Three poets will be visiting the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Dahlonega Campus on Nov. 8 to read from volumes of their work translated from the original Spanish and published earlier this year by the University Press of North Georgia (UPNG).
Dr. Gordon E. McNeer, a professor of Spanish at UNG, has translated four books of poetry by Spanish poets, including an anthology and two other volumes published by UPNG.
"Two years ago, I learned of an anthology of poetry that offered poems by 11 of the best and brightest young Spanish poets from Spain and Latin America. With the help of Benjamin Prado, an established Spanish poet and novelist, I was able to contact them and translate their anthology, 'Poetry Facing Uncertainty,' in the University Press of North Georgia," McNeer said. "The upcoming poetry reading and book presentation is a great opportunity for UNG students and the community to meet these poets and listen to them read from their works."
Prado and two poets featured in "Poetry Facing Uncertainty," Andrea Cote Botero of Colombia and Fernando Valverde of Spain, will read from their work at noon on Nov. 8 at Starbuck's at 110 S. Chestatee St., Dahlonega. Refreshments will be served at the reception and books will be available for purchase.
Dr. Elizabeth Combier, head of UNG's Spanish department, said the poets' visit provides an opportunity for students and the community to learn more about the Spanish language and culture.
"We are fortunate to have this visit of these three well-known and well-published international authors of Spanish poetry. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students of Spanish, as well as all those interested in Spanish poetry, to learn from them and be inspired," Combier said. "We are very proud to host them here and to contribute to the internationalization of our students’ experiences at UNG."
Botero was awarded the National Prize of Poetry from the Universidad Externado of Colombia and currently is a graduate student studying Romance languages at the University of Pennsylvania.
Valverde holds a doctorate in Hispanic philology and is a cultural journalist for El Pais, the highest-circulation daily newspaper in Spain. He received the prestigious Emilio Alarcos award and co-directs the International Festival of Poetry in Granada, Spain. McNeer also translated "Eyes of the Pelican," Valverde's book of highly personal poems about his family and himself that was published earlier this year by UPNG.
McNeer also translated Prado's book, "Shelter From the Storm," which contains 17 poems influenced by the chaotic events of the late 1960s, when Prado was a young poet just beginning to find his voice. "Shelter" was published earlier this year by UPNG and contains both Spanish and English versions of Prado's poems. Prado, a columnist for El Pais, also has written a series of three novels investigating social injustice and championing human rights.
All three volumes of poetry will be available for sale at the Nov. 8 poetry reading.
McNeer holds a Ph.D. in Romance languages from Princeton University. In 1999, he published a bilingual edition of New York Notebook by the Cervantes Prize poet José Hierro. He also has collaborated with those featured in the "Poetry Facing Uncertainty" anthology at poetry festivals in San Salvador and Granada, Spain.