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

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ice storm bits

We got hit by an ice storm.
The power went out early Tuesday morning. Thank goodness the water is still running.
The darkness really creeps me out at night.
I keep thinking of The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Right now, I'm using the library at Sweet Briar College. Beautiful building.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Matrix Móvil: Graphite on Gray Whale Skeleton: Gabriel Orozco: 2006

It’s the only whale skeleton in Mexico installed properly.

Review: Chris O. Cook's To Lose & To Pretend

Cook fills To Lose & To Pretend with rambling non-sequiturs, and ultimately the collection works because the oddities manage to trace out some meaning. Or, if it's not meaning per se in the accumulation, then it is, at least, some sort of payoff. The challenge of witty poetry is to manage more than just a string of good jokes and keen observations, but by their juxtaposition to create an effect that is greater than the poem's best line.

3 good poems by Suzanne Buffam


VCCA bits

It snowed a bit this morning. A light dusting. It was beautiful.
I stayed up all night yesterday. Working. Stressing. I'm taking apart the older poems in my collection. I just don't like them anymore. I find them too sentimental. Too slack.
Morgan is right: the latest installment of the usual suspects.
Looking good!
A Football Game in 1980 First Turned the Embattled Governor on to Kipling
I think I have winter allergies. I've had a runny nose and a cough since arriving.
Still haven't recieved my copies of the the current issue of Ploughshares. What's up with that? Am I last on the list?
No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.
The VCCA bought new Pillow Premium mattress sets for the bedrooms. That's why I've been sleeping so well here. Thank you, VCCA!
Okay, there was one surprise in the latest Octopus line-up: Kristin Naca.

Jericho Brown

In the last eight years of my life, there were times I couldn't stop writing. Over a short period of weeks, I'd have many drafts of very different things and begin to think I may be quite literally possessed. Once, I actually had a car accident trying to get some scribbling done while driving. These periods were thrilling for me, but during them, I felt vulnerable in a way I have a hard time characterizing to some of my closest poet friends.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


the new installment of boxcar poetry review is up.

it features an interview with ilya kaminsky

National Book Critics Circle Finalists in Poetry

August Kleinzahler's Sleeping It Off in Rapid City
Juan Felipe Herrera's Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems
Devin Johnston's Sources
Pierre Martory's The Landscapist
Brenda Shaughnessy's Human Dark with Sugar

Send me mail. I will write back.

Eduardo C. Corral
154 San Angelo Drive
Amherst, VA

studio pics

The horses! This is the view from the window by my desk. I don't recall their names. I think one is called "Fella." Wouldn't it be great if the other horse was named "Not-a-Fella?"

This is where the magic happens. Note the fab 70s table lamp. That's a lampshade!

This is the studio barn complex. All the studios are located here. Duh.

My studio has steps. Cute, no? I walk down to work.

My silo is bigger than your silo.

This is the bed in the studio. Maybe I'll have another naughty dream about Billy Collins.

The right side of my studio. I don't know why the studio has two desks. I'm never going to use the desk in the middle of the wall. Do you want it?

The wall next to my desk. I need to pin more things to it. Send me postcards!

The left side of my studio.

VCCA bits

Good day today.
Revised. Started draft of new poem.
Johnny Horton read his poems tonight after dinner. He has a great stage presence. Nervous. Playful.
I took a nap in my studio today. I could see a silo through the window blinds.

Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing at Bucknell University: Apply!

The Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing offers an emerging writer four months of unfettered writing time during Bucknell's fall semester, without formal academic obligations. The Residence is designed to grant the writer time to complete a first or second book. The resident presents a public reading of his or her work and otherwise constitutes a literary presence on campus during the fall. Providing lodging on campus, an office in the Stadler Center for Poetry, and a stipend of $4,000, the Residence is awarded to writers of prose (fiction or creative nonfiction) and poets on an alternating basis.

The Stadler Center is currently accepting applications for the 2009-10 Philip Roth Residence, which will be awarded to a prose writer (fiction or creative nonfiction). The Residence will extend from late August through mid-December 2009. The application postmark deadline is February 21, 2009.

Complete guidelines HERE.

Friday, January 23, 2009

VCCA Pics: Fellows Residence

Wavertree Library.

Part of the TV room.

A piano in the lounge.

And this is where I'm sitting as I type this. Comfy couch!

VCCA bits

I made it in one piece.
The VCCA is beautiful.
I can see horses from my studio window!
I'm sleeping in a twin bed! I haven't slept in a twin in ages.
The food is yummy. Tonight's dinner:

Beef stuffed with spinach and cheese
Potato fingerlings
Creamed squash
A nice salad
A glass of red wine
A cup of coffee
Cinnamon cake with vanilla ice cream

I like my studio. Two desks. A black book shelf. An armchair. A twin bed. Floor lap.
This is the first time my sleeping and working areas are separate. At Yaddo and MacDowell I had live-in studios. Here, I have a room in the Fellows Residence. (Think 70s university dorm but comfy!) And a studio at the studio barn complex.
Did I mention the horses?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Packed and ready to go bits

Great day yesterday. Aretha's giant ribbon hat rocked the house.
Making the News: Gary Soto wrote a poem celebrating our new president.
I'm packed and ready to go. I leave this morning for a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. I will be there for 51 days.
Giant step up for USA, giant misstep for poetry

Saturday, January 17, 2009

bits are for suckers

the latest installment of diode is up.
scott hightower reviews eric gamalinda.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Letters on the Air: Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang, author of the poetry collections Circle and Salvinia Molesta, discusses her poetry with New Letters editor Robert Stewart. Chang, who works as a business journalist, talks about mixing her "practical" business role with the imaginative role as a poet, and talks about how being the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants influences her work.

Up until January 28, 2009.

25 random things about me

Diane K. Martin tagged me! Here it goes...

1. i'm not famous.
2. the other day i had an erotic dream that featured a cartoon character.
3. i won't open the door for anyone over 6 feet tall.
4. i once kissed two girls in one night.
5. i once held it for like seven hours even though i really had to pee. i was on a bus in mexico. i got so sick from holding it that i threw up.
6. poetry will never save my life.
7. i get drunk after two beers.
8. i'm not the wind beneath your wings.
9. some straight men scare me.
10. i got beauty marks on my face.
11. i like walking in the rain.
12. i can't fall asleep in a quiet room. i need to leave the tv or radio on. i need the background noise to fall asleep.
13. i like buying homemade soaps.
14. i hate buying clothes.
15. i like you.
16. i once keyed somebody's car.
17. sometimes i'm so happy that i think my heart is going to burst.
18. i liked the movie "twilight"
19. i would totally make out with joe the plumber.
20. hsn rocks my world.
21. sometimes i think i'm a better poet than you.
22. sometimes i think you're the better poet.
23. i get heartburn a lot.
24. i love cats.
25. i might be dyslexic.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Flashback: 2005 "Discovery"/The Nation Prize Recipients

from left to right: Grace Schulman, Glyn Maxwell, Stacie Cassarino, Liam Rector, Elise Paschen, Eduardo C. Corral, Rita Mae Reese, Dave Lucas.

Photo copyright Nancy Crampton.

Thanks to Dave Lucas for posting this pic on his Facebook page.

Hottie of the Week: Matthew Hittinger

Matthew Hittinger


Mouths full of laughter,
the turistas come to the tall hotel
with suitcases full of dollars.

Every morning my brother makes
the cool beach new for them.
With a wooden board he smooths
away all footprints.

I peek through the cactus fence
and watch the women rub oil
sweeter than honey into their arms and legs
while their children jump waves
or sip drinks from long straws,
coconut white, mango yellow.

Once my little sister
ran barefoot across the hot sand
for a taste.

My mother roared like the ocean,
"No. No. It's their beach.
It's their beach."

Pat Mora

Small Press Spotlight: Suzanne Frischkorn

The process of determining seeds from finished work is largely intuitive. “Still Water,” is a poem that grew from a small imagistic draft and “Window,” while one of the longer poems in the book is the result of revising a sonnet sequence. In physical terms I feel restless when a poem is not working because it isn’t fully realized. When a poem is finished the feeling is close to euphoria.

Torched Verse Ends

Steven D. Schroeder's debut collection of poems is now out.

"Steven D. Schroeder is the best thing for poetry since tuberculosis. I urge you to purchase Torched Verse Ends."
—Steven D. Schroeder, author of Torched Verse Ends

"Steven's vocabulary is so extensive that I have to look up several words per sentence when reading his current poems."
—Steven's grandmother

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

i didn't write these bits for you

My secret is lemons and Mop N Glow!
i'm at my sister's place.
out now: Maximum Gaga by Lara Glenum.
Once again too many bloggers have poems in this journal. But hey, I'm not on the masthead. I'm just a blogger who complains too much.
I'm reading an advance copy of THE VEILED SUITE: The Collected Poems of Agha Shahid Ali, which Norton will publish soon. It's a wonderful book, and it brings Shahid back with such directness and vivacity.
i have five poems ready to be sent out. about freaking time. i haven't sent out in a long time.
One day the closets were empty.

Another day the mirrors were.

Monday, January 05, 2009

i wrote these bits for you.

here i am at the libray again. the way i'm dressed the staff might mistake me for a hobo. damn hobophobes.
dark sky.
win a copy of john's first book.
la, la, la, la, la.
What a cover!
i'm not going to do colonies this summer. correction: i'm not going to apply to colonies this summer. i'm going to try conferences this summer. i'm going to apply to the big two: breadloaf and swanee. yes, i know i spelled swanee wrong. are breadloaf and swanee even conferences? they're more like sleepovers, no? with a little poetry thrown in.
i'm wearing flip-flops.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year Bits

2009? Already?
Feeling better. The kids always get me sick when I get back to Arizona.
A big THANK YOU to the Arizona Commission on the Arts for a modest but vital professional development grant. The grant will cover my airfare and my taxi fare to and from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Thanks, Arizona!
I finished a poem on December 31. And I love it. Love it. Feels good to love my poems again.
I don't know why but I've been stressing about "connections" to contest judges these past few months. Why? Because I'm submitting my collection to contests. Duh. Anyway, I was going overboard with my self-imposed diligence. I cut out one contest because I chatted with a judge briefly at an AWP party. And I cut out another contest because I had a poem published in a journal guest-edited by a judge. (She was kind enough to send a personal acceptance note. That was cool because I adore her work.) But these aren't "foetry-like" connections. I haven't studied or interacted in any meaningful way with these judges. Never been a student or even a casual acquaintance. Don't worry, Dear Reader, I've come to my senses. I've put the two contests back onto my list. Let sanity rule.
Currently listening to: Steve Reich.
Here's a list of the poets I've studied with or poets that I've had some meaningful interaction with. If any of these poets were judging a contest I wouldn't submit:

Norman Dubie
Alberto Rios
Beckian Fritz Goldberg
James Galvin
Mark Levine
Marvin Bell
Cole Swenson
Robert Vasquez
Rigoberto Gonzalez
Peter Balakian
Shara McCallum

I'm not listing some obvious names. Like anyone on my blogroll. And a lot of poets from my generation.