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2007.09.11 > For Immediate Release
contact: Beverly Newsam - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: bnewsam@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO to Host Latino-American Poet Francisco X. Alarcón Sept. 19

Omaha - Latino-American poet and scholar Francisco X. Alarcón will give a talk and attend a book signing Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). The event - part of the Del and Lou Ann Weber Lecture Series and co-sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council - will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center and is free and open to the public.

Alarcón, an award-winning author of children's and adult literature, is director of the Spanish for Native Speakers Program at the University of California, Davis and was a recipient of Danforth and Fulbright fellowships. He earned his undergraduate degree from California State University, Long Beach and a graduate degree from Stanford University. Alarcón has also published several textbooks for teaching Spanish at the college and high school levels and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Children Book Press - a nonprofit press that has published multicultural books for children for more than 25 years in San Francisco - from 1997 to 2003.

"I have been privileged to attend many of Francisco's presentations; he is inspirational, very down to earth and always captivates the audience. I always leave his presentations knowing I, too, am a poet," said Gigi Brignoni, assistant professor of teacher education at UNO. "His presentations throughout the Omaha area are a wonderful way to begin Hispanic Heritage Month."

The Sep. 19 event will feature a poetry reading led by Alarcón, who also will talk about the writing process and share stories. The Bookworm will be selling five of his children's books at the book signing, as well as several of his adult poetry books and a CD.

"In addition to Francisco Alarcón's Wednesday (4:30 p.m.) performance at the W.H. Thompson Alumni Center, his visit to Omaha includes appearances at six Omaha schools and several community events," said Susan McWilliams, assistant professor of teacher education at UNO. "Alarcón's visit represents faculty and student community service work on behalf of a new not-for-profit group in the College of Education called the Omaha Family Literacy Partnership."

On Sunday, Sept. 16, Alarcón will present "Poetry Reading & Storytelling" at 2 p.m. at the W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St. He will then attend "An Evening with Francisco Alarcón" Monday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. at El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St. Both events are free and open to the public, but attendees will have the opportunity to purchase some of Alarcón's works.

"By collaborating with Omaha Public Schools, El Museo Latino and the Omaha Public Library, we can serve the community much more effectively than we can alone. We are excited about the possibilities for rich dialogue associated with Francisco Alarcón's visit to Omaha," McWilliams said.

For more information, contact Brignoni at (402) 554-2604 or McWilliams at (402) 554-3457.

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