Friday, March 08, 2013

New Poetry, Old Music, Good Times

A person can't turn a corner without bumping into some type of Latino-flavored cultural event. From Boston to Santa Barbara something's happening that adds to the cultural gumbo in the boiling pot of North America. Just as true here in land-locked Colorado - heart of Aztlan as we like to say.  This past week I was privileged to attend several events and I've got some photos from two of them. First up is the presentation of Tim Z. Hernandez's new books of poetry.

Natural Takeover of Small Things and Culture of Flow

Natural Takeover of Small Things and Culture of Flow

Tim Z. Hernandez is one prolific fellow. On March 2 he introduced his latest to an enthusiastic crowd of readers, fans, family, and students (Tim is very active in giving back to the community, including great work in the schools.) The event started off with a reading from one of Tim's students, Mr. Martinez (sorry, I missed his first name) who was making his poetic debut; then a trio of girls enthralled the audience with their songs and repartee; even Tim's young son, Salvador, got in the act. Tim read a few poems from the new collections, which he described as really one book that needed to have two parts. As the jacket copy says,  Natural Takeover of Small Things is "a collection of poetry that offers an unflinching view of 'California's Heartland,' the San Joaguin Valley. In his distinctive, lyrical, pull-no-punches style, Tim Z. Hernandez offers a glimpse of the people, the landscape, the rhythm, and the detritus of the rural West. As Hernandez peels back the facade of the place, he reveals that home is not always where the heart is." Meanwhile, Culture of Flow contains pieces that Tim wrote while working on a project involving the San Joaquin River.Quoting from Victor Hernandez Cruz: "Hernandez puts us in the flow of history, the poems read or spill into us like a chant or a drum beat that opens into older ceremonies, cultures and peoples flow into each other, the ancient pulse under the current of the industrial and modern age breathing fire, he brings the global barrios into one setting, the connections of the world are alive within him."

Tim Z. Hernandez

Ten Years of Pocho Joe on La Raza Rocks

Pocho Joe is a DJ on KUVO's La Raza Rocks weekly show that presents the "Roots and Branches of Chicano Music." KUVO is a public radio station (89.3 FM in Denver - online at, and La Raza Rocks is part of the station's dynamic weekend programming that ranges from the Blues, to Salsa/Latin Jazz, to Rhythm and Blues, to Brazilian, to .... Really worth checking it out - this programming is very familiar to folks in Denver, and its audience stretches around the world because of the Internet. La Raza Rocks is only an hour each Sunday (1:00 PM), but in that hour the listener is treated to a great mix of oldies, Chicano Rock, Movement Music, Chicano Blues, a bit of Latino Independent Music, a dash of the latest from young innovators, and plenty of information about the music, musicians, and the music industry, as seen from the cynical but astute Chicano eyes of Pocho Joe. So on Sunday, March 3, the community came together at Rick's Tavern to celebrate Pocho's ten year anniversary on the show. A great time was had by all, as can be seen in these photos. Also in the audience was my nephew, Gabe, who was an original host of the program (at the young age of 15!) If you didn't make it to the party I hope you at least check out the show this coming Sunday

The crowd at Rick's Tavern

Pocho Joe and Flo - Rick Garcia in the Background

KUVO Volunteers Take a Break from Dancing to Pose for Posterity

You all keep on havin' a good time.


Desperado: A Mile High Noir by Manuel Ramos, published by Arte Público Press, March, 2013.  "A first-rate, vibrant read!" Emma Pérez

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I think I see my slim self in one of the Pocho Joe photo. It was a great time,