Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fotos Ese, LBFF. On-Line Floricanto

Fotos Ese, Latino Book and Family Festival

Michael Sedano

September and October 2010 have been historically momentous months for United States Literature and Chicana Chicano Latina Latino writers.

September 14 brought Un Floricanto Adelanto. The community-based one-night poetry festival organized by Abel Salas and Francisco X. Alarcón, assembled forty poets--many younger generation artists--for a one-or-two poem reading that packed Boyle Heights' Corazón del Pueblo, one of Los Angeles' premier open mic poetry sites.

September 15, 16, 17 brought the three-day Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow at the University of Southern California.

The USC floricanto reunited a number of artists who had read in 1973 at the first major floricanto in the United States. The two chief organizers of the 1973 floricanto, Mary Ann Pacheco and Alurista, returned this year, along with thirteen 1973 veteranas and veteranos. Joining the veterras were nearly fifty mid-career and younger generation poets and a handful of fiction writers.

You can view the 1973 videos at the USC Digital Library. In the near future, video of this year's festival will appear at the Digital Library, along with Michael Sedano's archive of photographs taken in 1973.

Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10 brought the world's largest gathering of Chicana Chicano Latina Latino writers, principally fiction and other prose genres, to the campus of California State University Los Angeles.

Organized by novelist Reyna Grande and CSULA prof Roberto Cantú, under the sponsorship of Edward James Olmos and Latino Literacy Now, the LBFF is the 13th annual such event in Los Angeles. Similar festivals come to Chicago and Houston.

If you missed Festival de Flor y Canto Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow and/or the LBFF--both of which were free no admission events (including snacks and lunch at USC), October promises yet one more event, as reported in Sunday's La Bloga by Olga García Echeverría, ALOUD, on Thursday October 21 at the L.A. Public Library.

Such an abundance of riches. Look for the return of Festival de Flor y Canto to USC and Latino Book and Family Festival to CSULA next year. September and October. Mark your 2011 calendars so you can join the fun and genuine excitement of literary discussion and readings by familiar writers and a host of people whom you will meet for the first time on one or another sundry panel, not to mention the colorful vendor tents, entertainment stages, and the fabulous banquet

Saturday's first panel, for me, is "Mixing it Up: Writers Who Write in Multiple Genres." Moderated by Zulmara Cline, the panel features Daniel Olivas, Melinda Palacio, Michele Serros, and Luis J. Rodriguez.

At 12 I attend "In First Person: Writing Memoir," moderated by Silvia Villanueva, whose moderation stands out among the panels I attend. Ms. Villanueva has distributed to panelists questions and thought-provoking quotations in advance. The panel works around the framework set by advanced materials, then the writers shar snippets of their work. Pictured are Irene Vilar, Silvia Villanueva, Susana Chávez-Silverman, Lucio Padilla, Manuel Delgado, and Sarah Rafael Garcia.

At 1 I traipse out to the entertainment and tent area for the best event of the festival, for me. See below. At 2 I attend bloguero Daniel Olivas-moderated "Sudden Fiction Latino." The panel features Lisa Alvarez, Luna Calderón, Juan Martínez, and Stephen D. Gutiérrez. Given the nature of the work, the authors get to present whole works in a single reading. It's SRO; a testament to the popularity of the subject and power of the writers.
Saturday at 3 finds a small audience lost in the lecture hall that has been filled for earlier sessions there. "Women in Chicano/a Rock & Roll" searches for a literary hook that the rambling structure cannot snag. David Reyes and Tom Waldman gather around the persnickety media lectern, unsuccessfully coaxing the device to some unseen feat of media magic. They do not talk about their book, whatever it is. Occupying center stage, the table, are Special Guests Cava & Angela Flores. As superbly planned as Silvia Villanueva has been in the memoir panel, these gentlemen are the ill-planned equivalent. Heads up to the organizers next year: help the non-literary presenters get organized.

I keep my place in the lecture hall for the 4 panel, "Fade In: Latinos in Tinseltown." Moderated by radio personality Manny Pacheco, the panel draws a big house to hear Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, Marilyn Atlas, Rafael Rivera Viruet, Ligiah Villalobos, and a director who does not wear a name tag and is not properly introduced.

Valdes-Rodriguez lights some fireworks when she accuses unnamed hollywood movers of wanting to hire white-looking Latins, or hot Latinas, for featured roles. Insider Villalobos disagrees, naming several dark-skinned actors of repute. Agent Atlas and author / accountant Rivera-Viruet skirt the issue but, knowing which side of the bread has butter, come across as loyal corporatists. Valdes-Rodriguez doesn't push her point.

The popular writer who has taken chica lit into mature dimensions beyond her competition, and may see her work on screen soon, gets a last laugh. When the panel breaks up, several book-carrying fans rush the table to corner Valdes-Rodriguez to sign their copies of Dirty Girls Social Club and other novels the fans have brought to the festival, or perhaps purchased at one of the bookseller tents.

The absochingaolutely best panel of the event for me is relegated to "the children's stage." Here, throughout the festival, children's picture book authors read to rapt audiences, including my 3 year old granddaughter, who declares "I want to come back next year!" Sarah Rafael Garcia's reading at Festival de Flor y Canto Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow in September provided one the most captivating moments of the USC conference. Garcia mentors a program in Santa Ana--the heart of hostile Orange County--Barrio Writers. Nancy Alcala from that group had read beautifully and clearly belonged in the roster of accomplished artists invited to USC. Hence, I follow Garcia from the memoir panel to hear her students, hoping to hear Alcala again. No. But what an outstanding group of young adults Ms. Garcia brings to CSULA. I urge Reyna and LBFF organizers to give these writers featured placement in one of the four main conference rooms, as well as a listing in the main published schedule. Instead, they are listed as a Children's Program, "Barrio Writers--The Write Path: A Panel for Teens By Published Teens."

Left to right, Xochitl Sanchez Valle, Daniel Farias, Valeria Alaniz, Pablo Montoya. These writers will make anyone's day who gets the opportunity to share their work aloud, or get a copy of the next Barrio Writers anthology. La Bloga will bring details of this in advance of the next issue.

Sunday comes filled with conflict for me. The nature of LBFF programming requires one to attend great programs while skipping other great programs. It's a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't situation.
Fortunately, the banquet that evening allows one to make amends, as well as enjoy a superb folkloric program mounted by Grandeza Mexicana. I take a table with Daniel Cano, Patricia Santana, Montserrat Fontes. The latter two's panel I miss on Saturday, and Cano's panel on Sunday will find me sitting in Disney Hall watching Dudamel conduct Emanuel Ax and the LA Phil. Now that is a tough choice--especially as I also had tickets to the Juilliard Quartet--LBFF or music; chamber virtuosi or The Dude.

I attend a single Sunday session, "The State of Poetry: Using Words to Inspire & Incite" that features Melinda Palacio moderating, Luis J. Rodriguez, Gabriel Martinez, Rolando Ortiz, Josefina Lopez, and JF Seary.
I depart with regret that I am not attending the full day's events. I stop to enjoy one of the dozens of children's folkloricos, then head back home to change my t-shirt and get to Disney Hall.

Next year I'll have to hope the Coleman Concert doesn't conflict again. With a bigger season, I can trade in my LA Phil boletos for a day that doesn't conflict with this important literary festival. LBFF brings so many panels to attend, forced choice of one and not the other panel. The embarrassment of riches you've heard of. And totally worthwhile. Felicidades and congratulations to Reyna Grande and her staff of volunteers, to Eddie Olmos and Latino Literacy Now on this thirteenth iteration of the best bargain in US Literature and literary festivals.

On-Line Floricanto - Poets Responding to Arizona Hate Laws

This week, in addition to the list of eight works, La Bloga is pleased to introduce some of the moderators of the Facebook group Poets Responding to SB1070. These are the gente--poets all--who are responsible for submitting the weekly list of poems that appear as La Bloga's weekly On-Line Floricanto.

Moderation in the pursuit of poetry is often a thankless task. Thanking the moderators in pursuit of quality is a pleasure. Meet the Moderators:

Francisco X. Alarcon. The founder of Poets Responding to SB1070. His “Calavera Poem in Spanish and English” was selected by the other moderators for this week's La Bloga On-Line Floricanto. His bio appears with those of the other selected poets.

Hedy TreviñoHedy M. Trevino. Has written poetry since the age of eight. Her first poem came as a result of being punished for speaking Spanish in school. Her poetry has been published in numerous journal's and other publications. She has performed her poetry at numerous cultural events. She continues to write poetry, and inspires others to use the written word as a form of self discovery and personal healing.

Elena Díaz Björkquist
Elena Díaz Björkquist, a writer, historian, and artist from Tucson, writes about Morenci, Arizona where she was born. She is the author of two books, Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon. Elena has been on the Arizona Humanities Council (AHC) Speakers Bureau for nine years and not only performs as Teresa Urrea in a Chautauqua but also does two presentations about Morenci, Arizona and one about the 1880’s Schoolhouse in Tubac.

Elena is co-editor of Sowing the Seeds, an anthology written by her writers group. The project was funded by AHC. She is nearing completion of another collection of Morenci stories entitled “Albóndiga Soup” and is co-editing a new anthology entitled “Our Spirit, Our Reality” by the Comadres of Sowing the Seeds.

A SIROW Scholar at the University of Arizona, Elena conducted an oral history project funded by AHC; “In the Shadow of the Smokestack.” A website she created contains the oral history interviews and photographs of Chicano elders living in Morenci during the Depression and World War II. Another project funded by AHC and the Stocker Foundation is “Tubac 1880’s Schoolhouse Living History Program.” Her website is www.elenadiazbjorkquist.net/.

Andrea Hernandez HolmBorn and raised in the desert of central Arizona, Andrea Hernandez Holm is a writer of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. She is a keeper of stories and a teller of stories. Most of her writing focuses on the exploration of identity. Visit Andrea at www.andreahernandezholm.webs.com

Meg Withers.The oldest of five children born to a Navy father from the "Raggedy Mountains" of Virginia, and an Italian Baroque Opera Drama Queen mother, Meg Withers grew up in a small northern California town full of Italian relatives, friends, and foes. She has traveled a lot, living in England and all over the continental U.S.A. She lived in Hawai`i for nine years. She earned her MA and MFA from San Francisco State and currently teaches at Merced Community College – Los Baños campus – an island in the middle of cotton fields and dairy farms. She considers herself a really lousy example of Buddhist practice, but her first book of poems, Must Be Present to Win, based on Buddhist practice, was published by Ghost Road Press in 2006. Her second book of poetry, A Communion of Saints, based on her life working in gay bars in Hawai’i, and the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s, was published by TinFish Press in 2008. She won first prize in the Open Windows 2005 all-genre writing contest, and has been awarded prizes by New Millennium Writings (creative non-fiction), and The Blue Cross Poetry Contest at SFSU. Her writing has been published in Nimrod, The Tule Review, American River Review, Rainbird, Presence, poetsagainstthewar.org, and cezannescarrot.com. She has been anthologized in To Fathers: What I Never Said, and she is currently working on a book of prose poems entitled The Etymology of Desire, which includes her favorite words, lots of sexual innuendo, Goeffrey Chaucer, and the women who inhabited his fine mind, his life, and his bed. Forthcoming this year is a book of poems based on her simultaneous love and complete ignorance of the language of math and science, particularly theoretical physics. It is entitled Particular Odyssey: In Search and will be published by Slack Buddha Press.

Scott MaurerScott Maurer is a multilingual writer influenced by Latin American Literature, an Administrator of the Facebook page Poets Responding to SB 1070, y alumnus of Ohio State University, USC Annenberg, College of Idaho, Emory University, y Colégio Salete Brazil.

Alma Luz VillanuevaAlma Luz Villanueva was raised in the Mission District, San Francisco, by her Yaqui grandmother, Jesus Villanueva- she was a curandera/healer from Sonora, Mexico. Without Jesus no poetry, no stories, no memory...
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.
Alma Luz Villanueva now lives 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!! And taking trips throughout Mexico, working on a novel in progress, always the poetry, memory. www.almaluzvillanueva.com

The Poetry

1. "What must I....?" by John Carlos De Luna

2. “Calavera Poem in Spanish and English” by Francisco X. Alarcón

3. "The Untouchable Reprieve" by Karina Oliva

4. "La Luz De La Candela" by Avotcja

5. "They" by Tom Sheldon

6. "El Poema De Aquel Que Murió En EL Desierto" by Gerardo Pacheco

7. "A Heart Condition" by Virginia Barrett

8. "¿Quién Dijo?" by Isela Laca:


What must I....?

by John Carlos De Luna

Must I be brown to be brown?
Must I let my hair grow long even if I am bald?
Must I name myself after a mexica god to be right with spirit?
Must I wear indigenous clothing to be connected to my roots?
Must I idolize others?
Must I wear a ski mask, a thick beard, a green military hat with a red star or a brown beret so that I may look the part?
Must I speak without integrity and compromise my whole history and self identity to be in solidarity with you?
Must I walk with shame because I cannot fit into this cannon?
Must I mold myself into you so that I can be your friend ?
Must I create art that speaks only to a few instead of all?
Must I paint images of indigenous folks in order for my art to be respected?
Must I not have a critical process and practice around my art work because it too intellectual?
Must I not be intellectual?
Must I believe that raza is not smart enough to understand?
Must I always make my community out to be victims?
Must I not think deeper than the barrio?
Must I not look for answers all around, inside and out?
Must I hate the same things and people you do so I can be your allie?
Must I hate?
Must I hate myself?
Must I turn my head when you speak of hate?
Must I divorce and hate my white wife?
Must I forget what she has sacrificed for me?
Must I ignore my love and commitment to her for you?
Must I tell my heart to love based on the color of skin or creed?
Must I let you define me so that I may fight aside you?
Must I be a follower instead of a leader?
Must I do what you say?
Must I not question your actions?
Must I not hold you accountable?
Must I stay quite when you say the word bitch or whore?
Must I degrade and dehumanize women so I can show my masculinity?
Must I practice patriarchy so that I may be a man?
Must I hate queer men and women so that I can feel like a whole man?
Must I call you fag when you cry or feel to remind you of your masculinity?
Must I not cry?
Must I not feel?
Must I disconnect from my emotions?
Must I not write poems?
Must I be harsh and bold?
Must I be cold and hard?
Must I not have compassion?
Must I act out of regret?
Must I act from my pain?
Must I act from my anger?
Must I act from my fear?
Must you fear me so that you can respect me?
Must I make everything mine?
Must I manipulate others?
Must I not really care?
Must I pick and choose who I am good to?
Must I judge others?
Must I break others down?
Must I destroy in order to show you I have power?
Must I... Must I love and simply be me?

Calavera: La Muerte Electoral de la Muy Catrina Meg Whitman, Candidata Republicana de California

Por Francisco X. Alarcón

La Muerte, la Muy Huesuda,
arrastrando de la mano
a una Meg Whitman suertuda
gritando se está llevando:

“No me lleves todavía;
te puedo dar un millón;
¿no ves que yo soy hoy día
candidata a gobernador?”

“Meg, ¿quién en ti confía?”
–La Muerte le respondió–
“Si tu nana Nicky Díaz
cuando ayuda te pidió

para sus papeles arreglar
tras años contigo trabajar,
dijo: –Meg nomás se rió
y si más, me despidió–

diciéndome la infeliz:
–Nicky, desde este momento
te doy desconocimiento;
yo nunca te conocí–“

La Muerte le recordó:
“Meg, así te trataré,
por mentir y causar dolor
al infierno te llevaré;

con nuestro pueblo en mente
aconsejo no votar
en este dos de noviembre
por esta maldita tal por cual…”

Así se ve a una millonaria
dólares sin fin quemar
en elección extraodinaria
en un rincón infernal


Calavera Poem: The Electoral Death Of the So High-Class Meg Whitman, Republican Candidate in California

By Francisco X. Alarcón

Death, the Very-Bony-One,
is taking down to the Beyond
pulling the hand of the lucky one
named Meg Whitman who yells:

“Don’t take me down yet;
I can give you millions!
don’t you see that I’m today
a candidate for governor?”

“Meg, who can trust you”
–responded Death–
“If your nanny Nicky Díaz
when she asked for your help

to fix her legal papers after
working for years for you,
said: –Meg just laughed at me
and fired me on the spot–

telling me the ingrate:
–Nicky, from this moment on,
you don’t even know me
and I’ve never met you–“

Death reminded her:
“Meg, I’ll treat you likewise,
for lying and causing such pain
I shall take you down to Hell;

with our people in mind,
I recommend not to vote
on this November Second
for this damned good-for-nothing…”

Nowadays you can see a millionaire
burning dollars without end
in an extraordinary election
someplace in a corner of Hell

The Untouchable Reprieve

by Karina Oliva

a tatted man with a goatee and a cane
conjured your name
made me watch from the rearview mirror
the tough stepping away
remembering the rattling knees that won’t hold you
how will you walk as an elder
was one of your questions when a knee would give
and you’d lean your tempered body on me

this Arizona heat-wave
making me long for a lilac sky
etched in gold
and white lightening

San Lazaro
leper Saint
draped in a purple sheath
with two dogs at his feet
tongues that lick his sores
and at the crown
of a balding head
a hallow disk

child hands intricately wrap a rainbow of threads
up tall rigid leaves, wide as macaw feathers

3 decades later the woman smiled he was teaching you
by showing

early offerings

reveal words as images erupt in confluence
recalling the sheen
of the lavender altar cloth
for step-father’s Orisha


I sing a makeshift hymn
in words I never learned, but with the ascending sound
of your infinite compassion
let it move like a wave risen
from the depth of our mother’s

before the water enters
the softened earth with the palm
of a handmade broom

and rest the gourd gently

there is no blessing greater than the one
you give yourself

karmic memories
of opportunities revisited and rethreaded

in the parable

the rich man who denied his crumbs
to the sickened vagabond
after their death
asked the All Mighty
to have Lazarus from heaven
dip his shunned fingers
in a brook
and enter hell to relieve his thirst

and so Chango called his wife

as the ground rumbled
with four thousand hooves
of a thousand star painted horses
to answer miracles
and bring
the rain.

(un mensaje pá nuestras frutas preciosas)

by Avotcja

Tú eres la luz de la candela
Y el fuego en mi sangre
El renacimiento de mis esperanzas
(los sueños lejanos que me abandonaron)
Hoy, en ti, mis esperanzas despiertan
Tú eres la luz de la candela
Mi razón de vivir y morir
Mi primera causa de luchar
Si aunque me cueste la vida
En tus manitás viva el futuro de nuestra gente
Y sin ti
Soy una fantasma huerfanada en el viento
Tú eres la luz de la candela
En este mundo de locura
Tú y solamente tú tienes el destino en las manos
Tienes la libertad sagrada en tus venas
Y el orgullo infinito en tus ojos
Al lado de la refleción de toda mi existencia
Tú eres la luz de la candela
En ti vive el alma Africana
En ti vive el espíritu del Taíno y Afro Americana
En ti hay la mente de los Antepasados Indigenas
Los hijos del Sol y los de la tierra
Recuerda la fuerza por tu manera de cantar y bailar
Recuerda la cultura por tu manera de caminar y pelear
Recuerda el llanto por tu manera de reir y sentir
Recuerda el orgullo por tu manera de vivir y morir
¡Recuerda! ..... Por favor, recuerdala bien
O todo lo que soy en la vida
Morirá con la muerte de mi cuerpo
Recuerda que me es imposible existir sin ti
Y solamente por ti viviré pá siempre jamas
Para siempre jamas viviré en ti
Tú eres la luz de la candela
La semilla eterna eres tú
La luz brillante
La luz calurosa
Ayudala a crecer y florecer
Y nunca ..... nunca ..... nunca olvida que
¡La luz de la candela eres tú!

Copyright © Avotcja


by Tom Sheldon

THEY have no home,
have no family nor rights.
They have no feelings,
living on warm water and sardines.
They are from another world.
They sneek in the night,
averse to clubs and bullets.
They miss their families.
They are saddened to leave home.
They are desperate,
risking their lives.
For a dream.

El Poema De Aquel Que murió En EL Desierto

by Pacheco, Gerardo

“Humanity is lost.” GPM

oh, dear mother, i pray to you.
i’m your son, the one you
forgot in the jungle of guatemala.

i walked and walked for days
underneath the canopy of trees
full with monkeys, snakes, spiders,
toads and jaguars in order to go on
with my journey to el norte.

i roamed the land of the aztecs
with my stomach full of nothing.

i followed the train tracks for days.
i was thirsty, and only one old
priest from a crumbling church
gave me stale tortillas to eat.

oh, dear mother, i kept on
with my journey, even though
los poilicias stole my belongings.

i walked and walked, but once i
reached el desierto. oh, dear

i wasn’t carrying water,
or food.

i walked and walked

for three days, but on the third
i felt so tired.

i laid on the sand, underneath

a shrub and slept.
oh, dear mother,
the nights in the desert
are cold.

the sky is full of stars
and falling,
burning rocks.

i wished to reach

my daughters safely

i waited for the sun

to appear,

but i never
felt its pain again.


by Virginia Barrett

Upset, Miguel calls me. He has just learned
that his friend is dead.
“Murió en una prisión de Arizona!”
Arrested by la migra.
They lived together, he tells me, in Pacific Beach, San Diego
when Miguel first arrived here from Mexico.
“Era un gran bajista brasileño.”
He was only thirty-eight but overweight
and with a heart condition.
Put behind bars for having no papers,
the officers would not give him his meds.
He died from cardiac arrest.

I hang up the phone, feeling badly for my friend,
sad for his friend, dead in jail from a heart condition,
far away from home, from friends . . . alone.
“No sabía que se había ido sin despedirse.”

Later, I see a message Miguel has posted in memory
of his friend on his Facebook wall.
“Dejé una flor y me fui con un vacío que crece
cada día más en mi pecho . . .”
And I must ask: Are they trying to rip out hearts
to make more room for the pain they cause?
In what kind of condition are the hearts
of those who let others die over documents,
over false borders, over the lack of flimsy papers?

There are no conditions between hearts,
among humanity:
this is one unrestricted planet we share.

“ . . . pero hemos de volver a vernos en algún lugar
del espacio sideral.”

by Virginia Barrett

¿Quién dijo?

by Isela Laca

is a natural process
¿Cómo es que llegaron los españoles?
...bueno si por error
Y los puritanos?
‘Onde ‘staba la Migra?
Pa’ que los dejamos quedar
Se les extiende la mano
Y se toman el brazo
Le corrieron a la persecusión
Y después persiguieron ellos mismos
Terminaron con el Corazón
Nativo Americano?
Pues el Corazón del “Ghost Dance” late aún
Sigue vivo
¿Quién dijo que no puedo
Conocer este mi Hogar?
¿Quién dijo que aquí debo permanecer?
De este lado si...del otro no...
¿Quién inventó divisiones?
Lo único que divide
Mi Hogar
Son las mares
Las montañas
Aquí yo vivo
Y vibra mi ser
Con deseos de correr y
Apreciar este immenso Hogar
¿Cuántos Libros hay por quemar?
¿Cuántos más Danzantes deberán perecer?
¿Hasta cuándo van a comprender?
El Sol no se tapa con un dedo
Siempre en sus ojos
Tal vez volverán a ver otro Eclipse
Pero bien sabrán que
Allí está...existe
La Mejicanidad
Nunca Perecerá!
Migration is
My Nature!

Copyright©2010 by Isela Acihuatl Laca


1. "What must I....?" by John Carlos De LunaMy artistic and Poetic practice is founded on the importance of building bridges between peoples and across racial or cultural borders in order to heal historic wounds and construct relationships rooted in a collective empowerment through the exploration and intersections of identity.

My work surveys the intersections of my own experiences as they also relate to the experiences of many and work together in order to create the connective tissue between historically significant social cultural experiences and contemporary human dilemmas. Without compromising on theoretical complexity, my narrative and story telling works maintain their accessibility and open doors for all people to engage with their identities, social cultural experiences, and inherent personal power, honesty and the ability to be vulnerable and ultimately feel empowered to embrace their own identities no matter how complex and different they are from the norm.

2. “Calavera Poem in Spanish and English” by Francisco X. AlarcónFrancisco X. Alarcón, award winning Chicano poet and educator, born in Los Angeles, in 1954, and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, is author of twelve 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 latest book is Ce•Uno•One: Poemas para el Nuevo Sol/Poems for the New Sun (Swan Scythe Press 2010). This book inaugurates the Poetas•Puentes poetry series that will publish bilingual (Spanish/English and Mesoamerican languages) poetry books.
His 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.
Francisco has been a recipient of the Danforth and Fulbright fellowships, and has been awarded several literary prizes, including the 1998 Carlos Pellicer-Robert Frost Poetry Honor Award by the Third Binational Border Poetry Contest, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, 1993 American Book Award, the 1993 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and the 1984 Chicano Literary Prize. In April 2002 he received the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association (BABRA) in San Francisco.
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 here.

3. "The Untouchable Reprieve" by Karina OlivaKarina Oliva was born in El Salvador, and grew up in Los Angeles. Also an artist, she earned a Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in Ethnic Studies with a focus on U.S. Central American literature. You may contact her at k_oliva_alvarado@hotmail.com.

4. "La Luz De La Candela" by Avotcja

5. "They" 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.

6. "El Poema De Aquel Que Murió En EL Desierto" by Gerardo PachecoGerardo Pacheco Matus was born in Huhi, Yucatan, Mexico. He is Mayan. Pacheco migrated to the United States when he was fifteen years old. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. Pacheco’s writing is influenced by his Mayan and Mexican heritage. He uses their magic & history to bridge two worlds that have been in conflict not only with their language, but their culture. Also, Pacheco's writing deals with migration and its social and cultural hardships. Pacheco had published poems at Cipactli Magazine and Transfer Magazine, El Tecolote Newspaper,, The Amistand Journal and LA BLOGA . He has been a Smart Cookie scholar since 2006. Pacheco is a candidate for the MFA Creative Writing- Poetry at San Francisco State University.

7. "A Heart Condition" by Virginia BarrettBorn in New York City, raised in Vermont, Virginia Barrett is a poet, writer, and visual artist. Her travel memoir Mbira Maker Blues—a healing journey to Zimbabwe, was released in 2010 (www.studiosaraswati.com/jambu.htm). Her most recent book of poems is Infinite Love—poems from a course in meditation and she is the translator of At 24th & Mission—poesía local con esencia global by Miguel Robles. Virginia teaches poetry, creative writing, and visual art to both children and adults. She has lived and traveled in Mexico, South America, Zimbabwe, Europe, Thailand, and other parts of the world. She now lives in San Francisco. www.virginiabarrett.com

8. "¿Quién Dijo?" by Isela Laca

Isela Acihuatl Laca
Isela was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She earns her living as a social worker and is presently associated with Hospice El Paso.
Isela is Mexica Maya whose spirituality and thought is Meso American. Isela receives her teachings and insights through partaking of various indigenous ceremonies. Isela believes in self-healing and is a Master Reiki Practitioner.
Isela has a great appreciation for the arts and has, through a small grant from Access Arts (VSA Affiliate) in Austin, offered free musical workshops to the El Paso Community. She received another small grant from Access Arts and was able to coordinate the creation of a mural for and by the homeless population of El Paso; the mural was completed on the outside wall of the building at the Opportunity Center.
On a more personal level, Isela has a passion for expressing her thoughts through the written word. She had various poems published by Poetry.Com and twice by MDM-Mujeres de Maiz Publication. Isela is a Mexica (Aztec) Dancer and is currently working on a Danza/Presentation for Dia de los Muertos for The Smithsonian Virtual Museum.
Isela is inspired by and is in awe with life and its creative forces.
Isela Acihuatl Laca
El Paso, Tx 79915

1 comment:

Julia Amante said...

Gracias for the wonderful recap!! This was the best attended year, and for me it was great to be among so many talented Latino writers, artists, and booklovers.