As readers of La Bloga, you know that the last two weeks have been a whirlwind of literary happenings. Though my little Droid phone could never do justice to the wonderful writers, publishers, editors, educators, students and readers (I’ll leave that to the talented Michael Sedano), I wanted to dedicate today’s post to the images from these wonderful events.
First, here are a few shots of the book launch for The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles (Tía Chucha Press) edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Ruben J. Rodriguez and me, with an introduction by Los Angeles Poet Laureate (and founder of Tía Chucha Press), Luis J. Rodriguez. The launch was held on March 30 at the Ace Hotel and was co-sponsored by Beyond Baroque Books:
On March 31, the Advisory Circle of Con Tinta, a collective of Chican@/Latin@ Activist Writers, Poets Responding to SB 1070, and Avenue 50 Studio in Los Angeles (where the event was held), sponsored the 2016 Pachanga & Award Ceremony and one of the book releases for the anthology, Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice (University of Arizona Press), edited by Francisco X. Alarcón (¡Presente!) and Odilia Galván Rodríguez. Con Tinta honored the following Chican@ and Latin@ writers: Francisco X. Alarcón (RIP), Juan Felipe Herrera, Lucha Corpi, Luis Javier Rodríguez, and Odilia Galván Rodríguez:
Also on March 31, I was a panelist for the SoCal Magical Realism reading organized and moderated by Bonnie ZoBell (What Happened Here) and Heather Fowler (Beautiful Ape Girl Baby), and included Ben Loory (Stories for Nighttime) and Andrew Roe (The Miracle Girl). Since I was on the panel, a nice audience member Tweeted this photo of me reading from my novel, The Book of Want (University of Arizona Press):
The next day, I had the honor of moderating a panel of four of the thirty-four contributors to Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature (Bilingual Press). The panelists were (from left to right), Michael Jaime-Becerra, Melanie González, me, Alejandro Morales and Reyna Grande:
That evening, we celebrated Latin@ literature and the legacy and promise of the Camino del Sol Series with the University of Arizona Press and La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. This wonderful event was hosted by Rigoberto González and featured readings and presentations from Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Lorraine M. López, Juan Felipe Herrera and Urayoán Noel. There were also beautiful memories offered about Francisco X. Alarcón:
Here are a few not-so-random shots from AWP of fine writers and publishers who helped make AWP in Los Angeles a great success:
And then, this last weekend, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books took place on the campus of USC. We did additional Coiled Serpent events with readings from contributors on the Hoy Stage and at the Kaya Press Booth. I also got to see some great writers and friends such as Juan Felipe Herrera (shown below discussing writing) and Dana Gioia who is a contributor to Coiled Serpent:
All of the abovephotos cannot fully capture the great beauty, power and love that filled these literary events. I am simply happy to have had the opportunity to experience them and to share time with such wonderful gente.