Friday, July 18, 2008

Raw Silk Suture, Awards, New Candelaria, New Pérez-Reverte

Rise, Do Not Be Afraid (Ghost Road Press, 2007), aaron a. abeyta's debut novel, is a finalist for this year's Colorado Book Award. La Bloga has featured aaron and his book in two interviews and a review. Congratulations to aaron for the recognition, and good luck at the awards banquet set for October 8, 2008.

Lucha Corpi sent me news about this new award; gracias, Lucha. Here's the website description:

The Aura Estrada Prize will be awarded biannually to a female writer, 35 or under, living in Mexico or the United States, who writes creative prose (fiction or nonfiction) in Spanish.

The prize will include a stipend (how much depends on how much we are able to raise for the endowment, but we hope it will be approximately $15,000.) It also, so far, includes residencies at three writers‘ colonies, Ucross in Wyoming, Ledig House in New York, and Santa Maddalena in Tuscany, Italy. Residencies can last up to two months each.

Granta en Español will also publish an excerpt of the winner‘s writing.

The Aura Estrada Prize will be formally announced and opened to submissions at the Guadalajara Book Fair in November, 2008.That day the judges will be announced, as well as all pertinent details regarding the application process. The first Aura Estrada Prize will be awarded at the book fair one year later.

And here's a bit about Aura Estrada:

Aura Estrada was born on April 24, 1977, in León, Guanajuato, Mexico. Her Master's thesis, Borges, inglés (about the influence on Jorge Luis Borges of William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb and Robert Louis Stevenson) was later published as a book by the Mexican small press, Scripta, as was a subsequent long essay, Borges, prologuista. She also studied at University of Texas, Austin (1998-99) and, on a visiting scholar grant, at Brown University (2002). In the fall of 2003 she enrolled as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Literature at Columbia University. That year she also won a Fulbright Scholarship. In the fall of 2006, despite a heavy academic and teaching load at Columbia, she enrolled in the Hunter College MFA program, and began writing fiction in English.

While at Columbia, she also published creative prose journalism, reviews and short-fiction in Mexican and Latin American magazines such as Letras Libres, DF, Gatopardo, the online literary magazine, Letralia, and in the anthology El gringo a travéz del espejo; she published a story and an essay at And writing in English, she published book review-essays at Bookforum and The Boston Review. In 2009 a collection of Aura's writings will be published by Almadía, a Mexico-based independent publisher.

At Hunter she began writing a novel, in English, which she intended to revise and complete in Spanish. As a Hertog Fellow at Hunter, she was a research assistant for Toni Morrison.

On August 20th, 2005, Aura and Francisco Goldman were married. In July 2007, while vacationing in Mazunte, Aura suffered a fatal accident in the waves and died in a hospital in Mexico City.

Bilingual Review Press
announced the January, 2009 publication of Second Communion by renowned writer Nash Candelaria. Bilingual's catalog describes this new book as a memoir that focuses on how and why the author became a writer. "As he investigates his family's more than 300-year history in New Mexico, the author undertakes a more intimate journey that leads him to understand truths about himself: why he chose to become a writer and why he chose the topics he did. Part family history and part self-examination, Second Communion is a must-read for aspiring writers, those interested in Southwest history, and students and teachers of Chicano literature." Candelaria has published four novels including Memories of the Alhambra (1977), a "seminal novel of Chicano literature," and Not By the Sword (1982), an American Book Award winner.

Those of us who are fans of the swashbuckling Captain Alatriste can now pick up the third book in Arturo Perez-Reverte's series, The Sun Over Breda (Plume, 2008). The author's website says:

Arturo Pérez-Reverte has enthralled readers and critics around the globe with his Captain Alatriste series. Having sold four and a half million copies to date in the Spanish-speaking world, the series has made Pérez-Reverte a literary superstar and his fictional seventeenth-century mercenary a national icon. And the appeal of Pérez-Reverte's adventurer and his exploits continues to grow, as evidenced by the extraordinary reception for the first two translated volumes in the series - Captain Alatriste and Purity of Blood.

And now, in The Sun Over Breda, Pérez-Reverte continues his thrilling chronicle of the swordsman-for-hire, as Captain Alatriste takes up his blade and rejoins his elite Cartagena regiment as they take part in the battles and siege of Breda. Fifteen-year-old Íñigo Balboa enlists to serve as his master's aide, and narrates their further adventures of swordplay and skirmishes, of mutiny and wartime honor. And, back in Spain, Alatriste's nemesis Luis de Alquézar grows more powerful, as Íñigo's mysterious friend Angélica hints at some plans upon his return.

La Bloga is proud to trumpet the publication of Raw Silk Suture (Floricanto Press, 2008), from our very own Lisa Alvarado. This poetry collection is set for release in September, and we warn all La Bloga readers to get ready to be swept away by Lisa's writing. Here's some of the press release:

In this stunning collection, Lisa Alvarado wields the pen and cuts deeply to the heart of Chicanisma, female identity, the use and misuse of the body, its restoration, and the power of love. With finely etched free verse, each subject is explored to the depth without hesitation, and boldly revealed.

Figures in black abound in Alvarado’s perishable craft, her words of and for the unseen...her intensities are relentless. Alvarado is a poet of the abyss...Such an artist was Frida Kahlo....Lisa does not offer an exit; this is one of her superb contributions. She conjures, that is all....Caress this book as you would hold your soul-to-be gasping for life. That is all." -- Juan Felipe Herrera, poet. Author of 187 Reasons Mexicans Can't Cross the Border and Half of the World in Light, New and Selected Poems; Professor, Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair, Department of Creative Writing University of California.

Alvarado's call for a quiet remaking of cells is nothing short of revolutionary. Read this book, look at yourself and the world around you and know: anything is possible." -- Demetria Martínez author, Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana.

Simply put, Raw Silk Suture is a scar / that has / become a flower. -- Francisco Aragón, Editor, The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry Founding Editor, Latino Poetry Review (LPR)

The poetry of Lisa Alvarado thunders across the page. Fiery and smoky, these are poems for midnight whiskey and pre-dawn espresso. These are poems for what ails us.-- Manuel Ramos, Author, Moony's Road to Hell, and Founder and Columnist, La Bloga.

Lisa will kickoff the national release, Saturday, September 20th, 7:30 PM, at: Décima Musa, 1901 S. Loomis St, Chicago, IL, hosted by Palabra Pura/Guild Complex. She will also appear at Acentos in the Bronx, New York, on September 23rd, 7:00 PM. (The Bruckner Gallery at Bruckner Bar and Grill, One Bruckner Blvd.; corner of Third Ave. and Bruckner Blvd.)

I expect that we will hear from many of you about Lisa's new book - don't miss it.

At the beginning of this week, Thania Muñoz
gave us an intriguing piece of a much longer interview with Chicano writer Rolando Hinojosa as part of her excellent reporting from Semana Negra. Be sure to check out her posts for a lively reconstruction of the surrealistic experience known to writers around the world as Semana Negra, the black week of literature. I recently learned that Professor Hinojosa was awarded a Doctor of Letters by Texas A & M University-College Station. That might have happened on his way to Gijón for Semana Negra. Congratulations to one of the maestros.


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