An Evening with Elena Medel & Linda Chavez

The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain and the Cheuse Center present an evening with Elena Medel and Linda Chavez

Thursday, October 6, 2022 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain: 2801 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

An Evening with Elena Medel & Linda Chavez

Doors open at 6pm.

The program includes a conversation between Medel and Chavez, followed by a wine reception and book signing in partnership with Politics & Prose Bookstore.

Elena Medel is the Cheuse Center’s 2022 International Writer-in-Residence, in partnership with the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC.


Elena Medel is a writer and the founder and publisher of the poetry publishing house La Bella Varsovia. She was the first woman ever to win the prestigious Francisco Umbral Prize for her debut novel, The Wonders (2020), which was also longlisted for the Finestres Award and has been translated into more than fifteen languages, becoming a literary sensation. Medel published her prize-winning first collection of poetry, My First Bikini, when she was sixteen years old, and has won other prizes for her work, including the XXVI Loewe Prize for Young Writers and the Princess of Girona Foundation Award 2016 in the Arts and Literature Category, and is one of the ‘12 Essential Spanish-language Female Authors’ according to Publishers Weekly. She is also the author of three essay collections on poetry and has published a children’s book. She currently lives in Madrid.

Linda Chavez has had a long and varied career in American politics that stretches across the political spectrum, both in and out of government. She served as the highest-ranking woman in the Reagan White House, became the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Maryland, and founded a series of public policy organizations focusing on race, ethnicity, and immigration. Before she joined the Reagan administration, she edited the American Educator and American Teacher, publications of the American Federation of Teachers, worked in the Carter Administration’s Office of Management and Budget, served on the professional staff of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate period, and worked at the Democratic National Committee. She also served a four-year term (1992-1996) as the U.S. Expert to the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and as the Chair of the National Commission on Migrant Education (1988-1992). In 2000, she was honored by the Library of Congress as a Living Legend.

Her articles have appeared in The New York TimesWall Street JournalWashington PostForbesCommentary MagazineNational Review, and Readers Digest, among others. In 2010, Chavez began writing and publishing fiction. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University in 2012, at the age of 65. Her stories have appeared in Commentary, Red Rock Review and Persimmon Tree. In 2015, her story “The Vigil,” was selected for inclusion in the Silver Pen Writers’ Write Well Award Anthology. Her forthcoming novel The Conversos is the story of her family’s decision to leave Sevilla for the New World in 1597 and is based loosely on an episode of “Finding Your Roots,” which profiled her family’s history. She is the mother of three sons and nine grandchildren. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband Chris Gersten.


Art: Stephanie Benassi: “Money, Beauty, Rank: The Measure of All Things”

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