NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Stephen F. Austin State University Department of Languages, Cultures and Communication will host the annual International Poetry Reading at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.
The event will feature SFA students, faculty, staff and community readers presenting poetry in a variety of non-English languages.
Past presenters have spoken in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Romanian, Russian, Greek, Latin, Bengali, Elvish and more.
“We ask each reader to briefly preview the poem in English, but, rather than rely on translations, we want audience members to appreciate and explore each language’s poetry on its own terms,” said Dr. Joyce Johnston, professor of French and co-coordinator of the event.
Readers often ask the audience to listen for a certain onomatopoeic sound, repetition or refrain in order for the audience to better understand the poem. Readers also may share the importance of the poem to its native language’s culture. Some presenters sing poems or present original works.
Fabiola Juarez, a senior political science major, has presented poems in French and Spanish. Participating in the readings in the past has taught her to be more appreciative of all languages, and she has enjoyed hearing poetry read and interpreted in different languages.
“This event is important because it exposes us to so many different languages and poetry. I feel like sometimes we don’t give much appreciation to other languages and poetry,” Juarez said. “However, this event makes us sit down and open our eyes and heart to such a wonderful experience.”
The event is part of the Department of Languages, Cultures and Communication international arts series. Throughout the year, the department hosts a variety of events that expose the SFA and Nacogdoches communities to international movies, books, music and more.
This event is open to the public, and free refreshments will be served.
For more information, contact Johnston at (936) 468-6722 or Dr. Louise Stoehr, associate professor of German, at (936) 468-2167.