Monday, April 30, 2012

Latin@ Featured Poets

Carmen Giménez Smith @ Words on a Wire

Benjamin Alire Sáenz and Daniel Chacón of Words on a Wire—a weekly radio show on fiction, poetry and of all other things concerning writing and its various communities—talk with poet, writer and educator Carmen Giménez Smith on how she manages to blend her role as mother, and educator with her vocation as a poet and writer, and also reads her poem Photo of a Girl on the Beach.” 

Carmen Giménez Smith, teaches creative writing at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. Giménez Smith, is also slated to read in installment four of Latino/a Poetry Now at the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center, her latest collection is Goodbye, Flicker (Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 2012) for which she was awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry

“If I thought of something I wanted to write, it had to be something that I could remember because I was holding a baby,” and so Giménez Smith explains her journey toward a form that could gave shape to the lyric essays in her memoir Bring Down the Little Birds: On Mothering, Art, Work, and Everything Else (Camino del Sol, 2010). Of Bring Down the Little Birds, Ariel Gore said: Carmen Giménez Smith “elevates the motherhood memoir to pure poetry. Who are we, beyond somebody's mother and somebody's daughter? Bring Down the Little Birds dives into all the rich and irritating questions with heart, guts, and humor."

                [Listen Here.]


Blas Falconer @ Nashville Review

The Mary Pickford Theater, hosting Letras Latinas at a Library of Congress event, recently featured poet Blas Falconer and writer Lorraine López, co-editors of the recent anthology The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity, discussing the contemporary state of Latino/a literature.

Besides being an editor at the forefront of literary criticism, spurring inquiry and dialogue on the multitude of aesthetics behind the apparent homogeneity hidden behind the label “Latino/a literature,” Falconer is a poet in his own right and is currently featured at Nashville Review with the poems “The Foundling Wheel,” “Prayer,” and “A Proof.”

Blas Falconer is slated to read in the final installment of Latino/a Poetry Now at the University of Notre Dame and is the co-editor of The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity (University of Arizona Press, 2011) and of the forthcoming      The Foundling Wheel (Four Way Books, 2012).

Two visual gems from “The Foundling Wheel:”

“The hand that throws___
__            the stone recalls its weight.”


“the child sleeps beside our bed

and you make toast with red plum jam.”

                [Continue Reading.]


Rich Villar @ At Latino USA (NPR)

With his poem “Testimony #2,” Rich Villar is featured on National Public Radio’s Latino USA. Rich Villar is the director of Acentos, a community organization that works to promote Latino literature. His work has appeared on Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Amistad, El Centro’s Letras, Latino Poetry Review, and the acclaimed chapbook series Achiote Seeds.

Testimony #2” is a beautifully written song that captivates and carries the listener into that magical place where poet and muse dance. Where the poet feels most alive:

Some gems, I particularly liked:

“She dreams Williamsburg, before graying hipsters.”

“She dreams The Eagles unplugged on the sound track.”

“She dreams in bossa nova.”

“She dreams universes spinning at her fingertips.”

“She dreams me happy.”

“She dreams me happy.”

“She dreams and I want sleep

if sleep is the bridge I must cross to her door.”

                [Listen Here.]

Ruben Quesada @ The Rumpus
Ruben Quesada is the author of Next Extinct Mammal (Greenhouse Review Press, 2011). He teaches literature and creative writing at Texas Tech University and currently serves as Editor at “Codex Journal” and Poetry Editor at “The Cossack Review,” and contributor at “Fringe Magazine.” Ruben’s poem “On Style” is currently featured at The Rumpus. An ekphrastic poem, where we find Henri Matisse in “the aching umbra of his room,” or in “the back-scattered light of dawn/ straddling the horizon.”

                [Continue Reading.]


Raina J. León @ OmniVerse

Latino/a Poetry Now featured poet, Raina J. León who along with Maria Melendez, Blas Falconer and John Murillo will conclude this national reading tour at the campus of the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2013, is currently featured at OmniVerse with her poem “Between the sea and prayer.” Raina J. León’s first collection of poetry, Canticle of Idols, was a finalist for both the Cave Canem First Book Poetry Prize (2005) and the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (2006). Her second manuscript, Boogeyman Dawn, was a finalist for the Naomi Long Madgett Prize (2010) and is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. “Between the sea and prayer” is from her third manuscript How to Live Forever: A Tango Criollo, and which centers on “revelations of spirit that occur through immersion into the other.” In this poem, a family is portrayed at dawn surrounded by the

“Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace,
the Blue Mosque. They rise from the burning
mist while the sun gilds the earth with tender light.”

Here the city of Istanbul becomes resonant with the holy, which reveals itself through the architecture, through the dust itself.

                [Continue Reading.]


Oscar Bermeo @ The Rumpus

Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize finalist, Oscar Bermeo is currently featured at The Rumpus with his poem “Barry Bonds on the Witness Stand.” Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar is the author of the poetry chapbooks Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest, Heaven Below and To the Break Dawn. He makes his home in Oakland, California with his wife, poeta, Barbara Jane Reyes.

Now an excerpt from the Barry Bonds poem over at The Rumpus:

“That’s why I’m really here. My crime is never forgetting how your newspapers dogged
out my father. Hyped him to the high heavens, then dropped him at an open bar where
he had to learn to crawl through the bar sawdust floor before he could run again. And
every time he ran the press was right there, ready to remind the world how the bottle
was running just as fast behind him.”

                [Continue Reading.]


Maureen said...

Great roundup!

Andrea (Andee) Beltran said...

I second Maureen! Your blog is always a great resource!