Rolling Reading Series to host Latino writer

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Writer Ito Romo will read at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in Paterno Library’s Foster Auditorium. As part of the Mary E. Rolling Reading Series, this event is free and open to the public.

Ito Romo was born and raised on the border in Laredo, Texas. His recent work, dubbed “Chicano Noir,” shows the dark and gritty life along Interstate 35 through South Texas, where his family has lived for nine generations. He is the author of "The Border is Burning" (2013) and "El Puente/The Bridge" (2001), published by University of New Mexico Press. He lives in San Antonio and is an associate professor of English and communications studies at St. Mary’s University, where he teaches Composition, Creative Writing, Mexican-American Literature and Multi-cultural Literature.

María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, author of "The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas" and the "Age of Development" said of Romo: “Romo’s short stories cut the reader like a knife. His dark and authentic vision of life along the border captures the gritty reality of social relations in the era of free trade and narco economics. There are no innocents on either side of the U.S./Mexico divide. Everyone is implicated in the exchange of drugs, love, guns, grace and bodily fluids. Romo’s riveting gothic prose is a fresh iteration of Latino noir, the perfect antidote to the saccharine-sweet convention of minority fiction, firmly placing him in the company of John Rechy and Junot Diaz.”

The reading is sponsored by the Department of English in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State.  Additional sponsorship for this event is provided by the Mary E. Rolling Endowment, the Joseph L. Grucci Poetry Endowment, the Latina/o Studies Program, the Institute for Arts and Humanities, the Paterno Fellows Program, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the University Libraries and the College of the Liberal Arts.

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