|Patricia Spears Jones and Melinda Palacio at AWP 2016|
|A Lucent Fire by Patricia Spears Jones|
The next day, Dr. Cristina Herrera, professor of Chicano and Latin American Studies at CSU Fresno and author of (Re)Mapping the Latina/o Literary Landscape New Works and New Directions, (Re)Writing the Maternal Script, and Reading/Speaking/Writing The Mother Text, received the Provost Award for Research, Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment. Her reward consists of a stipend, a reception, honors during the next graduation, and she will be invited to participate in the following year's Provost's Lecture Series. Dr. Cristina says: "It's a huge deal for me because I'm the first Chicana to win in this category, an award usually given to faculty members in math, science, or engineering. It's such an honor."
|Dr. Cristina Herrera|
|That famous Honda Element with CA Plates NOLA.|
|My Wonder Woman Button|
Although the thieves cleaned out the car and took everything inside that could be hawked or given away, including my yoga mat and eye pillow, there was one small item they missed, a Wonder Woman button that I made when the All Wonder Woman Walking Krewe welcomed me into the group last Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The thieves missed this button. They did some damage to the car, slashing the ceiling fabric and steering wheel, leaving a bullet hole scuff on the hood and leaving a bullet shell in the car, along with food trash, random keys, and a strong ashtray stench. Steve and I are glad to be reunited with the green Honda Element. The car was taken to a tow yard by Midas Touch Towing. According the NOPD reports, it is unclear whether the thieves abandoned the car or simply parked it in a spot that allowed the towing company to identify it as stolen and thus haul it away. The Wonder Woman pin and a voodoo doll, made by my friend Karen Kersting, proved to be powerful car charms.
|Karen Voodoo Doll|
"To those heartless thieves: my voodoo dolls have a good track record in recovering stolen cars. This doll is made from a scrap of fabric that was used as part of a prison work program. The Mardi Gras beads are specifically positioned to give you the greatest discomfort and the feathers are from a bird that was attacked by a cat. Save yourself, and return that car -- or at least call-in an anonymous tip. Bad Karma is floating your way."
|New Orleans Poetry Festival 2017|
Good news about the Honda's recovery in April meant that I am in New Orleans this week and able to attend the 2nd Annual New Orleans Poetry Festival, something I hadn't planned on earlier in the year. It turns out many friends from California are in town for the festival, including Xochitl-Julissa Bermejo, Michelle Detorie, and Lee Herrick. Thanks to having the trusty, ten year old Honda Element back, I was able to pick up Xochitl-Julissa Bermejo and Soraya Membreno at the airport. Xochitl-Julissa and Soraya are presenting a panel, SGV Food Club, on building community, Saturday at 10 am at the 2nd annual New Orleans Poetry Festival, hosted by Bill Lavender and Megan Burns. Festivities began yesterday with an opening party and event featuring poets who play in bands. The readings and panels continue throughout the weekend and culminate in a reading at the Maple Leaf Bar on Sunday at 3pm. For a complete list of events see the NOLA Poetry Festival Website.
|Poets Xochitl-Julissa Bermejo, Melinda Palacio, and Soraya Membreno in New Orleans|
And more good news comes from poet Jenn Givhan whose third poetry collection, Girl with Death Mask won the Blue Light Book Prize from Indiana Review. Indiana University Press will publish her book next year.
What's your good news?