Monday, June 19, 2006


Monday's post by Daniel Olivas...

Self Help Graphics & Art


Aleida Rodríguez, Maria Meléndez and Francisco Aragón on Sunday, June 25, 1:00 p.m. marking the occasion of the exhibit:

Artists Conversing with Verse”
June 6 – July 6, 2006

Poetas y Pintores: Artists Conversing with Verse is a collaborative project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Center for Women’s InterCultural Leadershp at Saint Mary's College in Indiana and the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. The interdisciplinary project presents the work of both established and emerging poets as inspiration for the creation of original artwork, allowing Latino/a artists to enter into "dialogue" with the work of Latino/a poets. For more information please visit:

Self Help Graphics & Art
3802 Cesar E. Chavez Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90063
(323) 881-6444

Contact Info at SHG&A: Omar Ramirez

The Poets:

Aleida Rodríguez is the author of Gardens of Exile (Sarabande Books, 1999), which Marilyn Hacker selected to win the 1998 Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize. It also went on to win the PEN Center West 2000 Literary Award in Poetry for the best book of poems published the previous year, and was the only poetry book named to the “Tops of 2000” list by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the California Arts Council. Her work has recently appeared in Dana Gioia’s California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Heyday Books, 2003). Her poems have appeared in various journals, including The Seneca Review, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Spoon River Review, whose Editor’s Prize she won in 1996. She was recently profiled in The Face of Poetry (University of California Press, 2005), a book which features the work and portraits of poets who have been part of the Lunch Poems reading series at UC Berkeley. A native of Cuba, Aleida Rodríguez resides in Los Angeles.

María Meléndez teaches creative writing and multi-ethnic literatures at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Her collection of poetry, How Long She’ll Last in This World, was published in January 2006 by the University of Arizona Press, and her chapbook, Base Pairs, appeared in 2001 with Swan Scythe Press. From 2000-2003, she worked as Writer-in-Residence at the UC Davis Arboretum, where she taught multicultural environmental poetry workshops for the public. She currently serves as Associate Editor for poetry at Momotombo Press, and her own poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in such magazines as International Quarterly, Orion Afield and Ecological Restoration.

Francisco Aragón is the author of Puerta del Sol (Bilingual Press, 2005) His anthology publications include Inventions of Farewell: A Book of Elegies (W.W. Norton & Company, 2001), Under the Fifth Sun: Latino Literature from California (Heyday Books, 2002), and American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement (University of Iowa Press, 2001). His poems and translations have appeared in Poetry Daily (, Crab Orchard Review, Chelsea, The Journal, and the online magazines Jacket and Electronic Poetry Review. He is the founding editor of Momotombo Press, which promotes emerging Latino writers, coordinator of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, and co-curator of Palabra Pura, a reading series in collaboration with the Guild Complex in Chicago. These projects form part of Letras Latinas, the unit he directs the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

PROFILE OF REYNA GRANDE: My profile of Reyna Grande appeared in this Sunday's El Paso Times. Her debut novel, Across a Hundred Mountains (Atria Books), will be published this week. Visit Reyna's webpage for her book tour calendar.

PLASCENCIA ON FUENTES: Salvador Plascencia, author of The People of Paper (McSweeney's; Harvest Books), reviews for the Los Angeles Times The Eagle's Throne (Random House), the new novel from Carlos Fuentes. He calls it "an absorbing novel that weaves in and out of the minds of a dozen characters with a virtuosic display of ventriloquism."

All done. So, until next Monday, enjoy the intervening posts from my compadres y comadre at La Bloga. ¡Lea un libro!

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