October 13-14: Pedro Mir Symposium

Free Admission | Pre-Registration with Eventbrite: https://tinyurl.com/mirsymposium

**Spanish-English bilingual interpretation will be available at all events in the Symposium.**

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY (October 4, 2018) – Word Up Community Bookshop  is proud to present the first Pedro Mir Symposium in honor of writer, scholar and poet laureate of the Dominican Republic, PEDRO MIR (1913-2000), considered among the most beloved and respected literary figures in the Dominican Republic of the 20th Century. Mir wrote poems, including his famous “Hay un país en el mundo”, about Dominican workers young and old, as well as historical scholarship that addressed the legacies of colonialism and slavery in his country. In 1947, Mir was exiled by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo for fifteen years. Mir came back to the Dominican Republic in 1962 and remained there until his death in 2000. He was awarded the Dominican Republic’s National Prize for History (1975) and it’s National Prize for Literature for lifetime achievement (1993). In 1984 was appointed the Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic by the Dominican Congress. One of his most well-known books of poetry, Contracanto a Walt Whitman, has been translated into English and published together with a selection of other translated poems: Countersong to Walt Whitman, and Other Poems (1993, 2nd ed. 2017). Mir’s translator, Jonathan Cohen, will be participating in the panel “Mir in Translation” on Sunday, October 14 (see more below). Cohen’s translation, as well as Mir’s Poesía completa and his Letras dispersas, will all be available for sale.  

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13: Day One of the Pedro Mir Symposium

1pm: “Mir in the Dominican Context” panel including participants:

Silvio Torres-Saillant (Syracuse University, see full bio below)

Ginetta Candelario (Smith College)

Zaida Corniel (Stony  Brook University)

3pm: “Approaches to Mir” panel including participants:

Roberto Márquez (Mount Holyoke College)

Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Princeton University)

David Cortés Cabán (Hostos Community College)


5pm: Writer Miriam Mejía (www.miriammejia.com) reads, followed by a reception

6pm: Keynote Speech by SILVIO TORRES-SAILLANT on the work of Pedro Mir  [Held at Alianza Dominicana—530 West 166th Street]

Professor of English and Dean’s Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University and founding director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at the City College of New York, Silvio Torres-Saillant’s research centers on intellectual history, Latino discourse, ethnic American literatures, comparative poetics, and the racial regimes spawned by the colonial transaction. He has authored Caribbean Poetics (1997; 2nd ed. 2013), El tigueraje intelectual (2002; 2nd ed. 2011), Introduction to Dominican Blackness (1999; 2nd ed. 2010), An Intellectual History of the Caribbean (2006), Diasporic Disquisitions: Dominicanists, Transnationalism, and the Community (2000), and El retorno de las yolas: Ensayos sobre diáspora, democracia y dominicanidad (1999). He is co-editor of The Challenges of Higher Education in the Hispanic Caribbean (2004), Desde la orilla: Hacia una nacionalidad sin desalojos (2004), and Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, Vol. IV (2002). He is currently at work on “Racial Selfhoods: The Rise of Western Identity and the Fracture of the Human.” He delivered a “special lecture” (Círculo de Conferencias Especiales) during the Dominican Republic’s XIX International Book Fair Santo Domingo 2016 and gave the keynote address to open the 58th Casa de las Américas Literary Prize, in Havana, Cuba in 2017. In 2018, he was the opening keynote speaker in the conference “Global Dominican—Politics, Economics, and Cultural Production” held at the Senate House, University of London, England, UK. Torres-Saillant held his first faculty position in the English Department of Hostos Community College, of the City University of New York.

7:30pm: Mir-influenced reading at Alianza Dominicana. Readers include, among others:


  • Dinorah Coronado
  • Juan Matos Cuevas
  • David Cortés Cabán


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14: Day Two of the Pedro Mir Symposium

3pm: “Pedro Mir in Translation” panel at Word Up with participants:

Sintia Molina (St. Francis College)

Rosa Mirna Sánchez (Caldwell University)

Translator Jonathan Cohen (jonathancohenweb.com)


Word Up Community Bookshop is a multilingual, general-interest community bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights, New York City, committed to preserving and building a neighborhood in which all residents help each other to live better informed and more expressive lives, using books as an instrument of reciprocal education and exchange, empowering not only themselves, but their community.


Reviewers and press inquiries, please contact:

Daniella Gitlin, info@wordupbooks.com

Tel: 347-688-4456 | www.wordupbooks.com


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