The Poetry Bus is rolling and rolling. Check out pics here and here. Notice anything curious? A lot of white/Anglo/pale/ivory faces! Oh, don't get me wrong. The Bus has invited important emerging Afro American poets like Major Jackson and Tyehimba Jess. And the Bus has also invited other writers of color of various shades and hues. Wonderful! But where are the Chicano/Latino poets? Correction: where are the emerging Chicano/Latino poets?* I say "emerging" because a great number of the poets on the Bus are young, fresh voices. Do the people behind the Bus believe there are no emerging Chicano/Latino poets worthy of a bus ride? Chale!
Oh, don't get me wrong. There are some Chicanos/Latinos scheduled to read. Ray Gonzalez and Edwin Torres. I respect the work of these two poets, but they're not emerging voices. I noticed a couple of other Spanish-sounding names but I don't know these poets. I'm glad they're on board. Are these poets the only Chicano/ Latino writers in the USA? It seems the people behind the Bus didn't search very hard to find the emerging voices.**
Look at the reading tour dates and you'll notice something even more shocking: there's no Chicano/Latino poet scheduled to read at the Southwest stops. Sufferin succotash! The people behind the Bus have some balls. Check again. Santa Fe. Phoenix. Austin (It boils my blood that the reading in Austin is taking place on a street named after Cesar Chavez.) Hard to believe, no?
The Bus is whack. I bet the Bus doesn't even stop at Taco Bell.
I'm tired of watching Chicano/ Latino poets from my generation be passed over. I was planning on attending the Poetry Bus reading in Phoenix in October. I'm no longer going to attend. Not after I noticed this salsa-free tour. Hey, I have to laugh or I might burst with anger. I would've loved to hear Joshua Clover and Richard Siken read. I like their work. Did anyone catch that? I like the work of white/ Anglo poets! I don't only read writers of color. Imagine that! But it seems the people behind the Bus don't read the emerging Chicano/ Latino poets. Or perhaps they do read them, but thought they could get away without inviting them onto the Bush?
I'm calling out the people behind the Bus. Can you tell us why emerging Chicano/ Latino poets are not on the Bus? Do you even see us?
Somebody please tell me my eyes are playing a trick on me! Tell me your eyes see the names of emerging Chicano/ Latino poets on the tour date schedule. Tell me!
And no, I don't want to be invited to read. I'm tired of being a token. I will refuse an invitation. But I'm willing to help the people behind the Bus find other emerging poets. I'm nice.