Deuda Natal: Book Celebration and Reading with Mara Pastor

Mara Pastor's Deuda Natal won the Academy of American Poets' 2020 Ambroggio Prize, the only annual award of its kind in the United States that honors American poets whose first language is Spanish. The poems in Deuda Natal were translated from Spanish to English by María José Giménez and Anna Rosenwong.

During this virtual book celebration, Pastor will read from this new collection, and discuss the translation process with Giménez and Rosenwong. They will be joined by Nicole Cecilia Delgado, a poet, translator, and book artist.

Registration for this event is required. A Zoom event link will be sent via email to all registrants the day of the event.

Deuda Natal finds the beauty within vulnerability and the dignity amidst precariousness. As one of the most prominent voices in Puerto Rican poetry, Pastor uses the poems in this new bilingual collection to highlight the way that fundamental forms of caring for life—and for language—can create a space of poetic decolonization. The poems propose new ways of understanding as they traverse a thematic landscape of women’s labor, the figure of the nomad and immigrant, and the return from economic exile to confront the catastrophic confluence of disaster and disaster capitalism.

Deuda Natal also reckons with the stark environmental degradation in Puerto Rico and the larger impacts of global climate change as they navigate our changing world through a feminist lens. Pastor’s work asserts a feminist objection to our society’s obsession with production and the accumulation of wealth, offering readers an opportunity for collective vulnerability within these pages.

Our poet:

Mara Pastor is a leading Puerto Rican poet, editor, and scholar, and the author of six full-length poetry books in Spanish and three bilingual collections of poetry. She is an associate professor of Spanish at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce.

Our translators:

María José Giménez is a poet, translator, and editor whose work has received support from the NEA, the Studios at MASS MoCA, the Breadloaf Translators’ Conference, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. Assistant translation editor of Anomaly and author of CHELATED (Belladonna*), María José is the 2019–21 poet laureate of Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Anna Rosenwong is a translator and developmental editor. Her work has been honored with the Best Translated Book Award, the Ambroggio Prize of the Academy of American Poets, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Banff International Literary Translation Centre, and the American Literary Translators Association. Her publications include Rocío Cerón’s Diorama and here the sun’s for real, selected translations of José Eugenio Sánchez. Her scholarly and creative work has been featured in such venues as World Literature Today, the Kenyon Review, and Modern Poetry Today.

Our guest:

Nicole Cecilia Delgado is a poet, translator, and book artist. Her latest book Periodo Especial (Aguadulce/La Impresora) explores the socioeconomic mirror images between the Greater Antilles in light of Puerto Rico’s ongoing financial crisis. Her work has been translated into English, Catalan, Polish, German, Galician, and Portuguese. With the poet Amanda Hernández, she currently directs and develops La Impresora, a poetry press and risograph print shop dedicated to small-scale editorial work and allocating resources to support local independent publishing, and from which they also organize the Independent and Alternative Book Fair in Puerto Rico (FLIA PR).