April Poetry Series: Guillermo Parra

April 11, 2013 4:00 PM
Curtin Memorial Library

Join the campus community on Tuesday, April 11, 2013 at 4 pm in Curtin Memorial Library. Poet Guillermo Parra will read from his translations of the works of Latin American writer José Antonio Ramos Sucre, and lead a discussion.

Translations of the works of José Antonio Ramos Sucre

José Antonio Ramos Sucre was born in Cumaná, Venezuela in 1890. He moved to Caracas in 1911 to study at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. In the capital, he worked as a secondary school teacher and as an interpreter for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His poems, essays, aphorisms and translations appeared in various Venezuelan newspapers and magazines. He published Trizas de papel  (1921),Sobre las huellas de Humboldt  (1923), La torre de Timón  (1925), Las formas del fuego  (1929), and El cielo de esmalte  (1929).

In December of 1929, Ramos Sucre traveled to Europe to take up a position at the Venezuelan Consulate in Geneva. Afflicted by years of insomnia and anxiety, he took his own life in June of 1930. His work was rescued by younger generations of writers and critics during the 1960s and he is now considered a foundational figure of modern Venezuelan literature. The critic Francisco Pérez Perdomo describes his writing as " of the most innovative produced by Latin American poetry."

Poet Guillermo Parra

Poet and translator Guillermo Parra was born in Cambridge, MA in 1970. He has published the translations José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Selected Works (New Orleans; University of New Orleans Press, 2012) and José Antonio Ramos Sucre, From the Livid Country (San Francisco: Auguste Press, 2012). Selected Works was included in the list "75 Notable Translations 2012" by World Literature Today.

His works of poetry include Phantasmal Repeats (Cambridge: Petrichord Books, 2009) and Caracas Notebook (Queens: Cy Gist Press, 2006). His poems, essays and translations have appeared in 6x6 (Ugly Duckling Presse), The CLR James Journal, Effing, InTranslation (The Brooklyn Rail) and Papel Literario (El Nacional newspaper, Venezuela).

Since 2003 he has written the blog Venepoetics, dedicated to the translation of Venezuelan and Latin American poetry into English. He lives in Pittsburgh, where he is working on a bilingual edition of the Collected Works of José Antonio Ramos Sucre.

This event is sponsored by the Division of Arts and Letters and Curtin Memorial Library, and is open to the public.

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