A panel on the history, evolution and future of culturally-specific reading series like Palabra Pura with the series’ co-founder Mary Hawley, former featured artists and guest curators Paul Martinez-Pompa and Dr. Yolanda Nieves, and long-time host Johanny Vázquez Paz.
Mary Hawley is the author of Double Tongues, a poetry collection, and co-translator of the bilingual poetry anthology Astillas de luz/Shards of Light. She works as a freelance writer, editor, and translator, and is currently the coordinator of the Guild Complex’s Palabra Pura bilingual reading series. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies such as Another Chicago Magazine, contratiempo, and Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry from Chicago’s Guild Complex.
Paul Martinez-Pompa, English Faculty–Triton College is the author of Pepper Spray (Momotombo Press 2006) and My Kill Adore Him (University of Notre Dame Press 2009), which was awarded the 2008 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize.
Johanny Vázquez Paz, Faculty Member at Harold Washington College, was born in Puerto Rico. Her book Streetwise Poems/Poemas callejeros (Mayapple Press, 2007) won Honorable Mention at the 2008 International Latino Book Awards. She co-edited the anthology Between the Heart and the Land / Entre el corazón y la tierra: Latina Poets in the Midwest (MARCH/Abrazo Press, 2001). Her poems have been included in many anthologies, including En la 18 a la 1 (Vocesuelta, 2010). She teaches Spanish at Harold Washington College.
Dr. Yolanda Nieves, Assistant Professor, English, Wilbur Wright College Chicago, is creative director of The Vida Bella Ensemble, is part of Teatro Luna’s PlayLab series and her La Matadora/Steel Flags will be produced by Chicago’s Landmark Project Fall 2011. She won the American Educational Research Association’s 2010 Arts-Based Dissertation of the Year Award for the performance-text, The Brown Girls’ Chronicles: Puerto Rican Women & Resilience. Her degrees include a Ed.D., Master’s in Organizational Development, and B.A. in English and Education.