Monday, June 20, 2005


Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

Marcos M. Villatoro is the author of the Romilia Chacón crime novels. The Los Angeles Times Book Review listed his Home Killings as a Best Book of 2001. It won the Silver Medal from Foreword Magazine and First Prize in the Latino Literary Hall of Fame. The other Romilia novels include Minos and Venom Beneath Skin. Cypress Productions of Los Angeles has bought the film rights for Minos. Villatoro's autobiographical novel The Holy Spirit of My Uncle’s Cojones was an Independent Publishers Book Award Finalist and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His other books include They Say that I am Two (poems), On Tuesday, When the Homeless Disappeared (poems), A Fire in the Earth (novel), and the memoir Walking to La Milpa: Living in Guatemala with Armies, Demons, Abrazos, and Death. In the 80’s and early 90’s, Villatoro lived in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Alabama, doing grassroots community work in Central America and with migrant farm workers. After graduating from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1998, he and his family moved to California, where he holds the Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair in Writing at Mount St. Mary’s College. He's also a regular commentator for NPR. Villatoro lives with his wife and four children in Los Angeles.

SPECIAL EDITIONS: Saturday, June 25, at 3 p.m., come by Tía Chucha's to check out three limited edition books containing unpublished poems by Luis J. Rodriguez, and designed and hand-bound in an edition of fifty copies each by Matt Cohen and Sher Zabaszkiewicz, C & C Press, at UC Santa Barbara. Imagery was inspired by Aztec Codices, and printed using polymer plates and linoleum cuts. The hand-made paper end sheets are from the poet's t-shirts, and the printed cover panels showcase the poet's handwriting. Tía Chucha's Café Cultural, 12737 Glenoaks Blvd., Sylmar, (818) 362-7060. And don’t forget to check out Luis’ new novel, Music of the Mill (HarperCollins/Rayo).

BLOGGING ELSEWHERE: The Elegant Variation (run by one of the hardest working writers in the blog-o-sphere, Mark Sarvas) republished my review of Sheryl Luna’s debut poetry collection, Pity the Drowned Horses (University of Notre Dame Press). Luna was recently featured on Poetry Daily.

REVIEWS: The San Francisco Chronicle published Joe Loya’s review of Salvador Plascencia’s debut novel, The People of Paper (McSweeney’s). I’ve just started this remarkable book; more later.

FINALMENTE: Though I don’t want to plug my own books, I do want to meet the gente who read La Bloga if they’re in the San Fernando Valley this Saturday. I will be signing my first children’s book, Benjamin and the Word / Benjamin y La Palabra (Arte Público Press), on June 25, at B. Dalton's Booksellers, Topanga Plaza, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, noon to 4:00 p.m., (818) 883-8095. You do not have to buy a copy! Just come by, give me a big abrazo and say hi.

All done. Until next Monday, enjoy the intervening posts from my compadres at La Bloga. ¡Lea un libro!

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