Wednesday, October 10, 2007

PALABRA PURA welcomes Peter Ramos

In the end, things worked out: the visiting poet who was originally slated to read in October's PALABRA PURA had to back out, and so we had to get creative and persuasive--fast.

Thank you, Peter:

On October 17th, poet Peter Ramos will be the visiting feature at PALABRA PURA. He will be joined by the local feature, Chilean-born Bernardo Navia.

I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Peter, and have spoken on the phone with him less than half a dozen times. But already we are, I think, kindred spirits.

A few years back, I informally started an occasional list-serve, which Gabriel Gomez eventually took over and transformed into his anthology project, JUNTA. My goal was to get certain poets talking to each other, people like Scott Inguito on the west coast, for example; Rosa Alcalá down in El Paso; Edwin Torres, Rodrigo Toscano and Urayoán Noel in New York; Roberto Tejada in San Diego; Monica de la Torre in Brooklyn, I think, etc. At some point, I don't remember how, Peter Ramos became part of the mix: I remember that he had studied with Rosa and Roberto up in Buffalo.

Anyway, I remember Peter contributing some very insightful comments to the list-serve and he eventually sent me Short Waves (White Eagle Coffee House Press, 2003) and Watching Late-Night Hitchcock & Other Poems (Handwritten Press, 2003), which included a beautiful translucent broadside of the poem, "The Put-Together Wedding Cake." I also remember reading his wonderful essay in Mandorla (more on this journal in a future post), titled, "Beyond the Deep Image: James Wright's Vallejo and the Ethics of Translation." It became very clear to me, at that point, that he was the real deal: a poet-critic.It was for this reason that I asked Peter if we would consider joining the Advisory Board of Latino Poetry Review. He said Yes (he's being joined, so far, by Rosa Alcalá, Orlando Menes, and Emmy Pérez).

I won't say much more than that, at this point, except to invite you to read an interesting interview with Peter in another touchstone of a publication: MiPoesias.

So, if you're anywhere near Chicago one week from today, come hear Peter Ramos.

I plan on being there and finally meeting him.

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