NEW YORK - New York State Senator José Peralta honored the president of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE per its Spanish language initials), Gerardo Piña-Rosales, during a celebration at the fourth annual Latino/Hispanic Book Fair in the Borough of Queens, New York.
The Senator, joined by New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm, presented him with a Senate Resolution that recognizes Piña-Rosales as an “outstanding citizen, deserving of our highest esteem and respect.”
The presentation took place during the three-day literary event. It was held at the Renaissance School in Jackson Heights, where participating writers represented Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the United States.
Senator Peralta said that the objective of this year’s book fair, dedicated to Piña-Rosales, is “to support all U.S. Hispanic artists and authors and have their talents valued and known in the community.”
Juan Tineo, co-founder of the book fair and director of the Latino/Hispanic Cultural Center of New York, said that what they are doing “is bringing the Academy to the community and the community to the Academy.” In reaffirming the stature of ANLE as the most genuine representative for the custody of the Spanish language in the United States, the fair’s sponsors named the Renaissance School’s auditorium after Academy president Gerardo Piña Rosales.
After thanking the organizing entities, Piña-Rosales recalled the difficulties the Academy encountered, located in a non-Spanish language origin country, to become a member of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language. “Today, however,, our Academy represents the second largest Spanish speaking community in the world, surpassed only by Mexico.”
“The Spanish Royal Academy is well aware that the future of the Spanish language lies in North America, specifically in the United States, a country that makes up 10% of the 450 million Spanish speakers on the planet. Today, no publication on the Spanish language goes without the close collaboration of the 21 academies. In many publishing projects – the Grammar, the Dictionary, the Orthography Manual – ANLE members and collaborators have participated actively.” Moreover, says Piña-Rosales, for the Academy, to be able to continue its pathway in this vast country, it needs not only financial support from Hispanic entities in the United States, but also, above all, from Spain’s government.
During the three-day event, Piña-Rosales and other members of the Academy presented the book, Hablando bien se entiende la gente, a Spanish language reference book with more than 300 Spanish idiomatic expressions compiled by ANLE members and published by Santillana USA. With a witty, helpful tone, it is aimed at the U.S. Hispanic community.
Luis Alberto Ambroggio, a member of ANLE, presented an anthology published by the Academy, Al pie de la Casa Blanca. Poetas hispanos de Washington DC (Near the White House: Hispanic Poets of Washington, DC), which he co-edited and co-authored. The anthology, a collection of 24 distinguished Spanish language poets, resorts to the poetic genre to convey, in Spanish, idealism, protest and testimony faithful to the Castilian traditions of the Golden Age in their endeavor to write poetry in difficult times. It echoes the statement of Teresa de Ávila: ‘Life would not be bearable without poetry’”.
Other Academy members present at the book fair included: Jorge Ignacio Covarrubias (Secretary), Leticia Molinero (Chair of the Academy’s website committee and co-chair of the ANLE-GovernmentUSA initiative), María Cornelio (Committee on Technical and Scientific Translations), Daniel R. Fernández and Vanessa Lago-Barros (Committee on the Study of Spanish in the United States) and Porfirio Rodríguez (Education Committee).
The Academy is one of 22 academies in three continents, a nonprofit organization founded in 1973, whose mission is to promote the proper use of the Spanish language in the United States. It’s officially recognized by the U.S. Government’s official web portal as the top authority on Spanish language information in the country.