Sunday, June 24, 2012

Latin@ Featured Poets: 3 Interviews


Richard Blanco @ The Poetry Society of America

Poet Richard Blanco is the author of City of a Hundred Fires (University of Pittsburg Press, 1998), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (University of Arizona Press, 2005), and the most recent Looking for The Gulf Motel (University of Pittsburg Press, 2012). He is currently featured over at the Poetry Society of America with the interview titled “Red, White, and Blue.” In this interview Blanco discusses his experience as a young Cuban-American and queer man growing up in the hyper-politicized world of Miami, his belief that poets are unjustly held “responsible” for engaging in the world of politics,  and finally his navigation of geopolitics in order to land at a place where he may, as a poet, “ "show" the consequences of politics through portraits of people and places: “I am more interested in the effects than the causes, in discovering how we survive and make sense of all the suffering the world throws in our faces.”

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Daniel A. Olivas @ The Latino Author

Daniel A. Olivas can be regularly found at La Bloga doing the literary journalism that shines a spotlight and enhances the visibility and appreciation of many of today’s Latin@ writers and poets. Olivas, an attorney, is the author of six books, including The Book of Want, a novel, and Anywhere But L.A. a collection of stories.  He is also the editor of Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, which collects sixty years of Los Angeles fiction by Latino/a writers. He is currently profiled in an interview by The Latino Author. In this interview Olivas discuss his upbringing in Pico Heights and the incredible support of his parents who taught him to love “the look, feel and smell of books.” Olivas, the grandson of Mexican immigrants, also discusses his navigating of the publishing world, of finding a home in small independent and university presses who ““get what I’m doing with my writing” and his personal joys and challenges in writing both fiction and poetry.

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Carmen Giménez Smith and Rigoberto González @ Critical Mass

Latino/a Poetry Now featured poets Rigoberto González and Carmen Giménez Smith are featured in a “Small Press Spotlight” interview for the Blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors, “Critical Mass.” This “Spotlight” interview was conducted by Rigoberto González and features Carmen Giménez Smith’s most recent collection of poems, the winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, Goodbye, Flicker (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012). Giménez Smith speaks of her lasting intrigue with contemporary forms such as fairytales and folk stories for their compelling messages regarding gender and class and for the important need to “to revisit them, to revise them in order to participate in the important ongoing transformation of these stories.”

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