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

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ruben Salazar stamp

A reporter from Excelsior, a Mexico City newspaper, called me the other day. She wanted to know who Ruben Salazar was, why the U.S. Postal Service was issuing a stamp in his honor, and whether it would spark another hissy fit over Mexicans invading America.

No, I said, there won't be any such nonsense. Ruben - we called him by first name in East Los Angeles - was a provocative Latino columnist in L.A. during the late 1960s, but he certainly wasn't a militant bent on the reconquista of the Southwest. Aside from former readers and a shrinking group of people who once called themselves Chicanos, most Americans know absolutamente nada about him.

He was one of five American journalists honored with first-class stamps Tuesday. Salazar deserved one because, as a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, he was an immensely strong voice and a martyr for Mexican-Americans searching for political power and cultural identity. He was killed - some still say assassinated - by a tear gas missile fired by a sheriff's deputy during a Chicano anti-war march in 1970.

Cue 7

Cue 7 is now ready for purchase. The issue features work by Karla Kelsey, G.C. Waldrep, Michael Schiavo, Ravi Shankar, Barbara Cully, Stephanie Balzer, Mark Horosky, Shelly Taylor, Ann Fine, Jon Thompson, Arianne Zwartjes and a Kora in Hell retrospective by Stephen Cushman.

Buy a copy here for $5.

Best New Poets 2008

Best New Poets is an annual anthology of 50 poems from emerging writers. This year's guest editor is Mark Strand, and he will select 50 poems from from nominations made by literary magazines and writing programs, as well as an Open Internet Competition. All poems are submitted online through ManuscriptHub.com. That system will begin taking entries for Best New Poets 2008 between April 15 and June 5, 2008.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The New Capulina!

Juan Manuel Sánchez, who according to Josh Corey writes "lushly beautiful" poems, told me in an email that my new blog photo makes me look like Capulina. Foul. I guess some straight boys can be as mean as Queens.

I like my new author photo. The poster-making people here at Colgate said my old author photo wasn't the right size for the poster they wanted to make for my reading. Right size? Hmm, I forget what was wrong with it. Wrong size! Well, excuse me! Anyways, a student from the communications office came to my office and we took some new pics in the stairwell. But the new photos she sent to the poster people weren't properly formatted or something. So they din't use any of them! But I like them. Granted, it looks like I just woke up in these new pics. Hey, I'm waking to the world. To the beauty. To the terror. I'm waking up to Juan's poems.

And for you Gringos:

Gaspar Henaine Pérez (born January 6, 1927 in Chignahuapan, Puebla, Mexico) is a famous comedian who became known across Latin America, under the artistic name of Capulina. He is also known as "The King of White humor".

Capulina's father was Lebanese. When Capulina was six years old, he and his family moved to Mexico City. In 1944, Capulina began his acting career. He was also a singer as a teenager, singing for Los Excentricos del Ritmo. Later, he formed part of Los Trincas.

Capulina became famous across Latin America alongside his longtime professional partner, Marco Antonio Campos Contreras "Viruta". Together, the two comedians made 26movies.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day Bits

My students gave a great reading today. I'm so proud of them. Some were nervous. Some gave all. But all were brave enough to share their work with strangers.
Thanks for the recap, Lee.
You can pre-order Kate Greenstreet's new chapbook, This Is Why I Hurt You, from Lame House Press.
The Mens.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Adam Zagajewski

Ordinary Life


Our life is ordinary,
I read in a crumpled paper
abandoned on a bench.
Our life is ordinary,
the philosophers told me.

Ordinary life, ordinary days and cares,
a concert, a conversation,
strolls on the town's outskirts,
good news, bad—

but objects and thoughts
were unfinished somehow,
rough drafts.

Houses and trees
desired something more
and in summer green meadows
covered the volcanic planet
like an overcoat tossed upon the ocean.

Black cinemas crave light.
Forests breathe feverishly,
clouds sing softly,
a golden oriole prays for rain.
Ordinary life desires.

Adam Zagajewski

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I had a great time reading yesterday. I was a bit nervous, but I got over it quickly.
The room was packed. English department folk. Current and past students. Students from other creative writing courses.
David Eye, a third-year MFA student at Syracuse, was kind enough to drive down to come hear me read. It was a pleasure meeting him.
This was the first time I've ever read in front of students. I mean students from my classes. It was a bit strange. I felt like I was exposing myself a bit too much.
Bruce Smith paid me a high compliement: he wrote down some of my lines/ images down on a piece of paper. I do that too. But I have to be blown away to do that.
The above sounds egotistical!
Speaking of my students. My class will be giving a poetry reading at the Colgate bookstore next Tuesday. I took the class photo last week.
My name is misspelled on the bookstore web page: Educardo Corral.
After the reading a group of us headed off to a nice dinner. I had the sea bass. Very tasty.
The boys in my class love the work of Terrance Hayes.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Early Sunday Bits

Feeling much better!
I had dinner tonight with one of the new Colgate fellows. Oh, you didn't hear? Starting this fall Colgate will award two fellowships each year.
I'm going to miss Colgate. And Hamilton. I've had such an amazing time here. I know I don't blog about it much. But believe me. I finished my first book here. I started my second book here.
I know I'm a very lucky poet.
I will be living in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania next fall. Looks like a nice small town.
Patty Hearst On The Occasion Of Her Presidential Pardon
I'm giving a reading at Colgate this Tuesday.
Sad Aesthetic
I'm going to miss my office!
But never fear! I get a new office in the fall. My Smurfette figurine will shine on another desk.
Twilight Box
The new installment of Pistola is up. It features Bob Hicok, Xochiquetzal Candelaria, Diana Park, and Alberto Rios.
Got to order this book ASAP.
Interview: Paula Bohince.
I love it when Ivy blogs about her days at colonies.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Aaron Baker: Mission Work

BJR on this book:

This narrative is a part of the family of the imperialist writings of Theodore Roosevelt, and Frederick Jackson Turner, and the formation of the American Man through the taming and civilizing of the Wild and Dark (pigmented skin, unenlightened), childlike superstitious Other.

What is obviously troubling to me is this I white center versus black brown other existing marginally and only in relation to that I white center pervasive cosmology’s refusal to die out and become irrelevant, or pointedly criticized by American literary institutions.

Paolo Javier on book and poet:

"I think a greater part of my shock about Mission Work comes from my knowledge of its author’s prior/continued engagement with a somewhat visible group of Asian American poets in NYC. In addition to the above final questions posed by Barbara Jane, Id like to submit the following: how do you reconcile the Aaron Baker known in the past to be a generous, if not generative, presence for/amongst said group of Asian American poets, with the colonialist & primitivist author of the newly-released Mission Work?"

CSP on a poem from book:

"...weddings, in any culture, are major life events. but look at how baker characterizes the chimbu wedding: he only focuses on the 'primitive' killing of pigs (newsflash to mr baker, you gotta kill the pigs to eat the pigs, nothing real exotic 'bout it.). this primitizing caricature of an indigenous wedding is insulting. the rest of the poem reiterates the paternalistic tone as baker directs his white readers to see / learn from the lessons he learned as a missionary son. apparently, baker has access to a special indigenous knowledge that he wants to share with 'you'."

Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing

I found out late last week that I've been awarded the Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing at Bucknell University. I will be given housing, an office and a stipend. And four months to write and write!

I can't wait to enjoy the readings the Stadler Poetry Center will host in the fall.

More later. I'm off to teach.