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Volume 26, Number 10 — October 2018

ETSU Professor Releases Book of Essays about Acclaimed Poet

Dr. Ardis Nelson has returened to ETSU from the 15th annual international literary conference in Antigua, Guatemala.
Dr. Ardis Nelson has returened to ETSU from the 15th annual international literary conference in Antigua, Guatemala.

May 07, 2007

JOHNSON CITY ? East Tennessee State University's Dr. Ardis Nelson is back on campus, fresh from the 15th annual international literary conference in Antigua, Guatemala, where she and her co-editor presented their newly released book, Juan Felipe Toru?o en dos mundos: An?lisis cr?tico de sus obras [Juan Felipe Toru?o in Two Worlds: A Critical Analysis of His Works].

Nelson and co-editor Dr. Rhina Toru?o-Haensly, the Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Professor of Spanish at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, edited the collection of essays in Spanish on the works of Toru?o, a Nicaraguan poet, literary critic, university professor, journalist and novelist who lived from 1898 to 1980. He won first prize in the 1938 American Book Contest (Concurso del Libro Americano), sponsored by the Ministry of Education in Matanzas, Cuba, for his novel El silencio [The Silence].

In addition to the United States, the authors of the 22 essays in the volume are poets and academics from eight countries, including Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela. The book is a tribute to Toru?o as a literary professional, including his 50 years of journalistic work and his role as promoter of generations of poets.

Nelson describes him as a writer in the Latin American literary movement known as "modernismo," which had "a dual focus ? the esoteric and the historic." She says, "Toru?o weaves his tales of unrequited love, incest, and soul-searching in lush tropical settings with the historical backdrop of Nicaragua in the early 1900s, when the USA often intervened militarily during times of civil unrest."

A professor of foreign languages, Nelson teaches applied Spanish classes in "Translation and Interpretation" at ETSU. She recently became a certified Spanish Court Interpreter in the Tennessee Supreme Court Interpreter Credentialing Program. During the summer, Nelson directs ETSU's Migrant Education Program and during the academic year she is faculty adviser to the Language and Culture Resource Center, which coordinates service-learning projects for Spanish students in the community.

She authored Cabrera Infante in the Menippean Tradition (1983), edited Guillermo Cabrera Infante: Assays, Essays and Other Arts (1999), and has written some 25 essays on Central American and Cuban novelists that have been published in literary journals.