Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez: Lifting the Veil
“I write to undress myself
To lift the veils
That separate me
From this world”
Sponsored jointly by Hugo House and L’Atelier Théâtre, Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez, a disabled Mexican poet and playwright praised by Mary Oliver and others, will read his poetry in both English and Spanish.
Ekiwah, which means Warrior in the language of the Purepecha, is an appropriate appellation. He has been battling cerebral palsy since birth-born ten weeks early and weighing less than two pounds. Ekiwah writes, “I cannot walk by myself, yet in my poems I not only walk, but give myself license to have eight legs and experience movement. When I read a poem, on an ephemeral level I go to the places the poet describes.” His warrior nature also allows him this wisdom: “I don’t feel my cerebral palsy is a battle I have to win. I don’t battle more or less than anyone else-my cerebral palsy is simply there. For me the connection of my name with my struggle has to do with the fact that I fought in my birth to live.”
Born in Morelos, Mexico, in 1987, Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez is the author of Soy (I Am), Palabras Inagotables (Never-ending Words), Weaver, and Love on Wheels. Ekiwah is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Hampshire College, where he studied poetry, theater, and world religions. His life story and poetry have been featured on NBC Dateline, he was awarded an Honorable Mention for the contest Premio Nacional de la Juventud (National Prize for the Youth), and he was twice granted a six-month scholarship by the FONCA (the National Institute for Support of the Arts). Ekiwah has given numerous talks, readings, and workshops at colleges, high-schools, and festivals in both Mexico and the United States.
All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.