NEA joins Mexican partners in launch of Bilingual Poetry Anthologies and Book Tour04.24.2006
Washington, D.C. ? Connecting people across borders both geographic and cultural through the vivid language of poetry is the goal of a unique partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, the United States Embassy in Mexico, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The result of this partnership is the publication of Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico and Lineas Conectadas: nueva poesia de los Estados Unidos.
This two-volume bilingual anthology of contemporary poetry from Mexico and the United States, published by Sarabande Books, was the subject of a reading at the Cultural Institute of Mexico (2829 16th St. NW) on April 19. The reading also launches a book tour by several of the anthology's poets to cities in Texas, New Mexico, and California. The tour is managed by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, a regional arts organization based in Baltimore, MD.
Connecting Lines/Lineas Conectadas speaks to the profound relationship between Mexico and the United States. The two countries share not only a border but an intricate history of political, social and cultural currents. Most recently, the issue of immigration has made more apparent the deep divisions and the deeper connections between our two nations. Poetry can bring to focus the hard edges and ephemeral qualities, the sorrows and delights, the dreams and nightmares that together help illuminate this important relationship.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia said, "Lineas Conectadas: nueva poesia de los Estados Unidos and its companion volume Connecting Lives: New Poetry from Mexico constitute a unique literary enterprise. These twin anthologies present a diverse cross-section of new poetry from the United States and Mexico in a bilingual format. Fifty poets from each nation have been selected to display the best work of the postwar generation written in Spanish and English."
Three of the poets featured in the anthologies, Elsa Cross, Pedro Serrano, and Diane Thiel, will offer the evening's readings at the Cultural Institute of Mexico, which will be followed by a book-signing and reception. Editors for both volumes, April Lindner and Luis Cort?s Bargallo will also attend the event. Brief bios of the poets and editors are below along with poems and photos.
Mexican author, Hernan Lara Zavala who conceived the project with NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, notes, "Culture has the advantage of being inclusive, tolerant, generous, spontaneous, democratic, and vital and perhaps is the best medium to bring together two nations as different as Mexico and the U.S. ...allowing both countries to be better understood through the fine sensibility and keen perception of poetry."
For more information about this event and about the National Endowment for the Arts, contact NEA's communications office at 202-682-5570 or visit the web site at www.arts.gov.