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UCF Second Annual Book Festival–great writers, great time

April 18, 2011
Judith with my Latino/a Literature students

Judith answered questions from my Latino/a Lit class

Saturday capped off a very, very busy week for me but a great one.  On Thursday, Judith Ortiz Cofer began her UCF visit by meeting with my AML 4630 Latino/a Literature class and a Womanist Studies class.  My students had read her Latin Deli this term and had lots of excellent questions for her.  Additionally, one of the students presented her with a beautiful painting she made as illustrator for her group’s presentation on Judith.
Inspired by The Latin Deli, Michelle Llamas created this

Nuestra Señora de el Building by Michelle Llamas


Besides visiting with students on Thursday morning, she performed an evening reading and afterwards signed books and chatted with more students (several repeat “customers” from the morning session).

Friday night was the UCF Book Festival Authors Reception–so many very impressive authors indeed.  Among them Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Tayari Jones, Nina Revoyr, Stephanie Brown, Vicki Forman, Michael Colonnese, Virgil Suarez and so many more–Judith too! 

Me, Dolen Perkins-Valdez and Tayari Jones

Met these amazing writers at Breadloaf 2009

I had a mini-Breadloaf reunion. I had met Dolen Perkins-Valdez (author of Wench) and Tayari Jones (author of the just released Silver Sparrow) at the 2009 Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. 
Additionally,  Stephanie Brown, author of two wonderful collections of poetry, Domestic Interior and Allegory of the Supermarket, and Vicki Brown, author the poignant memoir This Lovely Life, were fellow fellows at Breadloaf.
Vicki Forman, me and Stephanie Brown

Reconnecting at Book Festival


To end this photo-filled post (and get back to grading papers–deep sigh), I want to congratulate my dear friend and musical collaborator Kevin Meehan, newly promoted full professor at UCF!  Kevin served as our superb moderator on the Latinos into the Mainstream panel at the Book Festival.  Judith, Virgil Súarez and I fielded his and the audience’s questions for an interesting and lively session. The highlight for me was being able to read a poem, “Stained Teeth” for Virgil that I dedicated to him, inspired by one of his essays from his Spared Angola; I had sent it to him years ago but to read it for him in person was an awesome experience. Thanks also to Judith too who requested I perform “Hambre, Hombre, Hembra” at her Thursday evening reading; I was accompanied by my husband on the maracas–we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on that day. My poem was inspired by her “Beans: An Apologia for not Loving to Cook” from A Love Story Beginning in Spanish.

Judith, Virgil and I talked about the mainstream

Along side inspiring writers Virgil Súarez and Judith Ortiz Cofer

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 21, 2011 3:01 pm


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