I want to take a moment to say that another poet from that guest-edited issue of Ocho also has a first full-length book of poems forthcoming. The University of Arizona Press will be publishing, in 2009, the poetry collection:
Odalisque in Pieces
Carmen Giménez Smith
Carmen Giménez Smith
In addition to being a poet, Carmen is the new Editor-in-Chief of the long-standing literary journal, Puerto del Sol, which is published out of the Creative Writing program at New Mexico State University, where she teaches.
The winners of the Dobie Paisano Writing Fellowships for 2008-2009 are Michael Erard and Vanessa Ramos.
The fellowships, sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters, allow writers to live and work at the Paisano ranch, J. Frank Dobie's 254-acre retreat west of Austin, now owned and maintained by The University of Texas at Austin.
Vanessa Ramos, holder of the Jesse Jones Fellowship, is a native of El Paso, Texas. She is a poet, playwright, and creative-nonfiction writer. As a McNair Scholar, she completed an ethnographic study (Women Between Earth and Sky) on curanderismo or folk-healing in the Southwest. Her awards include a Many Voices residency at the Playwrights' Center (2006 - 2007) and a Loft Mentor Series Award in Nonfiction (2005 - 2006). Her play, Cuentos, Stories, was showcased at the Waring Jones Theater in 2007. Currently, she is a visiting writer in the Writers and Artists in Schools program through COMPAS, an arts education organization in St. Paul and a creative nonfiction instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Vanessa is working on a collection of memoir-driven lyric essays that explore the relationship between landscape and memory. She is a MFA candidate in Creative Writing and a MA candidate in Education at Hamline University. Her work has appeared in BorderSenses.
Finally, it's been moving to read the various online tributes to Reginald Shepherd. I especially valued what Ron Silliman wrote yesterday, in part:
“But what I appreciated most about Reginald Shepherd’s writing and his person was his ability, unparalleled in the world of letters, to address those with whom he disagreed about all else with great respect, dignity and humor…”