Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NLWC Keynote Address. On-Line Floricanto.


National Latino Writers Conference (Albuquerque, NM) Keynote Speech

Rigoberto González
May 20, 2010

Before I begin I would like to thank the organizers of the National Latino Writers Conference for inviting me to participate this morning as the keynote speaker at this exemplary gathering. This is the 8th year of building community, of fostering creativity and critique, and of guiding early-career writers toward mentorships and professional relationships with established writers whose generosity and insights are shaping the next generation of artists. To be honest, there is nothing unusual about these expectations at any writers conference, and there are dozens that take place across the country--most of them perfectly competent and useful. But what makes this conference so unique is that it is ours--a forum that has facilitated the face-to-face communication between Chicano/Latino writers, readers, and thinkers. And for that, I congratulate all of you who have sacrificed time and resources to contribute to that experience.

The year is 2010. And though we are currently standing beneath the shadow of the anti-immigrant and anti-raza legislation of our neighbors in Arizona (and let us hope that the disease of xenophobia is not contagious), I am going to keep my message positive this morning because, despite these acts of hostility against our people, there is much for us to celebrate. And if we do not recognize our successes, if we do not toast our triumphs, then we surrender to the afflictions of inferiority, invisibility and silence--the three disgraces of American politics and culture.

The year is 2010. To our left we have the U.S. Census, which will confirm for the country what we have always known when we wake up in the mornings to see the Aztec sun casting its rays over Aztlán: that we are plentiful, that we are here, that we are never leaving, that we will not be thrown out. To our right, we have the smoky memory of revolution, the cycle come back to the days of reckoning--1810, 1910, 2010--not only have we populated this land, we have also shaped its language, built its cities, spun its tales and written its songs. This is, indeed, nuestra tierra and we will keep the roots of our family and history embedded deeply into its indigenous and mestizo core.

But now come the important questions: How will each of us accept that responsibility? How will we contribute to this movimiento during this critical period of adversity? How will we know that we are marching on the correct path?

Since I am speaking in front of a group of poets and writers, I will speak to the answers through a cultural lens, acknowledging one of the greatest strengths of our community: its artistic muscle. Art and poetry, danza y teatro, cuento y canto, have always been essential components of the Latino cultural identity. From the pachanga navideña to the quinceañera, from the floricanto to the academic encuentros, we express ourselves through the arts because it is who we are: people who value creativity and imagination. Just look around you: the colorful palette of our folklore, the ingenious architecture of our altars, the linguistic textures of our slang, our names, our adivinanzas, the panoramic flavors in our foods, the range of decibels in our music, our cyber-chisme, our rascuachismo--it is all us all up in here, Senator Jan Brewer.

The impulse to dance and sing and, yes, the impulse to write it all down, to record and remember, is as natural and familiar to us as the impulse to breathe. And it is with great urgency that we need more of that breath.

There has been much to-do about how Chicano/ Latino writers are now getting their due, getting their props for their hard work, getting published more and winning more awards. And yes, all of those points of progress are true and they are real. And they are ours. And yet, if we allow those statements to settle without further exploration, it would appear that only until recently have we discovered our talents. Or rather, that only until recently have we been discovered, which is to say, only until the white industries and institutions saw us did we see ourselves.

Let us not drop into the pitfall of charting our history and our territory using the maps and timelines of those who came to our neighborhoods long after the ink had had dried on our pages. If we accept those observations as facts, we neglect the labor of previous generations of writers who produced and didn’t get published, who shared and didn’t garner those accolades, who educated and were not memorialized. I find it hopeful that we have many more opportunities to spread the word, but I will find it shameful if we move forward as if we had invented that word. So let us speak frankly about where we are now, by first paying tribute to those who paved the way toward the privilege of authorship and of organizing literary gatherings like this one, the 8th National Latino Writers Conference.

If we learn anything from this recent bout of American societal anxiety, it is that numbers don’t signify safety or acceptance or victory. In NYC, in the place I now call home, Mexicans will outnumber Dominicans and Puerto Ricans by the year 2025. By the year 2050, Latinos will outnumber all other minority groups in the country. You would think that this relatively quick population explosion--indeed the browning of the USA--would also translate into population explosions in other areas, like education and the arts. It will only seem that way because of the social networking media and technology that allows us to connect with other artists with a speed and efficiency that has never been experienced before. The truth is there will not be more of us, we will only be more aware of who and where we are. Only by choice will an artist remain detached or isolated, only by choice will a poet or writer remain disconnected from a literary forum. I say this as both an advantage to the young talent aiming to see itself as part of a bigger picture, but also as a disadvantage of skewed perception: there are not more of us and our numbers as artists, compared to our ethnic population, is and will remain devastatingly small.

This might sound as a contradiction to what I announced earlier, that the arts were the vibrant fabric of Latino cultural identity--but it is not a contradiction, it is complexity, and I’m referring to the specific representation in letters. Instead let us look at this as a challenge: and that challenge is in sustaining and empowering the writer. If we do not build, now that we have the tools, a system of nurturing and professionalizing the young writer, we will lose that writer, will we lose a warrior in the battle of the word against inferiority, invisibility and silence.

So let me now pose the following points as a framework of responsibility to all of us inhabiting the Chicano/ Latino literary landscape. This framework is a strategy for survival if we are to move ahead into the new millennium as champions of our own cause. It’s actually a simple formula, but a hard one to achieve without the collaborative energy to fuel it. This two-point prong is mentorship and community.

For the young members of our audience: learn who your literary antepasados are, know their names and read their words. This will keep your humility in check and your esteem on fire. Recognize that your influences are from a variety of bookshelves, not just writings from Chicano/ Latino writers, but also the writings from our Latin American cousins, plus the works in translation from Africa, Europe and Asia. Embrace your town or village or city but locate it within a larger map--world literature.

Never be ashamed or embarrassed to call yourself a Latino writer. In fact, be more specific, call yourself a Chicano writer, a Dominican writer, a Puerto Rican writer, a Cuban writer, or any configuration or combination of these and other identities. Situate yourself within a nation and an immigrant history, it is what preserves the integrity of the sacrifices of your people and the loss of your people’s homeland. I’m frequently dismayed by Latino writers who subscribe to the notion of wanting to “just be a writer, not a Latino writer,” as if that designation “Latino writer” wasn’t true. Unless you don’t carry any signifier of ethnicity in your name, unless your work doesn’t illustrate your cultural identity, unless you can pass for white, you will never be “just a writer.” By moving forward with this delusional goal you are betraying your own inferiority complex, you are buying into the stigma imposed by the mainstream publishing industry that you are lesser than, regional, foreign, and derivative. This is why you need to read your literary antepasados--so that you can navigate the troubled waters of doubt, writers block or other creative frustrations with the strength and pride of those who came before you.

For those of you who have started publishing or who are in the early stages of a career, those of you who have one or two books under your belt, don’t rest on your laurels and expect the readers to come to you. Take some initiative and become your own best advocate: learn to speak in public, to articulate matters of craft and all things literature. You learn these skills by attending readings and listening to the seasoned voices, by attending conferences like AWP or this one, the 8th National Latino Writers Conference, and absorbing the wisdom, advice and knowledge of your instructors. And recognize that even at this level you already have something to teach others--share your mistakes and your moments of success. And don’t forget, as you further your career, that you are more than “just a writer.” You are also a role model: take responsibility for your public appearances, choose your words carefully and fight with intelligence--you are now a public figure, generate praise for those who are your colleagues not your competition, and don’t become that writer who chooses to remain detached or isolated, who chooses to remain disconnected from any literary forum. That sidestepping of accountability to your artistic community is nothing short of selfishness. Such weakness is the weight around the necks of the rest of us who must pull forward a little harder because you won’t.

You are a Latino writer, so you are also an empowered voice: speak out through your poems, through your stories, but also through editorials and informed opinions. Write those essays or blog entries, those words of critique and protest. Become politicized because writing is political, Latino identity is a political stance. Have you not heard that “breathing while brown” is the latest oppression? Or are you “just a person” as you are “just a writer”? Being afraid is no longer an excuse, it’s a surrender. What use is our growth in numbers if we start censoring our language, tempering our tones and apologizing for our passions, our outrage and our cries for justice. We cannot hide behind the politeness of our advanced degrees or beneath the decorum of art spaces. Avoid the trapping of early success, called complacency, and tell yourself that if you don’t rock the boat you will be fine. Cowardice is never rewarded. Writing is not a static activity it is activism. Learn it and then teach it to others.

For the more seasoned writers in the room, I know you have journeyed far and labored tirelessly all these years, well, I am now asking you to work harder by keeping the doors you kicked open cleared for the rest of us. Too many times I have heard the doors slam shut as soon as one of us makes it in. Fortunately, there are many members of this elite group who mentor, who write reviews and endorsements on book jackets, who write letters of recommendation and academic evaluations, who introduce younger writers to editors, agents, and publishers. To those people I say thank you, and may you continue to do what you do and what we appreciate.

The tragic side of that coin is that there are writers who do not contribute to the efforts of mentorship, who guard their writing time so jealously they see the rest of us as termites who will chew through the walls of their writing rooms if they even acknowledge us. They shall remain nameless, and may the Latino community repay them with the same level of affection and warmth that they have bestowed upon us. Como decía mi abuelita María: ¡Cuernos!

And finally, this call goes out to anyone who will respond to it: we need more critics. As an executive board member of the National Book Critics Circle, an organization that has been granting career-making awards for the last 36 years, I am one of only a handful of Latino critics. In fact, most of us (and that number is four--one, two, three, four) have served on the twenty-four member executive board within the last five years.

Literary criticism is a sophisticated community conversation between the writer, the reader and the critic. It is the evaluation that places the art within various social and cultural contexts, and that engages the power and relevance of a book. We can still have readers and writers without the critic, that’s true, but the critic is also an important translator for those who insist on believing that Latino writing is lesser than, regional, foreign, and derivative. The only training you need to become a critic is to be a good reader and to develop a critical position: Do you like the book? Why or why not? We need the critics writing for blogs, for journals, for newsletters and literary Websites. We can’t only write the books, we need to talk about them. More specifically, we need to read and talk about each others’ books. It never ceases to surprise me when I find out that Latino writers have not read the books by other Latino writers. It’s like those people who don’t read poetry but write it, and then expect the rest of us to be the readers they are not. What kind of message are we sending to our fellow writers: “You’re not worth reading but I am”? What kind of narcissism is that? I know, it’s those writers who shall remain nameless again, isn’t it?

But not always. The truth is that criticism is one level of literary activism that remains neglected by most of us. It’s so easy when we pretend we’re “just writers” and not critics. It’s so easy when we convince ourselves that it’s a whole other genre, better left to the intellectuals and academics who “do that kind of thing.” I’ll say this: if you are thinking about what you are reading, then you can be a critic. Read more, read better, and you will be a kick-ass critic. We need those voices to speak up in the face of those who will continue to dismiss our literature as lesser than, regional, foreign, and derivative.

Only if this multi-layered effort is made can we thrive as a community of artists and can we begin to celebrate that our bookshelves are expanding and that the number of nationally-recognized names is growing. Only then can we hold the ladder for those who are reaching the top and for those who are about to step onto the first important rungs. Only then will numbers have meaning and agency and endurance.

I’d like to close by addressing the participants of this, the 8th National Latino Writers Conference (I like repeating that name because nowhere else does something like this exist, so I want to keep it alive on my tongue and savor the wondrous beauty of it).

Esteemed new members of the Latino writing community, esteemed participants of the 8th National Latino Writers Conference, write and write well. You are artists in a time of crisis, and these conflicts will burden you as much as they will inspire you to move that pen over paper or to press down on those keys on the board. Our veteran writers are dying, our seasoned writers are weary, and the world we live in is not the peaceful, tolerant eden our immigrant pioneers envisioned for us, their descendants. But it is still a world worth fighting for and one of those unflappable weapons we have inherited is language. Each of us here knows the power of literacy: did not that first book you held in your hands initiate a voyage that has brought you to this port? Did not that first childish scribble with pencil or Crayon set aflame that dream of authoring an entire book?

Now you must dream bigger dreams and envision possibilities beyond being “just a writer.” This country already has plenty of writers, it’s activist writers who are is short supply and in loud demand as we continue to gain momentum as Latino artists and lose ground as Latino citizens. These two roles (artist and citizen) are not mutually exclusive, they are perpetually linked, and if one breaks down, the other will collapsed right on top of it.

The year is 2010. The plagues of the past have been resurrected, but so too the fury of the antidote. Let us fight our battles with poetry, with theater, with story, and let us lace those words with culture and history. Let us stand our ground over nuestra tierra. Esta es nuesta tierra, this is our land. So allow us, those who came before, those who wrote it down in the first decade of the new millennium, to be remembered by those who will write it down in the next decade of the new millennium. That’s how it works--one link locking around another, one branch holding up the next--so that together we remain unbreakable, unshakable.

So keep that in mind as you engage in the power of the word these next few days. This is a life-changing writers conference, but you should expect nothing less from it because it is a Latino writers conference. Much is at stake in the teaching and the learning, because much is at stake in the writing. We have made incredible strides as a visible artist community, but not without sacrifice and certainly not without struggle. Now there will be more sacrifice and more struggle, but take comfort in the company you will keep.

Muchísimas gracias and have a life-changing time at the 8th National Latino Writers Conference.





Poets Respond to Arizona Hate Laws: On-Line Floricanto

1. "Chook Son, Arizona" by Abel Salas
2. "Wolf and Spider House" by Israel Francisco Haros López
3. "Escritores del Nuevo Sol" by Phil Goldvarg
4. "brə-sâr'ō" by Rachelle Linda Escamilla
5. "Qué Pinche" by Alma Luz Villanueva
6. "Whale Songs" by Francisco X. Alarcón

Chook Son, Arizona

Palabra de mis primos pimas
cuz'ya know cuahuiltecas
y mexicas came for trade
and water from the black
creek like a diamond snake
simbolo de parientes y
decendientes de quetzalcoatl
so what if your paranoid
rancheros who fled San Joaquin
and a stormtrooper, rabid
dog sheriff akin to Himmler
whose name is on a page
next to the governor who
signs the legislation that
labels you all forever as
paranoid troglodytes
will soon be unable even to
communicate with your
own grandchildren for
fear of a bilingual nation
brown and proud, a nation
that honors the apache
warriors who fought hard
and fast for a desert
homeland security you
could not nor would not
fathom because the rocks
and the mesquite did not
welcome you with love.
Inside your own hearts you
know the brutality which
you feel you must inflict on us
to protect a way of life
that is a vapor slowly fading
Oyeme bien arizona, mas que
tu mitad es mi brazo y mi
herencia. My familiy has
harvested cotton in Casa
Grande for as long as I
can remember. And my
father's nephews have
made camp and compromise
with your redneck yahoo
truck stop regulars for near
half a century. That steel
sprung mixteca standing
alongside a zapoteca and
a maya who are willing to
work from sun up to sun fall
are the clave to your only future
but you have become so
dimwitted and angry you can only
answer with violence and
reprimand, take away the
books and the platica that
will make your young ones
free and full. We do not seek
an overthrow or a coup, çuz
we know how to share. We've
been doing it for 15,000 years
in Tucson and across the two
continents you invaded with
bloodshed and greed from
across an ocean like pillagers
in your storied viking plunder
pride legends, the same ego
that made some among you
imagine a master race and
liquidate artists, truthtellers,
singers and sacerdotes who
were not like you. Be assured,
Arizona es nuestro and your helpless
hold on a reality that evaporates
more each day is the epitome
of lo precario. I wish I could feel
more sympathy and empathy
but I'm too busy learning and
teaching ethnic studies by virtue
of my simple existence. Nuestras
voces se unen y no nos puedes
callar aunque te parezca una
pesadilla de los peores.
Welcome to 2012, where we
will wait with a warm cup of
xocolatl just for you in the
name of peace and harmony

abel salas
lincoln heights, califaztlan
15 de mayo, 2010


Wolf and Spider House by Israel Francisco Haros Lopez

illegal lettuce illegal oranges illegal restaurants illegal clean restrooms illegal bathed children illegal tennis shoes illegal television illegal media illegal dental work illegal dvds illegal ipods illegal coca cola illegal oil rigs illegal capitalism illegal strawberries illegal agricultural illegal hollywood illegal fixing of your motor for below pep boy costs illegal building of your houses illegal home illegal turtel island illegal stars and stripes illegal pow wow illegal buffalo bill illegal papers illegal laws illegal tonantzin illegal water illegal river illegal tonatiuh illegal codices illegal burritos salsa y casi no mas ketchup illegal takos illegal sweating backs illegal blood illegal influenza illegal education illegal human rights illegal children illegal fire illegal stone illegal memory illegal inheritiance of land liberty and the pursuit of someone else's happiness illegal golden streets illegal steel illegal border zebra illegal micky mouse tweety y super man azteka spider man calendar illegal hope illegal new consciosness illegal time illegal teolol illegal corn illegal trees illegal love medicine illegal true freedom illegal wine cellars illegal mortar builders illegal penetration illegal ghosts illegal chihuahuas y coyotes illegal maya wolves illegal tolteca condors illegal mexican american hummingbirds y serpientes sin papeles illegal red earth black earth illegal poems illegal faces illegal facelessbook illegal words illegal tongue illegal tanks illegal videogames training children for future war crimes illegal times illegal manifest illegal destinies illegal hope illegal scribe illegal laptop artmaker illegal emotion illegal laws illegal ometeo illegal hands illegal yollotl illegal breath

Legalized temporarily
by Israel Francisco Haros Lopez
con mini-safos 2010


"Los Escritores del Sol" by Phil Goldvarg (1934-2004)


Here is a poem written by the late Phil Goldvarg in November of 2003.


Los Escritores del Sol

estuvimos juntos ayer por la noche,
recuerdos del sol, luna y las estrellas,
comida, pan de amor,
cantos, pan del corazón,
pláticas chistosas y chistes,
chisme y cosas nuevas,
so many poetas,
we had to write one poem together
before we stopped eating,
si, es cierto Graciela,
qué suave el tiempo de nosotros,
hermanas y hermanos del Sol,
dancing palabras
across our embracing hearts.

Siempre con abrazos y cariño

phil goldvarg 11/16/03




brƏse(Ə)rō by Rachelle Linda Escamilla

Give us your arm, they said
and like the artichoke,
we pull away from a center.





QUÉ PINCHE
By Alma Luz Villanueva



From San Miguel to
L.A., customs waiting
for baggage- on
the Mexican plane

I had my customary
shot of free tequila,
yes they serve you free
breakfast, juice, cerveza,

y tequila, the stewardess
always laughs as she
pours me a shot at
7am, only a few men

join me as we reach
the clouds, sun
rising, the burning comfort
of tequila with breakfast

tamale, juice, cafe-
so I'm feeling relaxed
till I read the sign in
customs: $500,000 fine

(approx) for smuggling fruit,
food, (whatever) across the
border- and I remember
my Mexican banana in

my purse, I forgot to eat
my Mexican banana, so I
quickly pull it out, begin
stuffing it in my mouth-

'THERE IS NO EATING
OF FOOD IN THIS AREA,
PUT THE BANANA
DOWN!" Jehovah booms

over the loud speaker, It's
a Mexican banana, mister,
so I stuff my entire
Mexican banana in my

laughing mouth, others
beginning to giggle with
me- he rushes out, fat
and red-faced, "I could

fine you for that,
lady!" he whines
without the loud
speaker, "I told you

to put that banana
down!" "The Mexican
banana is now in neutral
territory, my stomach,"

I stare him down, fighting
not to laugh, giggles spring
up around me, and as he
stomps back to his god

cage, the guy next to
me says, "Que pinche,"
which says it all, and I
want my 2nd shot of

tequila. Do they own all
the bananas on this Earth,
especially the Mexican
bananas I see in the

supermarkets USA,
do they own my eyes,
my hands, my feet, my
laughing mouth, and do

they even own my stomach,
my heart, the sweet womb that
my Yaqui Mexican grandmother
gave me, the fertile

womb that she gave
me, the defiant womb
that she gave me- all I
can say is,

after my 2nd
shot of
tequila,
"Que pinche."

* * * *
(Desfruta)

San Miguel de Allende-
In the huge mercado,
market, vege vendors
wield their swords, slicing

papaya, mango, watermelon,
fat strawberries, for
you, "DESFRUTA" they
laugh, 'TASTE THIS,"

shoving it into your
hands, heavy, ripe, wet,
so delicious, sensual,
ALIVE with pleasure, Mexican

fruit, veges, no one
claiming dominion over your
eyes, hands, feet, laughing
mouth, heart, sweet womb,

your curious, hungry
stomach, DESFRUTA,
TASTE THIS, ENJOY
and I do and I do-

In the Mega supermarket
it's become a mercado,
freshly cooked food, piles
of tempting vegetables, fruit,

a pig's head decorated
with daisies, surrounded by
pastries, I've stopped
asking, Why this combo, I

Just enjoy the beauty, the
chaos, DESFRUTA-
people leap and smile to
price my red rice with veges,

quivering block of flan, stewed
broccoli, cauliflower, carrots
con cilantro, fresh red, green
salsas with chunks of

tomatoes, jalapenos floating-
piles of yellow and cobalt
blue corn tortillas, still
warm in their wrappings-

I'm so happy I don't
need a shot of tequila
(though I wouldn't pass
it up), and a young

woman has sample plastic
cups of the best, hey it's
10am, it is the best, she
smiles DESFRUTA-

the first time I saw
this I was tempted to
speed dial '911,' just
moved here- in the

wide vege, fruit area,
right in the center, a
butcher's block with an
immense machete, gleaming

and still wet, I watched
a woman pick a perfect,
so ripe, so fleshy, Mexican
papaya, brought it to

the butcher block, the
gleaming machete, she gently,
so lovingly, sliced it
open, revealing its endless

rows of black seed
glistening children that
taste like pepper compared to
their mother's sweet womb-

I walked over, picked a
perfect, green, so ripe watermelon,
to the butcher block, people
actually stopped to watch,

sensing my virgen journey of
the gleaming, wet machete,
I balanced it with my left
hand and gently, so lovingly,

sliced, revealing her sweet
juicy red womb, her tiny
hard black seed children,
and I stole a slim slice,

and people smiled DESFRUTA
and turned away, as
the perfectly ripe Mexican
watermelon melted in the

neutral territory of
my stomach, my curious
hungry human Yaqui
Mestiza stomach, I

placed the machete
down, wrapped the Mexican
watermelon in plastic, murmuring
'desfruta' all the way

home.


To the ancient trade routes y el Kokopelli cantando...
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico-
May 9, 2010
Alma Luz Villanueva






"Whale Songs" by Francisco X. Alarcón


we have no one
but each other

this long night
is overtaking us

we’re whales
singing all alone

in this dark sea
trying to find

each other
in this big storm

oh, we’re singing
about blue skies

about bountiful
satisfying times

about rubbing
bodies and tails

oh, they got us
right this time

we’re harpooned
we’re going down

falling straight
down in a pool

of warm blood
signing as we fall

brothers, sisters
ram their ships

make them pay
dearly for the blood

they consciously
are willing to spill

they’re pulling us
up to their decks

we see their greed
on their long knives

we’re not yet dead
but we’re being cut

into mindless pieces
seagulls are plucking

both of our open eyes
oh, we're now singing

our last whale songs
calling out all whales;

oh, Father Sun, take
us into your hands

oh, Mother Sea, guard
the entrails they toss

discard to the waves.
oh, ancient whales

of the Arizona sea
desert, we call out

for your mighty
healing powers

make our nation
whole again

a welcoming
open sea to all

oh, sky whales
oh, sea whales

oh, land whales
oh, spirit whales

oh, whales
from the past

oh, whales
from the future

we call out
for you to undo

the wounds
they’ve done

set us free
all unharmed

we’ll praise
sing forever

the precious
gifts of this sky

of this land
this vast sea

that’s always
been ours


©2010 Francisco X. Alarcón


Bios


Abel Salas

Abel Salas is an LA journalist & poet, whose articles, poems & stories have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Austin Chronicle and The Brownsville Herald among others. He has taught poetry in LA juvenile halls and at Corazón del Pueblo, a community arts center in the East Los barrio of Boyle Heights. He is the publisher and editor of Brooklyn & Boyle


Israel Francisco Haros López

Israel is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a degree in English and Xicano Studies and an M.F.A. from California College of the Arts. He is both a visual artist and performance artist. His work is an attempt to search for personal truths and personal histories inside of american cosmology. The american cosmology and symbolism that he is drawing from is one that involves both northern and southern america that was here before columbus. The work both written and that which is painted is attempting to mark and remark historical points in the americas and the world.The mark making attempts to speak to the undeniable presence of a native america that will continue to flourish for generations to come.The understanding which he is drawing from is not conceptual but fact and points to the importance of honoring and remembering ancestral ways of living as a means of maintaining healthy relations with all humans,the winged, all those that crawl on this Earth, all Life, the Water, the Sacred Fire, Tonanztin, Tonatiuh,the Sacred Cardinal Points,everything inbetween, above and below and at the center of self and all things in the universe.
 
His Poetry can be heard at www.reverbnation.com/waterhummingbirdhouse
He can be found creating poetry and arte on Facebook


Philip Michael Goldvarg

Philip Michael Goldvarg (born 13 March 1934-died 14 June 2004) was an committed poet, activist and member of the Zapatista Solidarity Coalition and of Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol, a writers' collective of Sacramento, California, founded by Francisco X. Alarcón in 1993. The Sacramento Poetry Center dedicated the July 2004 issue of POETRY NOW to Phil: "He was a generous and loving man who always had a warm smile, welcoming handshake, and generous hug when he greeted you.

He was passionate about everything he did and provided inspiration for us all to become better citizens, poets, and people." His friends everywhere still miss him.

Rachelle Linda Escamilla

Rachelle Linda Escamilla is a three time James Phelan Literary Award winner, the recipient of the Virginia de Arujo Academy of American Poets, and the Dorritt Sibley Poetry prize. Her poems have been published by Hinchas de Poesia, A Joint Called Pauline, and A Women's Journey. She has one chapbook of poetry, Bautismo, and an interactive chapbook, Here. She is a student at the University of Pittsburgh's MFA program.



Alma Luz Villanueva

lma Luz Villanueva. Author of eight books of poetry, most recently, 'Soft Chaos' (2009). A few poetry anthologies: 'The Best American Poetry, 1996,' 'Unsettling America,' 'A Century of Women's Poetry,' 'Prayers For A Thousand Years, Inspiration from Leaders & Visionaries Around The World.' Three novels: 'The Ultraviolet Sky,' 'Naked Ladies,' 'Luna's California Poppies,' and the short story collection, 'Weeping Woman, La Llorona and Other Stories.' Some fiction anthologies: '500 Great Books by Women, From The Thirteenth Century,' 'Caliente, The Best Erotic Writing From Latin America,' 'Coming of Age in The 21st Century,' 'Sudden Fiction Latino.' The poetry and fiction has been published in textbooks from grammar to university, and is used in the US and abroad as textbooks. Has taught in the MFA in creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, for the past eleven years. And is the mother of four, wonderful, grown human beings.

Now living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for the past five years, traveling the ancient trade routes to return to teach, and visit family and friends, QUE VIVA


Francisco X. Alarcón


Francisco X. Alarcón, award winning Chicano poet and educator, born in Los Angeles, in 1954, is author of eleven volumes of poetry, including, From the Other Side of Night: Selected and New Poems (University of Arizona Press 2002), and Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation (Chronicle Books 1992)m Sonetos a la locura y otras penas / Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes (Creative Arts Book Company 2001), De amor oscuro / Of Dark Love (Moving Parts Press 1991, and 2001).

His most recent book of bilingual poetry for children, Animal Poems of the Iguazú (Children’s Book Press 2008), was selected as a Notable Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association, and as an Américas Awards Commended Title by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs. His previous bilingual book titled Poems to Dream Together (Lee & Low Books 2005) was awarded the 2006 Jane Addams Honor Book Award.

Children’s Book Press of San Francisco published his acclaimed “Magic Cycle of the Seasons” that includes four titles: Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems (1997) awarded the 1997 Pura Belpré Honor Award by the American Library Association and the National Parenting Publications Gold Medal; From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems (1998) that received the 2000 Pura Belpré Honor Award; Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems (1999); his fourth book of bilingual poems for children, Iguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems (2001) received the 2002 Pura Belpré Honor Award.

He has been a finalist nominated for Poet Laureate of California in two occasions. He teaches at the University of California, Davis. He is the creator of the Facebook page POETS RESPONDING TO SB 1070 that you can visit at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Poets-Responding-to-SB-1070/117494558268757?ref=ts



3 comments:

Olga Garcia said...

Thanks for a great post. I really enjoyed reading the poetic reponses to Arizona's SB 1070. We should rename SB 1070...the "Que Pinche" Law.

Anonymous said...

It is actually spelled - "disfruta", (proveniente del verbo "disfrutar")

ALMA said...

I love the 'Que Pinche Law' jajaja...and gracias for la 'disfruta,' you're right, just looked it up. When it's said, it SOUNDS like 'desfruta,' I should double-checked, so GRACIAS, Anon... Almaluz