Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lupe, the Woman. Event Updates. On-Line Floricanto Anniversary

Review: Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Alma López, eds. Our Lady of Controversy. Alma López's "Irreverent Apparition. Austin: UTexas Press, 2011.
ISBN: 978-0-292-71992-7 and ISBN: 978-0-292-72642-0

Michael Sedano

The first time I saw Alma López’s take on la Virgen de Guadalupe I laughed at the audacity of the finely crafted photograph. The artist has the goddess proclaim “when all your hieratic stuff is said and done, and you’ve prayed to and idolized me, remember this: I am a woman.”

The woman in López’s photograph poses arms akimbo, head tilted. Her face stares straightforwardly out, unsmiling lips expressing ‘what are you looking at?’ confidence.

Some viewers were looking outragedly at the figure’s floral bikini. Then the naked breasts of the putto at la Virgen’s feet. All Hell broke loose, propelling López to well-earned prominence among American artists, as well as enduring scorn from nattering whatevers.

At the time, López likened the scourging to a 21st century inquisition, cites Alicia Gaspar de Alba, in her introduction to her co-edited collection Our Lady of Controversy. Alma López’s Irreverent Apparition.

The eleven chapters include essays by López and Gaspar de Alba, as well as Tey Marianna Nunn, Kathleen Fitzcallaghan Jones, Deena J. González, Luz Calvo, Clara Román-Odio, Emma Pérez, Cristina Serna, Catrióna Rueda Esquibel.

Our Lady of Controversy is a useful book for scholars and arts aficionadas aficionados. In addition to insight and history set forth, there’s fun for all in the chapter titles. There’s “Death Comes for the Archbishop” and “Do U Think I’m a Nasty Girl?”

It takes a rare editor to allow such liberties, but then Gaspar de Alba’s introduction, “Our Lady of Controversy: A Subject That Needs No Introduction”, kicks off the collection with understated aplomb. Chapter 2, Nunn’s “It’s Not about the Art in the Folk, It’s about the Folks in the Art: A Curator’s Tale.” Chapters 7 and 8, gender / nation, life / virgins, López’s final essay santa / fe feature the same figure, chiasmus.

It’s humor, gente. With a point. Ever the English professor, Alicia Gaspar de Alba prefaces a long explanation of the device to illustrate her motive behind the motif:

By focusing on one controversial piece of art in one small exhibition in Santa Fe, the chapters show the complex intersectionality of cultural politics, historical memory, and gender dynamics that informs exhibition practices and public reception…they also use Our Lady as a case study for examing the different chiasmi—or opposing ideas—that took center stage in the controversy.

She could as readily pointed to Clara Román-Odio’s subtitle in chapter 6, “Queering the Sacred: Love as Oppositional Consciousness in Alma López’s Visual Art” for an explanation. Oppositional consciousness, a gem of a phrase so explicitly accounts the demands chiasmus places upon readers. I suppose if one has to explain a joke it’s not that funny. This table of contents, however is the exception. Most cool, editors.

Bound with the book comes a DVD, “I (heart) Lupe” that is a “conversation with Ester Hernandez, Yolanda M. López, and Alma López.” Viceroy Butterfly Productions. As I am reading the book I purchased for my wife’s Mothers Day gift, the disc remains sealed. For an idea of the DVD contents, see the promo at the artist’s website.

Affordable in paperback, a collector’s gem in hardback, buyers will appreciate the publisher University of Texas Press’ superb reproduction quality in color plates and adequate b&w detail.

I do not know why some protestors hate the Virgin but there they go again, up in Oakland. From the author's website:

America Needs Fatima is protesting "Our Lady" print at the Oakland Museum of California. They have received thousands of emails requesting to remove the print from the exhibition Contemporary Coda. They have also planned a protest on May 21 at the museum. Please send them an email of support, and cc me at almaloveslupe@gmail.com.

America Needs Fatima is also protesting the Our Lady of Controversy: Alma Lopez's "Irreverent Apparition" edited by Alicia Gaspar de Alba and myself on amazon.com. They are writing horrible reviews. Please log on to amazon.com and write a review here.

Author Book signing at Ave50 Studio

Panelists sit aligned behind folding tabletops, backs to walls of Northwest Los Angeles’ Avenue 50 Studio. Christine Serna, sitting right, speaks first.

Alma López asks Serna questions and gets encyclopedically detailed answers echoing Serna’s published essay. Serna is a model in López's work. Serna autographs one page featuring her bicep tattoo'd with López's Sirena Guadalupe embrace. The image prefaces Serna's chapter 8 essay, "It's Not About The Virgins In My Life, It's About The Life In My Virgins."

Alma López defines a duality in fusing her chicana impressions with Mexico’s Virgen de Gualdalupe image.

Alma López tells the packed gallery she did not intend to brew controversy when she agreed to hang her photograph of a floral-bikini’d Virgen de Guadalupe floating above a bare-breasted angelita with butterfly wings. The house smiles delightedly learning the symbolism infused in the butterfly species involving lepidoptery, immigration, mimicry, regeneration, change.

Alicia Gaspar de Alba places López's Lupe in a context sweeping across time from the legendary cloak to a series of chicana images including López's. The DVD features three of the artists.

Lara Medina, professor of Chicana/o Studies at CSUN, and Avenue 50 Board Member, illustrates her discussion with an image from the evening's book.

New Mexico artist Pola López joins the discussion. Several artists in the house expressed their own experiences confirming those in tonight’s spotlight. The book is one of those confluences that match literature, art, conscience, and rhetoric to one another.

The signing line paced leisurely as each person enjoyed passing conversations with the panelists.
Gaspar de Alba signed and kept hash marks on a handwritten chart. Beautifully printed serigraphs, magnets, and books. Dozens of books. She confesses to losing count, relying on subtraction to calculate the pair's evening sales.

Buyer's remorse but your great fortune! The publisher sells the hardcover at a genuine bargain. Its gold-embossed Lupe on black weave makes an impressive presentation for a graduating student. The paperback is cutthroat priced, too. Contact the University of Texas Press to complain, or place an order.

Sor Juana Conference Arrives at CSULA

From the Conference website:
The 2011 Conference on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz proposes a close examination of her work—her plays, her poems, and her prose—as well as the study of the politics, literature, religion and architectural art of Habsburg New Spain (1517-1700). Through Sor Juana’s life and work, the conference will create an interdisciplinary forum to examine features in the history of Colonial Mexico that have remained neglected or isolated as the province of specialized fields.

Pay to park or get a ticket. The conference takes place at May 13-14, 2011 in the Golden Eagle Ballroom of the student union building. Click here for the Conference website.

30th Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival Opens With Free Seniors Dance
I'd get in free. And since the dance comes at a decent hour, I'd stay to the last dance.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Seniors Conjunto Dance presented by WellMed
Guadalupe Theater • 9-11am • Free for Seniors
Henry Zimmerle y su Conjunto San Antonio featuring special guest Nick Villarreal

Click here for the Wednesday through the weekend schedule.

Tia Chucha Events in May

The book event of the year, Los Angeles Times' notwithstanding, arrives May 21 with the 6th Annual Celebrating Words Festival in Sylmar, California. Click here for the festival's website and line-up of fabulous literary and family fun events.

May 14, Tia Chucha's Art Fundraiser

Artists who'd profit from showing and selling at the show should contact Erica, the organizer immediately for the Application. Drop-Off day is May 12.

On-Line Floricanto Anniversary Edition

When Arizona legislators declared war on non-whites last year, proponents expressed ugly pent up rage that crossed over from vitriolic bravado to murder. Federal judges prevent enacting the state's punitive legislation, but there is no way to dispel Arizona's clear message: this State's government encourages hate.

In a singular act of nonviolent protest, nine kids chained themselves to a State door, forcing their arrest in front of television and print cameras. Francisco X. Alarcón composed a tribute to the nine. The poem helped stir a roiling mass of voices reaffirming the peoplehood the Arizona laws had sought to sully.

Out of the fervor surrounding the heroic students, the poem, the hateful message of SB 1070, a community manifested itself. These voices influenced Francisco's decision to put social media to work for poetry. Alarcón formed Poets Responding to SB 1070 on Facebook.

La Bloga invited Francisco and his co-moderators to select five of the week's most notable submissions. Intended as a temporary floricanto, the spirit of the thing built upon itself and soon La Bloga's On-Line Floricanto became a weekly fixture. And here we are, a Tuesday like any other Tuesday, except we are here, and here is Francisco X. Alarcón's preamble to the One Year Anniversary La Bloga On-Line Floricanto:

On May 10, 2011, we will be celebrating the first anniversary of "On-Line Floricanto," the collective poetry selections that are posted on every Tueday issue of LA BLOGA under the coordination of Michael Sedano. The selections are done from poems posted on the Facebook page "Poets Responding SB 1070" by the Moderators and Administrators of that FB page: Francisco X. Alarcón, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Carmen Calatayud, Elena Díaz Bjorkquist, Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Andrea Hernandez Holm, Abel Salas, Hedy Trevino, and Meg Withers.

We appreciate very much Michael Sedano's support, encouragement, and dedication, and thank all the poets whose poems have made "On-Line Floricanto" an important outlet for poetic expressions in solidarity for human rights against the xenophobic and anti-immigrant Arizona law SB 1070 and other similar state laws. Our goal remains "For a humane comprehensive immigration reform and for civil rights for all."

These are the poems written by current and former Moderators and Administrators of "Poets Responding to SB 1070" to celebrate the first anniversary of "On-Line Floricanto" at LA BLOGA:

1. "Floricanto Digital / On-Line Floricanto" by Francisco X. Alarcón

2. "An Offering of Strength" by Carmen Calatayud

3. "Ghost Riders Road" by Antoinette Nora Claypoole

4. "From the Frontlines of SB 1070 by by Elena Díaz Bjorkquist

5. "Poem 25 ~ Giving Voice" by Odilia Galván Rodríguez

6. "dedicated to the poets responding to sb 1070 - part uno" by israel azul f haros lopez

7. "Poets Responding /Poetas Respondiendo" by Andrea Hernandez Holm (Spanish translation by Francisco X. Alarcón)

8. "Cries of a Deported American" by Edith Morris-Vasquez

9. "Keep Hope Alive" by Hedy Trevino

10. "Dear World, Dear Earth, Dear Angel of Despair And Joy – January 6, 2011" by Alma Luz Villanueva

11. "One Spoke / Hablamos" by Meg Withers

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

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


For All Who Cross the Border to Survive,

and All Who Stand Up to Racist Laws

By Carmen Calatayud

The marrow I suck spills out of my

mouth and into a dark room where

the floor is covered with black grass

and dying trees that have a story to tell.

This is the sorrow I couldn’t share before:

The wounds of this world slip inside of

me and I am just a vehicle

for the United States of Pain.

But please don’t be afraid, Nogales.

Dear Phoenix, don’t cry too hard.

Ciudad Juarez, cup your hands.

I am with you 24/7.

My heart is the news cycle that never sleeps.

My palms beat the drums that support your bones.

My throat sings the chants that blaze your prayers.

Mariposas raise the roofs of the suffering ones

who long for freedom and love.

The transformation tastes like ether but the

anesthesia fades, and the hour of breaking open

appears as clearly as a milky moon

on an early November night.

The ancestors have arrived and they say

drink to the soul in the sky.

Your time is now. Your rights asserted.

Your voice is pure and deserving.

You are one in a long line of spirits

with blood that blesses us all.

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

Celebrating one year of Poets Respond!


for Warriors of All Nations

by Antoinette Nora Claypoole

"But as long as you remember what you have seen, then nothing is gone.

As long as you remember, it is part of this story we have together."

---Leslie Marmon Silko, from Ceremony


There is this palace where queens of love and beauty live.

Where White Shell Woman and her sister Turquoise want to be.

This place where when you have given man all you can and he asks for more this place you create for him to make. West wind in our faces. Travelling back from the Land after four days and four nights of will the U.S. Army come in shooting.


Her fingers kissed and pressed as rose inside pages of her baby-making days, her fingers press into his lips and with his he does the same. All this while she counts as inches marked on back of door quietly closed to show night an unlaced face.

With full mouth he kissed her silken flesh.

These are kisses etched as petroglyphs inside the cave of many worlds.

And it is said inside their place of flame an ancient story's told.

In this way they live the legend of lover never slain.

Years earlier, in the back alley of someone else's ripped and yellowed, fading loves me not reality, it is said, that as eagle over arbor she harbored houseboats filled with feather beds inside her heart for him. For him she drifted restless port to port looking for the sister of the dreamtime, snagging sights of late night lover as though they were all the source of Mediterranean Pacific place.

Back then he wore these very baggy linen cream colored old fashioned trousers, suspendered slightly and striped and leather hitches buttoned to some Mother of a Pearl. And she was most truly white shell oyster place. She the jewel born of dragon flies and beaded breast open yes they were as pages blown in summer Wind of flicker's flight.

But still. She cut her hair. Like we do when family dies.

Yet only enough to buy him words he longed to be and when

he first touched garnet of her quiet place her face became his heart.

Her eyes etched his flesh as some queen's china cups

to drink the heat of their access across the seas of fate.

In this way he did not burn.

And in this way she did not die.

He saved her many times.

She saved him many times.

For it is said in many other days she birthed him to this world.

And it is in this way they will always be related.

It is in this way she remembers.

How as ink in pen, as sandstone on the rock, his skin became her words.

Sadly, their stories are never truly spoken.

Yet, their stories have never been forgotten.

Today she lives as they.

Today he lives as she.

For once they slept on grass of spruce and black blanket of a mountain.

With cotton embroidered sleeves in streets of bonnet laced around her waist

in some other time the Roman White Shell fountain became their sacred hearth.

Theirs was the wish all others toss away.

But this was all long before today.

And this is her today.

She writes him moving past her window in the Wind.

He is the floating motion of a distant fallen Sun.

She is distant floating motion of the Warm Springs To' sido rising.

That song, their touch, are like that canyon on the western slope beyond

the sacred mountains.

Like that Oak Creek where Apache once could be, she is not afraid.

She is sacred milk of life.

She has all ways been like this.

Kissing fingers pressed into their lips.

She shows him all of this.

He is blue like night Sky.

She is family on the other side.

Meteors of lapis sparkle on her flesh.

Heathered sage and juniper collect a scent guided by destiny's a mystery.


She remembers him feather painting in Red Rock way.

He remembers her washing deep his wounds.

Their words in Air and stone remain.

"We will survive. This cannot be denied."

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


Dedicated to all poets who have submitted

to Poets Responding to SB 1070 in the past year

by Elena Díaz Bjorkquist

SB 1070 shocked me, dismayed me.

We Chicanos had come too far

In Arizona to be set back even further.

I wanted to leave my birth state.

Move back to California?

No longer possible.

Move to Texas?

Not an option.

Move to New Mexico?


Life here no longer comfortable,

I felt downright scared.

I was no longer physically prepared

To picket,

To protest.

Reason set in

Why should I run?

Abandon the life,

The nicho I’d created

For myself by returning

To the land of my birth?

Not long after

I met Francisco X. Alarcón

At a Floricanto at my cousin’s house

And knew my pen could be

My weapon.

My passion could be

My salvation.

Francisco invited me to help

Moderate Poets Responding

to SB 1070 on Facebook.

I joined the conscientious group

Of moderators/poets and knew

My decision was righteous.

We gave other poets a platform

To use their pens

To protest.

Reading hundreds of poems

Gave me animo,

Encouragement to

Live on the frontlines

Of SB 1070,

To write my own poems,

To sing in my own voice

The history of my people,

The stories of the wrongs

Perpetuated by laws like

SB 1070,

Animo to fight for what

Is right.

Animo to fight for what

Is just.

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


Dedicated to La Bloga and

all Poets Responding to SB 1070

by Odilia Galván Rodríguez

no choice

but to speak out -

loud about injustice

those who must hide have no voice, just

slashed tongues

they hide

while being used

by people who speak lies.

they work, live silently in fear


who then

will speak for us

when others turn away

who joins in solidarity ~

speaks up


muted voices

teach them new songs to sing

dedicate them poems for peace ~


flor y canto

poder ~ [power]

sweet medicine to heal

fear, hatred and yes, to demand


© 2011 Odilia Galván Rodríguez

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


by Andrea Hernandez Holm

They carry me

Wrapped securely

Upon their backs

Bound bone to bone

upon their backs

They carry me

When I think

I can not think


Or hurt


Or dream


They carry me

Use their words

As shields

Use their words

As salve

Use their words

To carry me


por Andrea Hernandez Holm

Me cargan

Envuelta y asegurada

Sobre sus espaldas

Soldando hueso con hueso

Sobre sus espaldas

Me cargan

Cuando pienso

Que no puedo pensar

Ya nada más

O doler

Ya nada más

O soñar

ya nada más

Me cargan

Usan sus palabras

Como escudos

Usan sus palabras

Como ungüento

Usan sus palabras

Para cargarme

Traducción al español por Francisco X. Alarcón.

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

dedicated to the poets responding to sb 1070 - part uno

by israel azul f haros lopez


to the authors of dreams

the catchers of words

you have birthed me

shown me how to break

and bend inside worths


to crawl underneath

la frontera

and carve out the bones

and palm the red water

of those forgotten


you tell me to scream again

you write me the silence

of my dignity y paz

despite this war

along picketed fences


who are they

so afraid

of inside these laws


the one

who writes

with the laws

of the wind



y toda la magia

de tus aguas

y tu fuego


i will die with you

write words

over and over

prayers to the women

prayers to the men

prayers to the children

whose homes

have been ripped

from the inside

since 1492


these homes

we built with palabra

this justice

y humandad

que nace de nuevo

con cada vibración

que conectas


desde el corazón

del cielo

haste el corazón

de los ojos

donde caen tantas


donde nutres

el camino

con raíces

y luz para

el pueblo

escrito por

israel azul f. haros lopez

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


by Edith Morris-Vasquez

American made of origins, Sea,

I think of you now, a destination

for my ancestors who my ancestors

gave a place to live and to seek freedom

of worship, you say? Then why do we Stay?

Let’s go back to Ireland and Wales,

and for those mixed blood who’d choose to remain,

count me in, Grandmother Wind, abuela,

my hero who gave birth to fourteen lives:

I invoke your Harp, your hardened furrows,

Wrinkled, suffering, swallowing her cries,

lines of a deported American,

sung in a language she once knew, English

which she refused to speak ever again.

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


by Hedy Garcia Trevino

When love is obscured

by the shadow of fear

I will fan the embers and

keep hope alive

When the dreams

of our children are shattered

and tossed to the wind

I will call on the song of the eagle

When the mountain I climb

is covered in thorns

I will seek out

the softness of stones

When the river

is blocked

by rancid intolerance

I will launch into flight

When the doors and windows

are shuttered tight

I will search for

the key in the rubble

When the wind roars at my back

and tears at my flesh

I will chant the song

of forgiveness

When the song

of the mountain is silenced

When the double rainbow fades

I will return with Grandfather

to that sacred place

to beat the drums of hope

and whittle magic flutes

from river willows

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

Dear World, Dear Earth, Dear Angel of Despair And Joy – January 6, 2011

by Alma Luz Villanueva

Early morning, as we land in Mexico

City, I see the immense angel, I

blink my eyes, I stare and

stare, it doesn't disappear, it

remains firm, hovering at the

edge of Mexico City's sprawl,

Cloud Angel, Spirit Angel, Angel

Of Despair And Joy, Begging Angel,

Starving Angel, Murdered Angel,

Tortured Angel, Child Prostitute

Angel, Angel Of The Well Fed Loved

Child, Angel Of Loving Parents,

Angel Of Those Who Feed The Hungry,

Angel Of Those Who Give To Beggars,

Angel Of Those Who House The Beaten

Human body, Angel Of Those Who

Weep For Mercy Compassion Harvest,

Angel Of Those Who Rage For Poverty's

People, Angel Of The Unashamed

Who Bellow, Angel Of The

Shamed Who Whimper, Angel of

Our Humanity, Angel Present Alive

Every Where, Angel At The Edge Of

Mexico City, I didn't know you

were there until this morning,

December 9, 2011, if I flew

city to city, country to country,

continent to continent, I would

see you firm, hovering, your

immense wings folded softly,

fiercely, your speed of light

eyes balancing the terror,

the wonder, of being

human, you temper our

blindness, give us sight,

Angel Of Diamond Light

Eyes, watching, weeping, gazing,

our strange, stubborn, human

beauty, we persist because of

you, Angel Of Despair

And Joy, at the edge of

Mexico City, every city, town,

village, every Turtle Island,

our Earth.

(To the city of Tucson, the nine-year-old

angel, Christina Green, killed on January 8, 2011.

May the Circle Of Angels Of Despair And Joy unfurl

their soft, fierce wings, tip to tip, around Tucson at this time.)

* * * *

Los Angeles, The Angels, at noon,

Angel Of Illegal Immigrants, Spanish,

Vietnamese, Chinese, Cambodian spoken

on the streets, many more, do you

sing in every human language,

Turtle Islands once the massive

Tortoise emerging from primal,

cellular swirling sea, from

space blue blue blue womb

water, I hear you singing on

the streets of Los Angeles, your

sweet clear voice pierces my

stubborn, persistent, will-to-live

human heart...Angel Of Dreaming

Immigrants, Angel Of Native People

Of This Continent (their drums, their

voices, their rattles, dance, song,

keeping us alive, ancient prophecy

coming home, coming home to the

streets of Los Angeles, The Angels, the

Earth, coming home), Angel Of The

Ancient Trade Routes, Angel Of

Shimmering Shifting Borders,

Angel Of The Dispossessed,

Angel Of the Possessive,

Angel Of Diamond Light Eyes,

I hear your sweet clear voice

piercing even the concrete, flowing

over the Pacific, her still fertile,

swelling waves, piercing every

stubborn human heart, our

Angel Of Despair And Joy,

I hear you singing in every

language, I don't know

the words, what I hear/feel,

your harsh, persistent healing.

* * * *

Santa Cruz, Holy Cross, ancient

symbol of healing (not crucifix),

night, oh Angel Of Scattered

Families, oh Angel Of Gathered

Families, how do we stand to feel

so much, I wonder, these gathered

memories from sheltered womb to

open door, the delicious, terrifying,

lush, killing, O beauty, O horror,

this human world,

this perfect Earth,

O Angel Of Diamond Light Eyes,

O Angel Of Terror And Wonder,

O Angel Of Despair And Joy,

O Angel Of Scattered, Gathered

Families, the families we're

born to, birth to,

the families we create,

O Angel Of Endless Weeping,

O Angel Of Endless Laughter,

we heard your harsh, persistent

voice, healing, and we danced,

oh we danced to your song,

terror, oh the wonder,

at the edge of Santa Cruz,

at the edge of Los Angeles,

at the edge of Mexico City,

at the edge of every floating,

rooted Turtle Island continent,

at the very edge of our Cosmos,

O Angel Of Diamond Light Eyes,

keep watch as the ancient prophecies,

the ancient trade routes, come

home, keep singing your harsh,

persistent, healing song, every language,

O Angel of Despair And Such


* * * *

Watsonville, Califas, a few miles south of Santa Cruz-

My granddaughter works with the

Farm Workers, their children born

two fingers to each hand, im

perfect (as my four children

were born perfect, spraying

of the fields, their parents

with cancers, dying to

pick the food of millions,

fresh cheap food at the supermarkets,

ICE separating illegal parents from

their legal children- we marched

the streets with Chavez, La Huerta,

over thirty years ago, still they

spray the fields (every where, this

Turtle Island), two fingers to each

hand, the im perfect children, to

their parents perfect- my youngest

son works with the families of the

dispossessed, the hungry, no

food or refrigerator to hold it, no

place to sleep (bed, mattress), no

place to sit (couch, chairs), no

table to gather (food food), the

country of wealth, abundance,

one in four children are hungry,

Martin Luther King, "The worst violence

is poverty," O Angel Of The Farm

Workers, O Angel Of Toxic Food,

Angel Of The Im Perfect,

Angel Of The Perfect,

Angels Of Violence,

Angels Of Healing,

surround each field, unfurl

your wings, tip to tip,

O Angel Of Diamond Light Eyes,

the terror, and always

the wonder.

*To my youngest son, Jules...and to my granddaughter, Ashley.

To all the daily human angels, wing tip to wing tip, every

Turtle Island, into the Sixth World.

Alma Luz Villanueva

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Always crossing the ancient trade routes, Kokpelli's song.

My angel, mi mamacita, Jesus Villanueva, y Alma Luz, San Francisco.

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


by Meg Withers

Unvoiced - nothing

No incluso eco

We voice ourselves

Armados con palabras

We whisper or shout

Somos somos

One spoke

Ahora hablamos

We cannot

Volver al silencio

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


1. "Floricanto Digital / On-Line Floricanto" by Francisco X. Alarcón
2. "An Offering of Strength" by Carmen Calatayud
3. "Ghost Riders Road" by Antoinette Nora Claypoole
4. "From the Frontlines of SB 1070 by by Elena Díaz Bjorkquist
5. "Poem 25 ~ Giving Voice" by Odilia Galván Rodríguez
6. "dedicated to the poets responding to sb 1070 - part uno" by israel azul f haros lopez
7. "Poets Responding /Poetas Respondiendo" by Andrea Hernandez Holm (Spanish translation by Francisco X. Alarcón)
8. "Cries of a Deported American" by Edith Morris-Vasquez
9. "Keep Hope Alive" by Hedy Trevino
10. "Dear World, Dear Earth, Dear Angel of Despair And Joy – January 6, 2011" by Alma Luz Villanueva
11. "One Spoke / Hablamos" by Meg Withers

Francisco X. Alarcón

Francisco X. Alarcón, award winning Chicano poet and educator, 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) His latest book is Ce•Uno•One: Poems for the New Sun (Swan Scythe Press 2010). 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. His previous bilingual book titled Poems to Dream Together (Lee & Low Books 2005) was awarded the 2006 Jane Addams Honor Book 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 here.

Carmen Calatayud

Carmen Calatayud is a poet and psychotherapist in Washington, DC. Born to a Spanish father and Irish mother in the U.S., her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. She won a 2003 Larry Neal Poetry Award. Calatayud’s poetry manuscript Cave Walk was a runner up for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award. She lived and wrote in Tucson in the 1990s, where she worked as a literacy advocate. She is a poet moderator for the Poets Responding to SB 1070 Facebook group.

Antoinette Nora Claypoole

My work as a writer spans 20 years and is informed, most extensively, by my years of working and living within Indian Country. That is--after a move from the East (born in Rochester, N.Y.) to the West in 1980--I met and began helping members of the American Indian Movement. Because of my ability to write news clips, press releases and network with organizations that published accounts of struggles within various tribes, my writing life is a textured landscape of freelance journalism (The Sentient Times, Ojibway News, hEyOka magazine), poetry published in literary reviews of the North and Southwest (The West Wind Review, Salt River Review, Voices of New Mexico) and a full-length book Who Would Unbraid her Hair: the legend of annie mae (Anam Cara Press, dist. Clear Light Books, Santa Fe, N.M.) a tribute to M’ik M’aq Anna Mae Aquash (1945-1975/6), a title recently acquired by the Smithsonian Instiitute Library in Washington, D.C.

la Puerta, Taos the art of fetching Sky is a two-volume artbook which I just completed: it documents the lives and collected writings/artwork of artists in Taos, New Mexico (2010, Wild Embers Press, ed. antoinette nora claypoole, Taos, N.M). Recently being awarded a fellowship in Literary Non-Fiction from Oregon Literary Arts for my current work in reviving the lost works of Louise Bryant (1885-1936), I still believe if you love mosquitos they won’t bite.

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 ten years performing as Teresa Urrea in a Chautauqua living history presentation, and doing presentations about Morenci, Arizona and also the 1880’s Schoolhouse in Tubac.

Elena is co-editor of Sowing the Seeds, una cosecha de recuerdos, 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 has co-edited a new anthology entitled Our Spirit, Our Reality; celebrating our stories 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 that 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/.

Elena is one of the poet moderators for the Facebook page “Poets Responding to SB1070.

Odilia Galván Rodríguez
photo credit: Dan Vera
Odilia Galván Rodríguez, is a poet/activist and healer. She has been involved in social justice organizing and helping people find their creative and spiritual voice for over two decades. Odilia is a moderator and one of the founding members of Poets Responding to SB 1070. She also co-hosts "Poetry Express" a weekly open mike with featured poets in Berkeley, CA.

Israel Francisco Haros LopezIsrael Francisco Haros Lopez 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. Currently the visual motifs are drawn from both a pre-columbian america that had far far less physical, mental or spiritual borders . Recent works are exploring Xenophobia in laws such as "SB 1070" both in written and visual format. Israel considers himself an environmentalist poet seeking to awakening those harming our first mother Tonantzin.He also draws inspriation from the contemporary styles of inner city youth who use public space by any means necessary as their method of artistic expression. Israel also draws much of his inspiration from his peers and contemporaries who constantly show him innovative ways to approach cultural and political dilemnas. The written words cannot be without the painted image. The painted image cannot be without words. Neither the written work or visual work can be without sound without vibration, as all things on this earth carry vibration. As such his written and oral work is constantly shifting as it is performed or recording. The same poem,story,monologue or abstract diatribe shifts within the space it is performed taking into consideration audience and the theatrics and vibration of the moment.

Andrea Hernandez Holm

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 focusing
on the exploration of identity. Andrea has worked as a research/publications
specialist, a freelance writer, editor and writing consultant. Her most recent
projects have included serving as the Project Researcher/Writer of the
award-winning Tiller?s Guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American
Indian Reservations published by BowArrow Publishing. She is also a published
essayist and poet with works appearing in Wisdom of Our Mothers, La Sagrada,
Tribal Fires, Collegiate Latino Underground, Red Ink, and the Cuentos del
Barrio II art exhibition of the Tucson/Pima Arts Council. Andrea has also
taught American Indian Oral Traditions, American Indian Literature, and
American Indian Religions at the college level. She served as editor of Red Ink
and as a board member of ArtsReach Board of Directors. She currently works as an
Instructional Specialist at the University of Arizona. Andrea is a moderator of
the Facebook page "Poets Responding to SB 1070" and a member of Sowing the
Seeds of Tucson, a collective writer's group.

Edith Morris-Vasquez
Edith Morris-Vasquez is a teacher and writer and derives from a family of other devoted educators and artists. Her first poems were all dedicated to family members such as this one written to Paula Grande whose story it relates. It is a profound joy and honor to be among all of the artists on this occasion.

Hedy M. Garcia Treviño

Hedy M. Garcia Treviño. 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.

Alma Luz Villanueva
Alma 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 twelve 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 six 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.

Meg Withers
Meg Withers is a writer, teacher, community activist and staunch civil rights practitioner. Her work has been published a lot. She has three books of poetry, the latest, Particular Odyssey: In Search, using the language of math and science, to be published soon. She believes most staunchly in inclusion rather than exclusion. She became a social and political activist the day her mother had one of Cesar Chavez' priests to dinner when she was thirteen years old. She implemented the visiting writer program at Merced Community College – Los Baños campus, and specializes in teaching the reading-deprived to understand that they have been greatly misinformed about their lack of ability to read and think. She is currently celebrating the life of her status as mother and grandmother with her family. She is a generally a happy person.

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