University of Notre Dame

04/03/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/03/2024 11:07

Notre Dame to host US Poet Laureate Ada Limón and poets Carmen Giménez and heidi andrea restrepo rhodes

Notre Dame to host US Poet Laureate Ada Limón and poets Carmen Giménez and heidi andrea restrepo rhodes

Published:April 03, 2024

Author:Carrie Gates

Ada Limón, Carmen Giménez and heidi andrea restrepo rhodes

The University of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) and Creative Writing Program will present a poetry reading and discussion on Wednesday (April 10) at 4:30 p.m., featuring Ada Limón, the U.S. Poet Laureate; Carmen Giménez, executive director and publisher of Graywolf Press; and poet and scholar heidi andrea restrepo rhodes, who uses they/them pronouns and styles their name with all lowercase letters.

The event, which takes place in the Reyes Family Board Room in McKenna Hall, is free and open to the public. It will be moderated by Laura Villareal, a poet and Letras Latinas associate. A reception and book signing will follow at 6 p.m.

The discussion is part of a yearlong celebration of the 20th anniversary of Letras Latinas - a literary initiative within ILS that strives to enhance the visibility, appreciation and study of Latino literature on and off campus.

"Throughout the life of the institute, there have been initiatives that have come and gone. But Letras Latinas is the longest standing and is still here 20 years later," said Francisco Aragón, founder and director of the initiative. "I'm really proud of our longevity and I think this program has burnished the institute's reputation both within the Latino literary community and nationally."

The Letras Latinas initiative, which emphasizes programs that support newer voices, has also helped forge connections between the three poets, Aragón said. Limón and Giménez have each served as a final judge for two national poetry prizes administered by the initiative. Limón selected the winner of the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize in 2018, and Giménez chose the winner of the Lorca Latinx Poetry Prize in 2022.

"Both Ada and Carmen, years apart and independent of each other, selected heidi as the winner of those two prizes," he said. "So, on April 10, they will both be reading with the same emerging poet they selected, which makes this roster very special."

In addition to the public event, Limón, Giménez and rhodes will spend time visiting with undergraduate and graduate creative writing and poetry classes while on campus.

"It is a really meaningful experience when our students get to interact with writers they've been studying in their classes," Aragón said. "Part of the mission of Letras Latins is to not only enhance the education of our students, but to create situations where writers are in community with each other. So, I'm particularly excited that these three poets will be able to spend this time here, forming bonds with each other and connecting with our students."

Limón is the author of six books of poetry, including "The Carrying," which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. As the 24th Poet Laureate of The United States, her signature project, "You Are Here," focuses on how poetry can help connect us to the natural world. Giménez is the author of numerous poetry collections, including "Milk and Filth," a finalist for the NBCC Award in Poetry, and "Be Recorder," which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry, the PEN Open Book Award, the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is publisher and executive director of Graywolf Press. A poet, scholar, educator and cultural worker, rhodes won the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize for their poetry collection, "The Inheritance of Haunting." They are a 2023 recipient of the Creative Capital Award, a VONA alum, and have received fellowships from Zoeglossia, CantoMundo, Radar, and Yale's Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration.

The event is the fourth in a series of nine events in 2024 commemorating the initiative's 20th anniversary, featuring a total of more than 20 poets. Following the series, Aragón and Villareal will guest edit a folio of the poets' work, which will be published in the December 2024 issue of Poetry Magazine.

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