Aragón awarded national grant to support Latino poetry tour

Author: Shannon Chapla


Francisco Aragón, director of Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded a grant from the San Antonio-based National Association of Latino Art and Culture (NALAC) to organizeThe Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry ON TOUR.

Named after the anthology Aragón edited last year with the University of Arizona Press, the tour features 25 poets and will kick off Saturday (Feb. 23) at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Fla.It will travel to five other cities in the next two years, including May 31 at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, and Sept. 25 at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle.

With the exception of the first reading, which will feature three poets, each subsequent stop on the tour will showcase no fewer than four poets fromThe Wind Shifts.

In addition to initial support from the NALAC Fund for the Arts, the tour is supported by The Guild Complex, a community-based literary organization in Chicago, as well as private donors.

The Guild Complex was a natural partner for a project like this because Letras Latinas already collaborates with them to produce ‘Palabra Pura,a bilingual poetry reading series in Chicago,said Aragón, who recently joined the Guild Complex board.

Letras Latinas seeks to enhance the visibility, appreciation and study of Latino literature, both on and off the Notre Dame campus, with a focus on projects that identify and support emerging Latino writers.

The NALAC Fund for the Arts is a pilot grant program designed to help Latinos develop their creative talents and make lasting contributions to Latino communities and society as a whole. Launched in 2005 with major support from the Ford Foundation, the fund provides financial resources to strengthen Latino arts organizations and to support Latino artists in the creation of their work.

Founded in 1999, the ILS fosters understanding of the U.S. Latino experience by advancing research, expanding knowledge and strengthening community.Building on the intellectual legacy of Julian Samora, a pioneering Latino scholar and professor of sociology at Notre Dame, the institute supports interdisciplinary initiatives in Latino studies as a key component of the Universitys academic mission.

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