Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Best Poems of 2012

Twenty-thirteen, Day One

Michael Sedano
Twenty-twelve with three seconds remaining.

La Bloga sends you wishes for vigorous health and awesome opportunities in the new year. 

In support of which, forthwith find suitably pithy epigrams upon which to hang sundry new year's thoughts:

You deserve more, and that's up to you. 

View "problems" as opportunities; this way you'll find ways to fix what's not satisfactory and define your own outcomes.

Have a plan, work the plan. If you fail, understand why, rather than win accidentally without a clue.

If you don't know where you're going, any which road will take you there.

With the right tools, you can do anything.

It's the "U" in "fun" that counts.

Here's to everyone having something like what I'm enjoying the last day of the year, a six year-old blowing streams of mocos out both nostrils and laughing joyously, her cold broken and robust health coming back, right on time for the new year.

La Bloga On-Line Floricanto Best Poems of 2012
Tara Evonne Trudell, Ramón Piñero, Odilia Galván Rodríguez, John Martinez, Andrea Mauk, Andrea Hernandez Holm, Devreaux Baker, Victor Avila, Francisco X. Alarcón, Nancy Aide Gonzalez, Sharon Elliott, Elena Díaz Bjorkquist, Sonia Gutiérrez, Carmen Calatayud, Hedy Garcia Treviño, Claudia D. Hernández

“Border Song” by Tara Evonne Trudell
“They Have Names” by Ramón Piñero
“Poem 6 ~ Being A Border” by Odilia Galván Rodríguez
“Words Can Set The Meter of Healing” by John Martinez
“Mudos Across the Ocean Divide” by Andrea Mauk
“Not Enough-Too Much” by Andrea Hernandez Holm
“Recipe for Peace” by Devreaux Baker
“A House Full of Light (Psalm 1000)” by Victor Avila
“Ultimate Migrants: Monarch Butterflies’ Life Mantra / Migrantes por excelencia: Bio-mantra de las mariposas monarca” by Francisco X. Alarcón
“Tapestry of Dawn” by Nancy Aide Gonzalez
“The Day of Little Comfort” by Sharon Elliott
“Calling Forth the Seeds of Winter” by Elena Díaz Bjorkquist
"Herencia / Legacy" by Sonia Gutiérrez
"Commitment Otra Vez" by Carmen Calatayud
"Walking on the Shards of Broken Dreams" by Hedy Garcia Trevino
“Tejiendo la niebla" por Claudia D. Hernández

Border Song
By Tara Evonne Trudell

will I be
the border song
you sing
rusty tall
will I be
the warm
you ache
to feel
in cold
will humanity
ever comprehend
how deep
can feel
so many years
taking fear
and crafting it
to the masses
keeping souls
in far away
continual stealing
taking earth
killing her people
will children die
playing sticks
and stones
into living
a walking dead
tireless ancestors
spirits fighting
over and over
in an America
that doesn't care
to question
will I be
last border

They Have Names
By Ramón Piñero

“No one asked their names.”
So screams the headlines
throughout the
Arab world
We know just
that nineteen
were killed
this time;

We did
not count the
last time
the last
we said this
would be the
last time

No one asked their names;
they almost never do
they are expendable
fodder for the cannons

One side
point’s fingers
we excuse it
‘cause after all
it had to be a rough
going back
one time
two times
three times
who could have?
would have thought
that war and violence
has no reset button

when you’re dead
you stay dead
no health bars
no extra lives
in this video
game version
of mans’ oldest
folly; yes
the oldest
on steroids

no one asked their names
so screams the headlines
through the Arab world
as it should scream out
throughout this world.

The dead were:
Mohamed Daewood
Nazar Mohamed

the other dead

Yesenia Briseño
Trayvon Martin

all children
or women
all inocentes

The dead were:

the other dead
those travelers
on the
Trail of Tears
those in the
cargo holds
of slave ships
thrown overboard
worked to death
without a name
to their name.

The dead were:

The dead also
those babies
in Appalachia
the Sonoran desert
those killed
by the Zeta and
Sinaloa Cartels.

The dead were:
Essa Mohamed
Aktar Mohamed

in this
make believe
war where only
the other

where only we
and all
“unfortunate and

how many times
can you
ask a
man to kill
without killing
the man in him

no one asked
their names
to be added
to a dustbin

My Lai
footnotes in

and the
all names
etched forever
in my memory
etched forever
in my heart.

Poem 6 ~ Being A Border
By Odilia Galván Rodríguez

I've been here all of my life
on the edge of this or that
a bridge between my people
crossing people
they come to me
to enter more worlds
than I can even fathom
all I am is a border
something of a fence sitter
except in my case I am not neutral
I take both sides, I am from and for
both sides, yes
I live the in-betwixt and in-between
I am the center and the balance
I see good and bad
at every turn
at every crossroads
and every crossing is a ritual
what do you offer to enter?
seven shiny dimes to the mother
of all mothers, of the salty waters
or nine pennies to the wind whisperer
the keeper of the last door we enter...
I've been here all of my life and
all I want to do is cross that line
myself, want to pass the torch
having now been totally scorched
by this playing at blind justice
is there really such a thing?
I think not.
someone always has to win
and someone loses
even if I know the secret
that losing you win
still, that's because
I'm a different kind of thinker
having the luxury or curse
of being from the middle
living on that fine line
between this or that
here or there
it's a fact
being a border is no fun
you have to let some in
and keep some out...
then all those
convoluted routes
people take to get here --
even when they know in their heart
it's not for them, and
they should've stayed put
they figure that out later
sometimes, when it's too damn late
but wait, why'd I let them in

in the first place?

oh yes, because it was a lesson...
lofty this job of mediator
border deity
job seems too big
too pretentious
somehow playing god
when all I really am
is a bad idea

I am a border
a door
a hoarder of hopes
of injustices
tucked inside promises
of new lives,
lives not new or better
simply different
I am a border
a line
una línea
a big lie.

By John Martinez

Para El Maestro, Francisco X. Alarcón

If I could give myself,
Without speaking,
To the suffering,
To the clenched body,
I’d give that part of me
That does not hate,
That does not want
When others
Cannot have

I’d give the song
That has no sadness.

If I could give
In silence,
Just a piece
Of myself,
To those who have lost
Everything to greed,
I’d give my soul,
All 21 grams

If I could give myself
Like a hush
To the mother,
Whose child
Weeps in the corridors
Of death, wanting to
Hold her like air,
I would give
My two hands,
Touch her face
With fingers of rain,
Assure her, with my eyes,
That he will be waiting
Near the fountain
With the others

If I could rise one day,
Knowing that pain
Is being lifted like a shawl
From the Countries
Beneath the boot
Of my U.S.A,
I would rise with
A greater love

Today, I have words,
Not guns,
Not the rabid teeth
Of a killer

I have words
That I can shout,
That I can throw
Like brown birds into
The audience,
Because these birds
Know the meaning
Of peace
And these words
Can push
A convoy of donkeys
Down an indigenous path,
With medicine to treat
The sick, the starving

Words yes words
Can set the meter
Of healing

If I could give myself,
To the suffering,
I would give myself
With words,
Words yes words
Can set the meter
Of healing

© 2012 John Martinez

Mudos Across the Ocean Divide
By Andrea Mauk

I shed the flag in which I'm draped
so I can see myself bare breasted
unadorned by donkey tails and elephant tusks.
I pluck the stars one by one
from the field of blue
and launch them out the window sill
wonder if they can still
but they twirl back to earth
in a tailspin
and melt like snowflakes
as they touch down.

I come from an island
a goddess
of red, white and blue
Spain's last outpost,
one star, her voice
washes between
loudly unheard,
testing ground
for the pill,
breeding ground of
beauty queens...
And here, we are hemming skirts
and stocking shelves
rolling up sleeves,
as they're trading coffee beans
and sugar cane
for tax-free trade
and tourism.
Would you like an umbrella with that?

I sew the stripes together
and wind them 'round me
walk to the nearest polling place
enthusiasm of a mummy,
close the curtain
and cast my net across the wide
froth of Atlantic blue
catch my fill of calamar
and octopus,
fry them up with
Green Party platano
but loving arms, tostones and tentacles aside,
I am awash in my own
milk and honey land,
they call me
that other kind
of Mexican (?)

I am not a slave but I am owned,
possessed like a noun
watched over by the eye
and the pyramid.
And I question the Goddess,
does she really want
to be a state
when the state of the nation
is unraveled, just broken
coming unglued
link by link
on the partisan spine
and the laborious backs,
to be owned by the
boardroom masters on the
87th floor?

I run down the stairs
out the front stoop
to gather the stars
that have yet to dissolve
upon the bodega's
place them in my eyes,
their sparkling hope
let the ribbon of stripes sewn
red after white
fly towards home from the boardwalk
on this starless night,
send my voice
spinning out to sea,
a gift to those who stayed behind.

We are citizens both here and there.
We are mudos across the ocean divide,
our borders drawn by Poseidón.
We are peripheral,
between the shores.
I have given away my stars and stripes
left only with the yellow fringe
belted around my nakedness.
It doesn't really matter.
No one will even notice me
on this election eve.

Recipe For Peace
By Devreaux Baker

Bare your feet
roll up your sleeves
oil the immigrant's bowl
open the doors and windows of your house
invite in the neighbors
invite in strangers off the street
roll out the dough
add spices for a good life
cardamon and soul
cumin and tears
sesame and sorrow
add a dash of salt
pink as new hope
add marjaram and thyme
rub lemon grass and holy basil
on your fingers and pat the dough
bless the table
bless the bread
bless your hands and feet
bless the neighbors and strangers off the street
bake the bread for a century or more
on moderate heat
under the olive trees in your back yard
or on the sun filled stones of Syria
in the white rocks of Beirut
or behind the walls of Jerusalem
in the mountains of Afghanistan
and in the sky scrapers of New York
Feast with all the migrant tongues
until your mouth understands
the taste of many different homes
and your belly is full
so you fall asleep cradled
in the skirts of the world
in the lap of peace.

A House Full of Light (Psalm 1000)
By Victor Avila

I was born in a house
full of light.

In one where corners
have never known shadows.

I stand before windows
that have never known night.

I stare out its doors-
This house free of sorrow.

Yes, I was born in a house
full of light.

I grew up amid melodies

that awoke me from the deepest
of slumber.

And the luminous voice,
perhaps of an angel

calmed every fear
and whispered remember-

You were born in this house
where one day is a thousand.

Here all time is sand
and each second eternal.

So come share these walls
for you are the Father's.

He knows you are here
and delights.

He welcomes you here
to his house full of light.

By Francisco X. Alarcón

we defeat time, the cold
and all borders –we are
the ultimate migrants

thousands of miles
we fly North–South and East–West–
beauty is our might

the Sun guides our flight–
nothing can really stops us,
no even our short lives

to return to the land
where our great–grandparents
once emerge from

four generations
we undergo in a year —from eggs
to caterpillars

and then to pupa
to emerge from cocoons
as beautiful butterflies–

we are fearless
in our commitment to life
beyond our own lives–

we defeat time, the cold
and all borders –we are
the ultimate migrants

Por Francisco X. Alarcón

vencemos el tiempo
y toda frontera –somos migrantes
por excelencia

miles de millas volamos
del Norte al Sur y del Este al Oeste–
la belleza es nuestro poder

el Sol no guía–
nada puede pararnos,
ni nuestra corta vida

para volver a la tierra
de donde nuestros bisabuelos

cuatro generaciones
pasamos en un año —de huevos
a orugas

luego a pupas
para del capullo emerger
como bellas mariposas—

no tenemos miedo
al compromiso a la vida
más allá de la propia–

vencemos el tiempo
y toda frontera —somos migrantes
por excelencia

Tapestry of Dawn
By Nancy Aidé González

Sun, summoning dawn
truth will come with portraits of consciousness
narratives of shelter

interlocked woven fabrics
find equilibrium
strings of transcendence in cosmos

beyond ancient knowledge alive
planets orbit echoing memory of universe
saffron stars manifest wholeness

nimbus treasures – rain
jaguars roam spirit realm
leave prints where

trees take root
in tierra firme
drawing humanity closer.

The Day of Little Comfort
By Sharon Elliott

the day of little comfort
and no food
began as any other day
the sun came up

resting on the horizon
there was no heat
radiating from its yellow eye

the crows were quiet
sitting in echelons on telephone wires
like mourners in black babushkas
eyeing the humans below them
with sadness

green and growing things
struggling to push through concrete
dirt solid as granite
compacted by the soles
on hundreds of shoes
gave it up
nodded their two
or three
leafy shoots
and toppled over

she peeked outside the curtains
wondering why
there was so much silence
she hummed softly
a lullaby that soothed
her 6 year old heart
opened the window a crack
stuck her head out
into the full force of


where had all the creatures gone?
from her?
from them?
from what?

a low rumble began
like a ruined growl
deep in the throat of
an archangel
breathing holy asthma

a tree across the street
tried to hide
but the respiration resurrection
caught it in a lie
rattled its twigs and
bent it double
snapped it in half

she started to pray
a lonely supplication
too young to be heard
older than endless

she didn’t notice the rain
pouring wet blessings
into clandestine passages
full of people
catapaulted out
by invincible water
ejected by a depraved howitzer
spraying unsanctified bullets on the streets

her mother scrambled to close the window
was sucked out into the rain
fell from a great height
to splash into the villainous river
in the street

her father
rushed down the stairs
trying to save her mother
sank into the same torrent
they disappeared

she wondered
about where her breakfast would come from
who would tuck her into bed
when she should get ready for school
who would help her tie her shoes

and then

the lights went out

Calling Forth the Seeds of Winter
By Elena Díaz Bjorkquist

Dedicated to my Comadres of Sowing the
Seeds who endured the cold outside on
the porch at our last meeting!

In cold truth, Summer ends,
Seeds prepare to rest.
Something about that cold.
Things come out of it,
Settle in our writer’s heart.

Sun vanishes, temperature drops,
We endure head-clearing cold,
Recall, recognize, honor
The seeds of our wisdom’s harvest.

Winter winds like sacred voices
Call forth abundance,
A time to resurrect
Our natural creativity,
A joy for all.

Time to remember the gifts
From loved ones who’ve gone on.
Time to select seeds of wise actions
To plant for future harvest.

Cold and heat,
Summer and winter,
Seed time and harvest time,
Suggest a definite time of harvest.

But there's no fixed time for harvest,
We can call it forth at will.
The harvest is clear—memories
Reveal the lessons of what's passed.

We become aware,
Accept the creative power of now,
Conceptualize, visualize, energize
A world of beauty, good relationships.

The heart of awareness,
Is the dance of arising worlds,
Soul seeds planted in winter.

Por Sonia Gutiérrez

for Poets Responding to SB 1070

Soy la lengua de Frida—vulgar
como la de mi abuela.

Y la punta del bolígrafo azul,
doblegando al papel callado.

También soy la flor de tuna,
asomándome por la madrugada.

Soy orejas de olla de barro, escuchando
el paladar de mis antepasados.

Mujer de cara redonda
como la tortilla de maíz y nopal.

Cuerpo de abeja punzante
de donde nace el mañana.

Y soy, por supuesto, letras armadas
con azadones arreando nuestro destino.

La mariposa sedienta, bebiendo
del sudor de una mano humedecida.

Soy las garras del jaguar, rasgando
las líneas esclavas del bufón de vista corta.

Soy la poeta que las leyes escupen muy lejos—
al exilio de los poetas.

Soy herencia—que pinta de mil matices
de verde a esta nuestra tierra natal.

Pero definitivamente soy una manita de puerco
si tu horquilla del diablo asoma su feo rostro.

A esos los vestimos de esqueletos
y los ponemos a bailar por las calles, eternamente.

By Sonia Gutiérrez

for Poets Responding to SB 1070

I am Frida’s tongue—vulgar
like my grandmother’s.

And the tip of a blue ballpoint pen
kowtowing shy paper.

I am also the prickly pear flower
peering at dawn.

The ears of a clay pot, listening
to the palate of my ancestors.

A woman with a round face
like the corn and cactus tortilla.

Body of a throbbing bee
where tomorrow is born.

And I am, of course, armed letters
with hoes spurring our destiny.

The thirsty butterfly drinking
from the sweat of a moist hand.

I am the claws of the jaguar, tearing
the enslaved lines of the nearsighted fool.

I am the poet whom laws spit far away—
to the exile of poets.

I am legacy—who paints this our homeland
a thousand shades of green.

But I am most definitely an arm twist
if your devil’s pitchfork shows its ugly head.

To those, we dress up like skeletons
and make them dance through the streets, eternally.

Commitment Otra Vez
By Carmen Calatayud

For R.V.

Some generations ago,
you were a Zapatista
inside your great-grandmother’s
womb, black eye sockets of
revolution, carrying roses
with the pink blown out,
dando gritos in earshot
of the Americas.

But now your doubt
is strewn across the room
like petals from dead maravillas,
even in this space you rent
where spiritual warriors
pray for your country
and you can finally sleep
through the night.

Listen, amigo de los desamparados,
this is your time, again,
beyond gut-level fear
and black and white film:
The explosions just keep coming,
and you are chewing on history,
and never let it be said
that all you could do was cry.

Originally appeared as Split This Rock's Poem of the Week

Walking on the Shards of Broken Dreams
By Hedy Garcia Treviño

Walking on the shards of broken dreams
scattered voices call
from underneath the desert sand
where nothing grows
Lies still the seed of hope
Awaiting the furrow of the plow
unearthing hope that never sleeps
gaining strength from every storm
Lies still the seed of hope
Called forth by footsteps on the desert floor
keeping rythm with the heartbeat of the sun
comes forth the seed of hope

Tejiendo la niebla
Por Claudia D. Hernández

Descalzo uno emigra
a tierras extrañas

hay quienes no olvidan,

hay quienes se ensartan
su patria en el alma.

—La tierra no tiene fronteras
murmuran los pies reventados

las huellas que implantan
trasmiten nostalgia;

hay tierras calientes
que a veces se enfrían;

hay campos dorados
que tejen la niebla;

hay volcanes que arrojan
sus piedras de pomo.

Y uno aquí, escupiendo
cenizas en la lejanía

—La tierra no tiene fronteras
suspira la arboleda

El árbol exiliado no logra evitar
que su fruto florezca

¿Qué culpa tiene la almendra
que el viento la arrastre
y la engendre en tierras ajenas?


Tara Evonne Trudell has resumed writing poetry after a break of almost ten years and is passionate about combining poetry and film to create a visual art form of her own. She is a mother of four children and raising them to be socially aware and conscious of the injustices that plague our society. This is a top priority of hers as a she rediscovers her own word in a world that only attempts to silence the Indigenous spirit. She advocates strongly on behalf of Earth and incorporates this into her poetry, film, and life as part of her love and commitment to give back and represent her own connection.

Ramón Piñero. Ex Bay Area poet living in the buckle of the Bible Belt, aka Florida. Where good little boys and girls grow up to be republicans who vote against their own interest. Father of three and Grandfather to six of the coolest kids ever.

Odilia Galván Rodríguez, poet/activist, writer and editor, has been
involved in social justice organizing and helping people find their
creative and spiritual voice for over two decades.  Her poetry has been
widely anthologized, and she is the author of three books. Her last editing
job was as the English edition editor of Tricontinental Magazine in Havana, Cuba.
Odilia is one of the founding members and a moderator of Poets
Responding to SB 1070 on Facebook.  She teaches creative writing
workshops nationally, currently at Casa Latina, and also co-hosts,
"Poetry Express" a weekly open mike with featured poets, in Berkeley,
CA. For more information about workshops see her blog http://xhiuayotl.blogspot.com/
or contact her at Red Earth Productions & Cultural Work 510-343-3693.

John Martinez studied Creative Writing at Fresno State University under Phillip Levine and has published poetry in El Tecolote, Red Trapeze and in The LA Weekly. Recently, he has posted poems on Poets Responding to SB1070 and this will be his 14th poem published in La Bloga. Martinez has performed (as a musician/political activist, poet) with Teatro De La Tierra, Los Perros Del Pueblo and TROKA, a Poetry Ensemble, lead by poet Juan Felipe Herrera. He has toured with several cumbia/salsa bands throughout the Central Valley and in Los Angeles and has just completed first book of Poems, PLACES. For the last 18 years, he has worked as an Administrator for a Los Angeles law firm. He makes his home in Upland, California, with he wife Rosa and four children.

Andrea García Mauk grew up in Arizona, where both the immense beauty and harsh realities of living in the desert shaped her artistic soul. She calls Los Angeles home, but has also lived in Chicago, New York and Boston. She has worked in the music industry, and on various film and television productions. She writes short fiction, poetry, original screenplays and adaptations, and is currently finishing two novels. Her writing and artwork has been published and viewed in a variety of places such as on The Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder; The Journal of School Psychologists and Victorian Homes Magazine. Both her poetry and artwork have won awards. Several of her poems and a memoir are included in the 2011 anthology, Our Spirit, Our Reality, and her poetry is featured in the 2012 Mujeres de Maiz “‘Zine.” She is a regular contributor to Poets responding to SB 1070. Her poems have been chosen for publication on La Bloga’s Tuesday Floricanto numerous times. She is also a moderator of Diving Deeper, an online workshop for writers, and has written extensively about music, especially jazz, while working in the entertainment industry. Her production company, Dancing Horse Media Group, is currently in pre-production of her independent film, “Beautiful Dreamer,” based on her original screenplay and manuscript, and along with her partners, is producing a unique cookbook that blends healthful recipes with poetry and prose from the community.

Devreaux Baker is a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the 2011 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry Prize for her book; Red Willow People. She is the recipient of the 2012 Hawaii Council of Humanities International Poetry Prize, and the Women’s Global Leadership Initiative Poetry Award. Her poetry fellowships include a MacDowell Fellowship, the Hawthornden Castle International Fellowship, three California Arts Council Awards and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship. She has published three books of poetry; Red Willow People, Beyond the Circumstance of Sight, and Light at the Edge and conducted poetry workshops in France and Mexico. She has taught poetry in the schools with the CPITS Program and produced the Voyagers Radio Program of original student writing for KZYX Public Radio.

Victor Avila is an award-winning poet.  Two of his poems were recently included in the anthology Occupy SF-Poems From the Movement.  Victor has taught in California public schools for over twenty years.

Francisco X. Alarcón, Chicano poet and educator, is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry, including, Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation  (Chronicle Books 1992), recipient of the 1993 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award, From the Other Side of Night: Selected and New Poems (University of Arizona Press 2002). His latest book is Ce•Uno•One: Poems for the New Sun (Swan Scythe Press 2010). His most recent book of bilingual poetry for children is Animal Poems of the Iguazú (Children’s Book Press 2008). He teaches at the University of California, Davis. He created the Facebook page, POETS RESPONDING TO SB 1070: http://www.facebook.com/PoetryOfResistance

Nancy Aidé González is a Chicana poet who lives in Lodi, California. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature in 2000. Her work has appeared in Calaveras Station Literary Journal, La Bloga, Everyday Other Things, Mujeres De Maiz Zine, La Peregrina and Huizache The magazine of Latino literature. She is a participating member of Escritores del Nuevo Sol, a writing group based in Sacramento, California which honors the literary traditions of Chicano, Latino, Indigenous and Spanish-language peoples. She attended Las Dos Brujas Writer’s Workshop in 2012.

Born and raised in Seattle, Sharon Elliott has written since childhood. Four years in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and Ecuador laid the foundation for her activism. As an initiated Lukumi priest, she has learned about her ancestral Scottish history, reinforcing her belief that borders are created by men, enforcing them is simply wrong.

Elena Díaz Björkquist. “I have enjoyed being a moderator on Poets Responding to SB 1070 since its creation by Francisco and Odilia. It’s a pleasure opening poems and reading so many wonderful works, but always difficult to select the ones for La Boga’s Floricanto. I like being a friend and mentor to many great poets on Facebook. Reading poetry is an inspiration for writing my own poetry.”

A writer, historian, and artist from Tucson, Elena writes about Morenci, Arizona where she was born. She is the author of two books, Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon. Elena is co-editor of Sowing the Seeds, una cosecha de recuerdos and Our Spirit, Our Reality; our life experiences in stories and poems, anthologies written by her writers collective Sowing the Seeds.

As an Arizona Humanities Council (AHC) Scholar, Elena has performed as Teresa Urrea in a Chautauqua living history presentation and done presentations about Morenci, Arizona for twelve years. She received the 2012 Arizona Commission on the Arts Bill Desmond Writing Award for excelling nonfiction writing and the 2012 Arizona Humanities Council Dan Schilling Public Humanities Scholar Award in recognition of her work to enhance public awareness and understanding of the role that the humanities play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. She was nominated for Tucson Poet Laureate in 2012.

Her website is at http://elenadiazbjorkquist.com/.

Sonia Gutiérrez is part of this generation of Chican@ poets of the New Sun. Sonia writes about pressing social issues that haunt her and demand our immediate attention. La Bloga’s On-line Floricanto is home to Sonia’s Poets Responding to SB 1070 poems, including “The Books”/“Los libros,” “Careful with the River”/“Cuidado con el río,” “Memografía”/“Memography,” “Mi bandera”/“My Flag,” “My Heart Is a Strawberry Field,” “The Passing,” and “La maza y cantera de una poeta”/“A Poet’s Mallet and Quarry” (10 Best Poems of 2011). Her bilingual poetry collection, Spider Woman/La Mujer Araña (Olmeca Press) is forthcoming in 2013. Sonia is at work on a novel, Kissing Dreams from a Distance, among other projects. Her website www.soniagutierrez.com is coming soon.

Carmen Calatayud's first poetry collection In the Company of Spirits was published in October 2012 as part of the Silver Concho Series by Press 53. In the Company of Spirits was a runner-up for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her poetry has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, Gargoyle, La Bloga, PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, Red River Review and the anthology DC Poets Against the War. Carmen is a Larry Neal Poetry Award winner and recipient of a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellowship. She is a poet moderator for Poets Responding to SB 1070, a Facebook group that features poetry and news about Arizona’s controversial immigration law that legalizes racial profiling. Born to a Spanish father and Irish mother in the U.S., Carmen works and writes in Washington, DC

Hedy M. Garcia Treviño. Has written poetry since the age of eight. Her first poem came as a result of being punished for speaking Spanish in school. Her poetry has been published in numerous journal's and other publications. She has performed her poetry at numerous cultural events. She continues to write poetry, and inspires others to use the written word as a form of self discovery and personal healing. Hedy is also one of the moderators for Poets Responding to SB 1070.

Claudia D. Hernández was born and raised in Guatemala. She's a bilingual educator, poet, writer, photographer and translator in the city of Los Angeles. She's pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. Her photography, poetry, and short stories have been published in: The Indigenous Sovereignty Issue of The Peak, Hinchas de Poesía, KUIKATL Literary Journal, nineteen-sixty-nine an Ethnic Studies Journal, Blood Lotus, REDzine, Kalyani Magazine, Along the River II Anthology, among others.

She’s currently working on a project titled: TODAY’S REVOLUTIONARY WOMEN OF COLOR. This is a yearlong project that will tentatively culminate on November 2013, with a walking photography exhibit and the publication of a photography book.

To stay updated with the latest interviews of these phenomenal women, please visit and ‘like’ TODAY’S REVOLUTIONARY WOMEN OF COLOR Facebook page @


msedano said...

Poets, and moderators of Poets Responding to SB 1070, Poetry of Resistance, thank you for this opportunity to share your work with La Bloga's readers around the world.

I invite readers everywhere to leave their own comment to celebrate floricanto and 2013.


Unknown said...

Dear Em, Thank you for your great dedication to have the On-Line Floricanto every Tuesdays in 2012. The Best Poems of 2012 show a great poetic range, a rainbow of distinct concerned voices speaking out of compassion--Francisco

Odilia Galván Rodríguez said...

Dearest Em, we can never thank you enough for all your dedication to this collaboration. What Francisco and the moderators started on Poets Responding to SB 1070~Poetry of Resistance, is greatly enhanced by the weekly sharing of selected poems for the La Bloga's On-Line Floricanto. Your love of poetry, literature and art is favorable to so many of us who get to share our work, or stay abreast of the latest and freshest being produced out in the wide-world.

Please keep bringing beauty into the world, and all the best in 2013! ~ Saludos, Odilia

Avotcja Jiltonilro said...

¡Bravo! La Bloga is still the best!!!