Dual Language SchoolsA Q & A with Mariana Llanos, bilingual author of Poesia Alada

09/2018
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1. Please tell us about your background and how you became interested in bilingual poetry, reading and writing?

I have written since I was a child. I wrote in Spanish at first, because I'm from Lima, Peru. After I moved to the United States and had my own children I decided to pursue publishing. My children were more proficient in English so that was the language I decided to use to write, but as time went by, I realized that if I wanted them to be bilingual, I needed to give Spanish the importance it has in our lives, so I started writing in Spanish again.

2. Please tell us about your latest book, Poesia Alada and the mission behind it.

Poesia Alada is a poetry book that is close to my heart. When I moved to the United States and after the cultural shock (and probably the emotional shock of becoming a mother in a strange land, without relatives) I had an excruciatingly long writer's block. A few years later, when the writing came back, it did so in English.

I began translating my own stories into Spanish, but I couldn't write anything organically in Spanish. Until the poems of Poesia Alada appeared in my head. I couldn't believe it, I was writing in Spanish again!

3. Why did you feel that this was a necessary addition to your already very impressive repertoire?

Although I had previously published seven children's stories (four of those in Spanish as well), I didn't have one book whose concept was all done in Spanish. Even the illustrators all speak Spanish. This book is an ode to our beautiful language.

4. What was your inspiration for writing this book?

I find inspiration for my poetry in nature and everyday things. To me, everything has a soul, and every soul has a story. That's why you see a pencil come to life, the wind take the form of the Big Bad Wolf, or a winter garden brimming with life.

Continue reading to find out more about Mariana’s story..

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