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The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University (ASU) and CantoMundo, a literary organization founded in 2009 to support Latinx poets and poetry, are pleased to announce a three-year collaboration to house CantoMundo at the Piper Center. As the largest public-serving university in the U.S. and a Hispanic-Serving Institution, ASU, which houses the Piper Center, is honored to help sustain CantoMundo’s mission and vision.

CantoMundo co-founders—Norma E. Cantú, Pablo Miguel Martínez, Celeste Mendoza, Deborah Paredez, and Carmen Tafolla—and Piper Center staff under director, Alberto Ríos, are excited to work together to honor and celebrate Latinx poetics and poets. The inaugural director of CantoMundo will be Jacqueline Balderrama, a Latinx poet with experience in literary program management; she will be based at the Piper Center. Balderrama will work in concert with CantoMundo co-founders as well as the national CantoMundo Advisory Board, which will be comprised of CantoMundo co-founders and other members.

The CantoMundo retreat will convene in June 2024 at the Piper Center in Tempe, AZ. Faculty and keynote lecturer will be announced by October 2023, and applications will open simultaneously.

CantoMundo and the Piper Center look forward to welcoming future CantoMundistas and to championing the rich diversity of Latinx poetry. Says CantoMundo co-founder Carmen Tafolla, “This collaboration represents a unique opportunity to support poets who can give voice to our great diversity of Latinx communities, and to enrich the national scene with a dynamic interchange and development of creative and conceptual poetic possibilities. Bringing together the resources of a major Hispanic-Serving Institution with the creative vision of a national pan-Latinx poetic organization deeply rooted in community empowerment and collaborative leadership will benefit all.” Piper Center Director, poet Alberto Ríos adds, “This is a working chance for training, support, and considerations of a legacy that earlier generations of Latinx poets and writers never had. This is the future.”

About CantoMundo: Through workshops, symposia, and public readings, CantoMundo provides a space for community development and critical analysis of Latinx literature in the awareness that Latinx poets remain underrepresented in the national literary landscape. CantoMundo strives to expand Latinx representation by supporting the professional development and community of Latinx poets across multiple linguistic, aesthetic, stylistic, and cultural spaces.

About Virginia G. Piper Center: Established in 2003 with a gift from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU is a non-academic university center dedicated to offering talks, readings, classes, workshops, and other literary events and programs for the larger community. We believe the power to document what is and to imagine what could be belongs to everyone. Through classes, events, and publications, we create brave spaces in which individuals can discover and claim their stories.

CantoMundo is happy to announce the recipients of the Sor Juana Scholarship for Latina CantoMundo Fellows, Carina del Valle Schorske and Nicole Sealey. The Scholarship, named for the 17th-century Mexican poet-scholar, will support the recipients’ stays at writing retreats this summer. This project is an important demonstration of CantoMundo’s commitment to supporting the work of Latinx poets while cultivating community at the local, regional, national, and international levels. With this Scholarship support, Carina del Valle Schorske will spend three weeks at Ucross, an artist residency program in Wyoming. There she will focus on revising her first book manuscript, as well as working on an essay on Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos. Nicole Sealey will use Scholarship funding to support a three-week stay at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Florida. During her residency, she will work on Country Music, a series of poems that explore what it means for her, a Black woman, to consider herself a countryman in the current political climate. The Sor Juana Scholarship for Latina CantoMundo Fellows is made possible by a grant from the Academy of American Poets.

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