Praise, good memories and unconditional love were abundant this week as friends and family gathered to remember humanitarian and poet Abelardo “Lalo” Delgado at the 5th Annual Lalo Delgado Poetry Festival held at the St. Cajetan’s Center on the Auraria Campus, sponsored by the MSCD President’s Office of Diversity; Chicana/o Studies Department, Student Activities, Center for Urban Connections, University of Colorado Office of Diversity and Inclusion, The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
Lalo’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren attended the day-long festivities that included poetry, art, music and food.
Dr. Felipé de Ortego y Gasca traveled from New México, to serve as the events keynote speaker.
Friend and fellow poet Ernesto Alvarado read his work in honor of Lalo and shared his thoughts on the late poet. “I had the privilege to know Lalo and when his name comes up, I think about his eyes,” said Alvarado. “I could see his heart in his eyes. I worked with Lalo at the Migrant council and his eyes were always full of love. And that’s the memory I will always carry of Lalo. It’s an honor to be here.”
In memory of Lalo, Alvarado distributed his poetry books free of charge because “that’s what Lalo always used to do.”
Poet Ghada Kanafani read her emotional tribute to Lalo, which she originally wrote in Arabic, had translated to Spanish and then English. “You know I have enough, my memory is full of the dead – I don’t want you dead. I will never say good bye. You are not gone,” Kanafani said to Lalo, “I have your words to prove it.”
Before Kanafani read the poem in Arabic, she explained, “I wrote the Arabic one just to honor his humanist, because that’s what he was – he accepted everyone.”
Upon his passing, Lalo’s
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