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The reading will take place in Hammes Campus Bookstore from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on November 8th, 2017.

Nights’ meanings have shifted constantly throughout my life. Now I welcome nights with my whole heart because it means I can sleep soon after I finish all my work at home (or it can mean endless caffeine and writing, as well as few hours of sleep). But as a kid, things are different. I would protest when my parents attempted to put me in bed, and disliked the fact that I had to stay at home rather than playing outside. Under the pretense of being a rambunctious child, the real reason that my reluctance to sleep is my fear of a nocturnal ghost roaming in my room (maybe before we moved to the apartment?). It is invisible, but I could clearly sense it approaching to my bed to play some tricks on me. I was afraid that the apparition would pinch my face and pull off my hair, so I hid under my quilts. But in retrospection, I find hiding a futile action because this ghost probably doesn’t have eyes anyways, and is relying on its sixth sense. In the mornings though, I would discover that either I or my toys were displaced, lying on the ground instead of on the bed.

I was lucky that this ghost I encountered is mischievous rather than malicious. Sometimes though, inanimate objects can be way more scarier than ghosts. Imagine that the dolls or toys you have become active at night, rob all the cows in a nearby farm, and you wake up with cows licking your face. So a piece of advice for you: when you sleep, don’t annoy your toys by holding them too tightly like the cat does. Treat them gently, otherwise they might cause you trouble while you sleep.

But nights are not always full of creepy and uncanny phenomena. In Marosa Di Giorgio’s I Remember Nightfall, the night is beautiful (though disturbing as well). In the translation, we can read Giorgio’s visceral language fleshed out in English. In parts of her poetry, we are grounded in the domestic atmosphere. In the kitchen of the narrator’s mother, we can smell the scent of vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, and hear that cake talks through her inventive language.  We can observe the birth of mushrooms, listen to the moaning of the old cat in the household, and sense the ghost girl riding a horse as well as the apparition moving furtively under the magnolia. I Remember Nightfall creates a mythic night-world where imaginary entities roam freely in familiar space.

Here are the bios for this cool poet and excellent translator of her book:

Born in Salto, Uruguay, and raised on her family’s farm, Marosa di Giorgio (1932-2004) is one of the most prominent Uruguayan poets of the twentieth century. Di Giorgio began writing in her childhood and published her first book of poems at the age of twenty-two. She then went on to publish a total of fourteen books of poetry, three collections of short stories, and one novel. While some critics have categorized her as a surrealist, she herself denied membership in any literary movement or school. Although she was relatively unknown outside the Southern Cone during her lifetime, she is now becoming more and more widely read throughout Latin America and Europe.

Jeannine – is a writer, teacher, and Spanish-English literary translator currently living in Dubuque, Iowa, where she teaches at the University of Dubuque. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks and the translator of several Uruguayan poets. She has published translations of acclaimed Uruguayan writer Marosa di Giorgio’s work, The History of Violets (UDP) and I Remember Nightfall(UDP), and her own first full-length poetry collection, Things Seen and Unseen, is forthcoming from Quattro Books.

I hope to see you there.

Best, Lavinia


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