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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v8n49 (12/02/2009) » Section: Literary Buffalo

UP Professor Jorge Guitart Reads From His New Book at Hallwalls

It is not so surprising for a writer to pitch his or her tent on adopted soil. Think of Joseph Conrad, born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in Poland; Vladimir Nabokov, born Владимир Владимирович Набоков in St. Petersburg, Russia. Chinese-born Ha Jin is now a major American novelist. The second language, or third, or fourth needn’t be a prison house where we languish broken and tongue-tied; sometimes it is a playground or a research laboratory or a field of dreams or a sovereign nation of its own, as it is for Cuban-born Jorge Guitart, author of a new book, The Empress of Frozen Custard and Ninety-Nine Other Poems (BlazeVOX [books]). Jorge has been familiar to Buffalo audiences for years, through his occasional readings and his earlier books and chapbooks, like Foreigner’s Notebook (Shuffaloff, 1993) and Film Blanc (Meow Press, 1996). With its hundred poems, however, The Empress of Frozen Custard is his magnum opus, and what a book of wonders it is.

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