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In-person: Yaguareté White by Diego Báez

Please join us for a poetry reading celebrating Yaguareté White by Diego Báez! For this event, Báez will be in conversation with Donna Seaman.

Please note: Pre-registration for this event is required. By pre-registering, you are verifying that you are fully vaccinated and will wear a mask throughout the entirety of the event.

REGISTER TO ATTEND!

In Diego Báez’s debut collection, Yaguareté White, English, Spanish, and Guaraní encounter each other through the elusive yet potent figure of the jaguar.

The son of a Paraguayan father and a mother from Pennsylvania, Baéz grew up in central Illinois as one of the only brown kids on the block—but that didn’t keep him from feeling like a gringo on family visits to Paraguay. Exploring this contradiction as it weaves through experiences of language, self, and place, Baéz revels in showing up the absurdities of empire and chafes at the limits of patrimony, but he always reserves his most trenchant irony for the gaze he turns on himself.

Notably, this raucous collection also wrestles with Guaraní, a state-recognized Indigenous language widely spoken in Paraguay. Guaraní both structures and punctures the book, surfacing in a sequence of jokes that double as poems, and introducing but leaving unresolved ambient questions about local histories of militarism, masculine bravado, and the outlook of the campos. Cutting across borders of every kind, Baéz’s poems attempt to reconcile the incomplete, contradictory, and inconsistent experiences of a speaking self that resides between languages, nations, and generations.

Yaguareté White is a lyrical exploration of Paraguayan American identity and what it means to see through a colored whiteness in all of its tangled contradictions.

Diego Báez is a writer, educator, and abolitionist. He is the recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, the Surge Institute, and the Poetry Foundation’s Incubator for Community-Engaged Poets. His writing has appeared in Freeman’s, The Rumpus, Harriet Books, and The Georgia Review. He lives in Chicago and teaches at the City Colleges.

Donna Seaman is the Editor for the adult books section in Booklist, published by the American Library Association. A recipient of the Louis Shores Award for Excellence in Book Reviewing, the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism, and the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award, Seaman is a member of the Content Leadership Team for the American Writers Museum, a frequent presenter at various literary events and programs, and an adjunct professor for Northwestern University’s MA in Writing and MFA in Prose and Poetry Programs. Seaman’s author interviews are collected in Writers on the Air and she is the author of Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists. River of Books: A Reading Life is due out later this year.

Accessibility: This event is hosted at the bookstore, which is a wheelchair accessible space. Masks are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. To request ASL interpretation for this event, please email events@womenandchildrenfirst.com by no later than 14 days before the event. For other questions or access needs, please email events@womenandchildrenfirst.com.

Event date: 
Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
Yaguareté White: Poems (Camino del Sol ) By Diego Báez Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780816552191
Availability: On our shelves recently
Published: University of Arizona Press - February 20th, 2024

Events Terms: