Friday, October 05, 2012

Las Americas Letters Series

St. Mary's University

Las Americas Letters Series


Join three internationally acclaimed writers on the St. Mary's University campus as they discuss how their works portray issues of human rights, social justice and the spirit of strength through creativity.

Alicia Kozameh

Reading: Thursday, October 11, at 6:30 p.m., University Center, Conference Room A

Alicia Kozameh is an Argentine novelist and former political prisoner who survived more than three years of imprisonment and six months of freedom under surveillance. She was forced into exile and, once in California, Amnesty International helped her become a political refugee of the United Nations. She has authored novels including Pasos bajo el agua (Steps Under Water) (1987), a fictionalized account of her experience in prison; 259 saltos, uno inmortal (259 Leaps, The Last Immortal) (2001), inspired by her life in political exile; Patas de avestruz (Ostrich Legs) (2003); Basse danse (2007) and Natatio aeterna (2011). She is also the author of the poetry book, Mano en vuelo (2009) and of the collection of short stories, Ofrenda de propia piel (2004). She currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches creative writing and literature at Chapman University. Her works, translated into many languages, are a testament to the strength of the human spirit.

Paula Varsavsky

Reading: Friday, October 12, at 6:30 p.m., University Center, Conference Room A

Paula Varsavsky is an Argentinian fiction writer who, as a young girl, followed her father into exile in New York City during the military repression of the 1970s. After returning to Argentina, she began her careers in writing and journalism. In her works she reflects on the aftermath of the breaches in human rights that took place during the dictatorship. Her works include Nadie alzaba la voz (No One Said A Word) (1994), a coming of age novel; El resto de su vida (The Rest of Her Life) (2007), a novel of self-discovery; a play titled The Portrait and Las mil caras del autor, a collection of conversations with American and British writers including Joyce Carol Oates and E.L. Doctorow. Her short stories have been translated into English, French and German, and she regularly lectures on literature and creative writing at universities in Argentina, the U.S. and Great Britain. Among her awards is a British Council grant for research on British writers at Cambridge University

Carmen Tafolla

Reading: Thursday, October 11, at 6:30 p.m., University Center, Conference Room A

Author Alex Haley has called her "a world-class writer." Now, she is San Antonio's first poet laureate. One of San Antonio's cultural icons, Carmen Tafolla, Ph.D., is author of more than 20 books, including poetry, fiction and nonfiction. She has been inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters for outstanding literary achievement, and her works are archived in the Benson Latin American Collection of the University of Texas Libraries. Her passions for literature and for human rights filter, as well, into her work as an educator. She embodies her writing in innovative ways, often performing it, as well as producing screenplays and scripts for television and film. Her scholarly work is in the areas of Mexican-American studies, bilingual/bicultural education and creativity education. Tafolla travels extensively to speak at universities throughout the United States as well as Europe and the Americas.