An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Cecilia Vicuña and Rosa Alcalá

March 25, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm


Join us for a VIRTUAL reading by Cecilia Vicuña and Rosa Alcalá, followed by a conversation with Pitt Associate Professor and writer Angie Cruz.

Artist-poet Cecilia Vicuña creates songs, performances, installations, paintings, films, written works, books, lectures, and sculptures. Born in Chile, profoundly impacted by the encouraging time of Allende, the subsequent terrors of Pinochet and decades lived in exile, Vicuña makes work that is always attentive to ethics, the earth, and history. Her object making includes “precarios”- precarious works - composed of fragile materials, (sticks, feathers, leaves, stones, bones…) that disappear, regenerating the life force, and major large-scale installations of “quipus,” dyed wool and fibers inspired by the complex Andean record keeping system of sets of knotted cords, a forgotten system she transforms into poems in space, tactile representations of the interconnectedness between cosmological, natural, and human realms. Her improvisatory, participatory performances, often associated with site-specific installations, emphasize the collective nature of action and creativity to bring forth justice, balance and transformation of the world. Cecilia Vicuña's solo exhibit “About to Happen” opened at MoCA North Miami in December, 2019. Her retrospective “Seehearing the Enlightened Failure” recently traveled from the Witte de With in Rotterdam to MUAC in Mexico City, where it opened in February, 2020. Her works are included in museum collections such as the Tate London, MoMA New York, Guggenheim Museum, Museo de Arte Contemporaìneo de Chile, Museo de Arte de Lima and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Santiago de Chile. Her most recent group shows include New MoMA 2019, Five Artists Take on the Future at the Guggenheim Museum, 2019, and Radical Women: Latin American Art 1960- 1985, presented at the Hammer Museum and The Brooklyn Museum, and Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo. In 2017, her work was part of the 14th Documenta in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany. Vicuña is the author of 25 books of art and poetry. She is the co-founder of, dedicated to empower indigenous knowledge systems. Vicuña lives and works in New York and Santiago de Chile.

Rosa Alcalá is the author of three books of poetry, most recently MyOTHER TONGUE (Futurepoem, 2017). Her poems appear in numerous anthologies and journals, including Best American Poetry 2019American Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement, The Nation, and American Poetry Review. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, and runner-up for a PEN Translation Award, she is the editor and co-translator of New & Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña (Kelsey Street Press, 2018). She is professor of creative writing at the University of Texas at El Paso, where she teaches in its Bilingual MFA Program.

Location and Address

This is an online event, co-sponsored with the Center for African America Poetry and Poetics. Check back soon for a link!