January 30th 2014: Drinking Gourd Launch


Poets Ed Roberson (left) and Rodney Gomez (right)

Join us for an evening of words and music, as we celebrate the second Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize. Renowned poet Ed Roberson, author of eight books of poetry and winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, will be joined by poet Rodney Gomez, winner of the second annual Drinking Gourd Prize. The evening will include readings from Professor Roberson’s diverse and extensive body of work, Gomez’ winning chapbook, Mouth Full of Night, and live performances by Jarochicanos Xicago, a Chicago-based Son Jarocho group. Copies of Gomez’ chapbook, just released from Northwestern University Press, will be available for sale.

Thursday, January, 30
7:00 P.M.
Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free admission

Ed Roberson is Distinguished Artist in Residence at Northwestern. He was the recipient of the Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America in 2008, & was honored at the recent Literature, Culture, & Critique conference. Roberson is the author of To See the Earth Before the End of the World (2010); The New Wing of the Labyrinth (2009); City Eclogue (2006); Atmosphere Conditions, winner of the 2000 National Poetry Award series; Just In: Word of Navigational Change (1998); Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In, winner of the 1994 Iowa Poetry Prize; as well as earlier books.

Rodney Gomez is the author of Mouth Filled with Night (Northwestern, 2014), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Barrow Street, Blackbird, Devil’s Lake, Salt Hill, Fourteen Hills, Drunken Boat, Texas Poetry Review, and other journals. Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, he earned a BA from Yale and an MFA from the University of Texas—Pan American. He works as an urban planner specializing in public transportation projects. He has also served on the board of Migrant Health Promotion, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of migrants, immigrants, and related populations. He edits the literary journal Axolotl.

Since 2008, Jarochicaonos Xicago have been gathering in Pilsen as a music and dance youth workshop to learn the Son Jarocho tradition, building and celebrating community. They help to teach the Son Chiquitos language and music immersion program for young children and are the organizers of Talleres en la 18, free, weekly, open-to-the-public sessions for learning to dance and play jarocho music. Jarochicanos have presented their music at many celebrations and events, including programs for children and families such as the Old Town School of Folk Music, Lollapalooza Kids’ Stage and Chicago Public Libraries. Son Jarocho traditions from the state of Veracruz, México, reflect the mix of three American cultures—Indigenous, Spanish, and African, and their interwoven history since the time of Conquest. Communities continue the tradition of the Son Jarocho fandango, gathering around the tarima, a wooden dance platform, to exchange verses about life and love.

Northwestern’s Poetry and Poetics Colloquium and Northwestern University Press in celebrating and publishing works of lasting cultural value and literary excellence. For more information visit our page.

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