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“The Latin Poet’s Guide to the Cosmos” Reading and Book Signing with UCLA Lecturer Dr. Susannah Rodriguez Drissi
Please join the Department of Comparative Literature on Wednesday, November 20th at 12:00 p.m. for a reading and signing of Dr. Susannah Rodríguez Drissi’s new poetry collection, The Latin Poet’s Guide to the Cosmos. The event will be hosted at Kaplan Hall 348. Special guests include writer, actor, and translator Magdalena Edwards (Clarice Lispector’s The Chandelier), who will offer introductory remarks and read from the collection, and Yalil Guerra (Latin Grammy Award-winner composer and musician) and Justin Lack (percussionist, Graham Bonnet Band) who will accompany the poetry reading on guitar and percussion. Q&A and reception will follow. Books will be available for purchase on the day of the event. RSVPs for this event are requested.
Description of Collection:
A delightfully choreographed, and ultimately scintillating hoodwink, this extraordinary collection of poetry constitutes a cross-linguistic poetic event in which the correspondence between Romance languages is so close as to approach the condition of a new vernacular; and where the very issue of movement between languages is somehow central, and sound and rhythm are the fundamental characteristics of poetry. Written at the intersection of several romance languages, and most closely related to Spanish and Italian, the collection wears its Latinity on its sleeve; in other words, this is a collection fueled by the many convergences and divergences possible between Latin and its vernaculars, ultimately proposing that true Latinity is always first and foremost expressed through language. And, sometimes, also humor.
Esta extraordinaria colección de poemas, deliciosamente coreografiados y en última instancia triunfantes, constituye un evento poético interlingüístico en el que la correspondencia entre las lenguas romances es tan cercana como para abordar la condición de un nuevo idioma vernáculo; y donde el tema mismo del movimiento entre idiomas es de alguna manera central, y el sonido y el ritmo son las características fundamentales de la poesía. Escrita en la intersección de varias lenguas romances, y más relacionada con el español e italiano, la colección lleva su latinidad a flor de piel; en otras palabras, esta es una colección alimentada por las muchas convergencias y divergencias posibles entre el latín y sus lenguas vernáculas, que en última instancia proponen que la verdadera latinidad siempre se expresa primero y principalmente a través del lenguaje. Y, a veces, también a través del humor.
Questa straordinaria collezione di poesie, deliziosamente coreografata e in ultima analisi trionfante, costituisce un evento poetico interlinguistico in cui la corrispondenza tra le lingue romanze è così vicina da avvicinarsi alla condizione di un nuovo volgare; e dove la questione stessa del movimento tra le lingue è in qualche modo centrale, e il suono e il ritmo sono le caratteristiche fondamentali della poesia. Scritto all’incrocio di diverse lingue romanze, e più strettamente imparentato allo spagnolo e all’italiano, la collezione indossa la sua latinità sulla manica; in altre parole, questa è una collezione alimentata dalle molte convergenze e divergenze possibili tra il latino e i suoi vernacolari, in definitiva proponendo che la vera latinità sia sempre espressa innanzitutto attraverso il linguaggio. E, a volte, anche umorismo.
Praise for The Latin Poet’s Guide to the Cosmos:
“Seriously playful, sublimely macaronic, SRD’s poems brilliantly explore the intimate geometries of languages in contact. The reader who accepts the challenge will come away from the collection with a renewed understanding of the ways in which our languages anchor us and set us adrift.” Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Life on the Hyphen (Author) & The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (Editor)
“A book to forget other books […] A book that does not end, that is never reached, and thus, reaches toward us.” Los Angeles Review of Books
“A delightfully choreographed, and ultimately scintillating hoodwink, this extraordinary collection of poetry constitutes a cross-linguistic poetic event. A MUST-READ out loud.” Floricanto Press
Coverage of The Latin Poet’s Guide to the Cosmos:
UCLA Newsroom Feature: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/susannah-rodriguez-drissi-poetry-collection?preview=6bd0
Author’s Biographical Statement:
Susannah Rodríguez Drissi is a Cuban poet, writer, playwright, translator, director, producer, and scholar. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA where she teaches in Writing Programs and in the Academic Advancement Program. She has been a UC-Cuba Affiliate Scholar since 2009. Currently, she is at work on her book manuscript, Moorish Cuba. Her recent academic publications include “Call Him Ismael: Marti’s Oriente and the Arab World,” in the peer-edited journal Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas (2019) and “Reading Abdala in the Arab Spring,” in Reading Cuba (Aduana Vieja, 2018). Her poems, short stories, creative nonfiction, and reviews have appeared in anthologies such as In Season—Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places in Between (2018 Florida Book Award Winner); and journals such as The Los Angeles Review of Books, Saw Palm, Literal Magazine, Diario de Cuba (Madrid), SX Salon, Raising Mothers, Acentos Review and Cuba Counterpoints, among other journals. Following readings at the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, Los Angeles, her award-winning play, Houses Without Walls, premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2018. Her musical, Nocturno, will premiere this coming winter in Miami. Her novel, Until We’re Fish, was a finalist for the 2018 Veliz Book Publication Award and the 2019 Tuscarara Historical Novel Award. More recently, her short plays The Fruit Flies and Rey y Atenea were selected to the 2019 Short+Sweet Theatre Festival. She is the author of the poetry collection The Latin Poet’s Guide to the Cosmos (Floricanto Press, 2019).