Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April News 'n Notes

Note: This week's scheduled AWP Part III is delayed until next week. It's a pleasure this week to share ongoing and late-breaking literary news from around the compass rose.

Altadena Poetry Review Showcasing SoCal Poets
Press release

What does a Poet Laureate do? If you ask Thelma T. Reyna, she’ll say: “Gather the work of some of the top poets in Southern California, and showcase their writings in a beautiful anthology.” This is exactly what Reyna, who is Poet Laureate of the Altadena Library District, has done for the past two years: gather, edit, and publish curated poems through her indie Golden Foothills Press, in her mission of promoting the beauty and enduring importance of poetry in society.

This year, just in time for National Poetry Month, her book--the Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2016-- will feature 86 top Southland poets. How “top” are these poets?
8 Poets Laureates.
17 Pushcart Prize Nominees, a national-level honor.
22 literary award winners, many of them multiple award winners, including the American Book Award, one of the nation’s top literary prizes.

“We are very proud of our poets,” says Reyna. “Our book includes a broad diversity culturally and generationally. Together, these distinguished authors represent over 158 published books! The public is in for a treat this month.”

A quick glance at the book’s Author Bios shows poets such as Peter J. Harris, winner of the  2015 American Book Award; Mary Langer Thompson, the 2012 Senior Poet Laureate of California; Dr. Mira N. Mataric, author of 42 poetry books published nationally and internationally; Deborah P Kolodji, former president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and author of over 800 published poems; and RD Armstrong, editor/publisher with his Lummox Press and 6-time Pushcart Prize Nominee, with poems published in over 300 poetry publications.

Almost all the book’s poets will be present to read their work in an annual public reading event free to the public on Saturday, April 30 at the Altadena Senior Center. This will mark the official public release of the anthology, which will be on sale for a special event price.

For the first time in the 14-year history of this vaunted “Poetry & Cookies” reading event, there will be two back-to-back reading sessions so attendees will have ample time to enjoy all the poets’ work while enjoying refreshments and mingling with the authors afterward. Also, numerous poets will have their own books displayed and available for purchase.

“Our anthology’s poets are what I term ‘working poets’--devoted writers who present workshops, teach literature courses in colleges and high schools, serve on editorial boards, publish others’ poetry, perform their poetry at venues throughout the state, serve on literary panels in events throughout the region, etc.,” says Reyna.  “Most of these writers are well-known for their work and visibility in the poetry community.”

Reyna founded Golden Foothills Press in 2014, shortly before being named Poet Laureate. In 2015, she edited and published the 2015 debut edition of the Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology, a new incarnation of a long-running Altadena publication formerly called Poetry & Cookies. The latter had been under the stewardship of its founder, Pauline Dutton, who was Head Librarian of the Altadena Library and who led Poetry & Cookies for the 13 years of its publication.

“The Altadena/Pasadena/Greater LA poetry community is vibrant, eclectic, and rife with talent,” says Reyna. “Our anthology is our gift back to the community, to these poets. They enrich our lives, and we want to share their wisdom, perspectives, and spirit with others, in the continuing tradition of community fellowship that was instituted by the former anthology, Poetry & Cookies.”

For further information, contact Reyna at 626-791-0390 or 626-375-5442. The revamped Golden Foothills Press website will be completed soon at www.GoldenFoothillsPress.com, which lists the names of all 86 poets. You can also visit www.facebook.com/AuthorThelmaReyna; or www.facebook.com/GoldenFoothillsPress for a listing of the poets’ names and further information.

Oral History Project in Austin Texas

Time Value Announcement: Register before May 16th

Austin's Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) and the Voces Oral History Project at the University of Texas at Austin present a training workshop on: Oral History to Document the Latina/o Experience

WHEN: Saturday, May 28, 2016, 10 a.m. To 4 p.m.

WHERE: Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC)
600 River St., Austin, TX, 78701

Free, but seating is limited, so reserve a spot by emailing your name, phone numbers, address to voces@utexas.edu


WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Beginner to advanced interviewers and videographers

Voces Oral History Project (vocesoralhistoryproject.org) Director Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez; Comadres Founder (http://lascomadres.com/lco/) and Voces volunteer Nora Comstock;
Voces videographer/photographer Gabriel Perez

What is the best equipment to use?
How to get your own project/collection started
Interview prep
Effective and gentle interviewing techniques
Including additional documentation in your interview
Why it's crucial to deposit your interview at a library/archive
Why oral history is key to the Latina/o experience

Juan Tejeda Calls It A Career, Two, in Fact
email from La Bloga friend, musico extraordinaire, publisher, husband, father, cultural hero Juan Tejeda

This year, 2016, is a very special year for me. Not only does it mark the landmark 35th anniversary celebration of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center's Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio, but I will be retiring from Palo Alto College after having taught there and at the University of Texas in San Antonio for the last 17 years. I have also spoken with Jerry Ruiz, the Executive Director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and have indicated to him that after this year I want to step aside as Director of the Tejano Conjunto Festival and serve more as a mentor to the next generation of Xicanx arts administrators who will take over the Conjunto Fest and our cultural/arts organizations.

I am excited about retiring. I worked full-time for 18 years at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (1980-1998), 18 years full-time in academia (1998-2016), and now I am looking forward to the next 18 years of my life and to spending more time with my familia, and working on my creative projects: I am currently in the studio recording a CD with my primo hermano Armando Tejeda; there are a couple of books I want to write, including a family memoir and biography on my brother Frank, the former U.S. Congressman from the southside of San Antonio; and I would like to spend a little more time on developing the promotion and distribution side of Aztlan Libre Press; among various other projects.

Note from Michael Sedano
"Pulling the pin" on several careers is actually an easy decision, although the sleepless nights and roiling stomach days leading up to the decision are far from easy on mind, body, and spirit. 

Juan's stellar example sets a model for those who step forward to assure continuity of the mission. Simply copy Juan's efforts, put in those 60-hour weeks and juggle all your responsibilities with the same aplomb, confidence, and grace, and you're assured of success.

La Bloga and I extend abrazotes to Juan and his familia on this important occasion.

Felicidades, Juan. Retirement is something to get good at right away. Don't look back, carnal. Adelante.

Mission Poetry Series Lures Visitors to Paradise (Santa Barbara, California)
Press release

The seventh season of the Mission Poetry Series closes with a reading on Saturday, May 7, at 1 p.m. at Antioch University Santa Barbara.

“Inventing a Country: Three Poets in Spring” features three award-winning California poets: Lee Herrick, Gabriella Klein, and Pamela Davis. The title of the event is taken from a poem by the late Larry Levis, a nationally-lauded, Fresno-born poet whose work has long been admired for its compassionate & imaginative query into personhood.

The reading will be held at Antioch University Santa Barbara • 602 Anacapa Street • Santa Barbara, CA• and is free and open to the public. 

The event offers complimentary broadsides, refreshments, and poets’ books for sale. The Mission Poetry Series is hosted by program director Emma Trelles and curator Melinda Palacio.

GABRIELLA KLEIN is the author of Land Sparing (Nightboat Books, 2015), her first collection and the winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize. Of the collection, Jody Gladding writes, "The poems in Land Sparing seem to issue from a remnant species of startling, heartbreaking intelligence." She earned her undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University and her MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her husband and daughter in Santa Barbara, California.

LEE HERRICK is the Fresno Poet Laureate (2015-2017) and the author of two books, Gardening Secrets of the Dead and This Many Miles from Desire. His poems have appeared in many literary magazines, anthologies, and college textbooks, including The Bloomsbury Review, ZYZZYVA, Highway 99: A Literary Journey Through California’s Great Central Valley, Indivisible: Poems of Social Justice, and Visions Across the Americas, among others. Born in Daejeon, South Korea, and adopted at ten months, he lives in Fresno, California and teaches at Fresno City College and in the low-residency MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College. He has traveled throughout Latin American and Asia and is on the Advisory Board of the Adoption Museum Project. He has presented at conferences around the United States on poetry, race, and social justice.

PAMELA DAVIS' first book of poetry, Lunette (ABZ Press, 2015), received the ABZ Poetry Prize. In his Foreword to the book, contest judge Gregory Orr writes, “The reader... cannot escape for a single page, or even a single line, her amazing liveliness of language—it’s alert to the world, deft with the word that will catch it whirling past. These are bold poems... Read them and be enlivened.” Pamela has received Atlanta Review’s International Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2016 American Literary Review Poetry Prize; she was also a semi-finalist for Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Award and the Arts & Letters Poetry Prize. A native Californian, Pamela grew up in Long Beach and received her BA at California State University San Francisco. She is a founding member of the Independent Writers of Southern California, and her poems appear or are forthcoming in literary journals such as Smartish Pace, Prairie Schooner, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Zone 3, Southern Poetry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, and internationally in Stand (UK), and Existere.
MPS curator Melinda Palacio is an award-winning poet and novelist who lives in Santa Barbara. Her poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, won Kulupi Press’ Sense of Place 2009 award. She is the author of the novel Ocotillo Dreams (ASU Bilingual Press, 2011), for which she received the Mariposa Award for Best First Book at the 2012 International Latino Book Awards and a 2012 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. Her first full-length poetry collection, How Fire Is a Story, Waiting, (Tia Chucha Press, 2012) was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize, and it received First Prize in Poetry at the 2013 ILBA. In 2014, she was a finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Prize.

MPS program director Emma Trelles is the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press) — winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize and a finalist for Foreword Reviews/IndieFab poetry book of the year. Her poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity, Best American Poetry, Poet Lore, Best of the Net, Miramar, the Miami Herald and others. She writes about art & culture and also teaches creative writing, recently at the Sanibel Island Writers Conference and at PINTURA-PALABRA, an ekphrastic writing project organized by Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame. Currently, she is a mentor at the Women's Voices Mentorship Program for Writers, which offers women a personalized curriculum designed to cultivate their own creative work. She is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and now lives with her husband in Santa Barbara, California, where she teaches writing at City College.

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