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2021 International Literature Festival inspired by Dante Alighieri

Casa Cultural de las Américas (CCA), in association with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), presents the International Literature Festival Houston 2021—six exciting evenings featuring renowned writers from Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Venezuela!


DAY 1—Thursday, November 4, 6:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Livestream Kickoff from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston


Mauricio Hussmann, Master of Ceremonies, welcomed participants to the event.


Inauguration by Elizabeth Quila, Chairman of the Board

Words by Mari Carmen Ramirez, Wortham Curator of Latin-American Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston.


Words by James Harris, Speaker HEB, Diamond Partners.


David Medina, Director of Multicultural Community Relations at Rice University, and Elizabeth Quila, presented the Festival's memory book “Por el mundo sin fin” ("For a world without end"): Fragments of poems by Raul Zurita (Chile), Reina Maria Rodriguez (Cuba), Raul Vallejo (Ecuador), Olvido Garcia Valdes (Spain), Elsa Cross and Gloria Gervitz (Mexico), Mario Montalbetti (Peru), Mara Pastor (Puerto Rico) and Maria Auxiliadora Alvarez (Venezuela). This memory of the International Literature Festival of Houston 2021 includes some illustrations by Hector de Anda. With this book we propose to resume the habit of looking at ourselves, reading ourselves, listening to ourselves and loving ourselves within what we are and what we do from these nine voices entrusted to Casa Cultural de las Americas.


Reading poems in English and Spanish by International Leadership of Texas (ILT), Katy Westpark High School students (Tricia Vasquez, Angelly Peña, Nathania Kwik, Seinyi-Abasi Odungide, Barbara Magrane, Russell Leach and Isabella Salazar) coordinated by Professor Fernando Blesa, who attested that when art is sown in young people, the fruits are more beautiful.


Presentation of awards on behalf of the Houston mayor's office by Teresa Martin to: Fernando Blesa, Dr. Laura Carrasco, ILT representatives; and Isabella Salazar, CCA Outstanding Volunteer.


Closing the first day of the Festival, with the musical participation of one of the greatest poets and singers of Ecuador, Margarita Laso.


As part of the Livestream Kickoff from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, there was a musical performance by celebrated Ecuadorian singer Margarita Laso. In addition, we welcomed several students from who will be reading poems and performing.

DAY 2 to 6: Between November 5th and 9th, five exciting evenings featuring renowned writers from Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Venezuela: Readings and Interviews Interview focused on the theme “Banishment from the Presence”


Saturday, November 6, 6:00 p.m. (Central Time) Featuring poet Jordi Virallonga (Spain) in conversation with Yolanda Castaño


Saturday, November 6, 7:00 p.m. (Central Time) Featuring Reina María Rodríguez (Cuba) in conversation with Siomara España


Sunday, November 7, 6:00 p.m. (Central Time) Featuring Raul Vallejo (Ecuador) in conversation with Andrea Cote


Sunday, November 7, 7:00 p.m. (Central Time) Featuring Mara Pastor (Puerto Rico) in conversation with Siomara España


Monday, November 8, 6:00 p.m. (Central Time) Featuring Mario Montalbetti (Peru) in conversation with Lourdes Remond


Tuesday, November 9, 6:00 p.m. (Central Time) Featuring Maria Auxiliadora Alvarez (Venezuela) in conversation with Jose Angel Leyva


Tuesday, November 9, 7:00 p.m. (Central Time) Featuring Gloria Gervitz in conversation with Jose Angel Leyva





We are very happy with the results of our 2021 ILF, and would like to thank all of you for you participation, as well as our distinguished guests, sponsors and volunteers, members of the Casa Cultural de las Americas and everyone who helped to make this virtual festival a success. We hope to see you in person in the 2022 International Literature Festival (Houston) as well as participating in the program that Casa Cultural is preparing for 2022.


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