Latino Writers Collective to be Featured in Park University Poetry Series

Members of the Latino Writers Collective will be the featured speakers at Park University’s Ethnic Voices Poetry Series on Tuesday, Nov. 27, beginning at 7 p.m., in the McCoy Meetin’ House on the University’s Parkville Campus. A reception will precede the event at 6:30 p.m.

The Latino Writers Collective is a group of Latino writers living and working in the Kansas City metropolitan area with long-distance members in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Texas. The Collective helps hone and polish the work of its members for publication. In addition to creative support, the Collective organizes and coordinates projects for the larger community to showcase national and local Latino writers and provide role models and instruction to Latino youth.

“The Latino Writers Collective is a perennial favorite in our series,” said Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., associate professor of English, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and director of the Degree with Honors Program. “We invite them to return to campus each year, and they are a true crowd pleaser. They rotate their readers, so we are able to enjoy new voices with each visit. Kansas City should be proud of this group.”

The Collective’s anthology of poetry, Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland, was published in 2008 and has received much national attention. The anthology won second place in poetry from both the International Latino Book Awards and the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, and was a finalist in poetry for the USA Book News Award and in anthology for the ForeWord Magazine Book Award. They also were named Best of Kansas City 2008 by The Pitch for their readings and events. In addition, individual members have received writing awards, published works of their own and serve in various Kansas City area arts organizations.

The purpose of Park University’s Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, which started in 2007, is to expose individuals to artistic thought and expression that challenges preconceptions about those whose experiences and points of view differ from their own. Because all literature focuses on the human condition, a sharing of that literature promotes a sharing of ideas regarding the challenges, disappointments and celebrations of all people, and the written and verbal expression of emotions that those activities promote. The Ethnic Voices Poetry Series is funded in part by a Missouri Arts Council grant, a state agency and division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

The next poet in the series will be Gary Jackson. His presentation will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Kansas City Public Library (branch to be determined). A reception will precede the event at 6:30 p.m.

For more information about the Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, visit www.park.edu/ethnicpoetry/2012-2013.html or contact Brackett at virginia.brackett@park.edu or (816) 584-6818.

Please note: McCoy Meetin’ House has restricted physical access. Park University wants to make available to everyone access to all programs and activities conducted in this building. Requests for physical access accommodations should be addressed in a timely manner to Park University’s director of public safety at (816) 584-6226. Park University will make all reasonable modifications to ensure that individuals with physical challenges have an equal opportunity to enjoy all programs and activities.

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