If interested in having me for a reading, class visit, or conference/festival, please contact me at lorcaloca AT aol DOT com

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rigo Rocks

My roommate and amigo Rigoberto Gonzalez has received some great news this week.

Other Fugitives and Other Strangers, his second book of poems, has been picked up by Tupelo Press

And he's been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in non-fiction.

Yeah! I couldn't be happier or prouder.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Shin Yu Pai

Check out Shin Yu Pai's new fab website. Not only is she a talented poet but she's also an accomplished artist. I especially enjoyed this photograph, and this one, and this one. But this one is my favorite.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Mose Benjamin Snyder Poma

Laurel has given birth to a beautiful baby boy!

Congrats Laurel & Chris!

As A Damper Quells A Struck String

Cool poem


Looks like some of my work is going to be studied at the university level.

Topic: Chicano Poetry and Poetics - *H

This seminar is an exploration of the history and culture that informs the social and political movements of Chicano poetry from the 1960s to the present. Students will learn to explicate, analyze and contextualize a variety of poetic strategies and are expected to apply that knowledge in class discussions, presentations and research papers. Readings for study will include selections by early pioneers such as José Montoya, Gloria Anzaldúa, Alurista and Ricardo Sánchez, to the mainstream poets Alberto Ríos, Gary Soto, and Lorna Dee Cervantes, to recent emerging voices Blas Manuel de Luna, Sheryl Luna, Brenda Cárdenas and Eduardo C. Corral.


CRATE seeks essays that explore or examine emerging writers, Latino/a contemporary works, American landscapes, migrant issues that reflect global transformation, power and the arts.

Total prizes in $1000.00:

1st prize - $500 and publication in CRATE Journal and CRATE website

2nd prize - $250 and publication in CRATE Journal and CRATE website

Honorable Mentions - $125 and possible publication on CRATE website

Please limit your submissions to 3,000 words. All submissions must be postmarked by Dec. 15, 2005 to be considered.

CRATE only reads between Sept. 15 through Dec. 15. Winners to be announced Winter 2005. Visit CRATE’s guidelines for complete information.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Who Wants to Lick Mr. March? I Do! I Do! I Do!

Do you like poetry? Do you like looking at men? Well, take a look at

Hotties abound! You'll find our dear Charles Jensen in there. He's spongeworthy! And so is William Allegrezza, Richard Blanco, and Randall Mann. And our dear Woody Loverude gives us a sexy glare in his photograph. Kissable!

Click here for buying info and for more pics.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I'm going to be all alone on Thanksgiving. Rigo is visiting friends in California. I couldn't afford to fly home. And I don't have many friends in Urbana.

But I'm the type of guy who likes being alone. So no big deal. I just wish it would begin to snow. I need some snow.
Tonight I'm going to see the movie version of RENT. It's one of my favorite musicals. Most of the original Broadway cast has returned for the film. Yes!
You all have a great time with your family and friends. And here's to safe travels.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Three Candles Press Winner

Steve has announced that Tony Trigilio is the winner of the three candles press contest.

Congrats Tony! And Steve!

Action This

I just ordered the first three books from Action Books. You don't need a PayPal account. Their system allows you to use a credit card.
And don't forget: the deadline for their December Prize is fast approaching.
Johannes Göransson, one of the editors of Action Books, has returned to the world of blogging. His latest posts remind me of his rants at the Foxhead: cranky, articulate, and sincere.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


One of my idols has fallen!

Juan Gabriel took a spill onstage in Houston. Who? How to explain? Juan Gabriel is like Madonna, Elton John, and Elvis rolled into one. But it's wrong to compare him to these Anglo superstars. He's an original. He's huge in Mexico and Latin America. I adore him! I've seen him in concert about 6 times. I woke up today to the news of his fall.

Get well soon Juanga!

UPDATE: Here is a slide show. I love the "slow" reaction of his backup singers.

This would be a great place to plug in those famous Lana Turner lines written by FH, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I refuse to mock Juanga!

Arriba Juarez!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I had a great bowl of tomato bisque at a cafe today. So yummy!
Zach is offering free poetry books + postage.
The changing leaves. The bare branches etching themselves into the sky. The early morning frost on car windows.

Change is beautiful.
Czeslaw Milosz’s Song on the End of the World rendered into flash animation.
Nerdua: the petals fell/ until the only flower was the falling...
Check out the webpage of Manuel Muñoz, a rising star in the fiction biz. He just signed a two book deal with Algonquin Books. My only beef with his webpage? There's no beefcake! Manuel is hot. He should be working that angle. Manuel, do you hear me? Post some pics of you on your site.
I need a date.

UPDATE: I was wrong. There's one photo on Manuel's page. But I demand more! More! More!

Ron Mohring Needs Our Help

Mr. Mohring is searching for "some decent-quality writing that presents a multicultural perspective on AIDS and HIV" for a Worlds AIDS Day reading. If you have any suggestions, please visit his blog, and leave a comment.

Miró meets Bach

An animated music short that made me smile. It will make you smile too. Ignore the fact that it's geared toward 5 year olds. Enjoy.

Indiana Review: Latino/Latina Writers Issue

Deadline: December 31, 2005.


Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. Deadline (postmarked): December 1st 2005.

Andres Montoya Poetry Prize. Deadline (postmarked: January 6, 2006.

Web del Sol Poetry Contest. Deadline (postmarked): January 15, 2006.

Tip of the hat to Scott Hightower for providing info on two of these contests.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sometimes It Sucks Being A Dude

I'm on the prowl for a new kick-ass scarf for MacDowell. I've done some online research, and I'm freaking pissed. It sucks being a guy! The girls get all the pretty scarves!

Just compare these two pages.

Banana Repubic's page features bland men's scarves. Soilds and stripes in wool or cashmere. Oh so boring!

Anthropologie's page features women's scarves that are works of art! These scarves are fun. These scarves say, I'm a flirt. These scarves are hot.

So let's ignore the Banana Republic page and let's concentrate on the Anthropologie page. Which scarf do you think I should buy?

I'm leaning toward these two:
Zinnia Scarf

Pompom Scarf

Which one do you like best? They're both gorgeous!

Picture this: I march into the dining room at MacDowell, and as everyone stares at me, I slowly unravel an amazing scarf from my neck. Oh, oh, oh!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005


Current reading list:

Leanne Howe: Evidence of Red
Kazim Ali: The Far Mosque
A. Loudermilk: Strange Valentine
Amber Flora Thomas: Eye of Water

I'm not sending out my mss this fall. Something was missing. And the answer finally came to me this month. All week I've been working on a handful of poems that when read alone might come off as insubstantial, but when read as part of the whole they'll function as thematic reservoirs.

I'm also hoping these poems will lighten the tone of the collection. I'm surprised by the "darkness" in the collection. Sometimes I think I just wrote one long elegy.

Last night I went to a student reading. One poet read these morbid poems. I'm so sad I might off myself poems. One after another. For about 15 minutes.

I don't want to be that poet.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Agha Shahid Ali

I hope somebody will edit a collected or selected of Agha Shahid Ali's work in the near future. He's one of my favorite poets. I found a copy of The Half-Inch Himalayas , which I thought was out of print. This is the first time I've read one of his early books. The book itself is very uneven. But the collection does include one of my favorite poems of all time:

The Dacca Gauzes

. . . for a whole year he sought to accumulate the most exquisite Dacca gauzes.
-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Those transparent Dacca gauzes
known as woven air, running
water, evening dew:

a dead art now, dead over
a hundred years. "No one
now knows," my grandmother says,

"what it was to wear
or touch that cloth." She wore
it once, an heirloom sari from

her mother's dowry, proved
genuine when it was pulled, all
six yards, through a ring.

Years later when it tore,
many handkerchiefs embroidered
with gold-thread paisleys

were distributed among
the nieces and. daughters-in-law.
Those too now lost.

In history we learned: the hands
of weavers were amputated,
the looms of Bengal silenced,

and the cotton shipped raw
by the British to England.
History of little use to her,

my grandmother just says
how the muslins of today
seem so coarse and that only

in autumn, should one wake up
at dawn to pray, can one
feel that same texture again.

One morning, she says, the air
was dew-starched: she pulled
it absently through her ring.

Isn't it great? The two themes that would haunt his later work are on full display in this poem: nostalgia, & history. The images are wonderful. In my mind's eye I can feel the texture of the gauzes. And the ending is perfect.

I had the honor of meeting Ali once. He came to Iowa City to read. I was amazed by his performance. He was witty, sweet, & humble. And that was just him talking in-between the poems. The poems themselves blew me away. I hope one day to write as elegantly as him. He had the whole room enthralled. Some poets capture an audience with their "fame" or "importance" but Ali captured the audience by just being himself.

After the reading I was invited to join a small dinner gathering. I was invited by OC, a fiction student writer in the program. OC had met Ali at Breadloaf. And I think it's safe to say that Ali had a crush on OC. OC is one fine looking stud of a man. When Ali saw OC in the hallway before the reading he gave him a big embrace. It was cute to watch.

I hardly spoke up during dinner. Ali held court. Everyone wanted to talk to him. Everyone wanted to be near him. As the dinner winded down, I asked him to sign a book for me. He gave me a wicked smile, & said, Of course, my dear.

Ask Not at Whom the Chimp Smirks -- He Smirks at You

I had a strange dream last night. A chimp jumped onto my bed and proceeded to strike blue-tip matches against my knees. All the matches lit up beautifully in the dark of the bedroom.

What does this dream freaking mean?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Blackbird Goodies

The latest issue of Blackbird is up.

Some of my favorite reads so far:

Dave Lucas' Still Life
Victoria Chang's Girdling
Ada Limon's Safe from Trains

Monday, November 07, 2005

Am I The New Paul Guest?

Poetry Northwest has taken one of my poems. I'm thrilled! As an undergraduate at Arizona State I spent hours in the library reading back issues of poetry journals. My two favorites were Poetry Northwest and Crazyhorse. It was 1997. I hadn't taken a workshop or worked with the poets in the English Department. I didn't have any poet friends. Journals were my teachers and my poet friends. And journals led me to new poets. After reading their work in Poetry Northwest I tracked down books by Mark Strand, Michael Harper, and Beckian Fritz Goldberg--some of my first poetry loves.

Poetry Northwest was the second journal I submitted work to. Spinning Jenny was the first. This was back in 1998. When I read the rejection slip tucked in my Poetry Northwest SASE I almost broke down in tears. Gawd, what a sissy! I so wanted to be in the pages of that slender journal. I promised myself to send again soon. But I stopped submitting to journals soon thereafter, and I just concentrated on my writing. When I felt my poems were ready for publication, I made a list of the top five journals I wanted to be published in. Poetry Northwest was at the top. But by this time, around 2001, I heard that the journal was no longer going to be produced.

Fast forward four years: I read that Poetry Northwest is again up and running. I submit. I submit only one poem. Yes, I know that might come off as arrogant to some editors. But I did send what I consider to be the best poem in my collection.

The poem is accepted. Wish fulfilled.

LA Reading Alert

The Quetzal Quill
@ Imix Bookstore
5052 Eagle Rock Blvd, LA

Monday, November 21, 2005 7-9:30 pm
(free and open to the public)


Gabrielle Calvocoressi, author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, is a former Jones Lecturer at Stanford. She has received the Rona Jaffe Women Writers' Award and the Bernard F. Cooper Prize from The Paris Review.

Reyna Grande is the author of the forthcoming novel Across A Hundred Mountains. She was born in Mexico, educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and currently lives in LA, working on her second novel.

Miguel Murphy, author of A Book Called Rats, winner of the Blue Lynx Prize, is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received the Swarthout Award and the University Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

Daniel A. Olivas is the author of four books, most recently the story collection Devil Talk and the children's book Benjamin and the Word. He is a Los Angeles based attorney with the California Department of Justice.

Your Host: Rigoberto González

Sunday, November 06, 2005


is a fine poet I met in Iowa City. La Bloga is featuring a few of her poems today.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

fantasy basketball league

A.J. is looking for more bloggers to take part in a fantasy basketball league. He asked me to join. Alas, the only thing I know about basketball is...wait, I know nothing about basketball. Sorry. Check out his blog for more details.

Go Yankees! Wait, that's baseball? Right?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

O My Cyndi!

Oh joy of joys! You can listen to Cyndi Lauper's upcoming release The Body Acoustic on VH1's webpage.

I really love these new takes on her hits. A lot of violin and dulcimer. You have to listen to "Time after Time" which features Sarah McLachlan. Cyndi's voice is so wonderful. Sometimes I can actually see it rise from my stereo speakers, like a ribbon of foil.

Julio Galán


Beloit Poetry Journal has revamped its webpage. And they have a full text archive spanning four decades, 1950-1990, including first or very early poems by Galway Kinnell, A. R. Ammons, Anne Sexton, Sharon Olds, Maxine Kumin, W. S. Merwin, James Dickey, Philip Larkin, Lola Haskins, Rosellen Brown, Charles Bukowski, Philip Booth, Adrienne Rich, Philip Levine, and Eleanor Wilner.


What does Bush keep in his pockets?

This headline got me all hot and bothered this morning.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Nice Day!

Thanks for all the congrats! I'm blushing.

And I just got some more good news. Quarterly West has accepted two of my poems for publication.

A very nice day.

Laurel on NPR

Laurel Snyder was on NPR's All Things Considered today. Have a listen.

The first gift parents give to their children is a name. For commentator Laurel Snyder, the name her parents chose is emblematic of the way she came into the world. She's named after the Laurel Clinic, where her mother almost got an abortion. Snyder lives in Atlanta and is a podcaster for the Web site www.nextbook.org.

I'm a Colonist

I just got the news that I will be a Winter/Spring 2006 Fellow at The MacDowell Colony. I can't wait. A writing studio! Lunch baskets! Reading in the snow! The chance to interact with other fellows! Did I already mention the lunch baskets?

Thanks to Rigoberto and to Ivy for helping me to hammer out my artist statement!

UPDATE: Should I blog from MacDowell? That would be fun! I will need to buy a digital camera to post photographs to the blog. And I need to buy a new kick-ass scarf!