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The Corsair

Cecilia Martinez-Gil the poet

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Since she was eight years old, Cecilia Martinez-Gil has thought of herself as a poet. After the tragic death of her grandfather, the shocked young girl saw no other solution then to confine her deepest emotions in a tangle of poetry.

This past Tuesday Martinez-Gil was in HSS 165, a room on campus no stranger to talented speakers, and gave students the opportunity to hear her navigate the emotions of her poetry.

After closing her book, she answered questions about her work and experience. Aferwards, a few students joined Martinez-Gil and some of her colleagues for a meal.

To write like she does, Martinez-Gil stresses that “you must be a reader,” and that there is “no particular formula, no equation.” When asked how she feels about her new fame, she said “I used to be crazy, but now I am eccentric.”

What seems to set her apart from most writers is her utilization of both English and Spanish. Her earlier work is primarily Spanish, but her most recent and notable publications have been in English.

Martinez-Gil’s educational background includes UCLA and Loyola Marymount University. Choosing to see both sides of the playing field, she has been a teaching associate of Spanish at UCLA and is currently a teaching fellow at Loyola Marymount University.

After recently publishing Psaltery and Serpentines, Martinez-Gil won the 2009 Gival Press Poetry Award. This collection of poems also earned her the Best Book Award Finalist by USA Book News. Some of her earlier work includes Voices: A Santa Monica Women’s Publication and Anthology of Latin American Writers in Los Angeles. She also translated and adapted, from Spanish to English, the critically acclaimed book Escape De Punta Carretas: LA FUGA.

Martinez-Gil has an upcoming reading at Loyola Marymount University on a date yet to be announced.

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