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HCC faculty member Kent Johnson publishes Uruguayan poetry collection

FREEPORT Highland Community College is pleased to announce the publication of English and Spanish instructor Dr. Kent Johnsons recent collaboration Hotel Lautramont: Contemporary Poetry from Uruguay. Johnson co-edited the bilingual anthology of Uruguayan poetry with esteemed Latin-American poet and critic Roberto Echavarren.

Dr. Kent Johnson

Johnson began the tedious process of selecting, editing and acquiring permission for materials almost three years ago. A childhood resident of Montevideo, he returned to Uruguay and sought the expertise of Echavarren a poet with whom he was already familiar. Echavarren and over a dozen translators helped bring the concept to fruition, the first of its kind in almost 40 years.

Our book focuses on work done since 1970 by the most innovative Uruguayan poets, said Johnson.As I mention in myPreface to the book, there are certainly other poets ofprominence that could have been included, but we opted for a targeted selection of work by the leading names in the Uruguayanpoetic field.

Johnson explained that like many written art forms in the international community, Uruguayan poetry is well-respected but lagging in English translation. He hopes the anthology will provide an introduction to some extraordinary writers and lead to other translatorsengaging their work at greater length.

The bilingual presentation of a collection is hardly a new concept in poetry. However, the Harvard Review online journal is allowing the practice to evolve by highlighting six selections from Hotel Lautramont in its first ever interactive bilingual poetry feature.

Johnson has been previously recognized for his translation efforts by the PEN Literary Awards and has been named State Teacher of the Year by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association during his two decades at Highland. He is also the recipient of a Pushcart Book of the Month Award, an Illinois Arts Council Poetry Award, an NEA Literature Fellowship, and a Lalicorne Residency in Montevideo.

Detailed information about the anthology and its online publication in the Harvard Review is available at

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