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Rodriguez Featured in Visiting Writers Series

111902rodriguez_dl.jpgby Crystal Thompson

BOONE–Poet Aleida Rodriguez will give a reading on Thursday, Dec. 5, in the Linville Falls Room of Plemmons Student Union at 7:30 p.m. as part of Appalachian State University’s Visiting Writers Series.

Rodriguez also will discuss her poetry in Spanish at the lunch meeting of High Country Amigos on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Agriculture Conference Center located at 252 Popular Grove Road in Boone.

Both programs are free. Books will be available for sale and signing following the Thursday reading.

Rodriguez was one of 15,000 children airlifted out of Cuba in the early 1960s as part of a relocation program run by the Catholic Church and the U.S. State Department.

Rodriguez settled with a foster family in Springfield, Ill. She and her older sister were joined two years later by their parents. After living in the Midwest for five years, the family moved to Los Angeles.

Rodriguez became fascinated with language at an early age, when she learned to switch back and forth from Spanish to English. “I learned to scrutinize language,” she states, “to search for the roots of words as a way to get a deeper hold.” She started writing in her teens.

Her first book of poetry, “Garden of Exile,” published by Sarabande Books, won the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry. “Desire Lines,” a collection of essays, is forthcoming.

Rodriguez co-founded Books of a Feather Press. She lives in Los Angeles where she is a freelance editor and translator.

Parking is available for non-university community members after 5 p.m. in the lot near the intersection of College and Howard streets, behind Whitener Hall, and through the opened gate. The lot across from the First Presbyterian Church, behind the University Post Office is also suggested.

The Fall 2002 Visiting Writers Series is supported by Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of University Advancement, University Bookstore, Office of Multicultural Student Development, The Appalachian Journal, The Richard T. Barker Friends of the University Library; business sponsors The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Restaurant; and community sponsors The Dover Foundation, The High Country Writers, The Friends of Kathy Fitzpatrick, Mildred Luckhardt and Robert Moren.

For more information about the Visiting Writers Series, call Susan Weinberg at (828) 262-2871 or call (828) 262-3030.