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Poet and critic Julio Marzán (The Spanish American Roots of William Carlos Williams) revisits the claim and its larger ramifications that world famous cartoonist Walt Disney was actually born in Spain. Among the cast of characters involved in the controversy were longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí.
This is the inaugural event of American Stories Retold, a new series of lectures on American culture and literature influenced by or inter-connected with Hispanic and Latin American culture. Future icons to be covered in the series will include poet William Carlos Williams, baseball player Ted Williams, actor John Wayne, and novelist John Dos Passos.
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Julio Marzán is author of poetry collections and novels including Translations without Originals (1986) and The Bonjour Gene (2005). He is editor of Inventing a Word: Twentieth-Century Puerto Rican Poetry (1980) and Selected Poems: Luis Palés Matos (2000). He has also served as Poet Laureate of Queens. Marzán’s The Spanish American Roots of William Carlos Williams (1994) was groundbreaking in its exploration of the acclaimed “American” poet’s Latino heritage. He contributed the foreword to By Word of Mouth: Poetry from the Spanish by William Carlos Williams (2011), edited by Jonathan Cohen.