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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chapbook This!

Spent Saturday afternoon with Ron Mohring assembling copies of Deborah Burnham's chapbook. Ron went through the steps of cutting and folding the cover, punching holes, and stitching. I did the stitching on about 19 chaps. Ron had to help me thread the needle time after time. I just couldn't do it. I felt like a child.


I'm now lurking over at Facebook. Let's be friends!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Good News

Somebody got her book picked up. And no, it wasn't picked up by David Duchovny.

One of My Favorite Poems


I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

Ted Hughes

Puppet is Gay!

...the movies that earned De La Paz his fame may not be staples in everyone's film library. In 1979's Boulevard Nights, the actor plays the lead role of Chuco, a teenager who dies in a gang shootout. In 1992's American Me, he appears as Puppet, a prison gang member ordered to kill his brother.


Moved the mums from living room to front porch.
I should be asleep. I have coffee with Mizz X at 2PM today. I better set my cell phone alarm.
I've been listening to a lot of synth pop these past few days. Yaz. Erasure. Early Depeche Mode. I just discovered "The Sparrows and The Nightingales," a song from the early 90s performed by Wolfsheim. It's the perfect song for a rainy day. I love the driving drum beat and those waves of synthesizers crashing just before the chorus. Check it out on YouTube.
Sipping mint tea.
I'm not writing. It might be the move.
Currently reading:

The Fortunate Traveller by Derek Walcott
Spring by Oni Buchanan
And for Example by Ann Lauterbach
Science & Steepleflower by Forrest Gander
Eternal Enemies by Adam Zagajewski
Plasticville by David Trinidad
I can't stop listening to "Nobody's Diary" by Yaz. Perfect British synth pop.
Keith has too much time on his hands. But so do I. I often do what he's talking about.
Oh, oh, oh, oh. Remember "Pure" by The Lightning Seeds? What a great tune!
I might be wrong, but aren't most of Didi Menendez's blog comments curt and kinda of rude?
Does anybody else remember James? James was a British band from the 90s. I adored them.
I no longer think Bill Clinton is sexy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bird Eating Bird: Kristin Naca

Two weeks ago, the National Poetry Series announced that a manuscript by San Antonio-based poet and Macondo Workshop alum Kristin Naca would be one of five books the organization publishes annually through its Open Competition series. Selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, Bird Eating Bird will appear in fall ’09 under the HarperCollins imprint. Naca also was awarded the inaugural mtvU prize, granting her the opportunity to interview Komunyakaa on MTV.

Reb Livingston Wants You to Submit

The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize

The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize

The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize is a collaboration between Persea Books and The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Project. It sponsors the annual publication of a poetry collection by an American woman poet who has yet to publish a book of poems. The winner receives $1000.00 and publication of her collection by Persea.

Submitted manuscripts should include a title page, containing the author's name, the author's contact information, and the title of the collection; and a second title page, only the title of the collection. To help ensure impartiality among judges, the author's name should not appear on any other page of the submission other than the first of those two title pages. Manuscripts should be 50-80 pages and should be paginated, with the title of the collection included on each page as a header or footer, and fastened with a clip. Please do not staple or permanently bind submissions. Submitted manuscripts will not be returned. Submissions must be written in English to be considered. Translations are not accepted.

Entries must be postmarked between September 1 and October 31. They should be sent to The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize, c/o Persea Books, PO Box 1388, Columbia, MO 65205, and should include a check (in U.S. funds) in the amount of $20.00, made payable to the order of The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Project.

The winner is chosen by an anonymous selection committee and announced on Persea's web site in January.

Complete info HERE.

Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry

The winner of this annual award receives $1000 and publication by the University of North Texas Press.

This year's judge will be Beth Ann Fennelly. To avoid conflicts of interest, current or former students of the judge should not enter.

Postmark deadline: November 15, 2008

Submit 50- to 80-page, typed manuscript, including an additional title page that does not bear the name of the poet. All pages indicating the poet's identity will be removed from the manuscript prior to its being forwarded to the final judge.

Manuscripts cannot be returned, but must be accompanied by:

$25 fee, payable to UNT Press, and a letter-sized SASE for notification

Complete info HERE

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Turkey Chili Bits

I went grocery shopping yesterday. I didn't bring a car, but Bucknell is letting me borrow a car once a week. I was a bit nervous driving a university car: no scratches or accidents please! But it all went okay.
This semester I'm going to eat out less often. At Colgate I ate out once or twice a day. My food budget is more modest this year but I'm going to turn that into a positive. I'm going to learn how to make simple dishes for myself. Tonight I made turkey chili and cornbread. It was very tasty! And I even have a plenty of leftovers. Hello, lunch.
Mini-essay: Kazim Ali.
Currently listening to "Only You" by Yaz.
My office is right next to GC Waldrep's. Are you jealous?
The Stadler Poetry Center has a fantastic poetry library. I was hyperventaling as I scanned the shelves.
I also bought two plants yesterday. Orange mums for the living room. And a fern-like plant for the kitchen. I hope they don't wither on my watch. I don't have a green thumb.
I probably won't be spending a lot of time at my office. I used my Colgate office a lot. Mostly because I didn't have Internet access in my apartment but here I have WiFi. Why is that important? I need to be connected to the Internet when I revise.
I stayed indoors all day today.

Monday, August 25, 2008

call for submissions

PUNTO! Exclamations from Generations of Latina/o Poets

Calling ¡You!

The spoken word artist, the poeta, the crazy performance poet, the storyteller of metaphors, the subtle experimental poet, all of yous, from the casa to the raza cosmica and everywhere in between the transglobal barrio, yes tú, are invited to submit your original poems, slam poems, performance poems, spoken word pieces to ¡PUNTO!: Exclamations from Generations of Latina/o Poets, edited by critically- acclaimed, award winning poets, Jaime “Shaggy” Flores & Robert Farid Karimi.

We seek original work by Latina/o, Chicana/o, Nuyorican writers, performance poets, and spoken word performers for a new intergenerational anthology of Latina& Latino spoken word, performance poetry.

¡PUNTO! aims to give space and voice to Latina/o writers who have helped birth the current evolution of poetry by weaving language, culture, & experiences into a tapestry of performance & poetry on the page. ¡PUNTO! poets display the multifaceted variety of a community that is on the forefront of literature and performance. ¡PUNTO! is an intergenerational book that will reflect the historic & expansive contribution of Latina/os to the art of performance & written poetry across the nation.

Must be postmarked no later than November 2, 2008

Complete info here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Bits

I have a headache. Why? I'm on my second cup of coffee.
I have a crush on Chris Cillizza. He's a talking head on MSNBC. He's a dreamy nerd.
A Chicano con Plumas means...
I wish I'd written this stanza:

And, peeling an orange,
I untie from the moon
A bright yellow scarf.

I took a long walk today along the railroad tracks that cut through campus. I spent most of my childhood living close to railroad tracks. The walk brought back a lot of memories.
Dora Malech, I love your poems! When will your first book be published!!

Stacey Lynn Brown on Cider Press Review

You have to read this. And after you read it, please link to it on your blog.

Early on, the editor had asked me if I would hire (pay) her to design my personal website. At first, I thought sure, why not? It would streamline the whole process. But in June, as we discussed it and she showed me some mockups, I realized that she wasn't going to be able to do what I needed for her to do, so I told her I was going to go in a different direction and get someone else to do it. From that moment on, EVERYTHING changed. And got really, really contentious.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bits with Random Pics

My front porch at night.

Some of the old lit journals on my shelves.

I spent the afternoon with Ron Mohring. Such a sweet guy! This is a chapbook he gave me. I don't think the pic does it justice. It's a beautiful object. If only he would publish a chapbook of my poems. Sigh.

I've been trying to decorate but it's not going well. I didn't bring many knicknacks. I've been raiding the kitchen shelves to stock the living room shelves. This is a yellow coffee cup filled with wood skewers and a green bowel placed in front of a white plate. Take that Martha Stewart!

I know you're dying to catch a glimpse of my dirty dishes. It's your lucky day. For your viewing pleasure: a plate, a spoon, and a pot.

My big toes are oddly shaped.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Catch All Bits

Walked around Lewisburg today to get a feel for the place. A lot of beautiful houses with amazing porches.
I have a porch too. Reb got drunk on it once.
Do you like my $20 Target watch? I do. I love the brown and orange colors.
I live about 4 blocks away from historic downtown Lewisburg. I found a cool coffee shop. And some promising restaurants. I've never lived so close to a downtown before. It's like a five minute walk for a coffee or for a bite to eat. No more delivery for me!
10 Fun Things to do in Lewisburg
I can't wait to explore the Susquehanna River. It will be nice to just sit and watch the water flow. Don't worry, I won't write a poem about it. Geez.

In Memory of Mahmoud Darwish: Fady Joudah

I was five years old when I first memorized your poems in exchange for coins my father would give me. I would memorize and forget you, tuck you in deep hiding places of my soul, as if I were slowly saturating my being with your seas . . . sea, that word that also stands for prosody in Arabic.

The Poet's Cottage at Bucknell University

I arrived! I walked into my apartment (the first floor of the Poet's Cottage) around 7:30PM. I'm not ashamed to say that I shed a few tears. It was overwhelming. I will be living here for four months. I will be writing/ reading here for four months. No teaching! What a gift! I want to hug my poems. I want to kiss my poems. To thank them for sheltering and feeding me.

What a gift.

The apartment is very cozy. It feels right. Here are some pics of the apartment.

The living room. Nice couches. I will probably wind up using the coffee table as my desk. I've never been much of a desk guy.

Nice bookshelves in living room. Most of the shelves will remain empty since I didn't bring much stuff. Yes, I know what you're thinking: That's a lot of dusting!

Breakfast nook in the kitchen.

The kitchen. Very clean. And bright.

Nice chair in living room. I will sit on this chair and think up new poems. Yes, that sounds like a good idea.

The dining room. A lot of cherry wood. I think. I'm terrible with wood. Ha! Anyways, the plums and peaches on the table (along with orange juice, bagels, cream cheese, coffee, half and half, chocolate, tea) were wonderful and yummy Welcome-to-Bucknell treats that were waiting for me.

My bedroom. Very comfy bed. Yeah, I already took a nap. So what!

The second bedroom. If you vist me you can sleep here. Hear me, Diana? Hear me, Rigoberto? In fact, if you're on my blogroll, you're invited to stay with me for a week. Think of it as a little residency. No joke.

The bathroom. Notice the pink bath mats. They knew I was coming.

Stairs to scary basement! The washer and dryer are down there so I'm going to have to trek down there soon. Maybe.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I'm at the Pittsburgh airport. My plane departs in about 40 minutes. The flight here wasn't too bad. A few bumps. The flight took 3 1/2 hours.

On the flight I did the following:

I listened to Rufus Wainwright on the Ipod.
I drank (and paid a buck!) for a terrible cup of coffee.
Had a naughty daydream about John McCain
Finished reading Alferdo Vea's Gods Go Begging.

Will post pics of my new place later tonight.

Bye Bye Arizona Bits

I updated my blogroll. Did your blog make it? You should be so lucky.
I leave tomorrow morning for Bucknell.
A good list of writing residencies.
Craig Santos Perez has a book coming out soon. Looking forward to it.
Why did so many bloggers link to this contest? Is there something I should know?

The Gatewood Prize

The Gatewood Prize is Switchback Books' annual competition for a first full-length (48-80 pp.) collection of poems by a woman writing in English between the ages of 18 and 39. It is named after Emma Gatewood, the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.

2008 Judge: Denise Duhamel

2008 Reading Period: July 1st - October 1st

Prize: $500 and a standard publication contract with a print run of 1000.

General Terms:

Poet must be a woman between the ages of 18 and 39. Our definition of "woman" is broad and includes transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, and female-identified individuals.
Entry fee of $15 must accompany each submission; make check payable to Switchback Books. We do not accept cash or money orders.

Complete info here.


The latest installment of diode is up and running. Some of my favorites include:

Beckian Fritz Goldberg
G. C. Waldrep

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Los Bukis (My Nephews and Niece)

Alexei and Oscar

Vanessa and Lucas


Finally got a digital cam this week. Here's a photo of some of my books stacked next to my bed.


Congrats to Paul Martínez Pompa for winning the 2008 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize.

Martín Espada wrote this citation:

"This is one tough, smart poet. The poems of Paul Martínez Pompa are gritty and visceral, but never cross the line into sensationalism. They are poems that vividly evoke the urban world, especially Chicago, without ever lapsing into urban cliché. They are poems that seek justice for the Latino community without ever resorting to the overheated language that all too often consigns poetry of social conscience to oblivion.

Martínez Pompa is a poet of the image, a poet of strong diction, a poet of meticulous craft. He puts that craft at the service of los olvidados, the forgotten ones, from the usual suspects brutalized by police to factory workers poisoned by their environment, from the victim of a homophobic beating in the boys’ bathroom to the body of Juan Doe at the Cook County Coroner’s Office. Yet this poet’s keen eye, sense of humor and gift for irony help these poems to rise above the wreckage of their circumstances. Nowhere else will you find a poem celebrating a Mexican grandmother’s phone call to the local Pizza Hut.

Martínez Pompa’s observation of a garbage truck may remind us of Williams and his poem about a fire engine; his compassion for the damned may bring Whitman or Hughes to mind. Paul Martínez Pompa, however, is very much his own man and his own poet, independent and honest. His is a unique voice, speaking the truth with clarity. Welcome."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bitter & Spiteful Bits

What did Mr. Rootedfool learn at Iowa?
Too cute!
To all those kind folks that have sent me Facebook/ Goodreads invites: I'm not ignoring your invites. I just haven't spent a lot of time creating Facebook/ Goodreads pages. But I will this fall. Then I can be your friend.
Christopher Hennessy's blog always has a lot of interesting links. Take a look around.
coldfront magazine reviews a lot of books.
MFA/MFYou is a new online journal with a mission, to figure out if there really is a difference between the writing coming out of MFA programs and the writing coming from the hardworking folks who chose a different route. Every three months, we will publish the best examples of writing from both MFA and non-MFA writers. Each issue will include two examples each of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, one by someone who is currently or has been enrolled in a Creative Writing program, one by someone who hasn’t.
Good poems: Kirsten Kaschock



Cruelty is the ID pass of the cruel,
honesty the grave stone of the honest.
Look, in the sky plated gold,
crooked reflections of all the dead float around.

The glacial epoch is over,
so why is there ice everywhere?
Good Hope was rounded a long time ago,
so where are these thousands of boats racing on the Dead Sea?

I came into this world
with only blank pages, rope and my fingers;
therefore, before final judgements are given,
I need to speak in all the voices of the defendants.

Just let me say, world,
If a thousand challengers are under your feet
count me as challenger one-thousand-and-one.

I don't believe the sky is always blue;
I don't believe it was thunder echoing;
I don't believe all dreaming is false;
I don't believe the dead cannot bring judgement.

If the sea is doomed someday to break its levees
my heart must flood with all the bitter waters.
If the land is destined to form the hills again,
let real human beings learn to choose the higher ground.

The latest, favorable turnings, the twinkling stars
studding the naked sky,
are pictographs five-thousand years old.
They are the eyes of the future staring at us now.

translated by Gordon T. Osing and De-An Wu Swihart

Saguaros and Cloud Shadow

What Johannes Göransson Learned at Iowa

Economic Class mattered. Lots of ivy-leaguers. Being able to present yourself authoritatively was very important and that's something Ivy leaguers are very good at. Some of them also knew how to write; but some were just fools who knew how to act authoritative.

Nick Courtright on Poetry in Literary Journals

This thingy here is mostly me thinking aloud (but not really aloud, now) about the nature of poetry publication in literary journals, and how the tendency to publish “one-off” poems rather than poems that are part of a bigger project, as well as the tendency to publish single poems rather than multiple poems by a single poet, is acting to undermine both poets and the journals who love them.

On Louise Glück and the Yale Series of Younger Poets: Meghan O'Rourke

More notably, she encourages close contenders to work on their manuscripts and re-submit them. In some cases, she will meet with those writers and explain her hesitations, going closely through a manuscript to tighten it up. (This practice originally concerned John Kulka, the Yale editor who oversaw the series, according to Glück. But, as she says, the Yale Prize is designed to cultivate young writers, and she does not guarantee that anyone she has worked with will win the prize.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


At the library.
Am I a snob? I roll my eyes when I read about these nominations. I wish I didn't roll my eyes. I want to be nice. But seriously! Does anyone really think this "award" means anything? And if you do, then please explain it to me. I want to believe.
Cut my hair yesterday. Now I look like an overweight guy who wears glasses with a nice haircut.
Eight days 'til I move to Bucknell University. I can't wait.
Most of Juan Felipe Herrera’s many books evoke at once the hardships that Mexican-Americans have undergone and the exhilarating space for self-reinvention that a New World art offers.
John was interviewed on the radio and he didn't once use the word "applesauce." WTF?
I miss teaching.
Am I the only one who thinks Michael Phelps has a jacked-up smile? His teeth and gums are way too small for that cave of a mouth. But still the man has an amazing body. And size 14 feet.
Pet Peeve: Poets who say they're over the Po-Biz. Get real. If you're sending out poems, if you're hawking your own chapbooks like mad, if you're organizing readings, if you're editing anthologies, if you're promoting your own readings, if you use your blog to kiss ass, if you're writing blurbs for other writers, if you're in the process of starting up your own press, if you send out your mss to contests, then you're not over the Po-Biz. You might by playing by your own rules, but you're still in the game.

I'm talking to you, Collin. You're in the Po-Biz game, baby. You might not be a first draft choice, but you're in the game.
Why are all the cute guys in the library going to the science fiction shelves?
And just to be clear: I'm not a first draft choice either.
Ah, how cute! I'm watching a daddy read to his son.
I was flipping through my mss yesterday and I was surprised by how much I've taken from Robert Hayden. I steal some of his diction. I use some of his lines in a poem. Two of the poems are addressed to the Beastangel and Angelbeast, figures that make an appearence in his homoerotic poem "Bone-Flower Elegy."

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Call for Submissions: Crab Orchard Review

Deadline October 31 (don't enter before August 1).

Crab Orchard Review, a lit journal published by Southern Illinois University Carbondale, seeks submissions of poetry, fiction and literary nonfiction for their annual themed issue. 2008 theme is "Color Wheel: Cultural Heritages in the Twenty-First Century". Editors say, "We are open to work that covers any of the multitude of ways our ideas of identity, tradition, family, and place are challenged by an ever-changing world." Translations and original work are both welcome. Writers whose work is selected will receive $20 per magazine page ($50 minimum for poetry; $100 minimum for prose), two copies of the issue, and a year’s subscription.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New Online Journal

Emprise Review's first issue is now up and running. Take a look around.

Very Cool

To encourage and cultivate young reviewers and critics under the age of thirty, the Virginia Quarterly Review is holding a "Young Reviewers Contest" in September 2008.

The prize for the winning entry is $1,000, publication in VQR's Winter 2009 issue, and a publishing contract for three additional reviews worth up to $3,000. Finalists (up to five) will receive a complimentary one-year student or associate membership in the National Book Critics Circle , a one-year subscription to VQR, and may also be offered paid publication in VQR (in print or online).

Initial screening of entries will be by the staff of VQR. The final judges will be:
• National Book Critics Circle board member Rebecca Skloot, assistant professor in the creative writing MFA program at the University of Memphis.
• National Book Critics Circle board member Oscar Villalon, book editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.
• Ted Genoways, editor of VQR.

General Guidelines:
• Entrants must be under the age of thirty as of the closing date of the contest, September 30, 2008.
• Entries (one per person) should be at least 2,000 and no more than 3,500 words and should be an in-depth review of a book of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction published in the US after January 1, 2008.
• There is no entry fee for the contest.
• Entries will be accepted online beginning September 1 through September 30, 2008. Entries will not be accepted by mail or email.
• Entries must be unpublished, original work. Work previously published online is not eligible.
• All entries will be read blind.
• Entrants agree that they will not review a book that presents a real or perceived conflict-of-interest, i.e., books by family, friends, colleagues, students, or teachers.
• Contest results will be announced on December 1, 2008. VQR reserves the right to not award the prize if the judges decide that none of the entries is judged of sufficient quality.

Details on the VQR website or at vqr@vqronline.org

Attention Diana Marie Delgado Stalkers

As the 2008-2009 Workspace Writers residency session comes to a close, please join us for readings by writer-in-residence Shivani Manghnani with poets Diana Marie Delgado and Emily Hunt.

Thursday, August 14, 6:30-8:30PM
In LMCC's Project Space at 125 Maiden Lane, 2nd Floor

Directions: 125 Maiden Lane is between Pearl and Water Streets. Take any of the following: 2/3/4/5/A/C/J/M/Z to Fulton Street/Broadway Nassau.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Atlantic

A short story by Aryn Kyle. I loved her first novel: The God of Animals.

Ann Patchett writes about book tours.

A short story by Cristina Henríquez.

Interview: Mary Jo Salter.

Grails and Legacies: Thoughts on the Line by Annie Finch

The lines that haunt me most, those that sound in my head literally for years as I try to encompass and fathom their waves, are lines in meter such as the solemnly counted-out beats of Robert Hayden’s famous opening line, ringing with their hollow echo, as if they know ahead of time how their initial trochee will continue to sound with a stubbornly unforgettable shudder through the rest of that iambic poem:

Sundays too my father got up early . . .


The first po-bloggers I found were fellow Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award winners Ron Mohring (who I had corresponded with in the late ’90s but lost touch with), and Charles Jensen, who wrote me shortly after discovering my blog. I invite everyone to click-through my Next Destinations blogroll to find some great writing. I regularly stop by Paul Guest’s blog, where he posts both amazing first drafts and updates on his shooting-star rise to rock-star literary status. I also enjoy Emperor of Ice Cream Cakes for surreal fun, Radish King, Peter Davis (author of Hitler’s Moustache), and Steven Schroeder, just to name a few. And, of course, I’m one of your original secret Internet stalkers.

Hmm. I'm not even mentioned. Somebody is going on my bad boy list.
Sending off my Yaddo application today. Fingers crossed.
I have heartburn right now.
Wow. This is a short post.