Lorena Duarte
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Lorena Duarte


Band Spoken Word Comedy


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The best kept secret in music


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Abandon Poems, 2007


Feeling a bit camera shy


Lorena was born in civil war-ravaged El Salvador, raised in Minnesota and educated at Harvard University. She is passionate about poetry, education and human rights and aims to use poetry and spoken word as vehicles towards social justice and awareness. She approaches poetry not as a rarefied, unreachable craft-but as a form of information sharing, education, empowerment and inspiration – and dare she say it? fun – for everyone.

Duarte performs regularly with Palabristas, Latin@ Wordslingers, a Minnesota based Latino poetry collective. She has written curriculum teaching poetry to kids and teens and has facilitated workshops in both English and Spanish. In 2005, she was named one of the top 25 young Latino leaders in Minnesota by the MN Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

She is currently co-editing a Palabrista poetry collection which will be published in 2007. She contributed to and co-edited ¿Under What Bandera? Anti-War Ofrendas from Minnesota y Califas published by Calaca Press in 2004, which won the Resource Center of the Americas Book of the Year 2004. She is also featured in Telling Tongues (2007 by Calaca Press & Red Salmon Press).

Duarte performs her work regularly for universities, organizations and institutions ranging from the Loft to the University of Minnesota to First Avenue and has shared the stage with performers such as Jimmy Santiago Baca and Amalia Ortiz.

In 2006, she was part of Found in Translation, winners of the Minneapolis MOSAIC 2006 commission. In addition, she was the recipient of a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and was a finalist in the Loft Mentor Series in Poetry.

She was also chosen to serve as a judge for mnartists.org’s poetry series "What Light" and to be a member of Intermedia Arts’ Moving Lives Speaker Bureau which aims to foster dialogues about human rights and immigration issues in Twin Cities schools and communities through the artwork and stories of immigrant artists.

In February 2007, she represented Minnesota at the Individual World Poetry Slam in Vancouver. In August, she will be part of Minnesota’s Poetry Slam team at the National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas.