Poetry Everywhere
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Maurice Kilwein Guevara

Doña Josefina Counsels Doña Concepción Before Entering Sears

In much of his poetry Maurice Kilwein Guevara explores the tensions immigrants experience living in Middle America. He understands these tensions from his own experience straddling two distinct cultures. Born in Belencito, Colombia in 1961, Kilwein Guevara grew up in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in English and Psychology in 1983, and received an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 1986. Since then, he has published three collections of poetry, two of which, Postmortem (1994) and Autobiography of So-and-So: Poems in Prose (2001), trace his early experiences en route from Colombia to Pennsylvania. The other, Poems of the River Spirit (1996), explores similarities between the two countries and cultures that so powerfully influenced his life. In "Doña Josefina Counsels Doña Concepción Before Entering Sears" Kilwein Guevara examines the desire to assimilate culturally in the face of language barriers and stereotypes. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. Kilwein Guevara is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he teaches graduate-level courses in creative writing and Latino studies. This animation was created by Kristin Vogel. The poem is read here by Maurice Kilwein Guevara.

To read this and other poems by Maurice Kilwein Guevara, as well as biographical information about the poet, please visit the Poetry Foundation Web site.