A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

20th Century Latin American Poetry @ Beyond Baroque

Starting February 6, 2012 Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd Venice, CA 90291-4805 (310) 822-3006, will offer a 20th Century Latin American Poetry workshop on Monday nights from 7-9. Yago Cura, publisher of the online journal Hinchas de Poesia (www.hinchasdepoesia.com), will serve as facilitator of the free workshops. Each session will address the work of a different 20th Century Latin American poet, and allow students to generate a piece inspired by some of their signature poems.

In Spanish, Rubén Darío’s Azul (1888) is widely credited with ushering in the literary movement called, Modernismo. The work of 20th Century Latin American poets is important because their efforts predate the work of Modernists like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. As Ilan Stavans writes in the introduction of The FSG Book of Twentieth Century Latin American Poetry (2011), “Modernism, which, roughly speaking, came about in the English-speaking world a couple of decades later and includes Woolf, Stein, Pound, and Joyce.” It is not only erroneous to assume that modern poetry starts with Eliot’s The Wasteland (1922), but it also highlights our prejudices towards literary movements that don’t emanate in our country.

But what characterizes poetry as “Latin American?” What set of traits distinguishes it from say Icelandic poetry, or Urdu verses? Latin American poetry is eminently political and playful, sardonic, nostalgic. It has its roots in French symbolism, but was inspired by Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe. It is highly modern, and at the same time always harkens hindsight. The module starts with Rubén Darío and ends with Eduardo Galeano’s, Memory of Fire. However, Ernesto Cardenal’s epigrammatic forms will be discussed, and so will Robert Juarroz’s Vertical Poetry and Nicannor Parra’s Anti-Poetry. The fact of the matter is that Latin American poetry encapsulates many “poetries.”

Please join us on Mondays nights as we discuss the work of these great poets, and gain inspiration to compose our own works. Moreover, join us as we resuscitate the spirit and aesthetics of these writers and try to understand what makes them memorable. The work of 20th Century Latin American poets not only informs us about the history and politics of Latin America, but also about our predilections in the U.S. as many of our poets have emulated and embraced Latin American styles.

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