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St. John’s Welcomes Ecuadorian Poet

The poet from Riobamba, Ecuador and president of La Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, Gabriel Cisneros, arrived in New York to launch his latest book of poetry, “20 giros en la pólvora.”
The event was held at the consulate general office of Ecuador in New York and co-sponsored by Epsilon Kappa, St. John’s University, Queens campus chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Hispanic Honor Society.
Cisneros was introduced by Marie-Lise Gazarian, professor of Spanish and director of the graduate program in Spanish at St. John’s University.
“I have invited poets, artists and interviewed writers,” Gazarian said. “The purpose is to foster pride – no one realizes the importance of our writers.”
During the presentation, Cisneros, read from a selection of his seventh poetic work, which took him six to eight months to complete.
Cisneros indicated that his poetic thinking developed during his childhood.
“A child plays, runs, and begins to sing like a mad person,” Cisneros said. “The silence that we feel when we are children playing, without even knowing it, is poetry.”
Cisneros noted that his first steps in the poetic world were love letters, not knowing that when he was done, were poems. He added that his inspiration derived from solitude.
“In loneliness, love is more heavenly,” Cisneros said. “And in that emptiness, we find ourselves alone.”
His method has been to write the body of the poem first and then find a title.
“What you feel, what hurts, that is what drives you to the title,” Cisneros said.
According to Cisneros, a married father of three, he is proud of his native country.
“I have no plans to move out of Ecuador, but I would like to visit other countries and Europe,” Cisneros said.
“I am inspired when I am by myself and I write what I feel, especially what has happened in my life,” said Alexandra Restrepo, 42, of Rockaway, Queens.
“I support the Latinos, I promote student culture,” Gazarian said. ”The written tongue, to have pride, and what comes with the tongue – poetry and arts.”
“Words are an empty space that we can always translate,” said Cisneros.

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