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Marcos McPeek Villatoro. Photo courtesy of Michelle McPeek
Two-time Emmy-Award winner and University of Iowa alumnus Marcos McPeek Villatoro will visit the UI campus and local community Sept. 15-18 thanks to a collaboration between the UI Chief Diversity Office and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
A free screening of Villatoro's new film, Camino Tamalero (Tamale Road): A Memoir from El Salvador will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, in the Buchanan Auditorium, Room W10 Pappajohn Business Building (PBB), followed by a Q&A with Villatoro as the writer, director, and producer.
A reception will be held at 6 p.m. prior to the film screening and discussion in the PBB West Gallery. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.
A trailer of the documentary film gives a glimpse into Tamale Road: A Memoir from El Salvador.
Both the reception and the film screening and discussion are free and open to the public.
Villatoro will also present a free reading of his poetry and fiction at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, in the Frank Conroy Reading Room of the Glenn Schaeffer Library, adjacent to the Dey House.
He will participate in other events during his visit including a community showing of the film in West Liberty on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m. at the New Strand Theatre, which is also free and open to the public. He will also meet with UI students in the Undergraduate Creative Writing Track as well as with student organizations.
—Marcos McPeek Villatoro
Villatoro will participate in a potluck hosted by the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead, the Latino Male Consortium, and the Latino Council from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the UI Latino Native American Cultural Center, located at 308 Melrose Ave in Iowa City. This event is also free and open to the public.
"I loved my years in Iowa, but back then, I didn't see many fellow Latinos," Villatoro says. "Today, they're all over. Iowa's going multicultural. 'Tamale Road' is a celebration of that diversity. It's set in El Salvador, but it's for all people who desire to learn more about their own culture."
Villatoro's visit highlights the start of national Latina/o Heritage Month, which is Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, according to Rachel Gatewood, senior multicultural specialist in the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment.
"We are thrilled to welcome Villatoro back to campus and looking forward to introducing the university and community to his memoir,” Gatewood says.
Villatoro, a two-time Emmy Award winner, is the author of six novels, two collections of poetry, and a memoir. His Romilia Chacón crime fiction books have won national acclaim including being named a Best Book of 2001 by the Los Angeles Times.
Villatoro holds the Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair in Writing at Mount St. Mary's College. He has performed on NPR and appears regularly on KCET Television in Los Angeles. Recently Villatoro and his family returned from El Salvador, where they shot the documentary "Tamale Road."
He teaches and lectures on poetry, fiction, nonfiction, the Latino and Appalachian worlds, and tamales. His books are taught in colleges and high schools across the country.
He graduated from the UI with a master's degree in English in 1985 and later graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop with a Master of Fine Arts in English in 1998.
The UI Chief Diversity Office is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment where individuals and their ideas, contributions, and goals are acknowledged, respected, and valued.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events.
If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend the reception and film screening Sept. 16, contact Rachel Gatewood with the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment in advance at 319-335-3555.
For those needing a reasonable accommodation to attend the Sept. 18 Dey House reading, contact the Iowa Writers' Workshop in advance at 319-335-0416.
For a UI arts calendar and details about upcoming events visit the Arts Iowa website.
For a UI diversity calendar and details about upcoming events visit Diversity@IOWA.