April 2, 2017

Rigoberto Gonzalez, March 31

Rigoberto Gonzalez presented the Creative Keynote at the UAlbany English Graduate Student Conference in Milne Hall at UAlbany’s downtown campus on Friday, March 31. The event was co-sponsored by the NYS Writers Institute, & he was introduced by local activist poet & UAlbany faculty Vicotorio Reyes.

Gonzalez’s prepared talk was titled “The Apocalyptic Clapback” in which he stressed the importance of poetry/art & politics, not just now in the immediate political situation, but in all times as a way to move our culture forward. He said a number of his works have been banned, including his memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa & the children’s book Antonio’s Card, even one of his poems (in Maryland) which he read here in Albany.

He also read the moving, chant-like poem “In the Valley of Missing Sons” from his collection Unpeopled Eden (2013), winner of the Lambda Literary Award, then on to a climate-themed love story “Alfonso” from the chapbook Our Lady of the Crossword (2015). He ended with a longer story/memoir about picking grapes as a young migrant worker with his father, grand-father & cousin.

One of the great assets for the community at large here in the Capital Region, & for the literary arts community in particular, is the NYS Writers Institute. Visit their website for more information (& to support their ongoing work).

No comments: