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Cuban poet Reina María Rodríguez opens E-Poetry Festival at UB

A bilingual poetry featuring leading Cuban poet Reina María Rodríguez -- the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose and two time winner of the Casa de las Americas Prize of Poetry, the UNEAC Prize, and the Julian del Casal Prize -- at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon at the University at Buffalo Poetry Collection, 420 Capen Hall on the UB North Campus, is among the opening day highlights of E-Poetry [ 2011 ]: An International Digital Language/Arts Festival that marks the 10 year anniversary of world’s first E-Poetry/Digital Arts Festival at UB in 2001. 

Two of  Rodríguez's collections, “Violet Island and Other Poems” (Green Integer, 2004) and “Time’s Arrest” (Factory School, 2005) have been translated into English by Kristin Dykstra, a UB Poetics Program Ph.D who is now Associate Professor of English at Illinois State University.

The official grand opening of the four day festival is at 4 p.m. this afternoon at the UB Center for the Arts.  A full evening of exhibits and performances is scheduled featuring e-poets, digital artists, and media makers from around the world.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will feature primarily talks, panel discussions, screenings and e-poetry related presentations during the mornings and early afternoons, with performances and live demonstrations of e-poetics as an emergent literary and media arts form over the past decade following in the late afternoons and evenings.

Among the other events of note in the festival are Thursday night's "Dance & Digital Poetry" program slated for two performances (7 p.m. and 9 p.m.) in the UB Black Box Theater in the Center for the Arts, and Friday night's performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Karpeles Manuscript Library, 453 Porter Avenue in Buffalo featuring Tammy McGovern (USA), Joerg Piringer (Austria) and  Eugenio Tisseli (Mexico/Spain), followed by a reading by poet Charles Bernstein.

Bernstein, the co-founder of the UB Poetics Program, is the author of over 40 books, the most recent of which are “All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010) and “Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions” (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

On Saturday, key presentations include: "La Cuchufleta," an e-poetics performance by Loss Pequeño Glazier, festival organizer, co-founder of UB’s Electronic Poetry Center, and Media Studies professor at UB at 2 p.m., followed by a much-anticipated talk "The Present of the Word: Poetry's Coming Digital Presence (on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Poetics Program)" by UB Poetics Program co-founder Charles Bernstein at 3:15 p.m.  Both events will take place in the Screening Room (CFA 112) at the UB Center for the Arts.

All events in E-Poetry [ 2011 ]: An International Digital Language/Arts Festival are free and open to the public.  For a complete program of activities, visit

--R.D. Pohl


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