CILE 2016: Royal Academy of the Spanish Language

Spanish is the Language of the Future

The Royal Academy of the Spanish Language is hosting an international conference on the future of the Spanish language

By LatinoLA
The Spanish Royal Academy and Cervantes Institute will present the 7th International Congress on the Spanish Language (CILE 2016) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 15-18th, 2016.

The focus of the grand event is how alive, versatile, and ever expanding Spanish is. Did you know that Spanish is second most spoken language in the world with 490 million speakers? That is why it is called the language of the future with an anticipated 530 million speakers by 2030. It is the third most widely used language on the internet, and 20 million people around the world study Spanish as a second language.

Nobel prize winning novelist JEAN-MARIE LE CLÉZIO will give a keynote address at CILE 2016 on the impact of Cervantes on world culture. Nobel prize winning chemist MARIO MOLINA will give opening remarks on science, thought and communication. The program features panels by the most celebrated Puerto Rican authors LUIS RAFAEL SANCHEZ and GIANNINA BRASCHI.

The conference is dedicated Nicaraguan poet RUBEN DARIO, Puerto Rican poet LUIS PALES MATOS, and Spanish poet PEDRO SALINAS.

There will be representatives from 22 academies of the Spanish language throughout the Americas and Europe, and more than 50 journalists.

Amazon Crossing, the publishing division of the largest internet retailer Amazon, has launched a editorial program that publishes translations of world classics, popular and historical novels, and high-art books as well in Spanish translations. Amazon Crossing has pledged to translate literature by Nobel Laureates into Spanish and make them available for the mass market on Kindle and paper back. Puerto Rican author Giannina Braschi’s dramatic novel “Estados Unidos de Banana” will be published on March 15th, 2016 to celebrate the opening of CILE in Puerto Rico. Professor Braschi will participate in a panel with Spanish publishers on the subject of creativity, the book, and the market. She will also give a poetry reading as part of the cultural program.


Other CILE guests include Edmundo Paz Soldan, Jorge Edwards, Jorge Volpi, Myra Montero, Leonardo Padura, Antonio Skármeta, and Sergio Ramírez.

The event will feature concerts, book salons, and tours throughout Old San Juan.

To register, click here:


Yo-Yo Boing! (a scene from the bilingual edition)

 Bilingual edition–The era of the generalist is coming back. The specialist is dated.  The nose specialist, does he consider your eyes, your mouth, your aura, your personality, before he breaks your nose and turns you into another chiguagua.  No, he goes cross-eyed staring at your nose.  Jack of all trades–the specialist diminishes the value of knowing it all, or at least, trying to grasp it all, and adds–Master of none.  Un especialista, just for discerning the details, is not un sabio.  El sabio puede ser un necio.  Mira lo que decía Alcibíades de Sócrates, borracho, en las tabernas, bebiendo vino, con los dientes podridos.  Mistaken for a beggar.  How can a wise man look so base?  Las apariencias engañan.

–No engañan, my darling, confunden. If I say–here, pretzels, here, porn films, here, sexy bodies–then, they will flock to me–looking for cheap thrills, thinking I am another Madonna, but in the middle of my show, I’ll play a trick on them, as they have been playing tricks on me.  Saying it’s great, when it tastes like shit.  I’ll do the opposite.  I’ll dress like a slutty punk, but I’ll give them the real thing, and I don’t mean coke.  I’ll give them poetry.

–What kind of poetry do you write?

–What do you mean?

–I write sonnets, and you?

–I can’t fit life into rhyme scheme.  It would be a straight jacket.  Rhythm is free.  How can I accept rhythms of ancient ages when I’m feeling my own rhythm.  The velocity of cars–the engines of our time–concords, faxes, guns and subways.  The way we talk and the way we commute.  Do we have time to write novels.  What is immortal in a novel is not the form which is long dead, but the context.  And the same with poetry–what is said–that remains, the way we say things, changes.

–Which means, you write blank verse like Neruda.

–No verse.

–Like Rimbaud–or BaudelaireLittle Prose Poems?

Arthur Rimbaud at the age of seventeen by Étie...

Image via Wikipedia

–I do not write little poems.  I write big books.  Which is not to imply that I like everything in them. 

–Then why do you publish them?

–Because it’s not a matter of liking.  Because to tell you the truth, many times, I don’t like myself.  What am I going to do?  Kill myself because I don’t like myself.  No, I exist.  Those poems I do not like function in the whole work.  And they work well.  So, it’s not a matter of liking.  I don’t like my nose, but it exists and it works well.

–You could also get a nose job.

–Why, I can breathe.

–Do you write every day?

–I don’t have something to say everyday.

–I always find something to say.  I have the feeling we are very different poets.  I’m sure Suzana told you that I won a poetry contest at the Poetry Society of America.  It had an environmental theme.  What do you write about?

–I don’t have themes.  I have flavors like Bazooka.  My favorite is the pink one.  I love to suck all the sugar out of the pink one.

–Flavors don’t last, especially Bazooka.  Poetry has a mission and I take my role very seriously.

–So do I.  I want poetry to be a fashion show–to have  a taste of frivolity–savoir faire–a taste of time at its peak–Kenzo, Gigli and Gautier.  I’m more excited by Bergdorf’s windows than the contemporary poetry I’ve read.

–Who have you read?

–I don’t read any of them.

–It shows. You must realize you’re limiting your audience by writing in both languages.  To know a language is to know a culture.  You neither respect one nor the other.

–If I respected languages like you do, I wouldn’t write at all.  El muro de Berlín fue derribado.  Why can’t I do the same.  Desde la torre de Babel, las lenguas han sido siempre una forma de divorciarnos del resto de la humanidad.  Poetry must find ways of breaking distance.  I’m not reducing my audience.  On the contrary, I’m going to have a bigger audience with the common markets–in Europe–in America.  And besides, all languages are dialects that are made to break new grounds.  I feel like Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio, and I even feel like Garcilaso forging a new language.   

Saludo al nuevo siglo, el siglo del nuevo lenguaje de América, y le digo adiós a la retórica separatista y a los atavismos.

Saluda  al  sol,  araña,

no  seas  rencorosa.  

Un beso,

Giannina Braschi