Thursday, March 21, 2013

Speaking Wiri Wiri April 6!

Dan Vera Launches Award-Winning Book 
Speaking Wiri Wiri
Saturday April 6, 2013
Busboys & Poets 
1025 5th St. NW
         ........Washington, DC 20001

Join Dan Vera, board chair of Split This Rock, for a book launch and reading from his award-winning book of poems, Speaking Wiri Wiri. 

Winner of the inaugural Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, Dan Vera's Speaking Wiri Wiri is a work of historical insight and wry wit, unexpectedly delightful and full of surprises as it meditates on the challenges of multiple identities, ethnicity, geographies of migration, familial displacement, popular history, and more. Everything is fair game for Vera, who finds poetry in the mundane and the monumental, the hidden lives of iconic television stars and the alternate and accidental histories of Latinos in the United States. Carmen Miranda makes an appearance, as do Captain Kirk, Vladimir Nabokov, and José Martí in a literary landscape careening lyrically between lost and found.
Join us as we toast Dan and celebrate this exciting book of poems!

Advance Praise for Speaking Wiri Wiri 

"Speaking Wiri Wiri keeps traveling across the "false borders of men" into "memory of the tongue." These poems-paeans to his Cuban family, heritage, history - testify to the thundering power of words. Whether Spanish, lost and found, or English, familiar and strange, these poems evoke the various ways that language exiles us and embodies the indelible past - who we are, where we came from, how we know. Like Vera's monarch butterfly and Queen Anne's lace - this collection wanders from otro lado to this side and back-defying the impossible logic of fences...." - Valerie Martínez

"These poems are charged with a poignant longing and the kind of humor that grins as it bleeds. Speaking Wiri Wiri is also a careful look at the untraceable impacts of the words that surround us. Each of us-whether we mean to or not-looks back to find out where we are and why we are what we are. Dan Vera's new collection operates as a kind of soulful blueprint for this search." - Tim Seibles

"As a poet driven to reconstruct the fragments of memory, just as an archeologist rebuilds ancient ruins, Vera knows that any possible reconnection to the past depends on a prescient understanding of the copious interplay between language and culture, made more lush still by the mediation of his Romantic imagination. . . Another person would have avoided this agonistic search for his roots (both linguistically and culturally), but Vera chose instead to persevere in connecting with his ancestral homeland, and I can only explain this doggedness as the result of a deep familial bond, an emotional debt that has to be repaid with poetry and poetry alone." - Orlando Menes

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