Friday, October 19, 2007

Conferences, a Memorial, a Premio, Rugs and Poets

Manuel Ramos

The Casper College Literary Conference, whose theme this year was Spiritual Warriors, took place this week but I didn't know about it in enough time to provide advance notice. This annual conference was scheduled for October 17 - 19 in Casper, Wyoming. I do want to make note of the appearance of Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez at this conference. Blue Flower Arts has this bio of the young poet on its website:

"Blue Flower Arts is proud to introduce to the United States audience, 19-year old poet Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez, from Amatlan, Mexico, a small village an hour from Mexico City. The son of a North American father and a Mexican mother, Ekiwah is a poetic prodigy whose powerful verses have mesmerized Mexico's literary scene. Born September 14, 1987, Ekiwah is the author of three volumes of poetry: Soy (I Am); Palabras Inagotables, (Never-ending Words); Weaver (2003), his first book in English, and The Coyotes Trace, which features an introduction by Mary Oliver. Ekiwah lives in Massachusetts, has dual citizenship and is bilingual.


"Ekiwah, which means Warrior in the language of the Purepecha, is an appropriate appellation. He has been battling cerebral palsy at birth—born 10 weeks early and weighing less than two pounds. Ekiwah writes, 'I cannot walk by myself, yet in my poems I not only walk, but give myself license to have eight legs and experience movement. When I read a poem, on an ephemeral level I go to the places the poet describes.' His warrior nature also allows him this wisdom: 'I don't feel my cerebral palsy is a battle I have to win. I don't battle more or less then anyone else—my cerebral palsy is simply there. For me the connection of my name with my struggle has to do with the fact that I fought in my birth to live.'"

Last year the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses [clmp] inaugurated LWC}NYC, a conference to serve writers of fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction. Rather than address the craft of writing, this conference brings together professionals from throughout the publishing community to help literary writers maneuver in the marketplace. The second annual LWC}NYC (Literary Writers Conference, New York City) will take place November 8 - 10 at The New School.

For more information follow this link...

Adolfo Guzman Lopez, co-founder of the Taco Shop Poets, remembers fallen poet John Partida in an article for the San Diego CityBeat. Guzman says that "we’re going to throw down some poetry for John on Saturday at a taco shop. We’re putting a call out to the taco shop tribe. Whether it’s to remember the good Johnny, the bad Johnny or to ponder our own mortality, I don’t know. We all realize, though, that we have to do it." Read the entire article here.

The tribute to John Partida will be held on October 20, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at El Comal, 3946 Illinois St. in North Park, 619-294-8292.

Live Rug Auction to Raise Funds for Native American Books
The University of New Mexico Press has announced it will hold a live public auction of more than 200 contemporary Navajo rugs as a fundraiser to support the publication of books by or about American Indians.

The auction, to be held November10, in the Hibben Center of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology on the UNM Main Campus, will be conducted with the assistance of R. B. Burnham Native Auctions. A preview of the items available for bid will be from 11:00 AM -1:00 PM, and the auction will start at 1:30 PM

This is the Press' first major fundraising event since the launch of its endowment campaign last spring.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the Press and the public to support Native authors and artists and books about Native America," comments Luther Wilson, director of the UNM Press. "The funds we raise will help cover major expenses such as printing, research, permissions, and illustrations. The money will be applied to individual book subventions and to an endowment for long-term support. We are also pleased to be able to provide a sales venue for today's Navajo weavers. The pieces they are showcasing are truly beautiful."

The auction will be the first in a series of major events and outreach efforts by the Friends of the Press to raise funds for the $5 million endowment campaign launched this past May. The Press said in a news release that monies collected for the endowment will help it "publish high quality children's books on science and Southwestern cultures, defray cost increases in book production, perpetuate its commitment to high editorial standards and maintain independence in a world of publisher consolidation."

Premio Aztlán Literary Prize
The University of New Mexico Libraries is issuing a call for submissions to the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize, a national literary award, established to encourage and reward emerging Chicana and Chicano authors.

The competition is open to writers who have published a work of fiction in the 2007 calendar year and whose publications do not exceed two books. The winner of the prize will be awarded $1,000, and an invitation to give a lecture at an award ceremony, to be held at the
University of New Mexico in April 2008. Recipients are required to be present at the award ceremony.

Renowned author, Rudolfo Anaya and his wife, Patricia, founded Premio Aztlán in 1993, and the prize was reestablished in their honor by the University of New Mexico Libraries. Past award recipients include:

Reyna Grande (2006) Across a Hundred Mountains
Gene Guerin (2005) Cottonwood Saints
Mary Helen Lagasse (2004) The Fifth Sun
Sergio Troncoso (1999) The Last Tortilla and Other Stories
Ronald Ruiz (1998) Giuseppe Rocco
Pat Mora (1997) House of Houses
Wendell Mayo (1996) Centaur of the North
Norma Cantú (1995) Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera
Denise Chávez (1994) Face of an Angel
Alicia Gaspar de Alba (1993) The Mystery of Survival and Other Stories

The closing date for entries is December 31, 2007.
Submissions must include:
• 5 copies of the book
• Letter of interest, or if from the publisher, a letter of nomination
• Author’s curriculum vitae, resume or background information, which
must include a list of their published works and any communal
involvement with the Chicana/Chicano community.
• Be postmarked by December 31, 2007

Contact: Teresa Márquez at: or see the web site .

Submissions are to be mailed to the following address by December 31, 2007:

Premio Aztlán Literary Prize
University Libraries, Dean’s Office
MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131

Final reminder:
El Laboratorio
Emma Perez and Manuel Ramos
October 20, 2007
Reception 6:00 PM
Main Event 6:30-8:00 PM

Cost $10 ($5 members)

Emma Perez will read from her forthcoming novel Forgetting the Alamo followed by a reading by Manuel Ramos from a few works in progress.

The Lab at Belmar
404 S. Upham Street
Lakewood, CO 80226
(303) 934-1777


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