Friday, August 24, 2007

Sales Information/Who is RV, anyway?/The Outer Bands

I just sent Braille for the Heart to the author, of course; Diana Marie Delgado, who penned the Intro; Eduardo C. Corral, who fashioned the blurb; Momotombo Associate Editors, María Meléndez and Richard Yanez; and a distinguished reviewer, for now.

But here's the deal, folks. Good news, less than good news scenario:

I hit the road tomorrow for a pretty good stretch. The good news is that a good chunk of the time I'm away I'll be able to devote to my own writing, something I haven't done in an uninterrupted fashion in a long long time. I got a taste of it in San Antonio at Macondo recently.

The less than good news is that I won't be able to roll up my sleeves and fill out orders for Braille for the Heart till October 1. But I'd like to turn this inconvenience into a positive. In the same fashion that Craig Perez over at Achiote Press takes pre-orders before the chapbook are actually printed, I'd like to do something similiar here.

Again, this is not your ordinary Momotombo Press title:

Ordering one is an opportunity to contribute to an endowment whose first function is to send high school kids in Pilsen (Chicago) to attend Allison Joseph's summer creative writing retreat at SIU Carbondale. This year we sent three students and heard back from one recently who's going to write up a little something to share here, soon.

Things to keep in mind:

---Your $35 tax deductable donation, if I receive the check in 2007, will be matched.

---If you are sure you want to purchase one copy of Braille for the Heart for yourself, consider purchasing another to give as a gift.

---Finally: someone asked if I had Pay Pal. Momotombo Press is too tiny for such a set up. Momotombo Press is part of the Institute for Latino Studies which is part of the University of Notre Dame. In order to make this donation tax deductible, checks need to be made out to:

"University of Notre Dame"

I will deposit these checks in an account that has already been set up for the Letras Latinas Endowment and you will be receiving a letter for your taxes. So, either on the check or somewhere on or inside the envelope, a mailing address will be needed. The checks need to be sent to me. [not made out to me!]

Here's what I'd like to do. Those of you who intend to purchase copies, simply e-mail me your name and mailing address. It's not essential that I receive a check at this time. This can wait till late September/early October. If you want to send it now, though, that's fine. It would be useful to start compiling this info so that when I get back to my office (where the books are), I can immediately start preparing the packages.

I, for my part, will be drafting some sort of e-press release in the coming days for those people who don't read blogs or this blog. Some of you who are reading this will likely get the release as well, and I will ask you to pass it along.

It's really quite simple: if Momotombo Press can sell these 300 numbered copies in the next three months or so, the endowment will get an infusion of $10,500, which my private donor will match----if I can close the sales before year's end.

Okay, I'll stop there.

E-mail me at:
Make the subject of the e-mail: "Braille for the Heart"


It occurred to me that it's entirely possible that people who have an interest in Chicano/Latino poetry may not actually know who Robert Vasquez is. He doesn't enjoy the visibility of, say, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Martín Espada, or Gary Soto, to name three of our principal bards. Robert Vasquez belongs to their generation, nevertheless. He has not written and published as much poetry as the aforementioned Latino/a luminaries. But he is not an inferior poet.

So, for the record, here's the bio that appears in Braille for the Heart. It speaks for itself:

Robert Vasquez was born and raised in California's Central Valley. He was educated at Fresno State University (BA in English), the University of California at Irvine (MFA in Poetry), and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. His book, At the Rainbow (University of New Mexico Press, 1995), was a finalist in the AWP Award Series in Poetry, the Agnes Lynch Starret Award competition, and the National Poetry Series competition. He's won three Academcy of American Poets prizes, three National Society of Arts & Letters awards, a National Writers Union award, and the San Francisco Foundation's James D. Phelan award.

His poetry has been published in various periodicals, including The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Missouri Review, Notre Dame Review, Parnassas: Poetry in Review, Ploughshares, and The Village Voice, as well as several anthologies, including After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties (David R. Godine), The Atomic Bomb (Nextet Books), Atomic Ghosts: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age (Coffee House Press), California the Beautiful (Via Books) Highway 99 (Heyday Books), How Much Earth (Heyday Books), Piecework: 19 Fresno Poets (Silver Skates), Under the Fifth Sun: Latino Literature from California (Heyday Books), and Writing Home: Award-Winning Literature from the New West (Heyday Books).

Vasquez was the inaugural judge of the national first-book competition, the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize [won by Sheryl Luna for Pity the Drowned Horses], sponsored by Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Vasquez has taught creative writing at Western Michigan University and at the University of California campuses at Irvine, Santa Cruz, and Davis. He currently teaches at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA.


And if this weren't enough: I got news yesterday from University of Notre Dame Press that The Outer Bands by Gabriel Gomez, winner of the second edition of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, is due to arrive this week! September is the the official publication date. Gomez and judge Valerie Martínez are slated to read at Notre Dame at the end of October.

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