Friday, April 12, 2013

In Good Company, a Week of Literary Love

Melinda Palacio

All week, I felt so nervous and excited I couldn't sleep. There was so much good news and so much seemed to be happening this week in New Orleans, my home away from home. Over the weekend, I found out my poetry book was a finalist for the Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award. The website has yet to be updated to reflect the 2013 winner, but shows that Martin Espada won the prize last year. This year the Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award went to Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Marilyn Nelson, for Faster Than Light: New and Selected Poems, judged by Charlie Rossiter. Finalist for the poetry book prize include Paola Corso, Natalie Diaz, Colleen J. McElroy, Heather McNaugher, and Peter Serchuck.

Recording my poetry book for WRBH, session one. Next week, I finish reading the book, air time TBA.
Monday rolled around after the good news and a packed weekend in New Orleans. At 10:30, I began recording How Fire Is a Story,Waiting for WRBH, radio for the blind. I learned about WRBH while flipping through stations on the local radio and I heard a novel being read. I was impressed by listening to news stories being read alongside poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. I finish recording my poetry book next week. Originally, I had auditioned to read the news for the station, but the director was familiar with my work. I was bumped up to celebrity status.
Nordette Adams, Louisiana Poet Laureate Julie Kane, Jim Davis, Melinda Palacio, Darrel Bourque, Gina Ferrara

Two days later, I also felt like a celebrity because I was asked by Julie Kane, Louisiana's Poet Laureate, to participate in the JustListen to Yourself event. The name of the event isn't a judgment on my diligent marketing, in fact, I'm not sure who thought up the name, but it's a fun hour of Louisiana poets reading poetry to state employees during the lunch hour at the State Library. I was honored to be included as Louisiana poet by marriage, even if I only live in New Orleans part time. Laura Mullen, a candidate for the next Louisiana Poet Laureate, was also from California, and strangely enough, also from Santa Barbara.
Discussing Luis Alberto Urrea's Into the Beautiful North for the NEA's Big Read Program and CD

Thursday duty called in the form of the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA asked me to contribute to the conversation and CD for their Big Read pick which will be Luis Alberto Urrea's Into the Beautiful North. Luis Urrea is one of my favorite authors and I admire how seamlessly he writes fiction, poetry, and non-fiction with a lyrical and humorous style. I was honored that they asked me to contribute to the national conversation on this year's Big Read pick. The NEA reserved studio space at WWNO in New Orleans. My second radio visit in one week. Back to the drawing board.

Events, Events, and More Events

Saturday, April 13, 2013, The Poetry Zone presents a special reading for National Poetry Month at the Karpeles Manuscript Library, 21 W. Anampamu, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. If you are in the central coast, enjoy this free event and reception.

Next week, the Los Angeles Times Book Festival takes place, April 20-21. I will be on the Writing American Identity Panel (Conversation 1134) with Reyna Grande, Luis J. Rodriguez, David Treuer, and our interviewer Hector Tobar at Taper Hall, THH 201 at 3:30 pm, Saturday April 20.

La Bloga's Olga Garcia wrote a beautiful post about the women writers at Eastside Cafe in El Sereno. Alejandra Sanchez, creator of Weavings Words, Creating Worlds Workshop will read at Beyond Baroque's Hitched Series with Abel Salas, Mat Sedillo, and David Romero, Sunday April 21 from 5pm -7pm.

April 25, Melinda Palacio will be the featured poet for National Poetry Month at the Jefferson Parish Library, 4747 W Napoleon Ave, Metairie, LA 70001 at 7pm.

April 26, Melinda Palacio joins LSU Poets for a National Poetry Month Finale in Baton Rouge at the LSU Student Union, 7pm.

Special Announcements:
Sunday, Look for an interview with Daniel Olivas and Melinda Palacio in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Martin Espada in the news. Drumroll Please:
Martin Espada wins Shelley Memorial Award. Photo by Melinda Palacio

Announcing the 2013 Shelley Memorial Award, Martín Espada and Lucia Perillo


susan Reynolds said...

Congratulations, Melinda. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you win the award, but it sounds like you are already experiencing the type of recognition and excitement that you deserve. All best wishes for even more success!

Daniel Olivas said...

I'm so proud of you! And my interview of you will run on the Los Angeles Review of Books this weekend too!

Kim said...

I am so happy for you, Melinda. This is such beautiful news!

Amelia ML Montes said...

Felicidades Melinda! Sending you good wishes!

Olga said...

Congratulations Melinda! Keep on rocking the literary arts. Everything you're doing inspira. Adelante.

Thelma T. Reyna said...

Congratulations, Melinda! All these wonderful successes make me very happy for you. May it only be the tip of the iceberg! Adelante!