By: Christian J. Lorenzo
On Wednesday March 5, 2014, Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes and Aravind E. Adyanthaya presented the book “ Abolición Del Pato” (Abolition of the Fag) in the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez during theV Coloquio¿ Del Otro La’o?: Perspectivas sobre sexualidades queer(V Symposium Perspectives on queer sexualities).
The book presentation took place at the Ramón Figueroa Chapel Theater and began at 11:00 a.m., 30 minutes behind schedule.
At the beginning of the presentation the theater was in silence and only 40 people, including staff members, were present. Moderator Mariam Colón read the biography of La Fountain-Stokes. Then Adyanthaya briefly explained how he knew La Fountain and why he liked the short story performer style.
Adyanthaya then asked the public to come on stage to do an exercise. Approximately 15 volunteers went to the stage. Adyanthaya asked the participants to perform a short story from La Fountain-Stokes’ book. Suddenly the theater was loud and the people on stage were all talking and performing the story.
After the exercise, Adyanthaya and La Fountain-Stokes sat in the middle of the stage and Adyanthaya started to ask La Fountain-Stoke questions which he was supposed to answer with a “yes,” “no” or “I do not compute.” After he finished with the questions he revealed that most of them were from the book and in some cases La Fountain-Stokes did not agree with what he had written.
After this exchange La Fountain –Stokes briefly talked about some of the symbolisms and characters in the book. Then he read one of the stories from his book.
La Fountain-Stokes is known for his short stories and poetry. His first book “Uñas pintadas de Azul /Blue Fingernails” was published in 2009 as a collection of 14 short stories. The book “Abolition of the Fag” was published in 2013 by Terranova Editores.
Xavier Diaz, 20, a nursing student at UPRM, liked how the presenters involved the public in the activity. “It was funny,” he said. Diaz attended the IV symposium two years ago and noted that this year’s attendance seemed lower.
On the other hand, Carol López, 20, a chemistry student at Interamerican University- San Germán, came to accompany Díaz but in the end she said, “I think I liked it more than him.”