AVON PARK, Fla. – Sept. 29, 2017 – In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the SFSC Library will host a Bilingual Poetry Reading and Open Mic Night on Thursday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Tasha Morales, project director of Re-Engineering Our Future at SFSC, and Claire A. Miller, SFSC librarian, collaborated to develop this celebration of Hispanic poetry in both English and Spanish. Morales will read at the event and will be joined by Michelle Macbeth, who teaches Spanish at SFSC, as well as students from the college. Attendees are invited to listen or read works by famous Hispanic poets in both English and Spanish.

Morales shared that the inspiration for this event was intended to raise awareness of Hispanic poets and restore a sense of normality after the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Some of our students are still dealing with the aftereffects of the storms both here and for family in Puerto Rico and other affected areas,” she said. “This event will be a celebration of culture and resilience in this stressful time.”

“Hispanic poets form an impressive body of work in English, Spanish, and other languages,” Miller said. “I’m excited to share this poetry with new listeners.”

Miller is collecting poems for volunteer readers to share. She noted that some poems will be read in both English and Spanish, as a collaborative performance, while others will be read only in the language in which they were first written.

“Poetry written in Spanish has a different sound than English verse,” Miller said. “For example, Pablo Neruda’s work in translation always sounded odd to me, but after I heard it read in Spanish for the first time, I understood much more of the structure and lyric nature of his poetry.”

In addition to poetry and performance, the reading will feature light refreshments and door prizes. The Bilingual Poetry Night and Open Mic will be held on the first floor of Building Y (Learning Resources Center) on the Highlands Campus. To get to Building Y, take Entrance 3 or 4 from West College Drive. For more information, contact Miller at 863-784-7305 or Morales 863-784-7401.