Friday, October 09, 2015

Poet Marsha de la O, a San Buenaventura Treasure

Melinda Palacio

Marsha de la O

I had the pleasure of interviewing Marsha de la O in Ventura a few weeks ago. After the scandal in the New York Times over a White poet using a Chinese name to get his work published, Marsha wanted to make sure La Bloga knew she was not Latina, but had kept her name from a previous marriage. I've admired Marsha's poetry for several years and I've always assumed she was Chicana like me. I assured her that La Bloga readers would be grateful to hear about an exceptional, award-winning poet who was once a bilingual teacher and a former member of CABE, California Association for Bilingual Education.

Marsha arrived at poetry through prose in the form of vignettes. However, when a stranger came up to her and said, 'You are the true poet,' she allowed herself to believe him and even earned an MFA in poetry from Vermont College. She is an intuitive poet. She shared her poeming process with La Bloga:

"I get a fringe of an idea, the brush of a feather, that has possibility. I write a lot of words or I go to a thesaurus. I close the computer so I don't see it. If I'm looking at it, I'm criticizing it."
When her new book, Antidote for Night was nominated for the 2015 Isabella Gardner Poetry Award by Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Marsha was grateful for the acknowledgement, but didn't think she had a chance of winning. "I thought my work was behind the times, too narrative, and that I was too old," she said. "I owned the book of the previous winner and she looked so young. I didn't expect anything so good to happen to me."

It's surprising to hear how humble Marsha de la O is. Her first book, Black Hope (1997), won the New Issues Poetry Prize from the University of Western Michigan and a Small Press Editor's Choice Award. Last year, Mariano Zaro, interviewed Marsha for the Poetry L.A interview Series. There's no doubt her third book will be another success. In fact, BOA has the first option rights and Marsha says she is determined to turn in an even better manuscript, lucky for us poetry enthusiasts. Marsha promises to change things up for her next book.
"I want to deal with the part of poetry that is magic. How magic always operates from words and incantations. Story is what I do best, but I want to explore incantation. I'd like to be able to cast a spell."
I'm positive La Bloga readers will be enchanted by Marsha de la O's poetry. Some might be inspired to send a couple of poems to the Literary Journal she and her husband Phil Taggert produce, Askew. Next year marks the 10th anniversary of Askew. As an editor Marsha values the surprise effect of poetry. Send your best work to or mail to Askew, P.O. Box 559, Ventura, CA 93002. Hint. Meet the publishers and editors of Askew at the weekly Ventura Poetry series, hosted by Phil Taggert at the EP Foster Library in the Topping Room, every Thursday at 7:30 pm 651 E. Main Street, Ventura, CA.

A sample of Marsha de la O's poetry and a video link to her reading and upcoming readings:

Another Woman 

Vacuuming chrome and shadow, hot 
air blowing, resting on one knee to extend 
the long neck beneath the settee while 
it sucks and roars and lurches across the shag 
in its hopeless lumbering way, long whipcord 
tail curving behind. I look at my face 
in the window thinking so this is how 
she looks cleaning house. The air is a white 
fist. We all breathe open-mouthed, our chests 
rise and fall like dogs. I‘m the same 
inside and out, all the pixels behind my eyes 
making test patterns. I don‘t remember 
when my voice took on its bitterness, 
maybe it was the frozen juice in plastic 
pitchers, little green oranges giving Florida 
the lie. One morning it was there. 
Strange how much silence can fit inside 
a roar. And the nuzzle of this yearning 
in my palm licking my hand. I can 
see it now in the raveled threads 
the spiders float off the walls, on-screen 
the moisture sheen on the upper lip 
of the kidnapped girl, the last one left 
on the bus with terrorists. What an effort 
the vacuum makes to take it in, straining 
to ingest sand and dog hair, fishing 
line and bits of paper that flutter off 
the ends of straws, the anger in the bed 
clothes and rough cotton towels. I hear 
it faintly all the time, even when it‘s turned 
off. In the morning when the first birds 
carol sunday school hymns and the mocker 
does his take on the robin, it starts up, dull 
and droning at another level like another 
woman with veined legs in another 
house who can‘t stop running the vacuum 
with all its subtle attachments. 

video link to Marsha's video of her poem, Summer

November Readings for Marsha de la O

Poetry by the Sea takes place Nov. 8th at 3:00 at Malibu United Methodist Church located at 30128 Morning View Drive.  It is a public event and admission is free.

The CSUN Reading will take place Nov. 10th at 7:30 in the Reading Room at CSUN.  Primarily for students in the MFA program in poetry and will feature poets from the program who have recently published books, as well as me.  The public is welcome and admission is free.

San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival website is

Thursday, October 08, 2015, Noticias & Junte en Austin

GUEST POST: – Bilingual Post 
by Bertha Jacobson – English:
There are some ideas that capture our interest and imagination. We embrace them with open arms and somehow, expect others to do the same. I would like to thank Lydia Gil for her generosity, allowing me to use her space in today, so I can share my enthusiasm about
The purpose of, free to all users, is to give new life to books by helping them travel around the world and through a unique identification number, be able to trace their journeys.

My first contact with happened when I found a tagged book in a restaurant. The sticker read: “I am a very special book, you see, I’m traveling around the world”.  It triggered my curiosity so I visited the site and was amazed to learn that there are currently 1,478,035 BookCrossers and 11,115,398 books travelling throughout 132 countries. Wouldn’t it be neat to join and have access to these resources?

I registered as a user and printed tags to release some of my old books, which were collecting dust on my bookshelves.  The first few times, I left them in public places to see if someone would find them. Unfortunately, this method has less than 20% success rate, depending on where the book is released, and a lot of books may end up in the garbage.  A second release method is to exchange books with other users through many of their organized activities (rings, rays, borrowing, gifting and random games just to mention a few) and at the same time establish a connection with people who enjoy reading and learning about others.  This is my preferred choice of participation. 

“Why would I give my book for free to someone, instead of selling it to them?” Was the response of a fellow writer, in my attempt to entice him into joining  As writers, we all want to make money through the sales of our books, I know. But deep inside, we also want to be read.  Adding two or three of your books to is not going to affect your finances in any way. On the other hand, the excitement of seeing your book read by others, and being able to follow its journey along the way is priceless. Thanks to this site, I have been able to discover many writers I didn’t know about.  I have received books from Argentina, Spain, México and Colombia about authors who, though very talented, are not widely known in the United States.

There was a user in Spain who wanted a copy of a book I had, “Tres Veces al Amanecer” by Alessandro Baricco, a renowned Italian author whose works have been translated into many languages.  I had my book, “Coleccionista de Almas”, piggyback a ride along with Baricco’s copy and in appreciation for the unexpected gift, the recipient organized a reading ring which has allowed my book to travel all over Spain!

I continue to participate in with controlled releases of books. Unfortunately, even though the US has almost 350,000 users, I haven’t found many Spanish readers.  Please take a minute to visit the website and see if it is an activity you may be interested in joining.  If you do, I would like to start you up with a book ring reading “En el Café de la Juventud Perdida” by Patrick Modiano, 2014 Nobel Prizewinner. My user name is: lulajay. Send me a message! – español:
Hay algunas ideas que capturan nuestro interés e imaginación. Las acogemos con los brazos abiertos y de alguna manera, esperamos que otras personas hagan lo mismo.  Quiero agradecerle a Lydia Gil por su generosidad, permitiéndome utilizar su espacio en para poder compartir mi entusiasmo por

El propósito de, un sitio gratuito, es darle nueva vida a los libros ayudándoles a que viajen por el mundo, y por medio de un número de identificación único, podamos rastrear sus recorridos.

La primera vez que supe algo de fue cuando me encontré un libro etiquetado en un restaurant. “Soy un libro muy especial, sabes, estoy viajando alrededor del mundo”, leía la calcomanía de la portada.  Me picó la curiosidad, así que visité el sitio de internet y cuál no sería mi sorpresa al ver que cuenta con 1,478,035 usuarios, conocidos como BeCeros, y 11,115,398 libros viajeros a lo largo de 132 países. ¿No sería padre unirse a ellos y tener acceso a estos recursos?

Me registré como usuaria e imprimí calcomanías para identificar y liberar algunos de mis viejos libros, los cuales acumulaban polvo en los estantes.  Las primeras veces los dejé en lugares públicos para ver si alguien los encontraba. Desafortunadamente, este método tiene un porcentaje de éxito muy bajo. Menos del 20% de los libros continúan viajando, y eso depende mucho del lugar dónde se liberen. Muchos terminan en el cesto de la basura. Otro método de participación consiste en intercambiar libros con otros usuarios de, ya sea por medio de sus actividades, (círculos, rayos, prestando, regalando, juegos organizados y otras opciones más). Así, al mismo tiempo se establece una conexión con otras personas a las que también les gusta leer y aprender acerca de los demás.  Este segundo método es el que yo prefiero. 

“¿Por qué voy a dar mi libro gratis a alguien en lugar de vendérselo?” Fue la respuesta de un compañero escritor cuando traté de incitarlo para que se uniera a

Como escritores, todos queremos devengar ganancias de la venta de nuestros libros, lo sé. Pero en el fondo, también queremos ser leídos.  El poner dos o tres de sus libros en no va a afectar su situación financiera de manera alguna.  Por otra parte, la emoción de ver que su libro es leído y el poder seguir su trayectoria: es invaluable. Gracias a este sitio, he podido descubrir muchos escritores que no conocía antes.  He recibido algunos libros de Argentina, España, México y Colombia de autores que, aunque tienen mucho talento, no son tan reconocidos en los Estados Unidos.

Había un usuario en España que deseaba una copia de “Tres veces al Amanecer”, de Alessandro Baricco, un reconocido autor italiano cuyas obras han sido traducidas en muchos idiomas.  Mi libro, “Coleccionista de Almas”, se fue de caballito con el libro de Baricco y tan agradecido quedó el usuario español por la sorpresa, que organizó un círculo de lectura, ¡el cual ha permitido que mi libro viaje por toda España!

Sigo participando en, liberando libros de manera controlada. Desafortunadamente, aunque los Estados Unidos cuentan con casi 350,000 usuarios, no he encontrado muchos lectores de español. Les ruego que se tomen un momento para visitar el sitio de internet  y ver si esta actividad les interesa.  Si lo hacen, me encantaría organizar un círculo de lectura (book ring) con “En el Café de la Juventud Perdida” by Patrick Modiano, Premio Nobel 2014. Mi clave de usuario en es: lulajay. ¡Mándenme un mensaje!

Bertha Jacobson


Los niños tienen claro qué define ser latino: 
idioma, comida y familia

"A pesar de que el concepto de la herencia hispana puede ser difícil de definir, especialmente para los más chicos, los niños latinos tienen claro lo que les define: el idioma español, la comida y la unidad familiar..."
Pulsa aquí para leer el artículo completo 
¿Y tú? ¿Qué opinas?



The devil is gone, but Casino is still hot! 
Join us at the patio for a
Junte of Latin@ Writers & Readers
Friday, October 16, 2015  
7:00 PM 
517 East 6th St. Austin, TX  


Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Animal Talk: Mexican Folk Art Animal Sounds in English and Spanish

By Cynthia Weill
Art  by Rubí Fuentes and Efraín Broa

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press (March 15, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 194102632X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941026328

Did you know that animals that live in one country don't always talk the same language as animals from somewhere else? Take a rooster, for instance. In English-speaking countries, he says cock-a-doodle-doo when he has a notion to announce himself or to greet the dawn. But in Spanish-speaking countries, he says ki-kiri-ki. Emerging readers will delight in identifying the animals depicted on each new page. And the bilingual text invites parent and child into an interactive and playful reading experience for acting out animal sounds in English and Spanish.

Craftsman Rubí Fuentes and Efraín Broa from the Mexican state of Oaxaca fill the pages of Animal Talk with vibrant, wildly imaginative figures of familiar animals.

Animal Talk is the fifth book in Cynthia Weill's charming First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art series. It is her passion to promote the work of artisans from around the world through early concept books.

Other books in the series 

Practice your numbers in English and Spanish when you count the beautiful dancers, playful musicians, and happy children of Oaxaca as the Guelaguetza parade goes by! Pronounced Gal-a-get-zah, the lively celebration—full of traditional dancing and music—takes place every July deep in the heart of southern Mexico. ONE band leader with a big white balloon! DOS hombres with firecrackers! THREE musicians! FOUR giants! All exquisitely handcrafted by the Mexican folk art masters Guillermina, Josefina, Irene, and Concepción Aguilar, in collaboration with author and scholar Cynthia Weill. ¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to the parade!

Little kids love colors, they love animals, and they love the sounds of words. Especially new words. Colores de la Vida—the third in the highly successful series First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art—combines all these elements to teach early learners about color. Leggy red giraffes, pink cows, purple rabbits—the Oaxacan folk artists who contributed to this book unleashed their imaginations and went wild with color. Young children will delight in the bright colors of the Oaxacan rainbow while folk art collectors will marvel at the whimsical handcrafts.

But the simplicity of a book like Colores de la Vida belies the years of research and thoughtful intercultural communication with third-world artists done by Cynthia Weill. As an art historian, she has always been interested in the crafts of developing nations. Weill's intention with Colores de la Vida—and its predecessors in the series, ABeCedarios and Opuestos—has been to find an educational purpose for the work of Oaxacan artisans. She hopes to open up a larger, more international market for their craft.

Cynthia Weill’s book of Mexican folk art teaches kids about opposites in Spanish and English! These whimsical little animals from Oaxaca, carved and painted by hand, make learning about opposites fun. Up and down, tall and short, left and right—all inside a beautiful book.

Delicate hand-painted animals from Oaxaca lead little ones through a bilingual alphabet.

Every ABC book worth its cover price is bound to have bright colors and big letters. But not every ABC book has magical hand-carved animals to illustrate every letter. And very few alphabet books present those letters in more varieties than English! Very few alphabet books except the ABeCedarios, that is! In this brightly colored book, the alphabet is presented in both Spanish and English, and includes the four additional letters—and whimsical animals—that make the Spanish alphabet so much fun.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Review: Chicago Noir The Classics. News. On-line Floricanto.

Michael Sedano

Publisher Akashic Press continues to showcase one of the best book series to come down the pike, the Noir city series.

Choose a metropolis; writers have found its gritty underside, from Baltimore, Barcelona, Beirut, Belfast, Boston, Bronx, and Brooklyn—and that’s just the “B”s.

Noir is alive and healthy, clearly, so a series like the Noir and Noir Classics from Akashic is a productive way to keep abreast of the genre.

A Noir anthology collects a handful or more of storytellers. Some may be “name” writers while other writers rise from the ephemera of pulp and ewaste that is today’s literary churn.

It’s a delight to find a familiar author in a noir context. If a reader’s lucky, the anthology will introduce a new writer, compel investigation of more by that author.

It’s the classic win-win of literary collections. Compelling stories lead a reader to more stories, in turn supporting a market for more reading and more writing.

Publishers hope this is not trickle-up economics. They put their money into printing and distributing books, and they wait for the cash register to ring. Publishers want a flood.

Based on the quality of the numerous Noir collections I’ve enjoyed--especially three, Indian Country Noir, Mexico City Noir, and Trinidad Noir--Akashic’s cash registers should be playing the Ode to Joy. Reliably interesting stories is the main part. But also, Akashic prices economically under sixteen bucks, prints in type generously sized that feeble eyes might not require anteojos, these sturdy paperbacks hold up under even rugged vacation and holiday conditions. A couple of Noir cities make perfect companions under the sun of those brief days December November October. Find a warm spot and get noir.

The latest in the Noir series is a second visit to Chicago. Chicago Noir The Classics does everything anthologies and noir are supposed to, but this title achieves an unheralded goal that deserves notice.

The publisher's publicity rightfully touts the Classic angle. The collection has age, names, and good stuff. The latter is almost all the reason to buy Chicago Noir The Classics. The line-up includes Richard Wright, Sherwood Anderson, Patricia Highsmith, Sandra Cisneros, Sara Paretsky. Editor Joe Meno collects work published from 1916 to 2009.

When I first read the list of fifteen authors, Cisneros’ jumped out at me. Chicago is richly multi-ethnic including a substantial raza population, so it was satisfying to note Cisneros’ inclusion.

Diversity is this collection’s unsung quality. Ethnicity infuses the heart of a story like Max Allan Collins’ “Kaddish for the Kid” and false ethnicity beguiles the virgin chamaca into a predator's bed in Sandra Cisnero's "One Holy Night." Pitch Noles, son of a Jewish father and beautiful black singer, gambles and ‘wins’ in Stuart M. Kaminsky’s “Blue Note.” Big Bull Benson avenges a murdered black sports columnist in Percy Spurlock Parker’s “Death and the Point Spread.”  Therese yearns for Carol's bed, it's mutual, in Patricia Highsmith's "The Price of Salt" (excerpt). Closeted gay men are the pair of thieves in Harry Stephen Keeler’s “30 Seconds of Darkness,” that opens the collection.

This is wonderful diversity, coming both unexpected and unhearalded. Anthologies are supposed to convey a sense of having covered the territory, Joe Meno has. Ethnically diverse city, ethnically diverse plots. Better, Chicago Noir The Classics showcases diversity as normal, everyday. This adds inescapable satisfaction to a sense of the editor's having covered the territory. Mostly.

In counterpoint, readers will note that, with Libby Fischer Hellmann, Meno includes just four women writers among the quince, Patricia Highsmith, Sandra Cisneros, Sara Paretsky. Meno’s introduction doesn’t mention any women he had to leave out, though he lists several male writers who didn’t make the cut.

In a time of turmoil in the North American writing community, with card-carrying writers in near riot over their Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ myopic blunders undercutting diversity in the writing marketplace, it’s encouraging to see a publisher like Akashic quietly working to fulfill the objective so many seek for anything called “American.”

Chicago Noir The Classics has fifteen ok-to-fabulous stories. The good stuff people buy noir to read: crime, murder, irony, humor, detectives, puzzles, colorful writing. Even if the stories did not add to the possibilities of noir writing, diversity could be the collection’s raison d’être, it’s that good to see here. With daughters, raza, Jews and blacks, diversity reflects and adds to a reader’s experience and makes Chicago Noir The Classics a genuine classic.

For the trouble my fingers had typing Chicago Noir The Classics, they kept pushing "n" for "g" in the city, Akashic should consider commissioning a Chicano Noir.

Palo Alto College American Indian/Heritage Month Features Three Poets Laureate.

La Bloga friend Juan Tejeda sends news of this year's Palo Alto College American Indian/Heritage Month Celebration  in San Antonio, Tejas.

The month-long celebration invites students and the community for programs featuring dance, music, film, lectures. Details of the dozens of community celebrations here.

In an historic event, three sitting  Poets Laureate share a dais on Wednesday November 4th. U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress Juan Felipe Herrera will be introduced by San Antonio Poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero, and Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla.

A reception and signing begin at 6, the reading discussion starts at 7.

California could hold a similar floricanto, a dream floricanto hosting San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia, Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez, and the former California Laureate and present U.S. Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera.

Porter BioPlay to be Read
La Bloga friend Gregg Barrios sends word that his new play A Ship of Fools: An Alibiography directed by Marisela Barrera will have a staged reading premiere at the Overtime Theater in San Antonio, TX on November 14-15.

The play centers on Texas writer Katherine Anne Porter and her Mexican American biographer.
The twofer has been cast with actors Gloria Sanchez, Katherine, and Joel Settles, Cristóbal.

Gregg shares the advance poster for the theatrical event and promises to send along details as they iron out.

On-line Floricanto for October 2015
Juliana Aragón Fatula, Sonia Gutiérrez Doroteo García, José Hector Cadena, Oralia Rodríguez

The Wall, By Juliana Aragón Fatula
The Garden of Dreams, By Sonia Gutiérrez
El Jardín de Los Sueños, Por Sonia Gutiérrez
Los dueños de todo y los que no tienen nada, Por Doroteo García
Medio, Por José Hector Cadena
Nada se perdió, Por Oralia Rodríguez

The Wall
By Juliana Aragón Fatula

El otro lado
of the wall, el jefe
builds a pyramid
of stones. También, like
Babylon it will
tumble down, las madres
scatter unable
to speak the same tongue.
No hacen voz. You've
crossed the barrier,
no hay turning back.
The wall es almost
impossible to
scale in a single
bound; you must run, dig,
swim, and crawl to
el otro side. No one
returns. Nunca. Why
would they? Los Estados
Unidos is the
land de leche y azúcar.

Juliana Aragón Fatula’s, three books of poetry are Crazy Chicana in Catholic City, 2nd edition, Red Canyon Falling On Churches, Conundrum Press; and her chapbook, The Road I Ride Bleeds, Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. She is a Southern Colorado Native, a member of the Sandra Cisneros’ Macondo Foundation, and a writer-in-residence for Colorado Humanities’ Writers-in-the-Schools Program. She teaches cultural diversity and believes in the power of education to change lives. She is a performance artist who likes to stir the political melting pot and shake things up.

The Garden of Dreams
By Sonia Gutiérrez

In The Garden of Dreams,
when the heaviness
weighs pavement low,
only the winds can lift
these fingers
to touch the green
guava leaves.

The Earth's skin
calls these dormant
green hands to uproot crabgrass,
to pluck dry leaves,
and to water earthen pots.
Because here, there is no place
for folk to mope around
with a screaming
emoji face. Oh no!

Fifty feet away,
Ms. Rake, leaning against
the wall, hollers,
"These trees' branches
need shaking; let it rain
desert brown and yellow
all around you! Rake!"
And she's right!
Because if bodies dawdle
around aimlessly
in The Garden of Dreams,
weed vines will overtake
the dancing dwarf orange tree
and the guava trees'
white blossoms.
And the cawing crows
will most certainly
peck and eat
this year's purple
and green delights,
hanging from the
large-leafed fig trees.

In the dream garden,
birds are singing
from a far,
where Mrs. Ruby Red
dry petals peer through
the fleshy purple rose succulents;
her chapped lips
await the blue watering pot's
heavy drizzle that will make her roots
dance with delight.

But before these hands
tend the dream garden,
I reach for Tata Sun
who keeps us warm
and Nana Moon
who grows light
in her womb.
There is a brightness
in all the flowers
where I am intertwined;
this I know for certain
when my eyes
meet Mr. Fern
in need of a trim,
and before I can get
my hands through his fronds,
I make sure I smother
myself with rosemary
and am reminded
will be just fine
because The Garden
of Dreams
did not begin with me;
their seeds were passed
down to me,
keeper of the Earth.

El Jardín de Los Sueños
Por Sonia Gutiérrez

En el Jardín de los Sueños,
cuando la pesadez
anda por los suelos como el cemento,
sólo los vientos pueden levantar
estos dedos
para que toquen las verdes
hojas de guayaba.

La piel de la tierra
llama a estas manos dormidas
a arrancar garranchuelos,
jalar hojas secas,
y regar macetas de barro.
Porque aquí, no hay lugar
para gente abatida
con cara de emoji
¡Oh, no!

A cincuenta pies de distancia,
la Señorita Rastrillo,
recargada contra
la pared grita,
"¡A estas ramas de los árboles
necesitan un sacudón;
que llueva un café desierto
y amarillo a todo tu alrededor!
¡Y ella está en lo correcto!
Porque si los cuerpos
sin rumbo pierden el tiempo
en el Jardín de los Sueños,
las malas hierbas invadirán
el pequeño naranjo danzante
y las flores blancas
de los guayabos.
Y los cuervos crascitando
picotearán y comerán
las delicias verdes
y moradas colgando
de las higueras de hojas
grandes de este año.

En el jardín de sueños,
los pájaros están cantando.
A lo lejos, a través de los suculentos morados,
los pétalos secos
de la Señora Geranio Rojo Rubí
se asoman;
sus labios partidos
esperan la llovizna pesada
del crisol azul de riego
que harán sus raíces y hojas bailar
con deleite.

Pero antes de que estas manos
atiendan el jardín,
alcanzo a Tata Sol
que nos mantiene calientes
y hacia Nana Luna
que crece luz
por dentro.
Hay un brillo
en todas las flores,
donde yo estoy entretejida;
ésto lo aserto
cuando mis ojos
ven al Señor Helecho
con necesidad de un corte
de cabello y antes de meter
mis manos entre sus frondas;
me aseguro untarme romero,
y recuerdo que todo
va a estar bien porque el Jardín
de Los Sueños
no empezó conmigo;
me pasaron las semillas a mí,
guardadora de la tierra.

Sonia Gutiérrez’s work promotes social and human dignity. She is an Interim Assistant Professor of English at the San Jancito Campus in San Jacinto, California.

Her poems have appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, La Jornada Semanal, Tres en Suma: Espacio de Arte, and Tijuana Poética, among other publications. La Bloga’s “On-line Floricanto” is home to her Poets Responding to SB 1070 bilingual poems, including “Best Poems 2011” and “Best Poems 2012.” Her vignettes have appeared in AlternaCtive PublicaCtions, Huizache, and Sunshine Noir II.

Sonia’s bilingual poetry collection, Spider Woman / La Mujer Araña (Olmeca Press, 2013), is her debut publication. She is a contributing editor of the The Writer’s Response (Cengage Learning, 2016). Kissing Dreams from a Distance, a novel, is under editorial review. She is completing her second poetry collection, Legacy / Herencia. Sonia is a moderator for Facebook’s Poets Responding to SB 1070 since 2014. To learn more about Sonia, visit

Los dueños de todo y los que no tienen nada
Por Doroteo García

Unos cuantos
Son dueños del dinero.
Dueños del trabajo,
Dueños del poder...
Unos cuantos son dueños de las leyes
Dueños de la verdad.

Y muchos son los otros:
Los que mendigan,
Los que buscan
Los que emigran.
Y muchos son los otros
Los que no tienen nombre,
Los que no tienen voz.
Los que no tienen patria
Los que rezan sin un Dios.
Para ellos
Los que no tienen nada
Es enorme la necesidad
Es tenue la esperanza
Es endeble la justicia.
Amplia y deplorable la soledad.

Para ellos;
Los que no son de aquí.
Los que venimos solo por trabajar
Se nos ha negado el cielo
Y se nos niega el lugar.
Mientras tanto, los ricos
Circulan como el dólar
Se reparten el mundo
En cualquier lugar.

Mi nombre es Doroteo Garcia, vine del sur del estado, de Oaxaca trabajo, como janitor en la Universidad de Stanford. Y todos los dias escucho, percibo, siento, vivo las injusticias de este mundo. Y por eso escribo para denunciar. Hablo por mis compañeros de trabajo, por mis vecinos por aquellos que no tienen voz. Escribo poesias e historias de nuestra gente. (He escrito y publicado un libro "cuentos de inmigrantes") En donde relato de una forma simple el sacrficio y esfuerzo que cuesta vivir en EU.

En East. Palo Alto, la ciudad donde vivo formamosun comite de vecinos que lucha por viviendas accesibles y control de rentas para que las familias de bajos recursos no seamos desplazados. No tengo mas que decir de mi mismo. Que los otros hablen por mi.

Por José Hector Cadena

Mucho antes de haber aprendido oraciones
y antes de saber lo que era la muerte
no sabía que todas los días me deslizaba
fácilmente entre dos mundos que eran dos
distintas ciudades; dos países

al crecer quise ser parte de un país
más que del otro y no entendía que
en mi frente llevaba el águila sobre
el verde suculento y en mi voz una pizca de
azul-rojo y estrellas blancas

hubo lágrimas aprendiendo a mover la lengua
y no poder decir que duele en la garganta tragar
confusiones al escuchar tantas versiones
de mi nombre, de mi pasado, de mi familia que
nadie quería comprender

el racismo en esta ciudad es cuchillito
que te entierran cuando te pelan los dientes
y se niegan explicar paꞌ donde darle
sin importar que tan bien pronuncies
palabras que borren a otras palabras

el resentimiento lo siento en esta ciudad
cada vez que me explican que soy solo mitad
de lo que pude ser por haber nacido dividido
y con la cara de no sé de dónde pero de aquí
no te regresamos el cambio que te corresponde

pero sé que aquí el movimiento sigue y
que soy en cuerpo la frontera con un ojo aquí
y otro allá mientras el cielo observa las diferencias
que nos unen más de lo que creemos.

José Héctor Cadena is a writer, poet, and collage artist. He grew up along the San Ysidro/Tijuana border, received his B.A. from San Diego State, and his MFA from San Francisco State. VONA fellow 2014. He currently teaches in the Department of Chicana Chicano Studies at SDSU, San Diego City College, and at Southwestern College.

Nada Se Perdió
Por Oralia Rodríguez

El agua entró en cada rincón de la casa,
los insectos se mudaron
a lo alto del techo,
nada se perdió.

Momentos gastados en quereres ausentes.
Tiempo atrás
las cenas familiares se volvieron flores secas,
la vajilla
flotó en el lodo,
borbotones de agua
y noticias en periódicos viejos.

La lluvia trajo
un calor maltrecho,
el cariño flotó por instantes,
por la puerta entre tanta agua,
ese día quedaron charcos en el alma,
un caos,
los recuerdos,
el lodo, el agua
mi infancia.

Pero nada se perdió.
© Oralia Rodriguez

Maria Oralia Rodriguez Gonzalez. Originaria de Jerez Zacatecas, radica en Tijuana B.C.
Estudió la Licenciatura en Informática en el Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana, y la Licenciatura en Educación Primaria en la Normal Fronteriza Tijuana. Trabaja como docente de educación básica.
A participado en antologías de poesía en Mexico y Argentina, y en diversos encuentros literarios. Ha publicado dos cuentos infantiles ¨Lobo, Lobito¨ y ¨Murmullos en el bosque¨ con la editorial mini libros de Sonora. El poemario ¨Habitada de nostalgia.

Estudia la maestría en Cultura Escrita en el Centro de Posgrado y Estudios Sor Juana, cursó un Diplomado de Creación Literaria en CPESJ. Y un Diplomado en Estándares y Herramientas Lectoras para un Aprendizaje Efectivo y Transversa  del TEC de Monterrey.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Un Poco De Todo

Xánath Caraza




*Please Circulate Widely*


National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies—Tejas Foco


Description of Award:


NACCS-Tejas invites nominations and submissions for its 2016 NACCS-Tejas Poetry Book Award. The 2016 NACCS Tejas Award for Non-Fiction Book Committee will consider any book published in 2015 in Texas or elsewhere. We welcome full-length collections of poems. We will recognize an outstanding work of poetry that best represents a significant topic related to the Mexican-American and/or Chicana/o experience in Texas. The award will be presented at the NACCS-Tejas Foco annual conference to be held at Lone Star College–Kingwood in Houston, Texas, February 18-20, 2016. There are no restrictions on the number of nominations per press or on the number of individuals—authors or readers—who can nominate a text. Books previously nominated for this award are not eligible. Nominations will be reviewed by a committee of NACCS-Tejas Foco members.


Procedure for Nominations:

Publishers or authors wishing to submit books for consideration should send a copy of the book to each of the committee members at the addresses below by the deadline of November 15, 2015. Nominations should include a submission cover letter, including the name of the author, the title of the book, press, and the date of publication.


All nominations must be received (not postmarked) by December 15, 2015.

For additional information, you may contact the Committee Chair Christopher Carmona at


Committee Members


Christopher Carmona

939 W. De Soto Ave.

Alamo, TX 78516


Isaac Chavarría

608 N. Linares St.

Alton, TX 78573



Rossy Evelin Lima

700 Ciro St.

Donna, TX 78537






Call for Papers University of North Georgia 2016 Arts and Letters Conference
                                                  February 26-28, 2016
                                                      Culture and Place

The 2016 University of North Georgia Arts and Letters Conference will explore the intersection of culture and place. Place is more than location—it is people, it is material, it is climate, it is culture. Places are made through human practices and institutions and are specifically designed and constructed to evoke memories, trigger identities, and embody histories in material form. Thus, the creation of place assigns meaning and helps to define who we are, and often, who we are not. We must ask not just how places come to be, but how and why they are important for social processes, cultural practices, and historical change. How do these connections play out? Are culture and place best understood as two separate entities, or as two dynamically related processes that are best understood through each other?

This interdisciplinary conference will take up these questions and others concerning culture and place. We welcome proposals from all disciplines on a wide range of topics. Possible themes include (but are not limited to):
How have climate, topography, etc., intersected with culture to shape political movements and/or the histories of states?

How have culture and place intersected to produce or perpetuate forms of (intersecting) oppression?

In what ways do culture and place intersect to produce conceptions of “natural” and “normal”?

How do the intersections of culture and place affect or produce notions of objectivity and subjectivity?

What is there to discover in the intersections of culture and place in music, literature, art, science, mathematics, history, philosophy, etc.?

How do places and material forms intersect with social practices, social structures, norms, values, power and inequality?

How does material culture shape and reflect place?

What is the relationship between travel, culture, and place?

How are places made and shaped through cultural practices and cultural forms (such as tourism, development, popular culture, material culture, the environment, etc.)?

How are race, history, power, politics, memory, and culture emplaced?

A CFP will go out at a later time for an edited volume on the conference theme. Faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars are welcome.

Please submit the following

An abstract of 300-400 words
Five Key Words
A brief biography


by October 9th, 2015.

When submitting a proposal for a Panel, please indicate the names of all the panelists under “Presenter Information” and please upload abstracts for each panelist with a space between each.

Contact Sara Mason or
George Wrisley with questions.



Ayúdanos a hacer de este festival una realidad.

Cada dólar es una gran contribución.

Latino Poets NY está preparando el cuarto Festival Latinoamericano de Poesía que se celebrará en la ciudad de Nueva York desde 11 hasta 13 noviembre, 2015. Poetas de gran trayectoria y calidad literaria compartirán su poesía en escuelas, universidades, cafés y centros comunitarios y librerías. Latino Poets NY se enorgullece en anunciar que durante tres años consecutivos hemos sido capaces de mantener festivales exitosos.

LPFNY también publica la antología Festival Latinoamericano de Poesía, un libro que incluye poemas de todos los poetas participantes.

Hoy, le pedimos a ser parte de este esfuerzo. Su generosa donación hará posible continuar la promoción del uso del español a través de la lectura y la escritura de la poesía.

¡Muchas gracias!

¿Nos ayudas compartiendo esta campaña?

Karla Coreas
Latino Poets NY




Finally, soon to be released my new bilingual book of poetry, Ocelocíhuatl (Mouthfeel Press, 2015), translated by Sandra Kingery.  Here is a sneak preview of a detail of the art for the cover by the amazing Los Ángeles artist, Pola Lopez.  More to come soon.  Viva la poesía!


Ocelocíhuatl by Xánath Caraza (Mouthfeel Press, 2015)