UW News

October 20, 2005

Celebration of Peruvian poet planned

Events ranging from a poetry reading to lectures by distinguished visitors from Peru are part of “Even Cowboys Get the Blues: A Celebration of the Life and Poetry of Luis Hernandez,” planned for next week on campus.

Organized by Spanish and Portuguese Studies Professor Edgar O’Hara, the celebration salutes the life and work of Hernandez, a Peruvian poet who died at the age of 35 in 1977. Hernandez left behind few published works but many notebooks in which he not only wrote poetry, but also drew pictures and wrote music.

O’Hara, who is originally from Peru, has been studying Hernandez for many years, and five years ago donated to the UW Library’s Special Collections a series of CDs that show pages from the notebooks. The collection contains 18 CDs recorded from 54 notebooks, as well as physical reproductions of the notebooks themselves

Visiting from Peru for the celebration are Hernandez’s older brother Max, a psychoanalyst; Herman Schwarz, a photographer who helped O’Hara digitize the notebook pages; and Carlos Runcie Tanaka, a ceramic artist whose work has been influenced by Hernandez’s poetry.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, both Schwarz and Tanaka will be visiting UW art classes. Schwarz will speak at 11:30 a.m. at a photography seminar in 15 Art, while Tanaka will speak at 6 p.m. at the Ceramics and Metal Arts Building. After Tanaka’s talk, there will be a student art exhibition in the building.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, Tanaka and Schwarz will give a talk in Spanish on Peruvian photography and ceramic arts. That will be at 3:30 p.m. in 202 Communications.

On Friday, Oct. 28 at 3:30 p.m. in 231 Mary Gates, there will be a roundtable discussion on the life and art of Luis Hernandez, moderated by Spanish and Portuguese Studies Chair Anthony Geist. Schwarz, Tanaka and Max Hernandez will participate.

At 7 p.m. that night, there will be a bilingual reading of Hernandez’s poems. Geist will read in English; Meg McFarland, Ciara McGrath, Patrick Blaine, Ruxandra Albu, Celine Impert and Javier Rodriguez will read in Spanish. The reading will be in 231 Mary Gates.

All events are free. For further information, contact O’Hara, eog@u.washington.edu.