Poetas – Presented by Friends of Hispanic Arts

Poetas – Presented by Friends of Hispanic Arts

Friends of Hispanic Arts Inc. (FOHA) presents Poetas, a poetry reading, at D’Youville College on Tuesday September 19th at 7PM in Madonna Hall.  The night features as its readers Olga Karman and Jorge Guitart, two nationally acclaimed local poets.  The event is co-sponsored by D’Youville College’s Liberal Arts Department and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.  Friends of Hispanic Arts (FOHA) is a local, not for profit organization dedicated to the promotion of events that center on Hispanic culture and the arts within the community.

   Jorge Guitart

Description: Poetas is a night dedicated to the poetry of two esteemed Buffalo professors, Dr. Olga Karman and Dr. Jorge Guitart.  FOHA President Mr. Emilio Fuentes expects this event will be part of a new series of events dedicated to the written word.  Additionally, for this fall, FOHA has three musical events planned: Sara Rodríguez on September 16th  and Michael Mendoza on November 11th both at Canisius College’s Maday Theater, and LATINAS November 14th at the Kavinoky Theater.

Olga Karman was born in Cuba, where she lived until she was twenty years old. Her teenage years in Havana coincided with Fidel Castro’s revolution and rise to power. Olga left Cuba in 1960 and lived in North Stonington, a rural, isolated part of Connecticut where she felt her exile in a most painful way.  She resumed the college education she had begun in Havana at nearby Connecticut College for Women, and when she graduated in 1966 she held a Woodrow Wilson fellowship for graduate school and acceptance from Yale and Harvard Universities.  Olga moved to Buffalo in 1976, taught briefly at Nichols School, and in 1980 she accepted a position at D’Youville College, where she taught until she retired in 2007.  She looks forward to reading her work at the college, which still feels like her home.  Olga’s writing career spans poetry, short fiction, and her memoir Scatter My Ashes Over Havana.

Jorge Guitart was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1937, and early on he decided that his favorite subjects in school were Spanish grammar and English. They continue to be central to his intellectual life. In 1962, not wanting to live any longer under a Leninist dictatorship, he moved to the United States.  In the mid-sixties he began to write poetry in English as well as in Spanish. Guitart’s first collection of poetry in English was Foreigner’s Notebook (Shuffaloff 1993), and in 1996 his long cyclical poem Film Blanc was published as a chapbook by Meow Press. His latest book of poems is The Empress of Frozen Custard and Ninety-Nine Other Poems, published by BlazeVOX in 2009.  He obtained a Ph.D. in Spanish linguistics from Georgetown University in 1973 and that year he started teaching at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he is now Professor of Spanish Linguistics in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Contact details:  Admission is free.  For more information on Poetas and other upcoming FOHA events, visit Friends of Hispanic Arts on Facebook, or contact Paola Kersch at (716) 517-5168 or kerschp@dyc.edu.