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Nationally renowned poet at 'Dances with Words'

UMW News Bureau

Poet and performance artist Edwin Torres will be featured at this year’s final installment of the University of Montana Western’s acclaimed “Dances with Words” series on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 7 p.m. in the small auditorium of UMW's Main Hall. By Wally Feldt [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Edwin Torres performing."]Edwin Torres[/caption] Poet and performance artist Edwin Torres will be featured at this year’s final installment of the University of Montana Western’s acclaimed “Dances with Words” series. Torres will read Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 7 p.m. in the small auditorium of Main Hall on the Montana Western campus. He is also the guest artist for the UMW Visiting Writer Seminar. “I first met Edwin Torres at George Mason University,” Montana Western English instructor Rebecca Knotts said. “He conducted a writing workshop for graduate students. During the workshop we shared our creative dreams, chanted our words aloud and found poetry in the fragments of each other’s musings. The creative dance I participated in that day reminded me of why poetry mattered, the pure delight of creative sound.” A native of Puerto Rico, Torres was working as a graphic designer when he discovered the Nuyorican Poets Café, a non-profit organization that has become a forum for poetry, music, video, visual arts, comedy and theater. He started creating text and performance work under the banner of Interactive Eclecticism, an invented movement whose purposefully broad term gave his one-man variety shows a forum. Torres has collaborated with a wide range of artists, creating performances that intermingle poetry with vocal and physical improvisation, sound elements and visual theater. Torres is the author of several books. His latest, “In the Function of External Circumstances,” was released in fall 2009. Torres’ work has been published in a variety of publications including Poetry Nation, Rolling Stone magazine and the New York magazine, and in anthologies such as “Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.” His poem “I Saw Your Empire State Building” was included in the book “Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam.” Torres has appeared on national television on MTV’s Spoken Word and the Charlie Rose Show. His CD “Holy Kid” was part of the exhibition, “The American Century, Part Two,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, New York. “I have carried his teaching methods with me to the University of Montana Western and share his writing exercises with my students, to their delight and dismay when they realize they are writing poetry and like it,” Knotts added. “I have also shared his collection ‘Fractured Humorous’ and his CD ‘Holy Kid’ with students until they have pleaded with me to find a way to bring Torres to Dillon.” Montana Western’s English department sponsors the Dances with Words series, which features visiting writers and poets. The series is funded by the university and local patrons. The series received additional support through a $1,000 “Opportunity Grant” from Humanities Montana.
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