Last week, my husband and I had the pleasure of seeing poet and novelist Julia Alvarez read some of her work at Dominican University’s Caesar and Patricia Tabet Poetry Reading, a wonderful annual event for students and staff and a generous gift for the surrounding community. Her poems reflect her life and emotions about growing up in the Dominican Republic, coming to the U.S., and living in two cultures and languages. She is an amazing storyteller, full of moving anecdotes of childhood and family life.
One particularly interesting topic she talked about was fluency and the complexities and nuances of languages and translating personal experiences from one language into another. She explained how it can be difficult to not be able to express one’s own perspective in a narrative when limited by language. She touches on this subject in a book she’s been working on for years now.
Here’s a short list of resources to learn more about her writing:
Heroics – poem
New Clothes – poem
An audio recording on the Library of Congress’s website: