“P” is for Poetry, Puterbaugh, and Octavio Paz

April 5, 2013

This Monday marks a week into poetry month and the opening of the 26th Puterbaugh Festival of International Literature and Culture. Continuing the poetry month celebration, we have a fun find that ties the two together—with music. In this TED talk, composer Eric Whitacre has created a “virtual choir” composition titled “Cloudburst” which is based on the poem by 1971 Puterbaugh Fellow Octavio Paz. Paz was also the laureate of the 1982 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The video below demonstrates Whitacre’s unique choral innovation, using Skype to create a real time choral performance with vocalists from all over the world. Paz’s poem is spoken in Spanish, and the English translation is by Lysander Kemp. 

Now, get plugged in to this year’s Puterbaugh Festival! Ethiopian writer Maaza Mengiste is the 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow, and Mengiste as well as internationally renowned photographer Phil Borges will be visiting WLT and the University of Oklahoma for a festival centralized on art and photography that illuminates women’s empowerment around the world. Visit the festival website for a full schedule of events at www.puterbaughfestival.org.

Jen Rickard
Digital Media Editor