Monday, September 18, 2006


Monday's post from Daniel Olivas...

Each year Bear Star Press awards the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize ($1,000 and publication) to a writer living west of the central time zone. (Dorothy Brunsman pictured.) The prize for 2006 has gone to Manuel Paul López for his debut collection, Death of a Mexican and Other Poems, which is now available. My review of this powerful, playful and insightful collection will come out shortly in the El Paso Times. You can read a sample and order the book online from Bear Star Press.

The founder of Bear Star Press is Beth Spencer who was recently profiled in Chico Statements, a magazine from California State University, Chico. Spencer is an alumna of Chico State (B.A. and M.A. in English) and teaches in the literary editing and publishing program. Spencer's mother, Dorothy Brunsman, funds this annual poetry prize. Brunsman, now 84, lives in Placitas, New Mexico, with her husband Donald, a playwright. Politically active, especially in pro-choice matters, Brunsman is also an accomplished photographer.

Competition Information & Guidelines from Bear Star Press:

Manuscripts will be read in September, October, and November 2006. Postmark deadline is November 30, 2006.

Manuscripts should be between 50 and 65 pages in length.

All work must be original and accompanied by a $20 reading fee. Previously published poems can be included in your manuscript if you retain the copyright (this is standard).

Writer must currently reside in the Western States (those within Mountain or Pacific time zones, plus Alaska & Hawaii). Previously unpublished writers are welcome to submit!

Any form or subject is acceptable. Use a plain 10-12 font.

Rights revert to author upon publication.

Simultaneous submissions absolutely fine so long as we are apprised of changes in manuscript status.

Please do not send your manuscript by registered mail (doing so necessitates a 40-mile roundtrip drive to the P.O., very inconvenient for us). If you want to know whether we have received your work, simply enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard.

Winner notified on or before February 2007. Check web site for winner information or send a SASE marked “results.”

Publication by Fall 2007 (with luck, in Summer 2007).

Name, address, and phone number should appear on a separate cover sheet only.

No manuscripts will be returned. They will be recycled. Please do not send your only copy. Please DO send SASE for contest results.

Mail submissions to:

Bear Star Press
185 Hollow Oak Dr.
Cohasset, CA 95973

◙ LATIN@ VOICES: Tongue and Groove is a monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry and music. Up next: An evening of Latin@ writers featuring Taylor Negron (Murder in La Quinta), Milcha Sanchez-Scott (Roosters), Suzanne Chávez Silverman (Killer Crónicas), Danette Rivera and a musical guest. It's hosted by the incomparable Conrad Romo.

DATE: Sunday, September 24
TIME: 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.
PLACE: The Hotel Café (website:
1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, Ca 90028
COST: $5.00

For more information call 323-937-0136

◙ MORE LATIN@ VOICES: I just received my copy of a special “Latina & Latino Writers” issue of the Indiana Review. It’s filled with fine writing from dozens of authors including Gary Soto, Judith Ortiz Cofer, David Hernandez, Angie Cruz, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Ray Gonzalez, and many, many others. To order a copy, visit IR’s website.

◙ NEW EDITION: The latest offering from Somos Primos is now available. Somos Primos is “dedicated to Hispanic Heritage and Diversity Issues.”

◙ EVEN MORE LATIN@ VOICES: The fall issue of Literal: Latin American Voices is now available. It’s a handsomely produced magazine that “provides a medium for the critique and diffusion of the Latin American literature and art, recognizing its potential strength as a point of departure for understanding that the broad cultural universe is not overshadowed by any single language, but is bathed in the light of a unified spirit.”

◙ BOOK REVIEW: In yesterday’s El Paso Times, Rigoberto González reviewed Jessica Abel’s graphic novel, La Perdida (Pantheon, $19.95 hardcover), which is set mostly in Mexico City, “where the landscape slips into sensory overload, disorienting and seducing the visitor.” He also observes: “As a contribution to Chicano literature, La Perdida is a welcome and unique addition. It explores biculturalism and a biracial ethnicity, but without resorting to clichéd representations.”

◙ OTRO BOOK REVIEW: In the Los Angeles Times’ Sunday Book Review, Susan Salter Reynolds sings the praises of A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture (Rio Nuevo) by Denise Chávez. My review of this fine memoir appeared in the El Paso Times last month and was reprinted here on La Bloga.

◙ MOVIN' ON UP: MARGIN, an online journal dedicated to magical realism, has a new home:

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

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