Award-winning author, Basque writer Kirmen Uribe to speak at Coe

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2017-09-15 09:43:50 - General

Kirmen Uribe
Kirmen Uribe

Award-winning author and Basque-language writer Kirmen Uribe will speak at Coe College on Thursday, Sept. 28, beginning at 6 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall. The event is open to the public at no charge.

Uribe has written a variety of successful works that have been translated in up to 15 languages, some of which have been designated finalists as best volumes of poetry translated into English. Uribe has become one of the best-known Basque-language writers. He is an important contemporary voice from a vital, but largely unknown, language.

According to literary critic Jon Kortazar, Uribe's poetry collection "Meanwhile Take My Hand," published by Susa in 2001, was a "peaceful revocation" in the world of Basque literature. It received the Critics Prize for poetry written in Basque, and its first edition sold out in a month. "Meanwhile Take My Hand" was a finalist for the 2008 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, which recognizes the best book of poetry in translation published in the United States. 

In addition, Uribe has taken part in a number of onstage performances combining literature with the other arts. He has also published a number of books for children and young adults. The best known are the humorous adventures of "Garmendia," a Basque who in the 19th century goes to America to work as a sheepherder and ends up as a gunslinger. In 2008 Uribe published his first novel, "Bilbao-New York-Bilbao." The book received the Critics Prize and the Spanish Literature Prize for Narrative.

Uribe has participated in a number of international literary festivals, among them New York's PEN World Voices Festival, the Berlin international poetry festival, the Taipei international poetry festival, the Manchester (England) literature festival, the Bordeaux '¡Mira!' festival, the Vilenica (Slovenia) international festival, and the Havana (Cuba) international poetry festival. He has given lectures and led seminars at a number of internationally known universities, including Stanford, Brown, New York University, City University of New York, California Institute of the Arts, University of California-San Diego, Taipei's Fu-Jen Catholic University, UNAM and Iberoamericana in Mexico City, the National University in Lima, and the University of Warsaw.

Uribe studied Basque philology at the University of the Basque Country-Gasteiz and did his graduate studies in comparative literature in Trento, Italy. 

The event is sponsored by the Julie Ritter Streib Fund and the Coe Foreign Language Department.  For more information on the program, call 319-399-8605.