Bates' Language Arts Live series events span November

Longtime Maine poet Theodore Enslin and poet-artist-filmmaker Cecilia Vicuña take part in the Bates College Language Arts Live series in November.

Featuring noted writers reading from their work, Language Arts Live events are open to the public at no cost. The series is sponsored by the English department, the environmental studies and Spanish programs, the Learning Associates Program, the Bates Humanities Fund and the John Tagliabue Poetry fund. For more information, contact

Vicuña offers an exhibition and reading at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, in the Benjamin Mays Center, 95 Russell St. Born in Chile, Vicuña is the author of 16 books and performs and exhibits her work across the globe. She is also a founding member of Artists for Democracy, a political activism group.

Her artwork has been featured at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. An anthology of 500 years of Latin American poetry that she co-edited with Ernesto Livon Grosman was published in July. She is the 2009-10 Estelle Lebowitz Visiting Artist-in-Residence at Rutgers University.

Her artwork has been described by the New York Times as “both deliberate and accidental . . . formally spare, conceptually abstract, providing a nudge in the direction of feelings and ideas rather than a wrapped-up statement.”

Vicuña’s documentary film “Kon Kon,” a work-in-progress due for release this year, will be shown at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, in Room 104 of the Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St. Set near Aconcagua in Argentina, the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere, the film explores connections between Vicuña’s work and ancient tradition, while revealing local ecological and cultural destruction due to globalization and industrialization.

The site was Vicuña’s first foray into the distinctive artwork she creates: “precarious,” or ephemeral installations in nature, and this journey is depicted in the film.

Maine poet Enslin of Milbridge reads from his work at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30. Enslin’s musical style of avant-garde poetry has won national acclaim (he is famously quoted as saying, that he “likes to be considered as a composer who happens to use words instead of notes”).

A Maine resident since 1960, Enslin has found both a backdrop and significant inspiration in the state’s landscape and the isolation of his home.

He has published 118 books of poetry in the past 60 years, and more recently released a 20-CD series of readings. The Bangor Daily News said of Enslin’s most recent book of poetry, “Nine” (National Poetry Foundation, 2003), that “the meaning of the poems is intended to be heard, not seen. Every line is composed as an element in a melody, not as an idea.”

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