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  • Date: May 5
  • Time: 7:00pm - 7:00pm PT

Poetry Reading with Francisco X. Alarcon and Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs

Internationally recognized poets Francisco X. Alarc贸n and Gabriella Guti茅rrez y Muhs visit Hugo House for a reading. A prolific writer, Alarc贸n is an award-winning, bicultural and multilingual Chicano poet who writes for both children and adults. A multilingual, bicultural Chicana poet, Guti茅rrez y Muhs recently represented the United States in India as one of the featured poets at the Kritya International Poetry Festival.

The reading is free, and the bar will be open.

About the Poets

Francisco X. AlarconA prolific writer, Francisco X. Alarc贸n is an award-winning bicultural and multilingual Chicano poet who writes for both children and adults. Born in Los Angeles, California, he considers himself bi-national, having spent time as a child in both M茅xico and the United States. Mesoamerican mythology and cosmology, the Nahuatl language, Mesoamerican history, American culture and Chicano, Latino and gay identity are all portrayed in Alarc贸n鈥檚 writing. He is the author of ten collections of poetry, including “From the Other Side of Night / Del otro lado de la noche: New and Selected Poems” (2002), “Sonetos a la locura y otras penas / Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes” (2001), “No Golden Gate for Us” (1993), “Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation” (1992), “De amor oscuro / Of Dark Love” (2001) and “Body in Flames / Cuerpo en llamas” (1990).  On a Fulbright Fellowship to Mexico City in 1982, Alarc贸n discovered the writings of a Mexican priest (also named Alarc贸n) who had transcribed native songs during the Inquisition in the 1600s. Translations of the priest鈥檚 work, native songs and incantations, and Alarc贸n鈥檚 poems make up his collection “Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation.” Alarc贸n has two books of poems published in Gaelic in Ireland. His most recent collection of poems, “Ce-Uno-One: Poems for the New Sun” (Swan Scythe Press 2010) includes poems in Nahuatl, English, Irish Gaelic and Spanish.

Alarc贸n鈥檚 books for children include the bilingual poetry collections in the Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series: “Laughing Tomatoes: And Other Spring Poems/Jitomates risuenos: y otros poemas de primavera (1997)”; “From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems/Del ombligo de la luna: y otros poemas de verano” (1998); “Angels Ride Bikes: And Other Fall Poems/Los angeles andan en bicicleta: y otros poemas de oto帽o” (1999); and “Iguana in the Snow: And Other Winter Poems/Iguanas en la nieve: y otros poemas de invierno” (2001).  

Alarc贸n received the 1984 Chicano Literary Prize, the 1993 American Book Award, 1993 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award and the 1984 American Book Award. In Aprill 2002 he received the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association. He was one of the three finalists nominated for the state Poet Laureate of California in 2005 and has been selected again as a finalist for Poet Laureate on June 2008.

Alarc贸n currently serves as director of the Spanish for Native Speakers Program at the University of California at Davis.

Gabriella Guti茅rrez y MuhsGabriella Guti茅rrez y Muhs is a multilingual, bicultural Chicana poet and educator. She is the daughter of migrant workers and grew up in M茅xico and the United States. A poet since childhood, she published first in France at 18. In 2000 she received her doctorate from Stanford University and joined the faculty at Seattle University. Her academic research focuses on Chicana subjectivity. She teaches in the Modern Languages and Women Studies Departments. She is currently also editing “Rebozos de Palabras: An Helena Mar铆a Viramontes Reader” and co-editing “Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia.”           

Guti茅rrez y Muhs has published poetry and academic works in various magazines and journals and is the winner of the prestigious Calabash Award in the Ethnic Arts for her work as a writer in California. There she conducted poetry workshops for women working in the local canneries, plant nurseries and agricultural fields. Guti茅rrez y Muhs has held hundreds of poetry readings, keynote speeches and motivational talks, nationally and internationally.

Her poetry has been taught in France, Spain and Mexico and her first book, “The Plastic Book” is a CD ROM. Her second collection of poetry “A Most Improbable Life” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2003.  It was nominated for two prestigious awards: Kate Tufts and Lenore Marshall. Poet Maude Meehan commented on Gabriella鈥檚 work saying that 鈥淚n her poetry words and images are often presented in a humorous vein. But even as we laugh, there is a subtle ache within. An ache of recognition of the painful truths of the human condition.鈥

Gabriella Guti茅rrez y Muhs recently represented the United States in India as one of the featured poets at the Kritya International Poetry Festival. Her latest collection of poetry “驴How Many Indians Can We Be?” addresses issues of colonization, immigration, indigeneity, post-colonialism and identity from a transnational feminist perspective. Guti茅rrez y Muhs currently serves as Director of Latin American Studies and the Diversity, Citizenship and Social Justice Track at Seattle University.