A Hyattsville poet will give a reading Friday at the 12th Street Gallery.
Jose R. Ballesteros will be reading poems from his upcoming collection, “Lovedust,” which is about, as he puts it, “the only two real themes in poetry: love and death.”
A professor of Spanish at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Ballesteros moved to the area with his family three years ago from Northeast D.C.
His poetry has appeared in several literary journals in the U.S., in Europe and online. A handful of his poems can be found in the anthology “Al pie de la Casa Blanca: Poetas Hispanos de Washington, D.C.”
Ballesteros, who writes poetry in both English and Spanish, says he has been influenced by César Vallejo of Peru and Jorge Enrique Adoum of Ecuador, as well as early modern poets such as John Donne and Robert Herrick. But he says the current collection is influenced by Hart Crane.
“Every poet’s first book of poems should be about love (just ask Neruda fans), but I took so long to publish my first book that death had already reared its ugly head in many of my relationships with loved ones,” he told the Hyattsville Wire.
The gallery is at 3500 12th Street NE, just a few minutes south of Hyattsville in Washington, D.C. The reading will be from 6 to 7 p.m.