Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review Roundup: March 31, 2013

Yago S. Cura reviews Tomás Riley’s Post Chicano Stress Disorder (Tinta Vox, 2010)

 Back in December of last year I had the opportunity to profile Yago S. Cura in a review I wrote for Cura’s chapbook Odas a Fútbolistas (Hinchas de Poesía Press, 2010). In my review of Odas a Fútbolistas, I had written that Yago S. Cura and Abel Folgar had composed a cycle of humorous odes (with illustrations by Chaz Folgar and Martha Duran-Contreras) that paid tribute both to the sport’s greatest players and to the Wikipedia-age fan that recreates the dazzling virtuosity of those players through YouTube videos and yes, also, by writing celebratory odes.

And all that is true but what I had not been able to express was that Odas a Fútbolistas is only one example of the many exciting literary projects undertaken by Hinchas de Poesía. Hinchas de Poesía, is also the name for the digital arm that produces “a digital codex of contemporary Pan-American writing,” and which regularly publishes contemporary poetry, prose and literary criticism including book reviews. Currently in issue 8, Hinchas de Poesía features a book review of Tomás Riley’s Post Chicano Stress Disorder (Tinta Vox, 2010):

“I don’t imagine Tomás Riley’s message in Post Chicano Stress Disorder (Tinta Vox, 2010) to be a decidedly political one; his brand of poetry is political as a matter of existence, rather than of taste or style, “so what is young/ and brown so far a living/ corpse of language?” In Post Chicano Stress Disorder, Riley spits sparse bars cadenced by Hip-Hop Mythology, PoMo’s nuanced wordplay, and that threshold where the political becomes the factual. Riley’s book is a manual, bluesy sheet music, and a slowly-gentrifying, inner-city quirófano, simultaneously.”

            [Continue reading.]


Lauren Espinoza reviews Richard Garcia’s Rancho Notorious (Boa Editions, 2001).

Lauren Espinoza's poetry has appeared in an anthology selected by Naomi Shihab Nye entitled Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25, and, her fiction is online at “Label Me Latina,” and she has work forthcoming in NewBorder: Anthology. Her two poems “ruins” and “the llorona isn’t post-modern” are currently featured in the November issue of The Acentos Review. Lauren is also a frequent contributor at Ostrich Review for the “Fifty Word Friday” series, which specializes in micro book reviews.

Here is what Espinoza has to say about Richard Garcia’s Rancho Notorious (Boa Editions, 2001):

“Oftentimes in Rancho Notorious, a sustained image in one poem becomes reimagined and repurposed in just the next piece over. A shark becomes a loan shark, and Rancho Notorious is a hideout for poet bank robbers then the Western of its namesake – all of this while preserving each poem’s gentleness.

            [Continue reading.]


Peter Ramos reviews Alejandro Escudé's Where Else but Here (March Street Press, 2005)

One of the ways in which we like to revisit past Letras Latinas collaborations like the now concluded Latino Poetry Review, is by highlighting particular interviews and book reviews that although are now older, they easily lend themselves to be highlighted in these “Review Roundups.” To that end I hope you enjoy this book review by Peter Ramos that first appeared in issue 2 of Latino Poetry Review.

Here is what Ramos has to say:

“As in John Chávez's Heterotopia (also reviewed in this issue of LPR) tensions appear in Where Else but Here, Alejandro Escudé's impressive, perfect–bound chapbook that includes an author photograph, as well as dust–jacket blurbs from such critics as Sandra McPherson, Sandra Gilbert, and Alan Williamson who praise Escudé for the subtlety and poignancy of his formalist verse. And, indeed, Escudé makes admirable use of such forms as iambic and trochaic meter as well as the sonnet—especially in the first poem, "The Immigrant's Question," a long sequence made up of ten sonnet–sections. "Argentina," the first section, is only thirteen lines long; "Tango," the last, contains fifteen lines, attentively making up for the lost fourteenth line in the first.”

            [Continue reading]


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