Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hinojosa Up for Cervantes Prize. On-Line Floricanto August 17

Rakel Delgado, Catalunyan poet AKA La Pocha Catalana, turns me on to this news release from the US-based Academia de la Lengua Española. It's grand news for US letters to see an EE.UU. native writer nominated for this prestigious honor. (I am working to add Rakel to the lineup at USC in Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow. Hinojosa, a 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto veterano, reads at the reunion festival, on Wednesday, September 15 at 2:45.)
foto: ©msedano. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, Rolando Hinojosa, Tomás Rivera


From El Castellano.org (trans. msedano):


The North American Academy of the Spanish Language has nominated Rolando Hinojosa-Smith—considered one of the most prominent Chicano writers in the US—to El Premio de Literatura en Lengua Castellana Miguel de Cervantes the Miguel de Cervantes Literature in Spanish Prize, per Eugenio Chang-Rodríguez, the organization’s librarian. The Cervantes Prize, the most esteemed Spanish-language cultural award, is awarded annually by Spain’s Minister for Culture in conjunction with the Academies of the Spanish Language in various Spanish-speaking nations. The Cervantes Prize is the Spanish language equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The most recent recipient is José Emilio Pacheco. Since its inaugural year of 1976, the Cervantes has recognized esteemed Spanish-language writers including Jorge Luis Borges, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Mario Vargas Llosa, Miguel Delibes, Augusto Roa Bastos, Camilo José Cela, Octavio Paz, Alejo Carpentier, Juan Carlos Onetti and Carlos Fuentes. 
 The Cervantes Prize celebrates Spanish-language writers whose body of work has made significant contribution to cultural patrimony. It is accompanied by a €125,000 award (~$160,000).

The full text of the release is en castellano here.

Frank Gomez, of the North American Academy, observes, "the nomination of Hinojosa-Smith was virtually unanimous. And it is fully consistent with the position of ANLE that the Spanish OF the United States is something that must be respected and protected just as other academies promote and respect the usage of Spanish in their countries. Hinojosa-Smith, furthermore, clearly deserves this recognition in view of his academic and literary achievements."

The 2010 El Premio de Literatura en Lengua Castellana Miguel de Cervantes will be awarded in 2011, on the anniversary of Cervantes' death, April 23, at Paraninfo de la Universidad de Alcalá de Henares by the Queen and King of Spain.


On-Line Floricanto: Poets Responding to Arizona Hate Legislation

For your further reading pleasure, and for information on how you can publish your own Arizona-themed work at La Bloga, visit the Facebook group "Poets Responding to SB1070".

1. “El Muerto” by Miguel Robles / "The Dead One" (English translation of "El Muerto" by Virginia Barrett)
2. “Arizona Lamentation" by Luis Alberto Urrea
3. “Conscious Crossing” by Tj Duffy
4. “Hidden Veins Are Dividing Tools” by Anita Treesong Cole
5. "Not Rooted Out" by Botched Resignation
6. “Unbreakable Soul” by Guadalupe Rodriguez
7. “Nunca Más” by Tom Sheldon



1. “El Muerto” by Miguel Robles / "The Dead One" (English translation of "El Muerto" by Virginia Barrett)

THE DEAD ONE

by Miguel Robles

English translation by Virginia Barrett

I

My cousin the Pirate bought me some beers at the corner
Arturo and the Lizard passed by and took us to Garibaldi
José Alfredo el tequila la birria
what a scene!
We hired some mariachis and brought them to my grandmother’s house
the one who raised me
the one who always scolded me for leaving for the other side
we sang until the early hours on the street where we grew up
until I began to wonder how will I bring myself to cross the border again?
I regretted that I had not saved enough
to avoid returning to the United States
only to cause pain and I was riddled with guilt for being apart from my family
panic filled me hearing the footsteps of the police
they told us:
Hey guys we have a report of rowdiness in the street
in Mexico City to get caught means a violent assault
they asked: How much do you have?
I saw the first glimmers of dawn.

II

I was jolted awake by a jumble of emotions
the first one through my head was:
in California to be stopped without a license means
to lose my car
work
possible deportation
I’m not from here or there!
I rushed off to work with the alluring dream
wrapped up in my routine
in the discussion with my friends
comparing violence in Oakland Richmond Bay View
about the police who assassinated Oscar Grant
about Mexican military that kill families in the war against drugs
and merciless hit men that hack to death their victims
then toss their body parts into the street
about the demagogue of Calderón
his lies his mafia ties and electoral fraud of 2006
about the maps that Vicente Fox offered to Mexicans to cross the desert
I feel like just another number
one more victim
one less obstacle for the politicians

III

The dead one is found missing
among millions of souls
who never again strolled on the old streets
who never saw spring buds on the family tree
who lost the idea of time
like an illusion the dead one is displaced in the universe
he has no borders and he exists for no one
not for his neighbors
not for his family
he is money to his bosses
remittance for his country of origin
but in reality
these are only statistics
His grandmothers mothers sisters wives and children
in their intimate loneliness
pray for him each night
as they do for the grandfather who died twelve years past
with blind faith they ask God to bring him back to them
meanwhile
the dead one is in limbo
there is n heaven or hell
only a constant hope for an intangible something
for a final verdict signed by his majesty
the emperor
the same one who plans wars
that puts up walls that destroys countries that makes bombs
the one that lights the wick of conflict between brother countries
he also decides the fate of the dead ones
beings that bring pestilence to streets where ghosts drift
spirits without names that live only by their hands
by the sweat of their brows
in the voice that tells them:
Meet at 6 a.m. to plant artichokes
I can’t pay you more than 7 dollars an hour
if you report me I’ll turn you over to la migra
the dead one survives only with alien interests
but he cannot live for himself

IV

Eating in the Mission after leaving work the news said:
On July 29th the law SB 1070 will go into effect
making migration without papers a crime
giving Arizona police the power to demand documentation
from people they consider to be unlawfully living in the country

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

EL MUERTO

por Miguel Robles

I

Mi primo el pirata me invitó unas cervezas en la esquina
Arturo y el lagarto pasaban por ahí y nos llevaron a Garibaldi
José Alfredo el tequila la birria
¡que desmadre!
contratamos mariachis y los llevamos a la casa de mi abuela
la que me crió
la que siempre me recriminó que me viniera al otro lado
cantamos casi hasta el amanecer en la calle en que crecimos
entonces me pregunté ¿cómo iba a cruzar la línea otra vez?
Me arrepentí de no haber ahorrado lo suficiente
para no tener que regresar a los Estados Unidos
a causar lástimas y sentirme culpable de no estar con mi familia
sentí pánico al escuchar los pasos de unos policías
nos decían:
Jóvenes tenemos un reporte de escándalo en la vía publica
en el DF un apañón es un asalto que implica violencia
preguntaron: ¿Cuánto traen?
Percibí los primeros destellos del amanecer

II

Desperté sacudido por una mezcla de emociones
lo primero que pensé fue:
en California un apañón sin licencia significa
perder mi carro
el trabajo
una posible deportación
no soy de aquí ni soy de allá!
salí de prisa al trabajo con el sueño recurrente
enfrascado en mi rutina
en la conversación con mis amigos
en la comparación de la violencia en Oakland Richmond Bay View
del policía que asesino a Oscar Grant
con la de los militares mexicanos que asesinan a familias en la lucha contra el narco
en los despiadados sicarios que descuartizan a sus víctimas
y esparcen sus restos por la calle
en la demagogia de Calderón
en sus mentiras el fraude electoral del 2006 y sus alianzas con la mafia
en los mapas que Vicente Fox ofreció a los mexicanos para cruzar el desierto
me sentí un número mas
una víctima más
un obstáculo menos para los políticos

III

El muerto se encuentra perdido
entre millones de almas
que nunca volvieron a recorrer las calles de antaño
que no vieron retoñar el árbol familiar
que perdieron la noción del tiempo
el muerto se desplaza por el universo como una ilusión
no tiene fronteras y no existe para nadie
ni para sus vecinos
ni para su familia
representa dinero para sus empleadores
remesas para su país de origen
pero en realidad
esas son solo estadísticas
Sus abuelas madres hermanas esposas e hijas
en la intimidad de su soledad
le rezan cada noche
como al abuelo que murió hace doce años
con una fe ciega le piden a dios que les permita volver a verlo
mientras
el muerto está en el limbo
no hay cielo ni infierno
sólo una espera constante de algo que no se ve venir
de un veredicto final firmado por su majestad
el emperador
el mismo que organiza guerras
que construye muros que destruye países que fabrica bombas
ese que enciende la mecha de la discordia entre países hermanos
también decide los destinos de los muertos
seres que apestan las calles en que sus fantasmas flotan
espíritus sin nombre que viven solo en sus manos
en el sudor de sus frentes
en la voz que les dice:
nos vemos a las seis de la mañana para sembrar alcachofas
no te puedo pagar mas de 7 dólares la hora
si me denuncias te echo a la migra
el muerto sólo vive de intereses ajenos
pero no puede vivir para el propio

IV

Salí del trabajo y comiendo en la Misión las noticias decían:
A partir del 29 de Julio entrará en vigor la ley SB 1070
La cual criminalizará la migración ilegal
dará el poder a la policía de Arizona para pedir documentos
a personas que ellos consideren que se encuentran ilegalmente en el país




2. “Arizona Lamentation" by Luis Alberto Urrea

We were happy here before they came.

This was always Odin's garden,
a pure white place.
Cradle of Saxons,
birthplace of Norsemen.

No Mexican was ever born here
until their racial hatred and envy
forced us to build a border fence.
But they kept coming.

There were never Apache Villages here--
we never saw these Navajos, Papagos,
Yaquis. It's a lie. Until their wagons
kept coming and coming. And their soldiers.

We worshipped at the great god's tree.
We had something good here.
We had family values and clean sidewalks.
Until those savages kept coming, took our dream

and colored it.

AZ SB1070

8/05/2010




3. “Conscious Crossing” by Tj Duffy


sleepy eyes of America live on their
ancestral dreams, lured to this promise
land for freedom from oppressors
of the soul, mind and body

we are all one, earth, water and sky
creatures with four legs, some have fins,
others with wings, humans, too
God’s care-less caretakers

blood knows no race, as the Creator bleeds

souls lured for a way to live…free…
all to a stolen land…of broken promises
misled treaties designed by greedy tricksters
and their manufactured culture

seduced by the desert accented by punctured flesh
leaving sun-bathed bones of beasts and humans
wading through skunk creek, led by coyotes
where corpses cry

blood knows no race, as God bleeds

a governor who lacks authentic compassion
a place for the devil to take a crap, leaves a
stain on humanity, hanging on as if we’re sorry
for being human the earths still spins

society tears tears embedded with blood
which stars unseen borders hope gathers at
tattered feet of these who come to seek
we all shall die alone in the wary future

blood knows no race, as Allah bleeds

Mother may our dreams honor the ancestors
of the land, to become the caretakers that the
Creator intended us to be, accountable for the
earth and each other

until there is freedom, justice and liberty for all souls
till everyone has nourishment for the body
a silent knowing; dreams don’t know of time
acknowledge our part in the human race

blood knows no race, as the Great Spirit bleeds

unmet needs of humanity stand as equality is still on trial
the assassination of freedom for one is the fall of all
the pale horse slid into the sunset interrupted by joy
tomorrow will always come ‘cause we are free to dream

blood knows no race, as the earth bleeds
in response to Arizona’s SB1070




4. “Hidden Veins Are Dividing Tools” by Anita Treesong Cole


The sand blows into my mouth I cannot swallow.
A silver cross protects my soul even though it's hollow.
My gait increases I roll and take a dive.
Bullets fired through smoke and flame."Am I stilll alive?"

I watch the clouds and and hide for my life.
Father losing son,losing daughter,losing wife.
This war is reality yet will never know my name.
I am not even a number, no papers, so insane.

Darkness becomes the father while daylight mother rests.
"Don't have time to think he says,"I must do my best."
Withered cactus have snapped off thorns.
Maybe those who came before I was born.

"I don't enjoy conversations," he says,"They leave me empty."
I do the work no white man wants to do... not even tempting.
Liberty turns to turmoil while fighting foes and crossover friendships.
"Arrogant side-kicks are trouble,"he says,"Hard to train." Like I give a flip.

"What is this you're telling me?
You think you can make me happy?
You think about the end of the world.
Maybe you should think about IT tomorrow.

Can I call you up when you are a stranger?
Can we speak of distorted regrets?
YOU question everything...
You think about what it is to love and picture me.

YOU think you can hand me sweaty limp dollars...
And... I will go away until another year when you need me...
YOU think you know needs?
Man! your spoiled days blend together.

Diseased.
Disguised.
Deliberate.
Denounced.

It crawls through the cracks with ease.
It needs anger as a force to live.
It feels the air with distinc character.
Kept whole by continued degradation."

Anita Treesong Cole-Paschall


5. "Not Rooted Out" by Botched Resignation


what of our living art?
is our music, that pulse and rhythmic dance
to be lost to antiquity and foreign purpose once again?
No.
what of those young men and women, eyes
once bright and full of childlike wonder
are they to wander and die, murdered and forgotten
in search of hope, a better life; a drink of water
in the scorched deserts of southwestern, Anglo hatred?
No.
and what of the old ones, and those tales of
the ancient and weathered guardians of the peoples flame?
are they perhaps alongside the wisdom and
still dignity of their dead;
castrated holy men,
extinguished mother earth traditions,
confiscated artifacts chronicled
in museums and long forgotten archival shelves?
NO.
those fierce, ghostly images still occupy and
haunt the highest peaks and deepest
chasms of my MIND in Indiana.
that natural beauty and vital force, LIVES
now in protest, not in galleries that give new meaning to the pilfered and
marketable spirit in a photograph but IN THE PEOPLE.
dig yourselves,
dig yourselves,
dig yourselves,
…if you can imagine …all but obliterated;
mementoes, as veiled threats, hung and on display amidst
the cloisters and porticos of tomorrow.




6. “Unbreakable Soul” by Guadalupe Rodriguez


You have tried to break my family
You have tried to break my soul
My soul is unbreakable and so is my family,
We laugh, we cry, we stand together, we strive, we are united
Your laws your decisions, your political insecurities make you unwanted,
Unworththy, selfish and hateful, we will not feed into your hollow soul
We go forth without shame,as our ancestors have paid with pain
Who are you... we do not wish upon you pain
We are peaceful and we shall conquer that weakness that your empty heart has not known
We are true Americans, we are the spirit of the eagle, the maguey,the nopal,the desert
We are here forever, we are the roots of this earth that which you wish to seperate us from
You will feel our strength when we unite amongst our people throughout this land
We shall call on you as the one this nation under our god has brought misery and hate
Upon us all brothers and sisters
Peace be with you, on that day
Peace be with you, on that day to come
Peace be with you, this day to come

Guadalupe Rodriguez../7/31/2010



7. “Nunca Más” by Tom Sheldon


Those that wither and die in the mouth of the Sonoran dessert
Never got a cell phone nor had a Starbucks

They are quiet in their knowing death
Those dead nestled in the dirt like fossils on a reef

Never had neither a last meal nor last rights.
Never understandindg the word immigrant.

With parchment flesh and vacant unseeing eyes, they never saw home again.
They never saw the vans, the vans that never came.



BIOS

1. “El Muerto” by Miguel Robles / "The Dead One" (English translation of "El Muerto" by Virginia Barrett)Miguel Robles
Born in Mexico City and raised in the area of Tepito its most famous barrio. He studied art history, silversmithing, and creative writing. Artisan, poet, and activist, has been working on issues related to democracy, globalization and human rights, for over 20 years, supporting his activism selling jewelry. In January 2007 he co-founded a grassroots organization called Alianza Latinoamericana por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes. He has been living in San Francisco since 2002. He is the Author of at 24th & Mission released in 2010 by Jambu Press:
http://www.studiosaraswati.com/mission.htm


2. “Arizona Lamentation" by Luis Alberto UrreaLuis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is the best-selling author of 13 books, including Into the Beautiful North, The Hummingbird's Daughter, The Devil's Highway and Across the Wire. Recipient of an American Book Award, Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize, Lannan Literary Award and a Western States Book Award, Urrea has published extensively in all of the major genres. Born in Tijuana, Mexico to an American mother and a Mexican father, Urrea uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss, and triumph. Urrea's latest book, Into The Beautiful North, tells the story of a group of Mexican women determined to save their village by recruiting immigrant men to return back across the border with them. A graphic novel based on his short story, Mr.Mendoza's Paintbrush, was also released this summer featuring the artwork of Christopher Cardinale. Acclaimed Mexican director Luis Mendoki is scheduled to begin shooting The Hummingbird's Daughter this fall with Antonio Banderas. Urrea lives with his family in Naperville Illinois, where he is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.



3. “Conscious Crossing” by Tj Duffy Writer & poet, TJ Duffy, born and raised in Michigan with his 7 siblings, has been an Arizonan since 1986. There he found his true self, empowered as a political activist via the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Arizona, and as an AIDS advocate. After 15 years as a successful Scottsdale caterer, he returned to school in 1998 at Phoenix College to push forward his dream of being a writer. He earned his Creative Writing Certificate in 2001. He attended Pima Community College and University of Arizona upon moving to Tuscon. In spring of 2005, he earned his Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. He was appointed to the second team of Arizona All Academic entitling him to funding at University of Arizona. He achieved his Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English this past spring (2010). Duffy persistently attends to his quest to become a published writer and community college educator of creative writing. His writing efforts such as his poem “Conscious Crossing” have been written to expose raw, powerful emotions and insights based on his personal experiences from childhood to the present. The acknowledgement from Moderators of Poets Responding to SB 1070 of his poem “Conscious Crossing” has been an unexpected gift that will help him aspire for more from himself in the years to come.

4. “Hidden Veins Are Dividing Tools” by Anita Treesong ColeWhen I was 4 years old, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I was always curious, and I can remember asking my parents about the meanings of words; pointing to advertisements on road signs and pages of text on books at home. One of my favorite things to do, as I grew older, was to roam the woods, climb trees, and create a whole new world of make-believe. I spent many hours sitting in a tree; writing in a notebook, developing strange characters in far-away lands. However, as I grew older, it was the real world in which I was living that began to shape my writing.

I was raised during the Civil Rights Movement and was moved by the demonstrations, violence, and inequality I heard on the news and felt in the small Southern town where I lived. Because of family ancestors who walked the Trail of Tears, friends of mine who were African American, and a new boyfriend who was one of the few Mexican-Americans in town, I didn't know that there existed a line of separation based on the appearance of individuals, until integration came roaring to town in 1963.

I grew into a local rebel for choosing to focus my energy on what I knew was right: I stood up. I spoke out. I let my words and actions speak for myself and those around me. A U.S. President was assassinated, the country was on the verge of the Vietnam War, a Civil Rights leader and the brother of that U.S. President were soon to be assassinated, as well. The country had fallen into a seemingly insurmountable pit of hatred, fear and sadness.

Now, it is 2010, and I am still concerned, still speaking out, still writing, still hopeful. Seasons have come and gone, and the problems have become masked by new terms, new definitions, new political machinery. My only child, now 37, is carrying on some of my beliefs, as he teaches children about the importance of who they are, where they come from, and what they can achieve as individuals, scholars and leaders.

As Mahatma Gandhi humbly said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." At the end of the day, that truly is our only hope...

5. "Not Rooted Out" by Botched ResignationGerard L. Padron is a Bloomington, Indiana poet, born in San Angelo, Texas on the 18th of December 1963. He has been writing and reading his poetry, for many years under the pseudonym Botched Resignation. His work is indicative of a man whose passion for the written word is equaled only by his love for humanity. He has featured as a poet for Dr. De Bryant and the Social Action Project whose mission is to build community and bring about social justice through the use of the arts and arts education. He has also featured as a poet for Companions on the Journey an organization whose efforts are focused on the reduction of recidivism of felony offenders and their reinstatement as productive members of society as mentors and leaders in their individual communities. Gerard L. Padron’s poetry has been described as colorful, thought provoking, hitting, incorrigible, and vivid with brilliant expression. His poetic works such as No Genius, Rumpus, and Thermal-Nuclear Dogs have attracted much attention and can be found only on Face Book, under his pseudonym, where he has surrounded himself with some of the most brilliant poetic minds, literary critics and authors of our day. He is indeed, Botched Resignation, the venomous dog of the house of Padron.

6. “Unbreakable Soul” by Guadalupe RodriguezGuadalupe G. Rodriguez was born to a large family April 7, 1961. “Lupe,” even at age 10, showed an early interest in gardening and arranging things to be visually pleasing, a talent that he would carry with him in his professional design career. Like many Latinos, he was very close to his mother. His mother was always supportive of his artistic ventures. He was always a hard worker and worked in the fields of Texas side by side migrant farm workers witnessing first hand the toil and pain of this lifestyle. In addition to his work in horticulture and landscape design, Lupe has been gainfully employed as a visual arts designer, floral designer, and costume designer.

Over the last 13 years, Lupe has been honing his interest in writing poetry since moving to Washington, DC. Though he is not a formally trained poet, he does speak from the heart and would quickly get down his thoughts of rhyme or not, sometimes on the back of a paper napkin when an inspiration came to him. He would often pass these poetic passages to his friends as a gift of his thought. His early poetry was more introspective about his personal relationships. However, since the death of his mother in 2009, his interest has been broader to encompass racial and immigrant current events and family and self experiences. He is proud of his Spanish, Mexican, and Comanche heritage and enjoys incorporating his background, and bilingualism in his work. Over the last 5 years Lupe has been working as a horticulturist with the Architect of the Capital.

7. “Nunca Más” by Tom Sheldon
I’m Tom Sheldon, I was born in New Mexico on 9 Dec 1958, and come from a large Hispanic family. As far as my own personal history in Art goes, it is brief. I have always appreciated the gift of creating since I was young. I like all mediums and love (Southwestern) nature and organic based topics. While I have had little in the way of formal training and education, I've enjoyed a modicum of success, mostly in drawing/drafting. I teach students on occasion, and have also illustrated for (HWI) Hawk Watch International.

My work has shown in local galleries, as well as the Museum of Natural History here. I
have won art competitions at the State Fair level. I also love to write poetry and have
had some of my work published.

3 comments:

Manuel Ramos said...

Right on for Rolando - the nomination is great and he clearly deserves the prize itself. This Chicano writer is acclaimed around the world and yet, for the most part, the U.S. mainstream press ignores his accomplishments. His nomination for the Cervantes should make us all proud.

dakota1955 said...

Right on Tom. I enjoy your work and it's inspiring to see it published!

Anonymous said...

"Not Rooted Out" Thanks for sharing in your success.