On Thursday April 12, Western Carolina University partnered with indigenous poets from North Carolina and Mexico to host a Transnational Indigenous Poetry event. WCU welcomed Kimberly L Becker, a poet of mixed Cherokee, Celtic, and Teutonic descent, and was joined through video calling with the Tsotsil Maya Collective Snichimal Vayuchil. Poems were translated and read in Spanish, Tsotsil, and English.
Kimberly L. Becker felt especially inspired to learn Spanish after she heard her worked translated out loud in the language for the first time. She was amazed to hear a Spanish speaker read the Cherokee words in her poems. Kimberly has a new book of poetry coming out in the Fall called Flight.
The Snichimal Vayuchil, or Flowery dream, is a book of translated poetry that came out of a experimental poetry workshop and published by The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota in conjunction with North Dakota Quarterly. The Snichimal poets said “we were honored to read with Becker, and we hope to participate in events like this in the future.” The poetry is in Tsotsil then translated into Spanish, and then translated into English by Paul Worley. The poetry reflects upon indigenous communities as well as the contributions indigenous literature is making today.