QCA's WordFeast program presents a reading of poetry, short stories, and one play by Peruvian writer Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo. His poetry expresses a keen observation about love, distress, the identity of the self, solitude, death and immortality, and how the poet perceives the world around him. His verses have a simple language but with a fascinating lyricism, full of overwhelming images. Santiago will be accompanied by painter Pedro Felipe Vintimilla Burneo and translator Beatriz Gil. Traditional Spanish cuisine will be served and a Q&A will follow the reading. Traditional Peruvian cuisine will be served and a Q&A will follow the reading.

Friday, July 1st, 6:30pm-8:30pm

Queens Council on the Arts
37-11 35th Ave, Entrance on 37th St
Astoria, NY 11101

FREE Admission
Register below.


Santiago studied Mass Media in his hometown of Lima, Peru, where he lived until 2000. He moved to Madrid, to teach drama and creative writing, as well as elementary, middle and high school Spanish. While in Madrid, Santiago also directed a group of underprivileged immigrant youth. Santiago also directed a group of underprivileged immigrant youth in staging an acclaimed play that he wrote, co-produced and directed based on their shared experiences. In 2010, Santiago moved to Barcelona from Madrid, where he started and led a creative writing workshop, coaching authors between the ages of 12 to 70 in their writing of poetry, short plays, scripts, fiction and non-fiction pieces. In 2011, Santiago led a Spanish poetry workshop in “La Semana del Español” at the Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. In NYC he taught Spanish at the ‘Queen Sofia Spanish Institute’. From 2013 to 2015 he taught bilingual drama for the ‘YMCA Beacon Center’. He also taught Spanish at the City College of NY, a course designed to help converse successfully in business and social situations, and Spanish for kids at the YMCA center in Manhattan. He teaches Spanish through culture, arts, and fun with different activities (story teller, drama, drawings, movies and writing). Currently he leads a Spanish writing workshop at the National Writers Union and teaching Spanish Kindergarten-Grade 12 at the Friends Seminary.  Santiago won a poetry prize in 2005, and was a finalist in ‘Ojalá Prize’ in 2007. His fiction blog, ‘Los Linderos del Fuego’, was selected a finalist in an international competition sponsored by “Diario 20 Minutos”, a Spanish newspaper. Santiago has published stories, micro-narrative, and poems in the Spanish literature magazines ‘Cuaderno Siete’ and ‘Cuarto Creciente’, as well as the newspaper ‘El Peruano’. Recently he was invited to read his poetry in “Festival Kerouac Vigo”, at the Instituto Cervantes in New York. Nowadays, Santiago is working in a novel.

Beatriz A. Gil is a writer, translator, interpreter, visual artist, cultural producer and community advocate. She is also co-founder of Hibridos Collective, an interdisciplinary collaborative that works at the intersection of art and community through collaborations wi
th neighbors and artists in sidewalks, parks, plazas and other unprecedented spaces. Her professional experiences as an interpreter and translator span providing language access for families with court-involved youth and immigrants in detention, providing education access to adult learners, and conducting social policy research. Beatriz writes about memory, identity and belonging and hosts bilingual public poetry workshops called calaveritas or poetry for dead, a popular Mexican literary tradition. She holds a B.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies/Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Certificate in Translation and Interpretation from Hunter College. Beatriz is currently a master’s student in the Urban Policy and Leadership program at Hunter College.

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Pedro Felipe Vintimilla Burneo is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City for the past 12 years with two Bachelor degrees, Communications and Visual Arts, from Ecuador and the United States. He is currently running two projects: Art & Design Instructor at St. Anthony High School in New Jersey, and a New York community based project funded by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of Ecuador through their 2015 Grants for Artistic & Cultural Projects. In the last five years he has shaped his career as an Art and Creative Director, collaborating with different artists and institutions on individual, group and community based projects. As part of his desire to explore new artistic domains, beyond his fine arts production, he has found new creative outlets, including: video, writing, design, and performance. Combining manual ability and job experience gathered throughout his life and work with artists and designers in NYC, he has found that his artistic process must be balanced between personal projects and the community. 


QCA’s multicultural WordFeast is a series of FREE public readings by 4 Queens-based authors who write in languages other than English. The readings will be held in varying sites throughout the borough selected to provide a specific culinary and literary experience for audiences. Each piece will be presented in several ways: in its original language; in translated form; and in a creative interpretation by a collaborating artist. The venue selection will immerse audiences in an intimate “cultural salon” environment with special food that enhance the literary event. Audiences will experience these literary works through different lenses with a heightened awareness and deeper appreciation designed to increase demand for literature that exists outside of mainstream access.

The curatorial approach to the series highlights writers who represent the cultural diversity of Queens County. Writers selected for the reading series are poetry and creative prose authors that QCA has previously funded through the Queens Art Fund, who have participated in our professional development program, are members of our Literary Artist Leader Circles, and/or were part of our Queens in Love with Literature (QUILL) program and our Immigrant Writers Initiative. To reach as many Queens authors as possible, QCA conducts town hall meetings and participates with the Office of the Qns Borough President in the selection of the Queens Poet Laureate. From these activities, QCA has a list of writers representing the borough demographically in terms of language and ethnicity and with regard to literary form/genre.