Emilio Jesús Taiveaho peláez was born in Quito, Ecuador, to a Finnish father and an Ecuadorian mother. They spent their childhood romping along the Andes and listening to condors and cara-caras cackle koans overhead. As a teenager, they migrated to a country called the Midwest, where they learned to make maps by listening to limestone and to the backwater-saxophone melodies of the Mississippi River. Having fallen in love with language and the world-making weight of words, Emilio is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Hemispheric American poetry and poetics at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Statement on this year’s theme, The Citizen Poet: Work and Reconciliation
“Surfacing from the flesh-eye of a first-generation immigrant (who is not a USAmerican citizen, but is a citizen of Language), these poems seek to reckon with the colonial legacy of our common places–including our common languages and poetic forms, particularly the American lyric–in order to unfold new possibilities for thought, affect, and experience. Rather than lyricize and universalize the experience of life in a violent (hemispheric) political landscape, these poems practice polyphony and dissidence; working to participate in a heterogenous and agonistic voice by incorporating fragments of found language, overheard conversations, and untranslations into Spanish”.
Participation at the 2019 West End Poetry Festival
- Curated open mic | Thursday, October 17 | 6:30 pm | Cats Cradle Back Room
For a full schedule and descriptions of all sessions, see the festival schedule.