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Acclaimed poet and translator visits St. Kate’s

Eléna Rivera will read from new work on October 20 at the Visual Arts Building.
Eléna Rivera will read from new work on October 20 at the Visual Arts Building.
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Eléna Rivera was born in Mexico City and spent her childhood in Paris, France. She is the author of several books that are required reading for students in Gabrielle Civil’s courses, including “Writing for Life: Developing Skill & Confidence."

"Her work explores gender, memory, identity and the power of language," says Civil, associate professor of English at St. Catherine University. "Her poetry is complex because it isn't narrative. Writing for her is more about discovery than story telling and explanation. She uses language as a way to reflect and witness the difficulty and beauty in society."

During the week of Oct. 17-21, Rivera, who is based in New York City, is visiting St. Catherine University’s St. Paul campus as a writer-in-residence sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC) Visiting Writer Series.

Rivera received the 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Translation and the 2010 Robert Fagles prize for her translation of The Rest of the Voyage by French poet Bernard Noël, which will be published by Graywolf Press in November 2011.

In addition to speaking to students in five of St. Kate's classes — including “Creative Writing” and “Composition and Literature” — Rivera will meet with an independent study student in French and give a public reading from her latest collection of poetry, The Perforated Map and other new work.

The public reading will be held on Thursday, October 20, at 7 p.m. in the Visual Arts Building lecture hall. Admission is free.

"Get on the boat and sail with us," encourages Civil. "This event will be about witnessing richness and expression."

Oct. 17, 2011 by Pauline Oo

See also: Faculty, Liberal Arts, Students