Tuesday, December 06, 2011

World's only Norton Anthology. Joke contest. Comida. On-Line Floricanto

Magnum Opus Priced Right

The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature.
Edited by Ilan Stavans, Edna Acosta-Belén, Harold Augenbraum, María Herrera-Sobek, Rolando Hinojosa, Gustavo Pérez Firmat. NY: WW Norton, 2011.
ISBN 978-0-393-08007-0

Michael Sedano



I blinked. The jacket on the Pasadena Public Library's copy of this treasure of American reading prints the list price at a ridiculously affordable $59.95.  Adding the 177 pages of appendix and the 71 pages of prefatory text to the anthology's 2489 pages of literature this totals 2737 pages. The publisher must want gente to own this book.

There are lots of Norton Anthologies in the world, but there's only one The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. The editorial team acquits itself well of the onerous responsibility of delivering a Literature to the world.

How much was included must be the standard in appreciating any collection, not the absence of a raúlrsalinas, or picking the absolutely wrong Abelardo poem while electing to include 63 pages of historical documents like the bracero agreement or Proposition 187, which are neither Literature nor necessary.

La Bloga doesn't intend to get into a Rita Dove - Helen Vendler position with the editors of the Norton Latino. All inclusions and omissions represent deliberate choice and ya stuvo. As with any anthology, the work stands as a distillation of a lifetime in literature. In the present instance, the careers of six academics representing Cuban, Mexican, Colonial, Dominican, Puerto Rican and Latin American literatures. Thank you, editors.

The editors elect to mark the beginning of Latino Literature at the writings of an adventurer born in Europe in 1484. Bartholomé de las Casas came to America for glory, god, and gold and birthed Latino Literature. Four hundred eighty years and twenty-four hundred pages later, Latino Literature arrives at cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, born in 1964.

But that's not the end. Wrapping up the cartoonist theme still leaves an agglomeration of miscellaneous and or emerging art that merits at least a few pages in any anthology called Norton and Latino. There are cartoons, hip hop, bibliographies, and all those appendixes.

If La Bloga readers have someone in their life they love $59.95 worth, The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature will be under their hanukka bush or xmas tree this year. Print out the table of contents from the publisher's website, as the gift card. By the way, there's a college edition that comes with a password to the book's website, some of which is already free.

I didn't know William Carlos Williams is  a latino, but there he is. Maybe you'll find other surprises. Light a good fire, put a pillow behind you, sit back and spend an evening leafing through The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. The thing is a joy to hold, and, as the poet says, a joy forever, or until the second edition.



Joke Contest Winners Take Home Funny Loot

So these two chicanas walk into a bar and the first one says... 

Orale, OK, you want something more modern. Stop me if you've heard this:

So these two **** *** chicanas *** walk into a *** bar...

Wha? Friday being getaway day for working raza, some may have missed Manuel Ramos' joke contest. There's time remaining to get in the hunt so here are the details:

Tell Me a Joke
The publicity people behind the Fluffy DVD have offered La Bloga's readers two copies of Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution for giveaways.

Send Manuel Ramos a joke. If yours is one of the two funniest jokes Ramos receives, you win a DVD, and publication of your joke here on La Bloga.

Ramos admits:  As you can see, the selection of the winner will be totally subjective on my part. I will tell you this -- try to be original, don't be a hater, and you should know that it takes a truck to make me smile, and a circus train to make me laugh. Send your jokes to me, Manuel Ramos, at this email address: lablogaATaolDOTcom. I'll announce the winners and post the jokes in my next post, which should happen December 16. You have until December 15 at 5:00 PM (Denver time) to submit an entry. Good luck, and keep on laughing.


Checking Up on Latinopia

November December January fill our panzas with culinary delights. It's chile and tamalada time!

A big gathering of the tribes invariably means potluck, and since it's familia and all, cooks want to make sure to serve the best dishes while amusing themselves in the preparation and presentation.

With a video assist from Latinopia's Food series, even a first-timer can make tortas de camarón con nopales just as tasty as Diane Hernandez. That's because Diane shows how she makes this savory treat in a pair of Latinopia videos. Cooks will love Diane's kitchen.  Ear cooks--a person who can listen to a recipe and recreate it at home--will enjoy a variety of green chile recipes. And, because it's video and if you are not an ear cook, you can pause and replay and get the recipe.

Latinopia's food pages also provide coverage of La Pelada, the September event that makes possible so many festive foods. At La Pelada, gente gather to celebrate green chile on the belief "el chile es cultura." The celebration includes wondrous potluck dishes and gente peeling 35 pound sacks of chiles imported to the LA area from Hatch New Mexico. Latinopia's green chile video is filmed at a Pelada.

Latinopia publishes new work Sundays. In recent weeks Literature series features were reading by Sara Rafael Garcia and a fascinating interview with Alberto "Tito" Rios answering the question, "how do you go about writing a poem?"


On-Line Floricanto: Seven poems from five poets

La Bloga On-Line Floricanto delights in sharing poems twinned in simultaneous voice, the one speaks el Inglés, the other Spanish. A critic once enthused that poetry was a constant reminder of all the things that could be said in only one language. Yvor Winters never read chicana chicano poetry, obviously.

This week's floricanto features Iris De Anda, José Hernández Díaz, Sonia Gutiérrez, Jabez W. Churchill, and Botched Resignation. Sonia Gutiérrez and Jabez W. Churchill share their work through two languages, a constant reminder of all the things that can be said really well in two languages (Gutiérrez says she writes simultaneously), while Iris De Anda and José Hernández Díaz lead-off in poems bespeaking the agon of biculturalism.

Thanks to Francisco Alarcón and the moderators of the Facebook group Poets Responding to SB 1070 for nominating the following to December's first On-Line Floricanto:

"To be a Pocha or not to be" por Iris De Anda
"This Serpent Tongue Cannot Be Colonized" by José Hernández Díaz
"La maza y cantera de una poeta" / "A Poet’s Mallet and Quarry" by Sonia Gutiérrez
"Not A Through Road/ Sin salida" by Jabez W. Churchill
"Of Song, Birds and Whales" by Botched Resignation


To be a Pocha or not to be
by Iris De Anda

because I’m neither
from here or there
I speak both languages
with a flair
born in Los Angeles
with roots that extend
reaching out to faraway lands
faraway sands, faraway from here

because I’m my father's daughter
drowning in alcohol
seeking the metaphysical
calling back in time
my family line
a forgotten leaf
on the familia's tree
to be a Pocha or not to be

because I’m my mother's daughter
drowning in depression
seeking a connection
recovering memories
of a tierra I never knew
a forgotten trace
of ancestors in me
to be a Pocha or not to be

because I’m not good enough
for here or there
i love to hate my flag &
hate to love my creation
ashamed of spanish in the 1st grade
i’m sorry mami i never meant to hurt you
ashamed of english in abuela's embrace
i know you never meant to hurt me

because I’m merging culturas
every time I breathe
crossing borders
every time I speak
split forever into one
at the edge of two worlds
the edge of possibility
to be a Pocha or not to be

because I’m finding a balance
of this cosmic raza
a fusion of color
for this meztiza
things to learn
and things to teach
the little ones in front of me
to be a Pocha or not to be




This Serpent Tongue Cannot Be Colonized
by José Hernández Díaz


To those who say
Our voices must conform
To proper English
And/or Spanish,

I offer you this
Humble poem—

This jaguar roar:

Mezclado,
With love and squalor…


I was born
To a proud
And ignorant
Mother who
Bravely immigrated
From the bucolic
Fields of Guanajuato;

After crossing to El Norte,
She stumbled as she
Landed on
The dry, gringo soil—

She spoke to me
With heavy chains of
Broken English—

But her turquoise heart
Was always full of love;

Her tranquil song
Reverberated in
The belly of
The sun.

...Please,
Cuauhtémoc,
Do not weep...


When I was placed
In ESL classes
In elementary school,

I yearned to join
The American students
In traditional courses—

I wanted to say
The pledge of allegiance
Without a hint of
Chicano accent—

When that day
Finally arrived,
I was filled with
Yankee pride;

Today, I cherish
The memory
Of my Aubelo's machete
Swiftly cutting the
Tuna del nopal

At times,
Subtle sounds
Are more profound
Than the rigid
Perils of language.

...Por favor,
Cuauhtémoc,
No llores...


Tomorrow,
With the coming
Of the Sixth Sun:

I yearn to
Speak the
Silent language
Of sun-burnt peasants—

With a vibrant accent,
Colorful with
The weight of
Ancient myth:

This serpent tongue—
This pride—
Cannot be colonized.

...Tlatlauhtilia,
Cuauhtemoctzin,
Amo ancoconetzitzintl…





La maza y cantera de una poeta
Escrito por Sonia Gutiérrez 

Porque estos dedos toscos
no tocan guitarra,
mis letras se levantan
como nudos desatados
del pueblo
de mi garganta.

Con sus ojitos desplomados
y trapos agujereados,
esa niña y niño
merecen vivir un cuaderno de la vida
sin balas,
con lápices de colores para pintar
sus buenos días y aguas
libres de lombrices.
Déjenlos subirse a los árboles
y enlodarse de sonrisas.

Y porque no tengo las brochas de Goya,
mis dedos pintan la sangre derramada
de brazos destrozados
como una tecolota
acribillada en su nido
mientras su tecolote huye
en terror a media noche.

Y porque para esta poeta, la poesía
es su único escudo y arma
sin violencia bruta;
teje palabras,
para que un pseudo-sordo mundo
escuche la historia
de su presagio.



A Poet’s Mallet and Quarry
By Sonia Gutiérrez

Because these clumsy fingers
don’t play guitar,
my letters rise
like untied knots
in the throat
of my people.

With their slumped eyes
and riddled rags,
that girl and boy
deserve living a notebook of life
without bullets,
with color pencils to paint
their good mornings and waters
free of worms.
Let them climb trees
and be muddied with smiles.

And because I don’t have Goya’s paint brushes,
my fingers paint the bloodshed
of mangled arms
like an owl
gunned down in her nest
while her love flees
in terror at midnight.

And because for this poet, poetry
is her only coat of arms and weapon
without raw violence;
she weaves words,
so a pseudo-deaf world
listens to the history
of her presage.





NOT A THROUGH ROAD
by Jabez W. Churchill

The shortest
most efficient,
least costly distance between two points,
different but empathetic
mutually beneficial populations,
is straight,
perhaps narrow, unpaved and sinuous,
but an open line, one that connects.
Closure
to impose poverty,
out-source labor, assure cheap manufacture
and squeeze the last drops
from an already bled-out consumer
is a corporate solution,
a short-term fix.
Rhetoric,
laundered through the greedy mouths
of bible-thumping politicians
waiting for their drink,
stagnant contaminated water,
to trickle down,
does not hide the sign.
Isolation is NOT A THROUGH ROAD.


SIN SALIDA
por Jabez W. Churchill

El camino mas corto,
mas eficiente,
menos costoso entre dos puntos,
distintos sino pueblos consentidos
mutuamente ventajosos,
es recto,
una línea aun angosta, pedregosa y sinuosa,
pero directa que se conecta.
La clausura
para imponer pobreza,
obra extranjera e industria barata,
y desangrarle al consumidor
ya desagotado
es solución corporativa,
arreglo de corto plazo,
La retorica,
blanqueada por las bocas golosas
de politicos fundamentalistas
esperando que les filtre su trago,
agua estancada, ya contaminada,
no esconde la senal.
El aislamiento es un camino
SIN SALIDA.




of song, birds and whales
by Botched Resignation 

the first notes
are as silent and still

as  perhaps,
a prenatal thought,

composed and given
upon conception.

soon,
thereafter, to be

accompanied by
a deeper,
audible whisper and
together,

these delicate moments,
engage one another

in a language broken
into an aquatic, low decibel
embryonic hum,

that from across
a starless void

becomes our song.



BIOS

"To be a Pocha or not to be" por Iris De Anda
"This Serpent Tongue Cannot Be Colonized" by José Hernández Díaz
"La maza y cantera de una poeta" / "A Poet’s Mallet and Quarry" by Sonia Gutiérrez
"Not A Through Road/ Sin salida" by Jabez W. Churchill
"Of Song, Birds and Whales" by Botched Resignation


Iris De Anda is a woman of Mexican & Salvadorian descent born, raised, and currently living in Los Angeles, California.  I am a revolutionary, mother, wife, writer, activist, practitioner of the healing arts, and co-founder of the company Las Adelitas: Moda, Cultura, Revolucion.  I believe in the power of spoken word, poetry, storytelling, and dreams.  I have been writing for most of my life and this is my ceremony, my offering, and my creation for a better world.  Peace!

José Hernández Díaz is a first-generation, Chicano poet with a BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley. José has been published in The Best American Nonrequired Reading Anthology 2011, La Gente Newsmagazine of UCLA, Bombay Gin Literary Journal, La Tolteca, Contratiempo, Hinchas de Poesia, In Xochitl In Kuikatl Literary Journal, Indigenous Writers and Artists Collective, The Packinghouse Review, among others. José has had poetry readings at The Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco, at The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, and at El Centro Cultural de Tijuana. José is currently fulfilling an internship with Floricanto Press as a Poetry Editor. In addition, he is an active moderator of the online group, ‘Poets Responding to SB1070,’ where he has contributed more than 30 of his own poems.


Sonia Gutiérrez, mother poet, activist professor, and translator-communicator, teaches at Palomar College and Upward Bound (CSUSM). Sonia’s work has appeared in La Bloga, AlternaCtive PublicActions, Lavandería: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash, and Words, among others and forthcoming in Contratiempo: Arte y pensamiento latinoamericano en USA, Turtle Island to Abya Yala: A Love Anthology of Art and Poetry by Native American and Latina Women, Tan lejos de Dios and the San Diego Poetry Annual 2011-12 . Her bilingual poetry collection, Spider Woman/ La Mujer Araña, is seeking publication. Sonia is at work on her novel Kissing Dreams from a Distance and a book of translations. To see more of her work, visit her bloguita, Chicana in the Midst.


Jabez W. Churchill. I'm currently a language instructor for both Santa Rosa and Mendocino Junior Colleges. Still read poetry at la Galeria de la Raza in la Mission, Oakland, the greater Bay Area, and yearly in Vancouver, B.C.. And, still up to joyous and irreverent civil disobedience. There's a wondrous expression from Mexico: "!Portate bien! Y si no, que me invites!" Gracias a Don Em y a Don Francisco for leading the desfile! Jabez


Botched Resignation is an inebriated rogue, inspecting from head to foot, an intoxicated, duplicitous, secular pride. He is his own worst enemy. On the field of poetic contention, Botched Resignation has no rival, no job, no money and no prospects... none. He is the point and shaft of a spear, as well as the archetype who wields it. However, odds are, up against it, he can never hope to win and doesn’t give a damn. Botched Resignation is 100% pure snipe.

1 comment:

Daniel Olivas said...

Here's my La Bloga interview with Ilan Stavans regarding the Norton anthology:

http://labloga.blogspot.com/2010/10/interview-with-ilan-stavans-editor-of.html

It is worth the dinero.