Friday, April 04, 2014

An Opportunity. New Books From Old Friends. Good News Bit.

From Robert P. Moreira - riverSedge Literary Journal

Friends and Colleagues,

riverSedge, a literary journal that some of you may remember, is poised to resume publication through the English Department and MFA Program at the University of Texas Pan American. With a 37-year history, riverSedge has a proud past and, I hope, a bright future publishing art and literature from the best writers and artists today.

To do so I would appreciate your help. Please help spread the word that riverSedge is seeking the best unpublished short fiction, poetry, scripts, art work, creative nonfiction and graphic literature. We begin with contests for best fiction and best poetry with $1,000 prizes in each category. All submissions in these two categories will automatically be entered in the contests.

The fine print: persons currently affiliated with UT Pan American, UT Brownsville, and South Texas College are barred from submitting to riverSedge. Only submissions sent through the online service Submittable will be considered. Deadline for submissions is May 10, 2014.

Submission guidelines and instructions on how to submit can be found at

Thanks in advance for helping make riverSedge a success!

Robert P. Moreira, Managing Editor

For the contest, send up to 3 poems or 1 short story (5,000 words max); simultaneous submissions are okay; submissions in Spanish are okay; anyone affiliated (staff, faculty, student) with the University of Texas Pan American, University of Texas Brownsville, or South Texas College is ineligible to participate; all poetry and fiction submissions will automatically be entered in their respective contests. 

riverSedge is also accepting creative nonfiction, script-writing, graphic literature, and art. Our editors will consider work in Spanish and English and anything in between.
Deadline is May 10, 2014
Upload your submissions at 

New Books From Old Friends

The City of Palaces: A Novel
Michael Nava

University of Wisconsin Press/Terrace Books - March, 2014

“An extraordinary portrait of one of the most critical periods in Mexico’s history. Nava breathes life into the stories of political, cultural, and social revolutionaries as they navigate change in their country and within themselves. This is a breakthrough novel.”
Rigoberto González, author of Autobiography of My Hungers

[from the publisher]
In the years before the Mexican Revolution, Mexico is ruled by a tiny elite that apes European culture, grows rich from foreign investment, and prizes racial purity. The vast majority of Mexicans, who are native or of mixed native and Spanish blood, are politically powerless and slowly starving to death. Presiding over this corrupt system is Don Porfirio Díaz, the ruthless and inscrutable president of the Republic.

Against this backdrop, The City of Palaces opens in a Mexico City jail with the meeting of Miguel Sarmiento and Alicia Gavilán. Miguel is a principled young doctor, only recently returned from Europe but wracked by guilt for a crime he committed as a medical student ten years earlier. Alicia is the spinster daughter of an aristocratic family. Disfigured by smallpox, she has devoted herself to working with the city’s destitute. This unlikely pair—he a scientist and atheist and she a committed Christian—will marry. Through their eyes and the eyes of their young son, José, readers follow the collapse of the old order and its bloody aftermath.

The City of Palaces is a sweeping novel of interwoven lives: Miguel and Alicia; José, a boy as beautiful and lonely as a child in a fairy tale; the idealistic Francisco Madero, who overthrows Díaz but is nevertheless destroyed by the tyrant’s political system; and Miguel’s cousin Luis, shunned as a “sodomite.” A glittering mosaic of the colonial past and the wealth of the modern age, The City of Palaces is a story of faith and reason, cathedrals and hovels, barefoot street vendors and frock-coated businessmen, grand opera and silent film, presidents and peasants, the living and the dead.

Kelly Cherry. Photo credit: Burke David.Michael Nava is the author of an acclaimed series of seven crime novels featuring Henry Rios, a gay Latino criminal defense lawyer. The series has won six Lambda Literary Awards. In 2001 he received the Bill Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award in LGBT literature. A native Californian and the grandson of Mexican immigrants, Nava lives near San Francisco.
“A magnificent epic about family, politics, art, revolution, and hope. This is a masterly work of old-fashioned storytelling, rich and spacious and moving, a novel that deserves to be compared to The Leopard, Love in the Time of Cholera, and Doctor Zhivago, but with its own intimacy and grandeur. I fell in love with these people and did not want to say goodbye to them.”
Christopher Bram, author of Exiles in America 

Confessions of a Book Burner: Personal Essays and Stories
Lucha Corpi
Arte Público Press - March, 2014

La Bloga recently reported on Lucha's new book, but I want to give this book and my friend another shout out.  I know Lucha has been working on it for some time and, personally, I am eager to see the finished product. Hope to get it soon. In the publisher's words: "In addition to examining a variety of topics relevant to today’s world -- including race, discrimination and feminism -- Corpi relates riveting family tales of mountain men and cannibals, preachers and soothsayers, old-style machos and women who more than hold their own. These confessions offer an intriguing vision of the rich and complex world of an acclaimed poet and novelist."


A while back I hinted at some potential good news. Turns out that what I thought would happen didn't. But, something much better did. I just signed a contract for the publication of a collection of my short stories -- working title is White Devils and Cockroaches.  I'll have more details soon. 


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