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Poetry in the Spotlight in Spring International Writers Series

The International Writers Series continues during the spring semester with two events focused on poetry from the international writer and translator community at Washington University.

On Wednesday, February 10, Baba Badji will present his first collection of poems Ghost Letters (Parlor Press, 2021), in which he creates a ghost mother who becomes a presiding presence. Badji is a Senegalese-American poet, translator, researcher, and Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature in the International Writers Track. His poetry explores what it means to be Senegalese, American, and Black, as well as the bonds of Black people across the Black diaspora. J. Dillon Brown, Associate Professor of English, will join Badji in conversation.

Poetry in translation will follow on Wednesday, March 10, with Olivia Lott, Ph.D. Candidate in Romance Languages & Literatures. In this virtual reading and discussion, Lott will present her recent translation of Lucía Estrada’s KATABASIS (Eulalia Books, 2020), the first full collection of poetry by a Colombian woman to be translated into English. A three-part plunge into the darkness of the world, and of the mind, Estrada’s prose poems depict the night, the subconscious, and the surreal. Lott’s translation of KATABASIS is longlisted for the 2020 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Lott will be joined in discussion by Rebecca Hanssens-Reed, a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature and fellow literary translator.

The International Writers Series is a collaboration between the International Writers track of the Program in Comparative Literature and the University Libraries at Washington University that began in the fall of 2020 to celebrate new publications of creative works by writers and translators in the Washington University in St. Louis community. The discussions are moderated by Matthias Goeritz, Professor of Practice of Comparative Literature.

All International Writers Series events take place from 7:00–8:00 p.m. The discussions are free and open to all, but registration is required. For more information, contact Walter Schlect, Germanic Languages and Literature and Comparative Literature Studies Librarian.