Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicano Renaissance. Banned Books Update. On-Line Floricanto.

Chicano renaissance

Michael Sedano

I rode shotgun up from Deming to Silver City, New Mexico. We were heading up to meet with the vato who first published the phrase “the Chicano Renaissance,” Felipe Ortego. ¡Saludos Don Felipe!

Felipe Ortego
The first time I read the phrase “the Chicano Renaissance” I understood Ortego’s enthusiasm. Anyone surveying the United States literary landscape between the late 1960s through the 1980s would share Don Felipe’s comprehension that el movimiento was producing a new cultural current, and his metaphorical “renaissance” echoed historic emergences like in Florence or London or Harlem.

A new renaissance is stalking America, the Chicano Renaissance, and this time, it really is. The “Chicano Renaissance” grew from regional small press and newsmedia publication. Taken up by big publishing, Chicana Chicano literary production joined the institutional rat race.

Early literatura chicana mirrored and helped create the community ethos that, in multiple languages, featured images of la tierra and farmworkers, noble outcasts or hagiographic antepasados, a separate eden, a battle against a blue-eyed devil, a lost and ruined homeland.

A catalog of such dominant themes fails to capture the elegance, wit, and capacity of Chicana Chicano writers of that time and now. Then, it was chest-thumping time.

Today, a writer is likely to see the label “Chicana Chicano Writer” as a boundary against work being considered simply “American Literature.” That’s an irony that an apex of success for a Chicana Chicano writer would portend the end of “Chicano Literature.”

Fortunately, there’s likely a new Chicano Renaissance on the horizon, one that portends global penetration of raza writing into every market where readers who have a computer or an e-book reader can choose to read all manner of Chicana Chicano literature.

How does it look from your horizon? Leave a comment below, how does it?

Banned Books Update

Arizona’s laws remain on the books. The day after Veterans Day, it’s a good time to acknowledge my 19 months in uniform defended their hateful power. But we draftees were not going to roll over and play dead, we would actually die, if it came to that, so Arizona could elect people like those. Oh well.

Carmen Tafolla’s landmark collection, Curandera, is banned in Arizona. That doesn’t prevent people in Arizona or any place in the world, from buying the 30th Anniversary Edition of Curandera from Wings Press.

This is what gives certain blue-eyed devils nightmares in Arizona:

Los Corts 2. (el chamaquito)

¡Jiiiii-jo! ¡Me jayé un daime!
¡Ta hueno eso!
Pa los airplanes que venden de wood
(¿O eran de cuara esas?)
Nuimporta—hasta los beisbol carts se compran a nicle
(También esos dientes de wax…)
Cuando llega Deri del trabajo, le voy a decir,
O le asusto con los dientes.
Y esa vieja mala a la tiendita
Que siempre me tá regañando,
Le voy a enseñar ese daime
Pa que vea
Pa que vea

Show them your vote, pa que vean, Arizona. In the meantime, you can order Tafolla's banned book--order one to keep and one to donate to a local school library--from the publisher or any Independent Publishing Group bookseller.

Chicano Writer Donates to National Award

This is from the Hansen Publishing Group webpage commemorating La Bloga friend Gregg Barrios' leadership in United States letters.

Gregg Barrios, a board member of the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC), has donated funds for the NBCC Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, which was established in 1987. 

Barrios’ donation provides first-time funding for the  award. NBCC President Eric Banks made the announcement in his “President’s Message”:

Thanks to a generous contribution from board member Gregg Barrios dedicated to funding the award, we are able for the first time to provide a monetary award to go along with the citation."
The 2012 recipient of the award will be presented with a citation and a $1,000 check. Gregg Barrios has donated enough money to fund the Balakian award for several years.

La Bloga Bloguero Daniel Olivas reported on Gregg's successful play RANCHO PANCHO. Gregg Barrios read at the historic second and third Festival de Flor y Canto. Click the publisher's website below for news of Barrios' upcoming books. 

On-Line Floricanto May 2012 Finale
 Abel Martinez, Ana Chig, Alma Luz Villanueva, Tom Sheldon, Elizabeth Cazessús

"Sleeping" by Abel Martinez
"Identidad perdida" by Ana Chig
"Querido Popocateptl" by Alma Luz Villanueva
"Lo siento" by Tom Sheldon
"Los rehenes" by Elizabeth Cazessús

by Abel Martinez, 2012

At Mary McLeod Bethune
Elementary School,
Mr. Bonet’s feminine
Hips stretched against
His light blue
Polyester slacks.
He called to me,
Panting through
His nose,
Because he thought
That I was sleeping.
He grabbed the soft
Of my lobes
And shook them
“Wake up, Martinez!”
But I wasn’t sleeping.

He’d patrol
His class,
Legs tightly rubbing
Against each other
As he stuck his finger
Thickly into the
Dark faces around him.
“Your people…”
“Makes me sick…”
He’d steal their candy,
Rubber band shooters,
Hot wheel cars,
And store them in a drawer
That dwarfed
In his immensity.

His voice,
A hammer
In a towel
Would bounce around the walls,
Rattle the thin dust
On the shudders
And scare me
Until I raised my hands
To my head
And pinched my elbows
In front of my face.
He would explain
That Washington
Chopped down a tree
And Lincoln freed the slaves
And Martin Luther King
Fought for “our” rights
But it was just a waste of time;
That King did not anticipate
This border “situation”.

At the end of the day
Mr. Bonet would pay
His penance and
Call me over
After the last bell.
His plump
Pasty white hands
Surrounding nails
Tooth ground to the skin
Would reach into his desk
To pull out a rubber band shooter,
Or car,
And he’d place it in my hand,
Tousle my hair
And say, “Wake up, Martinez”
In a soft, chewy voice.

But I wasn’t sleeping
Mr. Bonet.
I wanted to tell him,
That there was no line
Between us,
But an expansion
That caused him
To seethe at the mouth
Over his desk
And hate his life
And the unlucky draw
Of a straw that drove him
To the West Side of Fresno
Every morning.
And I, seeing him burn,
Hated myself for his
Dumb luck.
I tried
Hard to straighten
My back
And still my boney knees.

I’d lift my head
To the ceiling
And drift away
Far – where my skin
Was the earth
And the sky held me
Above turbulent seas
Parted by my father’s
Thunder- my mother’s
Quiet storm;
And cooled me through
Glacial battles
Over imaginary lines
Drawn by Crypts and Bloods
And F-14 homeboys.
And somehow,
I made it here
To the dry lawns
And tan buildings,
With my circus hair
And crooked teeth,
Sloppy in the nose
And barely, just barely
Right in the head.
I wasn’t sleeping
Mr. Bonet,

I was dreaming.

by Ana CHig

Sé que esta oscuridad no es cierta
Símbolos de peces nocturnos me acompañan
Uno, tres, dos desyelmados en cadena de esta patria mía

La sombra de un eclipse lo anunció hace días
Una serena y húmeda tarde anticipándose en romance con la luna
Y hubo un alfanje en la tarde de cielo, emblema curvo a una nueva era
Irremisible a hombres ya pasados
Al hombre que se hace fuerte en la ceniza 
Y la que ahora cae apocalíptica por la ruta luminosa

Un volcán activo como la conciencia inaplazable
Derramara el fruto de sueños y principios 
Porque esta oscuridad no es cierta, un nuevo sol ya anuncia la aurora…

Querido Popocateptl
by Alma Luz Villanueva

The villagers call you
father, brother, uncle, son-
I call you lover, my
ancient lover- flying in

to Mexio City I saw
your snowy peak, you
didn't fool me, I felt
the heat of your body,

your lava, your core,
your longing, for my
touch, ancient lover,
the Earth danced beneath

my feet, our Mother, la
Madre, she knew nothing
could keep me from you,
your body, your lava,

your core, the ancient 
memory of our union.
I dream your body, gift
from Earth, Sun, Moon,

every Star, I see
your molten eyes,
your molten mouth,
your molten hands,

your molten sex, lava
bright, meteor bright, first
eruption, genesis of
our longing. I am coming,

wait for me, I am dreaming,
wait for me, I am singing,
wait for me. I am dying
to receive. Your burning

body. Lava.

Lo siento
by Tom Sheldon

The sullen prep boy smirks

Sunshine patriots kowtow like humble sheep

While Wall street wails its siren song

Yale grads with laptops in lieu of carpetbaggers

Float under a beatific sky dreaming of vengeance?

All from a nation who in 300 years

That has never uttered the phrase Thank You, Please or I'm sorry.

por Elizabeth Cazessús

…el viento del crimen a la altura del delirio. Rodolfo Hasler

es la hora de escribir un poema acerca del mundo
de diagnosticar las formas en que amedrenta con su odio
y deslava el rostro de la sinrazón para justificar mil malabares políticos,

es hora de escribir que estamos al acecho de ladrones,
de gangsters, de capos del poder y la avaricia
ante la falta de libertad, la zozobra y su mezquina entelequia,

es hora de no callar lo escrito, aquello que no tiene razón en la sobremesa;
congestionadas las entropías mediáticas ante verdades telúricas y tan llanas;

es hora de nombrar en lo oscuro la íntima ejecución de los días,
la denuncia, el porvenir y la esperanza con un silencio atroz que no deje dudas;

es hora de contar metrallas, muertos, a los que corren,
ver la película en las calles y al desnudo,
dilucidar acaso en la espesura de ciertas e inexplicables densidades;

es hora de escribir un poema acerca del mundo,
de éste y no del otro bordado de metáforas,
ya no podemos escapar, no hay letras de salva,
somos rehenes de la impunidad que nos cohabita.

Copyright Elizabeth Cazessús, Tijuana, Baja California

"Sleeping" by Abel Martinez
"Identidad perdida" by Ana Chig
"Querido Popocateptl" by Alma Luz Villanueva
"Lo siento" by Tom Sheldon
"Los rehenes" by Elizabeth Cazessús

 Abel Martinez’s upbringing continues to inspire and direct his writing and his professional choices.  Born in the West Side of Fresno, California; where poverty and violence collaborated against residents on a daily basis, Abel chose creative outlets rather than a destructive relationship with the gangs that existed in his world.  Abel left the barrio years ago, but returns every day in his writings and in his work as a Clinician for children and families.

Abel continues to write poetry and has more recently had the honor of contributing to the Facebook page Poets Responding To SB 1070, as well as having the great honor of being published in the online journal, La Bloga.  

Ana Chig. Poeta. Residente de la ciudad Fronteriza Tijuana, Baja California.  Es Editora y fundadora del proyecto Frontera Esquina, Revista Mensual de Poesía que se distribuye en Tijuana y San Diego, California.

Actualmente coordina el programa POETIC BORDERS que se realiza en La Casa del Túnel Art Center.

Ha participado en recitales poéticos, lecturas urbanas y conversatorios organizados por diferentes instituciones y centros culturales.  Su obra aparece publicada en diversos medios electrónicos, revistas y prensa escrita.

Alma Luz Villanueva was raised in the Mission District, San Francisco, by her Yaqui grandmother, Jesus Villanueva- she was a curandera/healer from Sonora, Mexico. Without Jesus no poetry, no stories, no memory...
Author of eight books of poetry, most recently, 'Soft Chaos' (2009). A few poetry anthologies: 'The Best American Poetry, 1996,' 'Unsettling America,' 'A Century of Women's Poetry,' 'Prayers For A Thousand Years, Inspiration from Leaders & Visionaries Around The World.' Three novels: 'The Ultraviolet Sky,' 'Naked Ladies,' 'Luna's California Poppies,' and the short story collection, 'Weeping Woman, La Llorona and Other Stories.' Some fiction anthologies: '500 Great Books by Women, From The Thirteenth Century,' 'Caliente, The Best Erotic Writing From Latin America,' 'Coming of Age in The 21st Century,' 'Sudden Fiction Latino.' The poetry and fiction has been published in textbooks from grammar to university, and is used in the US and abroad as textbooks. Has taught in the MFA in creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, for the past fourteen years.
     Alma Luz Villanueva now lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for the past seven years, traveling the ancient trade routes to return to teach, and visit family and friends, QUE VIVA!! And taking trips throughout Mexico, working on a novel in progress, always the poetry, memory.

I’m Tom Sheldon, I was born in New Mexico on 9 Dec 1958, and come from a large Hispanic
family. As far as my own personal history in Art goes, it is brief. I have always
appreciated the gift of creating since I was young. I like all mediums and love
(Southwestern) nature and organic based subjects. While I have had little in the way of
formal training and education, I've enjoyed a modicum of success, mostly in
drawing/drafting. I teach students on occasion, and have also illustrated for (HWI) Hawk
Watch International. I also enjoy the Art of photography.

My work has shown in local galleries, as well as the Museum of Natural History here. I
have won art competitions at the State Fair level. I also love to write poetry; my poetry
was featured in La Bloga, Monique's Passions e-magazine, Poets Supporting SB1070 on
Facebook, and also, Writers in the Storm (October,1992)....

Elizabeth Cazessús, Tijuana B. C. México. Realizó Periodismo Cultural de 1985 al 1992 en Tijuana. Es autora de siete libros de poesía: Ritual y Canto,1994, Mujer de Sal, 2000; Huella en el agua, IMAC; Veinte Apuntes antes de dormir; 1995; 2001; “Casa del sueño”,  2006; “Razones de la dama infiel”, Gíglico ediciones 2008; No es mentira este paraíso, 2009.  Enediana, Giglico, 2011.

Su obra ha sido traducida al inglés y al polaco.
 Y está incluida en varias antologías: “Across the  Line”, Junction Press 2003; Trilogía de Poetas de Hispanoamérica Pícaras, Místicas y Rebeldes, 2004; Antología Femenina de Poesía Hispanoamericana, “El Rastro de las Mariposas”, Perú, 2006; Antología de “Voces Sin Fronteras”, Montreal, Canadá, 2006; Mujeres Poetas de México (1945-1965), Atemporia, 2008; Revista de Poesía, La Nueva Región de los poetas (Nowa Okolica Poetow), Varsovia, Polonia, 2008; San Diego Poetry Annual, Ca. E.U.A. 2008; Nectáfora, Antología del Beso en la Poesía Mexicana, México,  D.F. 2009.

Obtuvo la beca del FONCA de B. C. 1998.
Ha obtenido los premios: Municipal de Poesía, en los Juegos Florales de Tijuana, 1992;
Premio de Poesía, Anita Pompa de Trujillo en Hermosillo, Sonora, 1995.
Ha  participado con su obra en encuentros Internacionales, en Chile Poesía, Puerto Rico, Cuba, México, Estado Unidos, Canadá.

1 comment:

juanita salazar lamb said...

el chamaquito was my little brother; my cousin; me.