Acclaimed poet Paul Ceballos coming to campus Feb. 2

WWU will host poet Paul Hlava Ceballos to campus for a public performance at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m., in Carver 104. This event is free and open to the entire campus community.

Ceballos' award-winning new book, banana []out of the University of Pittsburgh Press, is steeped in research and history. banana [ ] reveals the extractive relationship the United States has with the Americas and its people through poetic portraits of migrants, family, and memory. The title poem is part poetry and part reportage that traces the history of bananas in Latin America using only found text from sources such as history books, declassified CIA documents, and commercials. The book includes collage, Ecuadorian decimas, sonnets, and a long poem interspersed with photos and the author’s mother’s bilingual idioms. Traversing language and borders, global and personal histories, traditional and invented forms, this book guides us beyond survival to love.

Some of the praise for Ceballos' new book includes:

"Paul Hlava Ceballos’s banana [ ]  renders personal and cultural histories. The personal and naturally political, Eden and Hades converge into a landscape of experimental form  that propels us forward. Names and places pay tribute in the languages  of everyday life to bear witness and celebrate human rituals — familial  and communal. In banana [ ], Hlava Ceballos exacts these poems with such caring precision, fully resonant, lit by earth and sky."

- Yusef Komunyakaa, author of Everyday Mojo Songs

"Ceballos’s balance of archival footage with imagined voices of the past brings into sharp focus questions of empire, inheritance, and legacy in ways that resonate beyond national and cultural borders."

- The Poetry Foundation

Paul Hlava Ceballos is the author of banana [ ], winner of the 2021 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, chosen by Ilya Kaminsky (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022). He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Artist Trust, and the Poets House. His work has been published in Poetry Magazine, Pleiades, Triquarterly, Poetry Northwest, BOMB, and Narrative Magazine, among other journals and newspapers, has been translated to the Ukrainian, and nominated for the Pushcart. He currently lives in Seattle, where he practices echocardiography.

Ceballos' performance is sponsored by English Department, the Latin American Studies Program, the Modern and Classical Languages Department, the History Department, and the Sociology Department.