I had the privilege to interview the multi-talented bilingual, NY/Puerto Rican poet, Urayoan Noel last week for The Rivard Report, an urban, independent online newspaper based here in San Antonio, and the interview was picked up by the Poetry Foundation's blog, Harriet! We discussed everything from brain hemispheres to composing poems with smartphones to homophonic translations and more.
I had the luck to meet Urayoan Noel in New York City when I was living there with my husband from 2000 to 2006, and we had the audacity to try to build a bilingual journal (in English and Spanish) on a fraying shoestring budget (at best!). We had started this journal Terra Incognita while living in Madrid and were intent on building a bicultural bridge between the U.S and Spain by featuring poets and writers practicing their art in English and/or Spanish or a combination thereof . One of the pleasures of this project was receiving submissions from poets such as Urayoan Noel and being able to host him and others at a bilingual reading series we curated at The Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village in the early 2000s. So, more recently, it was a double delight to be able to host Urayoan Noel again here in San Antonio through Gemini Ink, a nonprofit literary arts organization. As the Creative Writing Classes Program Director for Gemini Ink, I had the satisfaction of featuring him as one of our Spring 2016 visiting writers, and out of his visit to San Antonio, came this interview.
Read on to learn more about the buzzing hemispheres reverberating in the poems of Urayoan Noel, in his new collection Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisferico (University of Arizona 2015), poems which have been called by Victor Hernandez Cruz: "a stereo ping-pong game between two languages." Click the link here to read the interview in full:
Urayoan Noel Visits Gemini Ink and San Antonio