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Poetry club enriches knowledge about Latin American culture

PROSSER - Do you have a penchant for poetry, a passion for prose and a desire to enrich your knowledge about Latin American culture?

If so, a recently formed poetry group that meets in Prosser may just be for you.

"A number of us have been meeting to discuss Latin American poetry, mostly in Spanish," said Nikki Symonds, a core member of the group. "We try our best to do it in Spanish."

Symonds said the group is comprised of many Spanish language learners, although one member uses English as a second language.

"We're interested in enhancing our Spanish skills, basically. We're also interested in learning more about Latin American culture," Symonds said.

Of Latin American culture, Symonds said, "It's more deep and varied then perhaps it's (portrayed) in popular culture."

The group has gone from meeting in members' homes to meeting at the Sixth Street Art Gallery and the first meeting there takes place tonight at 7 p.m. Symonds said the group meets on the first Wednesday of every month.

Currently, the group is studying the poetry of Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda. Tonight's discussion will focus on his piece of work titled Entrance into the Wood.

"He's very famous in Latin America, but perhaps people don't know about him here," Symonds said.

Symonds said participating in the group is an excellent opportunity for community members to view Latin American culture in a different light.

The group typically reads a poem, then discussion ensues. Discussion varies and can range from diction to imagery, as well as what other links there might be to the works literarily.

"There are all kinds of topics of discussion," Symonds said.

Symonds said it will help if participants know some Spanish, but the poems will be presented in English and in Spanish. She said it's a good opportunity for budding Spanish language learners.

Everyone is welcome to participate, she said.

"We just want to make sure that we enhance our understanding and our skills about Latin American culture through the lens of poetry."

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