Streaming Video (.MP4)

  •  Elsa Cross
  • Part 1-6:19
  • Part 2-8:06
  •  Junot Diaz
  • Part 1-9:30
  • Part 2-9:18
  •  Maria Rivera
  • Part 1-7:59
  • Part 2-6:44
  • Part 2-6:55
  •  Victor Toledo
  • Part 1-5:44
  • Part 2-8:56
  •  Rodrigo Toscano
  • Part 1-7:49
  • Part 2-9:47
  • Part 3-3:32
  • Part 4-2:43


  • Click here for .MP3 versions of the above videos.
  • If you have trouble viewing the videos, we have a selection up on our YouTube Page


Translating Cultures

Miami University – April 1-3, 2009

For three days in April 2009, Miami University hosted Translating Cultures, a writers festival that brought together an extraordinarily talented group of Latina/o and Latin American poets, novelists, playwrights and performance artists, the likes of which had never before gathered in Southwest Ohio. The organizers hoped that these readings and performances would bring a new awareness and appreciation of the work of these writers, and Meshworks is pleased now to be able to extend the conference by putting online video of selected readings and performances from the conference.

Wednesday, April 1st focused on Latin American poetry and issues of translation, with readings in Spanish and English. From Columbia: Armando Romero. From Mexico: Elsa Cross, Jorge Fernandez Granados, Myriam Moscona, Maria Rivera, Claudia Posadas, Pedro Serrano, and Victor Toledo. From Venezuela: Arturo Gutierrez. And from California by way of New York: Rodrigo Toscano.

Thursday, April 2nd began with a poetry reading by Victor Toledo. Later in the day, the focus shifted to Latina/o fiction with readings by Dominican-American novelist Angie Cruz and Mexican-American novelist Alex Espinoza. That night Dominican-American novelist and 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner in fiction, Junot Diaz, read from his work.

Friday, April 3rd was devoted to Latino playwriting and performance. In the afternoon, there was a staged reading of Carlos Morton's well-known one-act play, El Jardin, followed by Rodrigo Toscano's Collapsible Poetics Theater. The festival concluded Friday evening with La Vida Loca: An apolitical in-your-face odyssey of a Mexican Immigrant , a one-man performance piece by Carolos Manuel.

Our thanks to Eric Goodman, Director of the Conference, and to William Howe for designing the conference poster.

  Elsa Cross
Elsa Elsa Cross is a Mexican poet, literary critic and university professor. She was awarded the Aguascalientes National Poetry Award; the Jaime Sabines International Poetry Award; the Xavier Villaurrutia Award; and the Internatinal Poetry Award Jaime Sabines-Gatien Lapointe. Her works have been published in Belgium, Spain, Canada, and this year two of her works will appear in England and France. Translated into 12 languages, her poems have also been included in a variety of magazines and eighty anthologies in the Americas, Europe and Asia. She is a Professor of Philosophy of Religion, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico-UNAM.

  Junot Diaz
Junot Diaz Junot Diaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories and in The O'Henry Prize Stories 2008.

  Maria Rivera
Maria Rivera A poet and essayist, Maria Rivera was born in Mexico City in 1971. Her book Transfer of dominion/power/authority (Editorial Fund Tierra Adentro, 2000 and 2004) was awarded the "National Youth Poetry Award Elias Nandino 2000"; and There are battles (Joaquin Mortiz, 2005) won the National Poetry Award Aguascalientes 2005 and the Rota Award (EDAU, 2006). She received a poetry scholarship by the State Cultural Fund, as well as by the National Fund for Culture and the Arts. Currently she is a member of the National System of Art Creators, and the Cultural Director of the Poet's House Foundation Ramon Lopez Velarde, in Mexico City.

  Victor Toledo
Victor Toledo Poet, translator, critic, and professor (Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla-BUAP), Victor Toledo won the Nacional Prize for Young Poetry, INBA in 1983, and the Medal of "Presidential Honor Pablo Neruda",Chile, 2004. He is the scholarship holder of the Mexican Center of Writers in Bellas Artes as well as CONACULTA. He has published numerous creative and critical works, most recently El Retorno orfico. Aportaciones al analisis metrico-musical, BUAP, 2008.

  Rodrigo Toscano
Rodrigo Toscano Rodrigo Toscano is the author of To Leveling Swerve, Platform, The Disparities, and Partisans. His new book, Collapsible Poetics Theater , was a National Poetry Series selection for 2007. Toscano is also the writer and artistic coordinator for the Collapsible Poetics Theater (CPT). Toscano writes and publishes poetic works in Spanish. His writing has also been translated into French, German, Catalonian, and Italian. Toscano is originally from San Diego, California. He has been based in Brooklyn for over nine years, and works in Manhattan at the Labor Insititue.