Friday, March 15, 2013

Latin@ Featured Poets: Cynthia Cruz and Rigoberto González

Hayden’s Ferry Review interviews Cynthia Cruz

Cynthia Cruz is the author of Ruin (Alice James Book, 2006) and a second collection, The Glimmering Room forthcoming from Four Way Books. She is a CantoMundo fellow and a former Hodder Fellow in Poetry at Princeton University. Cruz, a former reader of the PALABRA PURA reading series, (Letras Latinas was once co-sponsor and curator of the series) is currently featured in an interview for Hayden’s Ferry Review. In this interview Cynthia Cruz talks about fashion, gender bending and also describes her current project in which the poems are stripped of “their backbone” leaving only “glitter or afterglow.” Poems that create narrative not through a conventional way but more through the power of association:

“When my students ask me what a poem is, I tell them it is as though you have a strip of fabric with different bits of color and jewels embedded in it. Each of these bits and jewels necessarily create a relationship and a story just by being near one another. As a poet, I am interested in using words and sounds and space in this manner.”

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Publishers Weekly reviews Rigoberto González’s Red-Inked Retablos

Rigoberto González is the author of three poetry books, So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks, a National Poetry Series selection, Other Fugitives and Other Strangers, and a new collection Black Blossoms; two bilingual children’s books: Soledad Sigh-Sighs and Antonio’s Card; the novel Crossing Vines, winner of ForeWord Magazine’s Fiction Book of the Year Award; a memoir, Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa and a book of stories Men without Bliss.

Red-Inked Retablos (University of Arizona Press, 2013) a collection of prose pieces, essays, speeches and literary criticism is Rigoberto’s latest collection and is currently reviewed at Publisher’s Weekly.

Here is what Publishers Weekly had to say:

“A sharp collection of 13 pieces—personal essays, literary criticism, and speeches—this book pleasantly mixes lyricism with clear-eyed frankness. Poet González, author of the memoir Butterfly Boy, writes beautifully and searingly about his experiences as a gay Latino, and the work of his fellow queer and Latina/o writers. It's to González's credit that his essays and literary criticism share similarities, intelligently analyzing his own experiences in the former, and foregrounding the raw connections people have with books in the latter. The critical essays focus on fellow Latina/o poets and queer poets—often those who have died—and he refreshingly embraces his connection with them both as a reader and, sometimes as a colleague and friend. The speeches carry a fiercer tone coupled with a call-to-arms piece for queer Latina/os.”

          [Continue reading.]

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