Poet Xánath Caraza Featured Speaker at Park University’s Ethnic Voices Poetry Series Event

Friday, August 29, 2014

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Author Xánath Caraza will be the featured poet in the opening installment of Park University’s 2014-15 Ethnic Voices Poetry Series on Monday, Sept. 15, starting at 7 p.m. Caraza’s presentation will be held at the Mid-Continent Public Library – Woodneath Library Center, 8900 NE Flintlock Road, Kansas City, Mo. A book signing will be held immediately after the event, which is free and open to the public.

As a traveler, educator, poet and short story writer, Caraza has earned many awards for her work, including the Beca Nebrija para Creadores 2014 from the Instituto Franklin in Spain and several International Latino Book Awards. 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, and her book, Conjuro, was awarded second place in the “Best Poetry Book in Spanish” category for the 2013 International Latino Book Awards. Originally from Xalapa, Mexico, Caraza holds a Master of Arts degree in Romance languages. She has curated the National Poetry Month Poem-a-Day project for the Con Tinta Literary Organization since 2012, and participates abroad in various international literary events including the Festival Internacional de Poesía de Occidente in El Salvador and the Segundo Festival de Música y Poesía de Puente Genil in Spain.

Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., associate professor of English and director of the Honors Academy at Park, said that “Park audiences will recognize Caraza from previous dynamic campus performances, and we look forward to learning how her experiences inform her art in what promises to be an engaging conversation.”

The purpose of Park University’s Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, which started in 2007, is to expose individuals to artistic thought and expression that challenges preconceptions about those whose experiences and points of view differ from their own. Because all literature focuses on the human condition, a sharing of that literature promotes a sharing of ideas regarding the challenges, disappointments and celebrations of all people. In addition, literature supports the written and verbal expression of emotions that those activities promote. The EVPS is funded in part by a Missouri Arts Council grant, a state agency and division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

For those unable to attend the event, poets in the 2014-15 Ethnic Voices Poetry Series will be interviewed before the audience by KCUR (89.3 FM) “New Letters on the Air” host Angela Elam, and the program will air at a later date. The next speaker in this year’s EVPS will be Gerald Vizenor, who will speak on Wed., Nov. 12, at The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial starting at 7 p.m.

For more information about the Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, visit www.park.edu/ethnic-voices-poetry-series/ or contact Brackett at virginia.brackett@park.edu or (816) 584-6818.