Tomorrow, October 6, 2013, I’ll be presenting at the Museum of South Texas History from 2 pm to 4 pm. Here’s the official press release:
Pre-Colombian Mexican Poetry Translated In Dr. Bowles’s Latest Book Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry
Author returns to Sunday Speaker Series program at 2 p.m. Oct. 6
The Museum of South Texas History welcomes back popular Rio Grande Valley (Valley) author, columnist and educator David Bowles, Ph.D. as he presents his first poetry book, “Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry” (a translation of Aztec and Mayan verse), with full-color illustrations and comprehensive glossary. Dr. Bowles’s talk will be an essential program for anyone interested in poetry and the history of Mexico. This Sunday Speaker Series program will include a question and answer session and conclude with a book signing at 2 p.m. Oct. 6. Copies of “Flower, Song, Dance” will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
During the pre-Columbian era, referring to the time preceding Christopher Columbus’s voyages of 1492 and the appearance of significant European influences, there were many civilizations no longer in existence today. Some of these, such as the Aztec and Maya, had their own written records. A vital part of their daily life was song and dance. However, all that is left of this vast tradition of lyrical verse are fewer than 200 poems, most contained in three codices or documents written just after the Spanish conquests. Employing the tools of English verse to craft accessible, powerful versions of selected songs from the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, Dr. Bowles latest book provides a translation that strikes a balance between the features of the original performance and the expectations of modern readers of poetry, bringing a neglected literary tradition to life for the 21st century.
Dr. Bowles’s love of languages, mythology and poetry started him on a path that began with researching Aztec mythology and led to the discovery of poor English translations of lost poetry due to Spanish conquests. The result was “Flower, Song, Dance,” his first published book of poetry. Audience members will learn more about the common theme of Aztec and Mayan poetry, mankind’s relationship to nature. Poetry and Mexican history buffs are sure to gain more insight into the Aztec and Mayan culture and philosophy of life. This Sunday Speaker Series presentation by Dr. Bowles is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.
About Dr. David Bowles
Dr. David Bowles is the bilingual education director at Donna Independent School District (ISD) and is a well-known Valley columnist, editor and published author of short stories, poetry and science fiction books. He earned his bachelor of arts, master of arts and doctorate degrees in education from The University of Texas Pan-American. Born in Maryland to a Naval family originally from the Valley with deep Mexican-American and Southern roots, Dr. Bowles has been a long-time resident of the Valley, where he lives with his wife and children. In addition to “Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry,” Dr. Bowles’s published works include science fiction series the “D’Angelo Chronicles,” collection of young adult short stories in collaboration with his wife, Angélica Maldonado, “The Seed: Stories from the River’s Edge” and bilingual encyclopedia with painter Noé Vela “Mexican Bestiary: Bestiario Mexicano.” He has served as editor for anthology series “Along the River: An Anthology of Voices from the Rio Grande Valley,” “Stories That Must Not Die,” “Donna Hooks Fletcher: Life and Writings” and magazines Flashquake and La Noria Literary Journal. His book review column “TOP SHELF” appears each Thursday in regional newspaper The Monitor.