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Poet laureate praises UHV's literary diversity (video)

By Carolina Astrain
Sept. 19, 2013 at 4:19 a.m.


ABR FALL LINEUP:

Brian Evenson - Oct. 17

Evenson has authored 10 books of short stories, seven novels, a book of nonfiction and five translated volumes. His work often focuses on brutality, violence and hypocrisy, using fiction to critique contemporary values.

Christopher Howell - Nov. 7

Howell has authored 10 volumes of poetry, a collection of essays and is the editor of an anthology. Originally a military journalist during the Vietnam War, he later founded Lynx House Press and is now a professor of creative writing at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

Paul Ruffin - Nov. 21

Best known as a short story author, Ruffin also writes novels and poetry that often focus on the South's people, landscape and attitudes. He is the author of "Circling," which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award, and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

Rosemary Catacalos, the state's first Latina to be named poet laureate, looked around the University of Houston-Victoria for familiar faces.

It was the first time in almost 30 years that Catacalos has visited Victoria.

The San Antonio-based writer read from her collection of poetry, "Again for the First Time," at UHV's American Book Review on Thursday afternoon.

Before reading, Catacalos praised the university for its commitment to literature throughout the years - citing various publications, including Huizache, a Latino literary magazine.

"I am overwhelmed at the weaving together of different aesthetics in one small campus," Catacalos said. "You can't get this in San Antonio or Dallas."

Catacalos read from various pieces of poetry by herself and others during her presentation.

"Swallow Wings," a poem Catacalos wrote in honor of author Maya Angelou, captured the essence of the African-American neighborhood Catacalos lived in while growing up in San Antonio.

Catacalos closed the reading with a poem written about her grandfather, who instilled a great sense of Grecian pride within her at a young age.

The author, who is of Mexican and Greek descent, is known for using elements of her Greek background heavily in her writing.

St. Joseph High School junior Sofia Horadam, 16, was at the reading with her creative writing classmates.

"I loved the imagery she used when describing her grandfather," Horadam said. "As an American of German descent, I felt a stronger connection to my roots through her reading."

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