: Selected Poems (2006).  His novel Griever: An American Monkey King in China (1986) won the American Book Award and the New York Fiction Collective Award. His most recent book of poems is Favor of Crows, and he has also published a historical novel, Blue Ravens, about Native American Indians in the First World War. In addition to his works of fiction, poetry, and poetics, Vizenor has authored a number of books on Native American identity, politics, and literature. The Old Park Sleeper (1961), Empty Swings (1967), Matsushima: Pine Islands collected haiku (1984), Summer in the Spring: Anishinaabe Lyrics Poems and Stories (1993), Raising the Moon Vines (1999), Cranes Arise (1999), Bear Island: The War at Sugar Point (2006), a narrative poem, and Almost Ashore: Selected Poems (2006).

Vizenor served in the U.S. Army in Japan during the era of reconstruction after WWII. He attended college on the GI bill, studying at New York University and completing post-graduate work at Harvard University and the University of Minnesota.  While a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune he investigated American Indian activists. His time in Japan led to his adoption of haiku, which he found similar to Anishinaabe dream songs.  He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the American Book Award and PEN Oakland’s Josephine Miles Award. He was a delegate and principal writer for the White Earth Reservation Constitutional Convention, ratified in 2009.  He is Professor Emeritus at University of California, Berkeley.

Vizenor attended college on the GI Bill after serving in the armed forces for three years, mostly in Japan. He studied at New York University and did postgraduate work at Harvard University and the University of Minnesota. From 1964 to 1968 he directed the American Indian Employment and Guidance Center in Minneapolis. He was also a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune, where he investigated the actions of American Indian activists.
 
Vizenor’s poetry collections include The Old Park Sleeper (1961), Empty Swings (1967), Matsushima: Pine Islands collected haiku (1984), Summer in the Spring: Anishinaabe Lyrics Poems and Stories (1993), Raising the Moon Vines (1999), Cranes Arise (1999), Bear Island: The War at Sugar Point (2006), a narrative poem, and Almost Ashore: Selected Poems (2006).