Latino poets in silence

By Tere Paniagua:

The microphone was open last Feb. 23 at La Casa del T (c) on West Street, but nobody came. Writer and poet Jenny Terrero Rivera and her son David, 28, were the only ones there.

"Nobody came," Jenny said over and over again. "Just me and my son. We read, we sang, we made believe there were people there and thanked everyone for coming. We even had free CDs to give away "

Jenny was the organizer; had a publicity flyer printed and took it upon herself to promote an open mic for Latino poets.

Some good came out of it. Jenny was invited to be the guest last Wednesday at the Spanish Action League's radio broadcast of the show "Pa'lante" (95.3fm). She has also been invited to share her experience and vocation with a group of participants in a domestic violence meeting that is part of a program also carried out by the Spanish Action League (La Liga).

Far from being discouraged, this 55-year-old self-published author is planning a second open mic affair, also at La Casa del T (c) at 7 p.m., Friday, March 28. She hopes to be able to do it on a monthly basis.

For the March presentation she will have a special guest: Puerto Rican poet Ana Mar a Fuster Lav n, who will visit Syracuse that week to present a selection of her poems featured in her native Spanish and in English translation in the latest volume of the poetry series Corresponding Voices, published by Point of Contact at Syracuse University.

"I'm eager to be able to videotape this and put it on U-tube. I'm hopeful they will not only read in English!" Jenny said. "This is not about making a profit. It's free and it's about doing something worthwhile and opening a venue for anyone and everyone that has something to say."

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