Friday, March 05, 2010

Benefit for Tato Laviera

Please consider donating to help Tato Laviera. (NY Times article on his current situation New York Times article on Tato Laviera.) Just last semester and several semesters before, he was a visiting writer at the university here en El Valle. He worked tirelessly with students and faculty in the Cosecha Voices program. Students from migrant farm working backgrounds wrote testimonios under Tato's and Dr. Stephanie Alvarez's direction and continue to perform their work all over the country. Tato was also a visiting writing in our mfa program and worked with me and our students to put on two Edinburgo Poets' Cafe performances. We all know Tato as a major poet, and I want to emphasize that he is also an incredible advocate for social justice, in New York, in his poetry, and beyond... especially here in la frontera -- a very real place that sounds abstract in the national and global news despite these times of very real and newly-erected border walls -- a place where Tato has motivated students to write about their lives and experiences and helped them break silences up on the stage. Please take a look at these two opportunities to donate to help him during this time. "It Takes a Village to Heal a Poet" poster and the campaign link below:

"Minnerican (Minnesota Puerto Rican) graphic artist Ricardo Levins Morales has created a poster to benefit Nuyorican poet Tato Laviera who is facing major health and housing challenges. The poster is available for $15.00 at Half the proceeds will go to Tato's support fund. They are also available for discounted bulk purchase to sell at events. Please forward this message widely. (Also click this link to The Point, to donate directly. None of the donations will be released unless we meet the goal)."

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