Monday, May 30, 2005

Spotlight on Rigoberto González

Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

Rigoberto González is the author of four books, So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water Until It Breaks, a 1998 National Poetry Series selection (University of Illinois Press, 1999); two bilingual children's books, Soledad Sigh-Sighs / Soledad Suspiros (2003) and Antonio's Card / La Tarjeta de Antonio (2005), both from Children’s Book Press; and a novel, Crossing Vines (University of Oklahoma Press, 2003), which received ForeWord Magazine's Editor's Choice for Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2004. If that weren’t enough, González has three (yes three!) new books forthcoming in 2005: Northwestern University Press will publish his biography of the late Chicano writer, Tomás Rivera; Zoo Press will publish his second collection of poetry, Other Fugitives and Other Strangers; and his memoir, Butterfly Boy, will appear from the University of Wisconsin Press. González has so many awards and other projects (including reviewing books by Latinos for El Paso Times), I don’t have the time to list everything. Just go and visit his Web site for more information and drop him a note and say La Bloga sent you.

NOTICIAS: This week sees the publication of a new novel: The People of Paper (McSweeney’s) by Salvador Plascencia; more on Salvador later but in the meantime, you can read an excerpt. I recently read and loved Carmen Tafolla’s poetry collection, Sonnets and Salsa (Wings Press); a review is forthcoming. The Jewish Journal published an interesting article/review on a new memoir: Jubana!: The Awkwardly True and Dazzling Adventures of a Jewish Cubana Goddess, by Gigi Anders (Rayo/HarperCollins). Sheryl Luna's collection Pity the Drowned Horses won the first Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize sponsored by the Institute for Latino Studies at University of Notre Dame; she currently teaches at the Metropolitan State College of Denver. David Hernandez's second book of poems, Always Danger, won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in March 2006. ◘ The editors of the San Francisco Chronicle recommend Luis Alberto Urrea’s brilliant new novel, The Hummingbird’s Daughter (Little, Brown). ◘ Susana Chávez-Silverman’s memoir, Killer Cronicas: Bilingual Memories (University of Wisconsin Press), has been receiving good notices including from Daniel Hernandez, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times.

Ariel Robello will read from her collection, My Sweet Unconditional: Poems (Tía Chucha Press, 2005), on Saturday, June 4, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at Tía Chucha’s Café Cultural, 12737 Glenoaks Blvd., #22, Sylmar, CA 91342; (818) 362-7060. Ariel received a PEN West Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellowship in 2002. She teaches poetry in Los Angeles public high schools and English in the garment district.

MEMORIAL DAY: I think of my father who is happy and healthy enjoying his retirement with my mother. Pop enlisted with the Marines in 1950 at the age of 18. He fought in the Korean Conflict. In Sacramento, CA, there’s a war memorial dedicated to Mexican-American veterans. I haven’t been there yet, but here’s the information if you’re up there sometime. It was dedicated on September 16, 1975. The plaque states: "In memory of the American servicemen of Hispanic descent and all others who sacrificed their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy."

And, finally, LatinoLA has posted my little article on La Bloga. All done. Until next Monday, enjoy the intervening posts from my compadres at La Bloga. ¡Lea un libro!


msedano said...

One of the two best chicana or chicano poems I've read in the past few years is in "So Often...", the dead cat piece. What a gem of image and emotion that piece is. The discarded boot in the musty laborer's cabin. No, it's not a boot.

Odd. A few years back I would grow somber and sad on Memorial Day. I would think back to those kids I went through boot camp and AIT with. I remember when they got their orders: Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam. I got my orders, too, and they read: Korea. So here I sit, Memorial Day again, thinking, remembering, hoping they made it.

daniel olivas said...

well, you and the other veterans deserve our praise no matter how controversial the wars have been. my papa enlisted to prove that he was as american as anyone else. he doesn't talk much about it. but i have tremendous pride in him. best to you, michael.