August 13, 2020
Poetry Centered features curated selections from voca, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s online audiovisual archive of more than 1,000 recordings of poets reading their work during visits to the Center between 1963 and today. In each episode, a guest poet introduces three poems from voca, sharing their insights about the remarkable performances recorded in our archive. Each episode concludes with the guest poet reading a poem of their own. Our inaugural season includes episodes hosted by Hanif Abdurraqib, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Ada Limón, Urayoán Noel, Maggie Smith, and TC Tolbert.
In this episode, Urayoán Noel introduces recordings of Ai engaging with war through necessary fury (“The Root Eater”), Lehua M. Taitano composing a lifeline to communities living with the legacies of colonialism (“A Love Letter to the Chamoru People in the Twenty-first Century”), Ofelia Zepeda on the untranslatability of song (“Ñeñe’i Ha-ṣa:gid / In the Midst of Songs”), and a fable of radical imagination by Gloria E. Anzaldúa (“Nepantla”). Noel ends the episode with his poem “Molecular Modular,” built around open-ended questions considering virality and modes of community.
Urayoán Noel is the author of Buzzing Hemisphere/ Rumor Hemisférico, a playful and irreverent mash-up of voices and poetic traditions from across the Americas, which imagines an alternative to the monolingualism of the U.S. literary and political landscape, and proposes a geo-neuro-political performance attuned to damaged or marginalized forms of knowledge, perception, and identity. Urayoán Noel has been a fellow of CantoMundo and the Ford Foundation, and he is currently the poetry editor of NACLA Report on the Americas. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Noel lives in the Bronx and is an assistant professor of English and Spanish at New York University.
Keep an eye out on our website for a forthcoming collection from Urayoán Noel!