Reading & Conversation with Elena Medel & Rei Berroa

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 4:30 PM EDT
Aquia Building, #346

Reading & Conversation with Elena Medel & Rei Berroa

You are invited to join Professor Rei Berroa’s graduate classes, Spanish 510/685, for a reading and conversation in Spanish with award-winning poet and novelist Elena Medel.

This event is free and open to the public.

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Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Rei Berroa spent his formative years in his home country, went to Puerto Rico for his undergraduate studies, and taught Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry in the Dominican Republic. In 1973, he spent a year studying at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. At the end of that year, he returned to his original country to teach History and Geography at Instituto San Juan Bautista in Santo Domingo. That summer he went to Spain and in the fall returned to Puerto Rico to teach at Colegio San Antonio Abad in Humacao.

In summer 1976 he went to Middlebury College in Vermont and moved to Spain. Besides studying at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Middlebury College in Madrid, he spent three years in Spain writing poetry, researching all aspects of Spanish poetry, life, and culture and traveling from town to town with Eulalia, his guitar. In 1979, he went to Pittsburgh, PA, to complete his doctoral studies. Originally interested in the cultural myths of the Native Americans, he completed a dissertation on ideology and rhetoric in the writings of Spanish poet Miguel Hernández. Before arriving at George Mason University in the summer of 1984, he taught at Humboldt State University in California (1982-83) and at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois (1983-84).

His teaching and scholarly interests are mainly in the areas of contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature, culture, and literary theory (especially poetics). He has published more than 50 books of poetry, literary criticism, anthologies and translations in Argentina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, India, Italy, Mexico, Romania, Spain, the United States, and Venezuela. His poetry has been partially translated into more than 40 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Tamil, and Turkish.

Elena Medel

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. 

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