The Hispanic Division and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress have launched a collaborative series of recorded interviews, “Spotlight on U.S. Hispanic Writers.” This series is co-sponsored by Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
“Spotlight on U.S. Hispanic Writers” features emerging and established American poets and prose writers of Hispanic descent who write predominantly in English. In each segment the featured poet or writer participates in a moderated discussion with the chief of the Hispanic Division, as well as reads from his or her work.
This series continues the tradition of the Hispanic Division Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (AHLOT). The AHLOT is an ongoing collection of recorded interviews and readings of contemporary poets and prose writers from the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, the Caribbean, and U.S. Hispanics, which has been compiled by this Division since the 1940s.
Gina Franco was born in Clifton-Morenci, Arizona in 1968. She is the author of the book of poems The Keepsake Storm (2004). She has also published a variety of poems in literary journals, among them “The Stone is Worldless” and “Otherwise All Would Be God.” Her honors included a fellowship at Casa Libre en la Solano, Robert Chase Poetry Prize, and the Phillip Green Wright Lombard Prize for distinguished teachers. She served as art editor to Pilgrimage Magazine. Franco is currently teaching at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinios.
William Archila was born in San Ana, El Salvador in 1968. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 with his family due to the civil war. He is the author of The Art of Exile (2009) and The Gravediggers Archaeology (2013). His honors include the International Latino Book Award and Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. Archila currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
Juan Felipe Herrera
Juan Felipe Herrera is the author of 28 books of poetry, novels for young adults, and collections for children, including Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008), winner of National Book Critics Circle Award and the International Latino Book Award. Juan Felipe Herrera’s honors and awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards, and a PEN / Beyond Margins Award. He served as the Poet Laureate of California from 2012-2015. In September of 2015, Herrera was appointed the United States Poet Laureate. Herrera is interviewed by the Hispanic Division’s Georgette M. Dorn.
Laurie Ann Guerrero
Laurie Ann Guerrero is the author of three poetry collections, her most recent volume of poetry A Crown for Gumecindo (2015), A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying (2013) and Babies Under the Skin (2007). In 2014, Guerrero was appointed as Poet Laureate of the city of San Antonio and in 2015 she was appointed the Poet Laureate of the state of Texas for 2016. Guerrero is interviewed by the Hispanic Division’s Catalina Gómez.
Tim Z. Hernández
Tim Z. Hernández is the author of five books, three poetry collections Skin Tax (2004), Culture of Flow (2012), Natural Takeover of Small Things (2013), and two novels Breathing, In Dust (2010) and Mañana Means Heaven (2013). In 2014, he received the International Latino Book Award in historical fiction. Hernández is currently an Assistant Professor in the Bilingual M.F.A. program in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Hernández is interviewed by the Hispanic Division’s Catalina Gómez.
Diana García is the author of Valley Language (2007) and When Living Was a Labor Camp (2000), and co-editor of Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing (2009). In 2001, she won the American Book Award. García is currently the director of the Creative Writing and Social Action Program at California State University Monterey Bay. García is interviewed by the Hispanic Division’s Catalina Gómez.
Brenda Cárdenas is the author of two poetry collections in English and Spanish, From the Tongues of Brick and Stone (2005) and Boomerang (2009), and co-editor of Between the Heart and the Land/Entre el corazón y la tierra: Latina Poets in the Midwest (2001). She was the poet laureate of Milwaukee from 2010-2012. Cárdenas is interviewed by the Hispanic Division's Catalina Gómez.
Rigoberto González is the author of four books of poetry, So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks (1999), Other Fugitives and Other Strangers (2006), Black Blossoms (2011), and Unpeopled Eden (2013). For ten years he wrote a book review column with El Paso Times of Texas, and he has also written for the Poetry Foundation’s blog Harriet. González is interviewed by the Hispanic Division's Catalina Gómez.
Valerie Martínez is the author of five poetry collections, Absence, Luminescent (1999), World to World (2004), And They Called It Horizon (2010), This is How it Began (2010), and Each and Her (2010). She was the poet laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico from 2008-2010.Martínez is interviewed by the Hispanic Division's Catalina Gómez.
Richard Blanco is the author of four books of poetry, including City of a Hundred Fires, Nowhere but Here, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and Looking for the Gulf Motel. He was the inaugural poet for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, being the first U.S. Hispanic and openly gay poet to be the U.S. inaugural poet. Blanco is interviewed by the Hispanic Division's Catalina Gómez.
Carmen Giménez Smith
Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of four books of poetry, Odalisque in Pieces, The City She Was, Goodbye Flicker, and Milk and Filth. She is also the author of an autobiographical book, Bring Down the Little Birds, and her work was included in the fiction anthology My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me. Giménez Smith is interviewed by the Hispanic Division's Catalina Gómez.
Eduardo C. Corral
Eduardo C. Corral is the author of Slow Lightning, selected by poet Carl Philips in 2012 for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Corral is the first Hispanic poet to be published in the series, the oldest annual literary award in the country. Slow Lightning was also a finalist for the 2012 Publishing Triangle Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. Corral is interviewed by the Hispanic Division's Georgette M. Dorn.
Fred Arroyo is the author of the novel The Region of Lost Names and a collection of short stories, Western Avenue and Other Fictions, a finalist for the 2008 Premio Aztlán Literary Prize. His stories have been featured in literary journals such as Pinyon, Crab Orchard Review, and Washington Square. Arroyo is interviewed by the Hispanic Division' s Georgette M. Dorn.
Maria Melendez is the author of two books of poetry, How Long She’ll Last in This World and Flexible Bones. Her essays have appeared in publications such as Ms. Magazine, Sojourns Magazine, and Isotope, and her work has been included in several anthologies, including Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity & the Natural World. Meléndez Kelsonis is interviewed by the Hispanic Division's Georgette M. Dorn.