Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Latino writers illustrate different styles, cultures in forum

Latino writers illustrate different styles, cultures in forum
November 16, 2005
by Barbara Wolff

A trio of Hispanic writers representing a variety of Latino cultures will bring their distinctive, powerful voices to a reading forum at Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

“We chose these writers because each has a distinct writing style and represents a specific cultural background within the Latino world. I admire them all for their work,” says Joan Fischer, associate director of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, which is organizing the event.

One of the participants is a Madison educator, another is from Mexico City and the third was born and raised in Brazil. They are:

Oscar Mireles, principal/executive director of Omega School, an alternative school in Madison, which has assisted more than 1,500 young adults to prepare for and complete their GED. He also is a member of the Minds Eye Radio Collective in Madison, which produces a show of spoken word poetry on WORT radio (89.9 FM), airing at 11 p.m. the first Friday of the month.

Mireles has been writing for 25 years, publishing a chapbook, “Second Generation” (Focus Communications, 1985) and editing two anthologies, “I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin: 20 Hispanic Poets” (Focus Communications, 1989) and “I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin: 30 Hispanic Poets” (Focus Communications, 1999). He has published more than 50 of his own poems in anthologies and journals.

Ruben Medina, from Mexico City, is a UW-Madison associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Chican@ and Latin@ studies. Medina has written a book of poetry, “Nomadic Nation/nacio’n no’mada” and a study of Nobel Prize-winning writer Octavio Paz (Escritura y Poetica de Octavio Paz, Mexico: El Colegio de Mexico, 1999). He currently is at work on a book of short stories, “El silencio del salvaje,” and a collection of essays on Mexican and Chicana/o literature and film.

Luana Monteiro, originally from Brazil, is an alumna of UW-Madison’s creative writing program. Her first book of short stories is “Little Star of Bela Lua” (Delphinium Books, 2005). “UW-Madison students will find her particularly inspiring. She was one of the first graduates of the university’s MFA program in creative writing,” Fischer says.

She adds that the three presenters also are primed to learn a good deal about each other’s work.

“The three of them represent not only a diversity of cultural backgrounds but also of age and gender,” she says.

The main presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Overture Center, 201 State St. Tickets are suggested to ensure seating and are available free at the Overture Center’s James Watrous Gallery.

The forum, part of the Wisconsin Academy’s Evenings at Overture series, is sponsored by UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, M&I Bank, the Isthmus, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek SC and individual donors. For more information contact Barb Sanford at 263-1692 or bsanford@wisconsinacademy.org, or visit http://www.wisconsinacademy.org.

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