Common Ground

Publishing-in-Transit: CantoMundo

Featuring Deborah Paredez, Carmen Tafolla, Norma E. Cantú, and Cole Swensen


12 p.m. Eastern / 9 a.m. Pacific

Cofounders of CantoMundo Deborah Paredez, Carmen Tafolla, and Norma E. Cantú join writer and critic Cole Swensen for a conversation on literary publishing. We open and conclude with readings from our guests.

In this talk

Deborah Paredez

An image of Deborah Paredez.
Poet and cultural critic Deborah Paredez is the author of the poetry volumes This Side of Skin (Wings Press, 2002) and Year of the Dog (BOA Editions, 2020), and the critical study Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory (Duke UP, 2009). Her poetry and essays have appeared in Poetry magazine, the New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. She is the cofounder and for a decade served as codirector (2009-2019) of CantoMundo, a national organization for Latinx poets. She lives in New York City where she teaches creative writing and ethnic studies at Columbia University.

Carmen Tafolla

An image of Carmen Tafolla.
Poet, author, teacher, educational consultant, and sought-after speaker and performer Carmen Tafolla is a native of the West-Side barrios of San Antonio, Texas, Tafolla earned a BA, MA, a PhD from the University of Texas, Austin. Tafolla has published five books of poetry, eight children’s picture books, seven television screenplays, one non-fiction volume, and a collection of short stories. She also co-authored with filmographer Sylvia Morales a feature-length film comedy entitled REAL MEN… and other miracles. Her works are archived at the University of Texas Benson Latin American Collection.

Norma Elia Cantú

Photo of Norma E. Cantú.
Writer and CantoMundo co-founder Norma Elia Cantú is the President of the American Folklore Society and Murchison Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Her research and creative writing have earned her an international reputation as a scholar, poet, and novelist. Her most recent publications include the co-edited anthologies Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldua: Pedagogies and Practices for Our Classrooms and our Communities and meXicana Fashions: Politics, Self-Adornment, and Identity Construction; the novel Cabanuelas; and Meditacion Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life, and Labor. Dr. Cantú serves on the Ad-Hoc Board of Macondo Writers Workshop and the Board of Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.

Cole Swensen

A black and white photo of poet Cole Swensen.
Photo by Anthony Hayward
Poet Cole Swensen is the author of 17 volumes of poetry and a collection of critical essays, Noise That Stays Noise. A book of hybrid poem-essays, Art in Time, was published by Nightboat in 2021. A former Guggenheim Fellow, she has been a finalist for the National Book Award and has been awarded the Iowa Poetry Prize, the SF State Poetry Center Book Award, and the National Poetry Series. She has also translated over 20 volumes of poetry, prose, and art criticism from French and won the 2004 PEN USA Award in Literary Translation.

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