Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

January 29, 1997

Poets Alfred Arteaga and Lorna Dee Cervantes To Read at the Library of Congress

On Thursday evening, February 20, poets Alfred Arteaga and Lorna Dee Cervantes will read from their work in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building. The reading, which is presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund, will begin at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are not required.

Alfred Arteaga was born in Los Angeles in 1950. He received his B.A. degree and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.F.A. degree in creative writing from Columbia University. His poetry collection, Cantos, was published in 1991; a prose poem, Love in the Time of Aftershocks, will appear soon. Also to be published in the spring are a collection of theoretical essays entitled Chicano Poetics: Heterotexts and Hybridities and a collection of personal essays, House with the Blue Bed. Mr. Arteaga is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship (1995) and a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship.

Lorna Dee Cervantes is the author of Emplumada (1981), which won the 1982 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; and From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (1991), which was chosen by Hayden Carruth as the recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize, and which won the 1993 Latino Literature Prize and a National Book Award nomination. Other awards and honors include National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and the Pushcart Prize. A doctoral student in History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Ms. Cervantes teaches creative writing workshops at the graduate and undergraduate levels, poetry, poetics, Chicano and Indigenous literature, multicultural writing, contemporary women's literature, cross-cultural American literature, and the literature of exile. Ms. Cervantes has been a leader in the Chicano literary movement, establishing and editing literary journals such as Mango and Red Dirt.

The poetry and literature reading series at the Library of Congress is the oldest in the Washington area, and one of the oldest in the United States. This annual series of public poetry and fiction readings, lectures, symposia, and occasional dramatic performances began in the 1940s and has been almost exclusively supported since 1951 by a gift from the late Gertrude Clarke Whittall, who wanted to bring the enjoyment and appreciation of good literature to a larger audience. The Poetry and Literature Center, which administers the series, is also the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936, when the late philanthropist Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress. Since then, many of the nation's most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 in 1985, as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. The Poet Laureate suggests authors to read in the literary series, plans other special literary events during the reading season, and usually introduces the programs.

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PR 97-14
ISSN 0731-3527

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