Monday, February 3, 7:00 pm at Lake Oswego Public Library. World War II built many walls. In Europe, walls of barbed wire surrounded death camps for Jews. Here in the United States, Japanese-Americans were confined in internment camps, and conscientious objectors in Civilian Public Service camps. And in the Pacific theatre, banzai attacks of Japanese soldiers refusing to surrender created walls of fire and steel. Los Porteños, Portland’s Latino writer’s collective, will present a short excerpt of Words That Burn: A Dramatization of World War II Experiences of William Stafford, Lawson Inada, and Guy Gabaldón in Their Own Words performed by actors Damon Kupper, Paul Susi, and Joaquín López. Creator Cindy Williams Gutiérrez will introduce the creative impulse for the work by discussing the lives and writings of Oregon Poet Laureates William Stafford and Lawson Inada, as well as that of Chicano Marine Guy Gabaldón. The abridged reading will be followed by an audience discussion moderated by director Gemma Whelan.
A full staged reading will be produced by Los Porteños at the Milagro Theatre on September 25-28, 2014 in commemoration of the William Stafford Centennial, the 70th anniversary of the rescindment of Executive Order 9066, and Hispanic Heritage Month. A blend of poetry and monologue dramatizes three historical figures – conscientious objector William Stafford, Japanese-American internee Lawson Inada, and East L.A. marine Guy Gabaldón – who galvanized language to discover liberation beyond these walls. Poetry and monologues by Stafford, Inada, and Gabaldón will be portrayed by professional actors.