Ernesto Livon Grosman will present “Mapping the Americas,” a combination talk and bi-lingual reading, in the New Writing Series on Thursday, October 4, at 4:30pm in the Soderberg Center Auditorium (Jenness Hall) on the flagship campus of the University of Maine system in Orono. This event is free & open to the public, though seating is limited. UMaine Associate Professor Carla Billitteri, a member of the Poetry and Poetics faculty and an affiliate of the National Poetry Foundation, will introduce and host this special event commemorating the legacy of Milton Ellis.
Ernesto Livon-Grosman is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies in the Department of Romance Languages and Cultures at Boston College. He is co-editor of The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology, from Oxford University Press. He also has several ongoing digitalization projects; among them is Ailleurs, a journal on poetics and visual arts published in Paris by Uruguayan poet Carmelo Arden Quin during the early 1960s. The digitalization of Ailleurs is part of a larger project designed to make available, through the web, out of print South American journals dedicated to experimental writing. The first example of these efforts is XULdigital, a public project made possible thanks to O’Neill Library and Boston College.
Livon-Grosman was born and raised in Buenos Aires. In his early twenties, he moved to Patagonia, where he developed an interest in the history and the politics of that region. He later published Geografias imaginarias, a study about travel writers who created a mythical iconography of the Patagonian landscape, one in which the region is viewed as an uninhabited space despite the indigenous groups that have been living in the area for centuries. During the last military dictatorship, Livon-Grosman emigrated to Costa Rica. He went back to Argentina in 1983 after the return of the democratic government.
In addition to his work as a translator, scholar, and poet, Livon-Grosman also directed the film Cartoneros in 2006. The film uses the voice of a fictional narrator who comes back to Argentina after living many years abroad to tell the story of the new and expanding business of informal recycling as done by thousands of unemployed industrial workers. The film looks at a particular social crisis that was magnified by the financial breakdown of 2001 and inquires about the state of the long tradition of underground social organizations that have defined Argentina during the 20th century. How do people react to a crisis that sweeps aside all expectations of prosperity? What kind of alternative is possible in response to such a social and economic crisis? What does art have to say—if anything—about a process that challenges our sense of priorities? And what is this multi-million dollar informal activity telling us about what might be the ultimate environmental nightmare? These are some of the questions that Cartoneros would like to pose.
Thursday’s event marks the fifth annual Milton Ellis Memorial celebration. The Milton Ellis Memorial Fund was established in 2007 through a bequest from George H. Ellis (University of Maine ’41). Dr. Milton Ellis (1885-1947) was George Ellis’s father and a nationally known scholar and educator who long served as the English Department Chair at UMaine and edited the New England Quarterly between 1937-1945.
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The UMaine New Writing Series is sponsored by the English Department and the National Poetry Foundationwith support from the Lloyd H. Elliott fund, the Milton Ellis Memorial Fund, the Honors College, and the Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Committee. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the Pulp & Paper Foundation for the use of the Soderberg Center. For more information contact Steve Evans at steven dot evans at maine dot edu or at 207-581-3818.
If you have a disability that requires accommodation for a NWS event, please contact Ann Smith in the office of Disability Support Service, 121 East Annex, 581-2319 (Voice) or 581-2311 (TDD).