Gracias to Richard Yañez for passing this on from the San Antonio Current: I thought I’d link the brief interview here since there has been some lively web discussion on poetry book prizes and first books: Naca’s wonderful manuscript, Bird Eating Bird, was chosen by Yusef Komunyakaa in the National Poetry Series book competition and is forthcoming in 2009 with HarperCollins.
Three of Kristin Naca's poems appear in the pages of OCHO #15, which I guest edited a while back, which also features the work of 14 other fine Latino and Latina poets. The price is a reasonable $8.00 now. When I set out to guest edit OCHO, I chose poets who, at the time, had not yet published a first full-length collection. To refresh our memory, those poets were:
Diana Marie Delgado
Jose B. Gonzalez
Octavio R. Gonzalez
Raina J. León
Carmen Gimenez Smith
And so: it is heartening to look over this list today because: since the publication of OCHO #15, Lisa Alvarado and Peter Ramos have published their first full-length books: Raw Silk Suture (Floricanto) and Please Do Not Feed the Ghost (BlazeVOX), respectively!
And: Raina J. León has a first full-length book, A Canticle of Idols (WordTech), forthcoming shortly---a collection that was among the final three manuscripts that Valerie Martínez deliberated over, long and hard, before settling on The Outer Bands by Gabriel Gomez for the second edition of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize.
And who was the third by, you might ask?
The third was by Salvadoran-born, Los Angeles-based poet William Archila. His first full-length book, The Art of Exile, is forthcoming, soon, in the Canto Cosas series at Bilingual Press---with a wonderful introduction by none other than...Yusef Komunyakaa.