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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

currently reading

Jonathan Thirkield: The Waker’s Corridor. The bloated, over-the-top blurb by Mark Levine is really annoying. It reminds me of the bloated, over-the-top blurb Jorie Graham wrote for Levine's first book.

American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry, edited by David St. John and Cole Swensen.

Bradley Paul's second mss.

And I'm waiting for It Is Daylight by Adra Collins and Midnight Voices by Deborah Ager to arrive.

Northern California Book Awards

28th Annual Northern California Book Awards
And the finalists for

Lucky Break
Terry Ehret
Sixteen Rivers Press

Sleeping it Off in Rapid City, New and Selected
August Kleinzahler
Farrar, Straus & Giroux

the true keeps calm biding its story
Rusty Morrison
Ahsahta Press

The Date Fruit Elegies
John Olivares Espinoza
Bilingual Press

congrats, john!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

back home bits

sorry for the lack of posts. no internet access at the house. but i do have access to all kinds of germs! i'm sick.
be still my beating heart! steve fellner has a blog.
i'm having a hard time re-writing my resume for real world employment. i have a poet's resume. i'm screwed! the human resources people at company xzy will not care about yaddo or the colgate fellowship. i might as well write "i steal" and "i don't shower" on my resume.
review: kevin a. gonzález's cultural studies
my throat hurts.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

pics from the academy of american poets' flickr photostream

Rita Dove

Jonathan Thirkield

Victor Hernández Cruz

Brenda Hillman

Lucie Brock-Broido, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, and Tree Swenson

Carl Philips

more pics HERE

raúlrsalinas Guerrilla Chapbook Poetry Contest

The raúlrsalinas Guerrilla Chapbook Poetry Contest seeks work by Chican@, Latin@ and Native poets between the ages of 18-35 who have not graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing, nor are currently enrolled in an MFA program. Poets also must not have a collection of poems published by a small or large press exceeding 64 pages. Self published books, being published in anthologies and/or on the internet is ok. Previously published work will be accepted only if author has full rights to work. Please indicate with submission wether work was previously published.

To enter the raúlrsalinas Guerrilla Chapbook Poetry Contest authors must submit via email the following:

1) Ten poems written in caló, Spanglish, English o en español

2) A short essay describing your community work

3) A short bio in third person

4) Personal info: full name (and pen name if applicable), age, occupation, education, address, phone number, email, and website

Please send as 2 separate Microsoft Word files using Helvetica font size 12. One file with poems and the other with personal info, bio and essay.

Send to: redcalacarts@cox.net
Deadline: May 1, 2009

Calaca Press
Red CalacArts Collective
P.O. Box 2309
National City, Califas 91951
(619) 434-9036 phone/fax

hottie of the week: andrew ross sorkin

andrew ross sorkin

some recent Google searches that led to my blog

US news and world report MFA ranking 2007
dickman poetry
calderwood macdowell
leeann is a poopface

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Because you can't pigeonhole me

i like all kinds of musics! don't believe me? screw you! for the rest of you, here's a list of what i just downloaded from iTunes:

1. Stevie B: Spring Love (single)
2. REM: Green (whole album)
3. Toni Braxton: He Wasn't Man Enough (single)
4. Bruce Springsteen: Brilliant Disguise (single)
5. Neutral Milk Hotel: In an Aeroplane Over the Sea (whole album)
6. Aaliyah: Try Again (single)
7. Keane: Everybody's Changing (single)
8. The Sundays: Here's Where the Story Ends (single)
9. Philip Glass: Etudes for Piano, Vol. 1 (whole album)
10. Bronco: Adoro (single)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cool Contest

Inspired by the 2009 National Poetry Month poster design, the Academy of American Poets, invites you to capture and share your own ephemeral bits of verse. Write lines from a favorite poem on a sandy beach, assemble twigs on a hillside, or chalk the sidewalk. Take a photo before it disappears and post it to the Free Verse group page on Flickr. Include the source of your lines in the photo caption.

All photos posted by April 15 will be automatically entered in a contest to win the new Poem in Your Pocket Anthology and a commemorative piece of hand-engraved jewelry by San Francisco designer Jeanie Payer. Selected entries will be featured on Poets.org.

Flickr page HERE.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Steve Fellner writes a letter to Randall Mann

When I finished your book of poems Breakfast with Thom Gunn, my competing reactions were these: I was bummed it was over (it felt way too short), while at the same time, I knew if the book were any longer it would hurt your project. Let me explain: I see you as one of our most successful practitioners of Light Verse...

New Measure Poetry Prize

Parlor Press’s poetry series, Free Verse Editions, is pleased to announce The New Measure Poetry Prize, which will carry a cash award of $1,000 and publication of an original, unpublished manuscript of poems. Cole Swensen will select the winning manuscript. Submissions for the prize must be postmarked in April or May of 2009. The non-refundable entry fee is $25.00. Parlor Press/Free Verse will annouce the winner no later than December 1, 2009.

Complete info here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Hottie of the week: Vanity Smurf

last week bits

this is my hand in a large bowl of rice. an artist here was using rice in her work.
time flies. this is my last week at the vcca.
rita mae reese: there are no patron saints against accidents
all the snow has melted. we had warm weather today.
i applied to bread loaf this year. did you? i'm hoping to go as a scholar.
go vote: poetry idol, week three.
i love playing ping pong here. I'm not very good, but I just enjoy swinging that paddle.
i'm so glad the snow has melted. i can hike through the woods again. someone told me the frogs at the pond are making a lot of noise. he called it "peeping."
congrats, luke!
in an interview randall mann says: ...I...pulled out this beautiful thing...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Diane K. Martin builds a snowman

SPD Bad Poem Contest: Results

Alas, I didn't win. But Craig won in the sonnet category. Congrats!

Check out the other winners.

I entered in the haiku category. Here is the poem I entered:

breakfast haiku

cereal box rooster.
corn flakes in a white bowl.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Frost Place Conference on Poetry & Teaching

Are you a high school/ college English teacher? A poet who wants to attend a summer conference? Need some money to attend a conference? Good news!

The Frost Place will be offering a few $1000 scholarships to underserved applicants to attend the Poetry & Teaching summer conference.

Underserved applicants? Huh? What? According to the Frost Place, an underserved applicant is a person "whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability."

Complete info here and here.


Snow Pics: VCCA

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Pics from The Wind Shifts reading at Moe's Books

John Olivares Espinoza

Paul Martínez Pompa and Lorna Dee Cervantes

More pics by Oscar Bermeo HERE.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Meme: 10 Lines

What are the ten lines from poems or songs that stick in your head when you are walking around your day. Or if you stop a minute and think of some lines or poetry, what comes up? It’s fine if you distort the line as you remember it, if you mis- remember it. I think that’s interesting--

These are less than essential lines. They are more 'what I can think of right now' lines. However, that they came to me now, from memory, must mean something of their importance. Surely I have missed many more than I've included.

1. The cancer ate her like horse piss eats deep snow. (Norman Dubie)
2. There's a crack in everything/ that's how the light gets in. (Leonard Cohen)
3. And let the unsayable build skyward. (Robert Vasquez)
4. Hurry a lion into the cage of music. (Bei Dao)
5. Verde que te quiero verde. (Lorca)
6. Light is time thinking about itself. (Octavio Paz)
7. Rain is the tallest girl I know. (James Galvin)
8. Our transgressions go to the sea in search of speech. (Luis Omar Salinas)
9. Perhaps the ankle of a horse is holy. (Larry Levis)
10. Loneliness leapt in the mirrors, but all week/ I kept them covered like cages. (W.S. Merwin)

Review: Matthew Dickman's All-American Poem

Tony Hoagland, in his introduction, writes: “All-American Poem is a heroic and generous collection of poetry.” Which makes me believe that Mr. Hoagland either read an entirely different manuscript, written by a different person, or it was Opposite Day when he typed these words. For the work is indeed the opposite: it is cowardly and selfish. It gives nothing to the reader and asks everything in return. It tells, it does not show.

Sprig of Lilac

in a week you could watch me crumble to smut: spent hues
spent perfumes. dust upon the lapel where a moment I rested

yes, the moths have visited and deposited their velvet egg mass
the gnats were here: they smelled the wilt and blight. they salivated

in the folds of my garments: you could practically taste the rot
look at the pluck you’ve made of my heart: it broke open in your hands

oddments of ravished leaves: blossom blast and dieback: petals drooping
we kissed briefly in the deathless spring. the koi pond hummed with flies

unbutton me now from your grasp. no, hold tighter, let me disappear
into your nostrils, into your skin, a powdery smudge against your rough cheek

d.a. powell

Monday, March 02, 2009

Ron Slate on Fanny Howe

The drifts and compulsions of The Winter Sun indicate a mind that can’t settle for long on – and therefore, won’t accept the solace of – memory, certainty, inherited taste, or the oratory of philosophy or religion. These things must be kept in motion in order to stimulate their potential to offer revelation, such as it is.

One of my favorite poems

Notes for the First Line of a Spanish Poem

We remember so little,
We are certain of nothing.
We long to perish into the absolute.
Where is a mountain
To spread its snowfields for us like a shawl?

You might begin,
The men who come to see me are not exactly lovers.
Or, Seen at a distance the gazelle is blue.
That’s just your way of cheering me up.

You might begin,
The quality of the telegram is vulnerable.
Or even, The spirit of the telegram is virginal.
By now I am ravenous.

You might begin,
Nothing’s more passionate than a train,
Entering an enormous depot,
Empty except for two lovers, irreconcilable,
No one’s more visible than a blind man on the street.

Things that are that were never meant to be!
Terrible music!

The utter confusion of surfaces!
The first steps toward probability!
You might begin,

Near the edge of the mind, the mind grows defenseless,
Sleepy in the way it sees,
Like Columbus on the edge of the world.
It feels the grip of all it cannot grasp,
Like the blind man trying to stay out of sight.

Show me any object, I’ll show you rust on a wave.

You begin,

Outside the mind, the snow undresses and lies down

James Galvin

Sunday, March 01, 2009

bloggers at the vcca

Deborah Ager and Diane K. Martin

Me. Diane again. Yes, I know. I need to shave.

vcca pics


SEVEN KITCHENS PRESS announces the 2009 ROBIN BECKER CHAPBOOK PRIZE for an original, unpublished manuscript in English by a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered writer.

Prize: $100 plus 25 copies.

Submission deadline: Postmarked between March 1 and May 15 of each year.

Eligibility: Open to all L/G/B/T poets writing in English (no translations, please).

Two manuscripts will be selected as co-winners of the 2009 Robin Becker Prize: one by a writer with no previous book or chapbook, and the other by a writer with previous book or chapbook publication.