Thursday, October 29, 2009

November Sunday Kind of Love - Sunday the 15th, Featuring Tara Betts and Luis Alberto Ambroggio with translator Yvette Neisser Moreno

Sunday Kind of Love
Third Sundays of the Month,
4 pm Busboys & Poets
14th & V Streets, NW, Washington, DC

Hosted by Katy Richey and Sarah Browning
Cosponsored by Busboys and Poets and Split This Rock
Open Mic at each event! – Admission free, donations encouraged
For more info:, 202-387-POET

Sunday, November 15, 2009, 4-6 pm
Tara Betts and Luis Alberto Ambroggio with Translator Yvette Neisser Moreno

Luis Alberto Ambroggio, originally from Argentina, is author of 11 collections of poetry published in Spain, Latin America, and the United States. The North American Academy of the Spanish Language has recently released a book on his poetry, El cuerpo y la letra (The body and the letter). His poetry has been translated into several languages and has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and textbooks in the US and abroad. His poetry has been recorded in the Archives of Hispanic Literature of the U.S. Library of Congress.

PAISAJES DE USA by Luis Alberto Ambroggio

Si cada ladrillo hablara;
si cada puente hablara;
si hablaran los parques, las plantas, las flores;
si cada trozo de pavimento hablara,
hablarían en español.

Si las torres, los techos,
los aires acondicionados hablaran;
si hablaran las iglesias, los aeropuertos, las fábricas,
hablarían en español.

Si los sudores florecieran con un nombre,
se llamarían González, García, Rodriguez o Peña.

Pero no pueden hablar.
Son manos, obras, cicatrices,
que por ahora callan.

Yvette Neisser Moreno is a poet and translator whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The International Poetry Review, The Potomac Review, Tar River Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Her critical work on (and translations of) Israeli and Palestinian poetry have been published in the Palestine-Israel Journal. Moreno teaches poetry and translation at the Writer’s Center and has taught poetry in public schools in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.


If each brick could speak;
if each bridge could speak;
if the parks, plants, flowers could speak;
if each piece of pavement could speak,
they would speak Spanish.

If the towers, roofs,
air conditioners could speak;
if the churches, airports, factories could speak,
they would speak Spanish.

If the toils could bloom with a name,
they would be called González, García, Rodriguez or Peña.

But they cannot speak.
They are hands, works, scars,
that for now keep silent.

Translation of the above poem by Luis Alberto Ambroggio. Translated by Yvette Neisser Moreno. From Difficult Beauty, published by Cross-Cultural Communications; used by permission of the author and translator, Yvette Neisser Moreno.

Tara Betts is the author of Arc and Hue, a Cave Canem fellow, and a graduate of the New England College MFA Program. Her work appears in numerous anthologies and journals such as Ninth Letter, Callaloo, Hanging Loose, Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, and both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies. She represented Chicago twice at the National Poetry Slam, coached youth who went on to Brave New Voices, and appeared on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam". She currently teaches at Rutgers University and leads community-based workshops.

ERASURE by Tara Betts

Every face slowly dropping out of the world
like they never had breath, laughter or tears.
Chunks of history scooped out of the book of life,
burned for kindling, tossed into landfills
buried in chips from obsolete computers.

Too many bodies have been drawn
into centrifugal black holes, never to be seen
before they come clearly into view.

There must be some weathervane willing
to announce a shift in the wind.
There must be a gust of hands willing to turn
the rooster’s iron head away from absence.

History is pulled from my mouth
slow as a string of pearls, one bead at a time.
I stock the shelves with more substance than
porcelain figurines. I am raising my fists,
bareknuckled, tangling with omission.
Or it is an embrace caught again and again
between my fingers.

From Arc and Hue, published by Willow Books; used by permission of the author.

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