Professor to Present Poetry at Festival in Colombia

July 1, 2009 -

A University of Redlands professor has been invited to travel to Colombia in July to read from several of her books of poetry and to give a lecture on Latin American poetry.

Ivonne Gordon Vailakis, a professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature, will read and present at the prestigious International Poetry Festival in Medellin, Colombia.

During the festival, she will lecture on the work and life experiences of acclaimed Latin American poet Jorge Carrera Andrade, who is her uncle. She also will direct a poetry workshop on time and memory in contemporary Latin American poetry.

Acclaimed poets from around the world are set to read their work and lecture at the festival, which is sponsored by the office of the mayor of Medellin, the Hivos Humanis Institute for Development Cooperation, and the governments of Colombia, Switzerland and Germany, among other groups.

The festival, which has been held for 20 years, is designed to establish an atmosphere of dialogue and reconciliation among Colmbians and the rest of the world. Poetry from 133 countries is expected to be represented at the event.

Vailakis also has presented her poetry twice at the U.S. Library of Congress. Last year, she was one of 13 poets from across the U.S., Spain and Latin America selected to participate in a reading centered around the Sixteenth Poetry Marathon: The Pen and the Word, an annual event sponsored by Teatro de la Luna, an organization established to provide the Washington, D.C. area with Latin American-oriented cultural events.

Vailakis has been published in literature journals in the U.S., Mexico, and her native Ecuador, and often does poetry readings alone, or with other writers. Her poetry frequently explores her own experiences as a Hispanic woman navigating two cultures. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine.

The professor can be reached at or 909-748-8640.

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