|Melinda Palacio, Aurora Anaya Cerda, and Nora Comstock at the 14th International Latino Book Awards|
La Bloga will be reporting from La Casa Azul Bookstore in Nueva York all week. I'll be in town for all the events, including the Brooklyn Book Festival Saturday, September 23 and a book signing at the booth hosted by La Casa Azul Bookstore and Las Comadres, Booth # 122. Confirmed authors include: Esmeralda Santiago, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, John Parra, Reyna Grande, Sandra Guzman, Toni Plummer, Melinda Palacio, Alberto Ferreras, Ana Arelys Cruz Cabrera, Carlos Andres Gomez, David Unger, Grece Flores Hughes, Jaime Manrique, Lucrecia Guerrero, and Patricia Engel.
My first visit to New York as an author brought a special surprise, a win of the Mariposa Award for Best First Book for my novel, Ocotillo Dreams. I had such a grand time seeing the sights and mingling with New Yorkers that, after the June ceremony at the Instituto Cervantes, I kept saying, 'I wish I can come back to New York soon'. Immediately, my wish was granted when Adriana Dominguez invited me to join the Las Comadres booth at the Brooklyn Book Festival and the Las Comadres y Compadres Writers Conference, Saturday October 6,held at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Brooklyn.
The conference features authors, agents, editors, and publishers, but there will also be a poetry panel, moderated by Rich Villar, Executive Director of Acentos, from 11:00 -11-50. Published poets discuss the poetry business and how to see your poems in print. Panelists include Melinda Palacio, Emanuel Xavier, and Lila Zemborain. Register for the conference here.
|Melinda and Toni Margarita (find us at the Brooklyn Book Festival Saturday, Sept. 23 at noon, booth 122)|
For those of you playing the Where in the World is Melinda postcard contest on facebook, a big hint, I will be in New York this week and for two days in October. See if you're the first to identify where I'm at and I will write a postcard to you and drop it in the US mail.
The New York festivities begin tonight at La Casa Azul:
Book Launch Party for
Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships Thursday September 20, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Edited by Adriana V. López, this collection of stories features twelve prominent Latino authors who reveal how friendships have helped them to overcome difficult moments in their lives.
Esmeralda Santiago, Daisy Martínez, Sofia Quintero, Michelle Herrera Mulligan and Adriana V. López.
50 for Freedom (This event is also happening nationwide, including Tia Chucha's in Sylmar from 5pm to 10 pm)
Friday September 21, 6:00pm - 8:00pm New York City's Latino literary community will converge to participate in "50 for Freedom of Speech," a national day of action protesting the de facto banning of Latino literature in the state of Arizona (with similar legislation poised to pass in other states as a result). Reading by banned Puerto Rican author and award-winning poet Martín Espada and readings of other banned book texts by some of New York City's top Latino academic, literary and spoken word talent.
Organized by: Librotraficante, Sangre Viva Arts Alliance and Acentos, Latino Rebels and La Casa Azul Bookstore, 143 E. 103rd street, New York, New York.
Storytelling & Book Signing by John Parra, Saturday September 22, 12:00pm - 1:00pm.
He may be a New Yorker now, but Parra is from Santa Barbara and Goleta, a fellow California native. He is a wonderful artist and I own my personal copy of My Name Is Gabriela. I'm looking forward to meeting the artist behind children's titles including: Gracias/Thanks, Waiting for the Biblioburro, P is for Piñata, and My Name is Gabriela.
Reading of The Distance Between Us
by Reyna Grande
Tuesday September 25 6:00pm - 7:30pm
You've read all about her on La Bloga, the L.A. Times, Slate, Christian Science Monitor, you name it. New yorkers can enjoy hearing Reyna Grande's story at La Casa Azul.
Reading with Sergio Troncoso & Renato Rosaldo
Thursday September 27, 6:00 - 8:00pm
Sergio Troncoso debates and challenges us on the mystery of familias, how they determine our identity and how we break free of them, from fatherhood to interfaith marriage to educating our children. From Tucson to the Philippines, from Palo Alto to Manhattan, these readable poems tell of illness and racism, love and death-all in vivid tones. Savor these poems, slowly, what you inbibe will engage and enrich you.
Here's some excellent news...
PEN Oakland officially announced the winners of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Awards. I'm honored to see Ocotillo Dreams make the list.
" The Blue Collar PEN" The New York Times
22st Annual 2012 Literary Awards
Saturday, December 1, 2012, 2 PM – 5 PM
(Oakland , CA), September 17, 2012 --- The 22nd Annual PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Awards will take place on Saturday, December 1, 2012, at the Oakland Public Library, Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Avenue from 2 to 5 p.m. The ceremony is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception and book signings. PEN Oakland , founded in 1989, is a chapter of PEN International, founded in 1921. Dubbed "the blue collar PEN" by the New York Times, PEN Oakland annually sponsors the PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Book Awards, named for the late poet and faculty member of U.C. Berkeley's English Department. This year marks the 22st anniversary of the awards. Each year PEN Oakland presents an award to outstanding book titles published in the previous year. The Awards were created twenty years ago to honor writers of exceptional works often not acknowledged by the mainstream literary community. Judged by respected writers, the awards honor books that both reflect a multi-cultural or marginalized viewpoint and represent the highest standards of literature.
THE 2012 PEN OAKLAND-JOSEPHINE MILES LITERARY AWARD WINNERS
Ocotillo Dreams by Melinda Palacio.
Bilingual Review Press. (novel)
The Armageddon of Funk by Michael Warr.
Tia Chucha Press. (poetry)
Solitude of Five Moons by Aurora Harris.
Broadside Press/University of Detroit Mercy Press. (poetry)
La Negra y Blanca: Fugue & Commentary by Deena Metzger.
Hand to Hand Press. (novel)
Fug You by Ed Sanders.
Da Capo Press. (memoir)
Marsh Hawk Press (poetry)
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.
CENSORSHIP AND LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
Alexander Cockburn is the winner of the 2012 Censorship Award.
Q.R. Hand will receive the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Countdown to Publication:
|How Fire Is a Story, Waiting (Tia Chucha Press, Fall 2012)|
"Palacio’s work is expansive, physical, funeral-wet, elevated, funny, existential, woman-story, jazzy and Pachukona. She is unafraid to dive head-on into questions of death, loss and self. Into the fiery entwined spikes of father-daughter estrangements, mother-daughter intimacies and most of all, she is “insomniac” bold in this volume as an ongoing sequence on self. Melinda’s collection has Bop and “swagger,” lingo, song, denuncia, compassion and wild, unexpected turns– all the key ingredients and hard-won practices of a poet (and shaman) in command of her powers. I don’t think there is anything like this book. ¡Brillantissima!"
- Juan Felipe Herrera