Northwestern University

Thu 7:00 PM

Drinking Gourd Chapbook Release

When: Thursday, January 11, 2018
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM  

Where: Poetry Foundation, Chicago, IL 60626

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Contact: Isaac Miller  

Group: Poetry and Poetics Colloquium

Category: Academic


he Poetry and Poetics Colloquium, in conjunction with Northwestern University Press, is delighted to announce that Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is the winner of the sixth annual Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. His manuscript, Dulce, will be published by Northwestern University Press in Fall 2017 with a planned launch party at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, IL on Thursday January 11, 2018.

Surreal and deeply imagistic, the poems in Dulce map a parallel between the landscape of the border and the landscape of sexuality. Castillo invites the reader to confront and challenge the distinctions of borders and categories, and in doing so, he obscures and negates such divisions: between citizen/non citizen, queer/straight, man/woman. His poems — at once confession and elegy — open the possibility of an and in a world of either/or. The volume as a whole enacts a prescient anxiety about what is to come: “I want to say all of this is true / but we both know it isn’t…we already know what’s at the other end of this.” Dulce is truly a lyrical force rife with the rich language of longing and regret that disturbs even the most serene quiet.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and crossed the border through Tijuana at the age of five with his family. He is a Canto Mundo fellow and the first undocumented student to graduate from the University of Michigan’s MFA program. He teaches at Sacramento State University as well as at The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. He was a finalist for the New England Review Emerging Writer Award and his manuscript, Origin of Drowning, was a finalist for the Alice James Book Prize and the National Poetry Series. His work has been adapted into opera through collaboration with the composer Reinaldo Moya. His poems and essays can be found in Indiana Review, New England Review, Southern Humanities Review, Gulf Coast, PBS News Hour, Fusion TV, and Buzzfeed, among others. He cofounded the Undocupoets campaign which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in the country and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” award from Poets and Writers Magazine.

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