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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

you gotta love facebook

good lord!

my boss during my resident assistant days at arizona state posted this pic on her facebook wall the other day. thanks, melissa!

i nearly fainted with shame.

i'm not that cute guy going to town on that popsicle. i'm too classy to do that in public, thank you very much.

and i'm not the cute girl in white.

i'm the one wearing a rosary and way-too-short shorts. i got more legs and thighs than a kfc bucket!


i have bangs! let me say that again: i have bangs. curley bangs! and my hair is parted straight down the middle.

oh boy.

this pic was taken in the mid 90s. terrible things happened in the 90s. terribe, terrible things.

have you signed up to win three books?

you have two days to sign up for my book giveaway!

i'm giving away these books:

the dance of no hard feelings: mark bibbins
in praise of falling: cheryl dumesnil
what the right hand knows: tom healy

you know you want them!

The Laurel Review: The Midwest Chapbook Series

Final Judge: G.C. Waldrep

The contest is open to anyone who is living in, from, or closely associated with the Midwest, excluding close friends and former students of the editors or contest judge, as well as employees and students of Northwest Missouri State University.


20-30 pages (typed, single-sided, one poem per page).

Individual poems may have been previously published. You may include an acknowledgements page if you wish, though one is not required.

Include two cover pages: one with title only, the other with name, address, email address, manuscript title, and a short note establishing your connection to the Midwest.

Your name should ONLY appear on the cover page, which the staff will keep on file. Manuscripts will be read blind.

Reading period opens February 1 and ends June 1, 2010. Late entries will be returned unread.

$10.00 reading fee. Please make checks payable to GreenTower Press. Reading fee gets you a one-year subscription to The Laurel Review, starting with the summer issue.

The winning chapbook will be published in an edition of 300 copies. Winner will receive one hundred copies. Additional copies offered at 40% off the list price ($7.00) plus shipping and handling.

Winner also will be invited to give a reading at Northwest Missouri State University’s Visiting Writers series, which includes travel expenses paid and an honorarium of $250.00

All entries will be considered for publication in The Laurel Review.

If you’d like an acknowledgement of receipt send a SASP; please do not send a SASE.

Send entries to:

GreenTower Press
Midwest Chapbook Series
Northwest Missouri State University
Maryville, MO 64468

Questions may be addressed to the editors of The Laurel Review at: TLR@nwmissouri.edu

Rigoberto González on J. Michael Martinez

Besides being unafraid of writing Xicano with an “X,” Martínez makes other risky choices and stands behind them: hammering the crown of sonnets into prose, examining the problematic term “white,” and–egad!–writing an Abuelita poem: “As a child, my grandmother spoke to santitos with a voice like a chestnut: ruddy and warm, seeds dropping from her mouth. The santitos would take her words into themselves, her voice growing within them like grapevines.”

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CantoMundo 2010

I'm happy to report that I've been selected as a CantoMundo fellow. What is CantoMundo? Click here to find out.

I'm in great company. Here's the list of the other fellows: Gloria Amescua, Francisco Aragon, Diego Baez, Oscar Bermeo, Norma Cantu, Cynthia Cruz, Barbara Brinson Curiel, Cristian Flores Garcia, Sheryl Luna, J. Michael Martinez, Pablo Miguel Martinez, Celeste Guzman Mendoza, Amalia Ortiz, Deborah Paredez, Emmy Perez, Luivette Resto, ire'ne silva, Carmen Tafolla, Liliana Valenzuela, and Lauro Vazquez.

Oh yeah!

I can't wait for July!

zach savich on norman dubie

Is “Meditation at Lagunitas” greater than Robert Hass? Is any Robert Duncan poem greater than his use of “ensouling?” Is his “Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow” great or does it just have great first and last lines? What about Alice Notley’s “The Prophet”—I’ve often quoted lines from it (“The purpose of awakening is black coffee”; “You are not great you are life”) but have never been moved to memorize or copy-out the whole piece. This is typical of my favorite poems: with effort, you can memorize any poem, but the best lines seem to stick with me whether I want them to or not; I often forgive dull books that have three great lines.

a photo, a poem

Instructions for Identifying All Immigrants
(Official Document for the Racist)

for Jan Brewer

1. consider moving through desert,
the beveled preface to home:

the crowns
& field stones


2. Consider the nature
of skin, the hues of

departure: the immigrant will be
the tint of the Gulf,

dried leaves amongst owl eggs,

& cradles of lacquered oak.

3. Consider the white body as passport,
as yours the legal right, will to power;

the textured immigrant as violation,
immolation (they all are immigrant).

4. Consider brown as bastard,
Spanish as syntax discardable;

Recall you are

& formal choice.

5. Forget your neighbor
as yourself, for theirs

is the serpent-tongue coiled through accent

around baskets full
of tender oranges.

6. Consider the commodity of your Nationalism,
country as your manufactured product:
recall your skin is the plastic credit
card your tongue.

Card their tongue,
recall their body is the plastic credit
you purchase as your manufactured product;
Consider their Nationalism as your commodity.

J. Michael Martinez

Saturday, April 24, 2010

congrats, diana!

Diana Marie Delgado, currently residing in Astoria, a neighborhood of Queens in New York City, is the third recipient of the Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship. She will receive $1000 and be in residence for one month this July at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota. This annual distinction is part of an ongoing partnership between the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the Anderson Center. The aim of this initiative is to identify and support a Latino or Latina writer who is working on a first full-length book, and for whom a one month residency would suppose a significant boost in this endeavor.

Friday, April 23, 2010

call for submissions



El Tecolote newspaper began as a project in a La Raza Studies class at San Francisco State. Prof. Juan Gonzales created the class as a way to channel Latino students into journalism careers. Latinos and other people of color were virtually invisible in the major newsrooms at the time.

As a final project, the class produced a bilingual newspaper called El Tecolote, which hit the streets on August 24, 1970. The newspaper soon moved to the community and became a training ground for the community to learn advocacy journalism.

El Tecolote began as a volunteer effort and continues in that vein with approximately 90 percent of the staff dedicated volunteers. It is the longest running Spanish/English bilingual newspaper serving the Bay Area.

Since its inception, El Tecolote has had an open door policy that invites community members to join the volunteer staff, bringing a vast array of experiences and skills. The newspaper has also published several special supplements, including a literary section edited by major local Latino writers and a youth publication called Fuerza Joven, which provided training for neighborhood teens.

On August of 2010 El Tecolote will be celebrating 40 years of existence serving the Latino community of San Francisco and beyond. As part of this celebration the staff and volunteers of this bilingual community newspaper are preparing a special 10-page edition of El Tecolote Literario scheduled to be released on July 28m 1010. We are also planning a 124 page bilingual poetry anthology that will feature the works of established poets as well as those of emerging new voices.

Title of the anthology:

Poetas en Celebración de EL TECOLOTE
Poets in Celebration of El TECOLOTE

Partial list of poets (by alphabetical order) to be invited to contribute to this collection: Francisco X. Alarcón, Jorge Argueta, Cathy Arellano, Adrián Arias, Avotcja, Neeli Cherkovski, Diane di Prima, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Lucha Corpi, Esthela de la Cruz, Sharon Doubiago, Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Juan Pablo Gutiérrez, Q.R. Hand, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jack Hirschman, Víctor Martínez, devorah major, Janice Mirikitani, Richard Montoya, Cherrie Moraga, Dorinda Moreno, Alejandro Murguía, Francisco Orrego, Naomi H. Quiñonez, Marc Piñate, Ramón Piñero, Margarita Robles, Rodrigo Reyes, John Ross, Orlando Ramírez, Nina Serrano, Herbert Sigüenza, Roberto Vargas, Alfonso Texidor, Bernice Zamora, among others.

Poets are asked to submit no more than five poems with a brief bio, (50 words maximum) to be included at the end of anthology.

Poems could be in Spanish, English, Spanglish, Caló, or any combination of vernaculars.

Contact El Tecolote
E-Mail: poeta@accionlatina.org

Mailing Address:Acción Latina
2958 24th Street
San Francisco, California 94110

Thursday, April 22, 2010

the last (this time i mean it) awp denver roundup

At the table I was manning, an acquaintance came up to congratulate me on my novel. I thanked him and when he walked away, I thought, what novel? Am I wearing a scarf and writing a novel that I don’t know about?
Meeting Patricia Smith was cool...
How We Lost Our AWP Virginity
This is basically a convention where writers go to network, buy more books than they can afford, stalk well-known poets, size each other up...
Finally got smart and spent more time in the bookfair and in readings than I did in the panels.
LOTS of poets.
I liked the human beings at Indiana Review
Anyone will tell you that the book fair was the main attraction at AWP with hundreds of lit mags, all of them practically throwing copies at you...

Hottie of the week: Pablo Montero

How the African-American literary organization Cave Canem came to be

In Pompeii, Eady and Derricotte visited the House of the Tragic Poet and discovered in the vestibule a mosaic of a black-and-white dog straining at its leash. The dog’s claw rests on the words printed below it: cave canem, “beware the dog.” Thus the organization gained both a name and a meaningful symbol: one not of aggression, Eady clarifies, but of protection and privacy.

my home state

lalo alcaraz

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

franz wright reading bits

i heard franz wright read last night at arizona state. he read a bit from wheeling motel and a bit from walking to martha's vineyard and he read a few new poems but my favorite pieces were the new prose poems/ paragrapsh he's been working on. they are strange but familiar. they are expansive but narrow. they contain heart-stopping lyrical moments. listening to him read them, i felt like i was walking through a haunted house filled with trap doors -- each time i fell through a trap door i was funneled back to the front door where i had no choice but to step through the threshold again.
arizona state's campus has changed a lot. new buldings everywhere! i hardly recognized it!
i paid six bucks for three hours of parking. thanks a lot, sun devils.
i want to buy the denim jacket franz wright was wearing. he looked so chic. and i want to look chic, too!
it was nice saying hello again to beckian fritz goldberg, alberto rios and sean nevin.
i noticed that a lot of students bought his books. it was wonderful to see a young man carrying a book a poems and a skateboard.

Robin Becker Chapbook Prize

SEVEN KITCHENS PRESS announces the third annual Robin Becker Chapbook Prize for an original, unpublished poetry manuscript in English by a Lesbian, Gay. Bisexual, Transgendered or Queer writer.

Prize: Fifty author copies.

Submission deadline: Postmarked between March 1 and May 15 of each year.
Eligibility: Open to all L/G/B/T/Q poets writing in English (no translations, please).

Please note: Two manuscripts will be selected as co-winners of the 2010 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize: one by a writer with no previous book or chapbook, and the other by a writer with previous book or chapbook publication.

Complete guidelines HERE.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

poetry northwest

poetry northwest is one of my favorite journals.

not because they published one of my best poems in the relaunch issue in '06. i'm not that vain. okay, just a bit.

it's one of my favorite journals because they keep publishing a lot of good poems, and interesting reviews and the journal itself is a beautiful object. the latest cover image is stunning!

the new issue features work by rick barot (love his work to death) and bob hicok (sorry, i just don't like him as much as the rest of you do) and linda gregg and srikanth reddy (his long sequence Voyager is kickass) and kelli russell agodon.

and the website is pretty cool, too. it features content not found in the journal, like this poem by rick barot (marry me, rick!) and this review of andrew grace by zach savich and this dead man poem by marvin bell.

that's a lot of good stuff.

Egg Ministry

In a grim henhouse I find the faithful
clucking about the rapture,
and whether heaven is truly shallow and fresh
like a box of straw waiting for birth.
All eggs will break, I assure them, the laws of gravity
and rise from china bowl and carton alike,
from the unswept thresholds of batteries,
up past fire escape and silo, cloud and bird.
As they consider this, a reddish, bouquet-crested hen
nods to sleep and glides to jumbled scenes
of desert sand and sticky, Egyptian hands
grinding a bold, yolk-yellow powder
for mixing with egg and water—
to paint skin, no doubt. Later, Giotto
will use it to ignite his poor saints' heads,
while Botticelli will mute it for his Madonnas
whose petite, exhausted faces
in the flight-heavy dreams of hens would surely flake
and having flaked, leaf into the moist air
to spin and reweave a lost tribe of yolks
before shocked eyes if the halls were not empty,
the museum-goers not banished
to go sit somewhere on their children
as good parents should... Such is the dream life of hens.

To the doubters who jeer and stare,
call me misguided, I say, there are too many of us
to save; the battle over our souls
was decided long ago anyway,
so why not preach to the bookless chicken?
When they sneer I tell them, if your god is great enough,
lower your nose to an overdue clutch
and thread through the 17,000 pores of each shell
the odor of patience gone sour, sulfurous,
and once it has coursed through your heart,
sat in your stomach,
and you can no longer carry the burden,
return what you have taken to the dirt
which will gladly welcome your offering,
even as you wipe your mouth on your sleeve
and cringe at the chicks sprinting
from the shadow of the car you left parked
under the sign EGGS FOR SALE,
because you are now a part of the ritual,
a necessary antagonist
to a faith no less fragile than your own.

Tomás Q. Morín

Sunday, April 18, 2010

free books!

i'm joining the bandwagon!

in honor of national poetry month, i'm giving away three poetry books. i bet you want them. yes, you do!

i'm giving away these books:

the dance of no hard feelings: mark bibbins
in praise of falling: cheryl dumesnil
what the right hand knows: tom healy

two gay poets and a lesbian poet! it's a literary rainbow!

leave a comment to throw your name into the hat. you have until the end of the month to sign up.

my comment box is moderated so all comments have to be approved by me. so don't worry if you don't see your comment right away.

Various Cardboard Signs: Alejandro Diaz: 1990s

He began making the cardboard signs in the late '90s. Now they are in the collections of photographer Cindy Sherman and musician David Byrne.
Click on pic to read the signs.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

awp dc

i'm not going to miss awp dc! i'm thinking of proposing a panel or two. one celebrating robert hayden; the other a reading of past "discovery"/ the nation winners.

but there's no guarantee my panels will get picked up. so in order to increase the odds, i'm asking you for help.

are you planning a panel/ reading for awp dc? or even an off-site reading? well, good! i'm throwing my name into your hat. tacky, i know. but i really want to go to awp dc. and i want to be on your panel. or read for you/ with you.

i can contribute to many kinds of panels. including, but not limited to:

chicano/ latino poetics
gay poetry
donald justice tribute
gay latino poetry
the struggle to finish a first collection
garcia lorca tribute
post-mfa life
jose montoya tribute
poets who hated their time at iowa
ekphrastic poetry
the persona poem
southwest poetry

i'm serious. email me and we'll talk.


the last awp denver roundup

...a lot of book tables have courtesy candy that they display to lure you in
some very cool pics!
A lot of boy poets wore thrifted western shirts and were always connected to their iPods...
After the reading, I got a chance to shake hands with Christian Bok, and to tell him he called me a troll.
Apples, oranges, coffees, chocolates, a sweater, 12 new books of poetry.

5 Poets Who Changed My Life

Rigoberto González: No self-respecting Spanish-language queen can call herself educated without having fallen in love with García Lorca

Benjamin Grossberg: Sylvia Plath is the only poet on my list that I no longer read.

Brent Goodman: I’ll meet you again inside a stone. Your voice: I drink it from a shot glass.

Marilyn Hacker: Adrienne Rich’s work as poet and critic may have changed forever the reception of women poets by critics at all points on the literary spectrum in the Anglophone world.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Free books! Free Books!

Here's a complete LIST of the poetry bloggers who are giving away books during National Poetry Month.

Win those books, Dear Readers!

some goodies from the collagist

Wondering Home: Tamiko Beyer
Sleep Seeds: Denise Duhamel
Mind Over Matter: C. Dale Young

Thursday, April 15, 2010

love this awp post

I was impressed by the number of people, while working the Kore table, who came by and expressed a love and interest in Kore Press. There were also many women who stopped who were not familiar with Kore and who, when I explained the Press's project of publishing women writers, stood up a little straighter and got a little glimmer in their eye and said something to the effect of: This is so important.

some good stuff from Cerise Press

Little by Little Psalm by Paul Otremba
On Race Road by Rick Barot
On the Occasion of Your Wedding by Sandra Beasley
effigy by Quan Barry
April Aubade by Tarfia Faizullah

Brian Spears on Cradle Song

It’s easy, and common, for southerners to get defensive about their/our home region, and that’s not so much because the south has more issues than anywhere else, but rather because 1) we put ours on public display more often and 2) we can’t seem to get past them.

paul guest, donald justice, madeline defree and others on NPR

The poems in Paul Guest's My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge are astounding and unforgettable. They all reflect -- either obviously or more subtly -- a central fact of the author's life: a bicycle accident at age 12 left him permanently paralyzed. The power of the poems comes from the accumulation of detail. As he explores his feelings at forever being set apart from those who are able to move their bodies at will, Guest's tone is colored by anger and bitterness, and frequently by a sadness so deep and pervasive that his poems are often literally painful to read.

Cooper Dillon Books Open Reading Period

Between April and August, we welcome submission of chapbook and full-length poetry manuscripts.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


started work on a new poem last night. felt good. the working title is "mojave shovel."
i am not missing awp dc. no way. not going to happen.
i heard "silent all these years" on the radio today. man, i'd forgotten what a great song it is. your mother shows up in a nasty dress/ it's your turn to stand where i stand...
no work today.
pics from the one poem festival. thanks, oscar b.!
should i tell steve fellner that my last name has only one "l" in it? corral not corrall.
there's a guitar outside my window.
Everyone slams the AWP-crowd-scan conversational style, but I think it's just a fact of life there. Then again, I'm just looking for people I like and haven't seen in a year, not powerful people who can help my career. So don't take it personally that I did it when we were talking, please.
i need to send some poems out. this time i'm only going to submit to journals that accept online submissions. look at me! i'm so high tech-savvy.
my throat, trumpet.

hotties of the week: blas falconer & paul guest

Friday, April 09, 2010

mark doty on not attending awp this year

Truly my system just rebelled at the thought of doing it again so soon after last year; Chicago felt like a kind of psychological boot camp, as if we were all slogging together through some difficult period of being in a community so large, vibrating and edgeless that it seemed to swallow all individual life. Everyone's always trying to analyze what's so strange about the experience of the conference: a vast number of fundamentally introverted people in one place, a social situation that makes everyone want to feel known and recognized, and then makes the known and recognized want to run and hide. These are true but not entirely an adequate explanation of the existential peculiarity of it.

steve fellner on awp

...plenty of fats and femmes.

Paul Martínez Pompa & Brenda Cárdenas Reading: Tempe Center for the Arts (With Special Appearances by Iliana Rocha & Elmer Fudd)


Cyndi Lauper is planning on opening a shelter in New York for LGBT young people

Lauper, who campaigns for equality and has been an advocate with her True Colors Fund, says the shelter in Harlem will be called True Colors Residence. Her plan is to support people between the ages of 18 and 24 who have been rejected by their families because of their gender identity or sexuality.

"Kids are coming out in greater numbers as they see themselves accepted and represented on TV and in movies, but they're still being kicked out of their homes or running away and living on the streets. We need to make sure we're taking care of them. This is the next generation of the LGBT community," Lauper said in a statement.

gawd, i so love my cyndi. talk about making a difference.

some awp pics and roundups

pics and blogging by matthew hittinger
I just saw a girl in the elevator with that famous t-shirt, “Talk Nerdy to me,” about which Matthew Dickman wrote a poem which won him the $10,000 Kate Discovery Award from Claremont Graduate University. She had messy hair a great smile, and looked like talking nerdy or dirty would work in any case.
awp day three by c. dale young
After fleeing, reflecting, and resting, I went down to the keynote address by Michael Chabon. As exhausted as I was and am, that was excellent. He is hilarious. I loved it.
AWP Panel: Making Money as a Writer, Part 1
syphilis at awp!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Rigoberto González over at Harriet Blog

I’m off to AWP today. On Thursday I sit on a panel in which I have about 10 minutes to say all I want to say about race. That’s not enough time, of course, but I’ll bullet-point my usual statements, among them how despite our incredible numbers, Chicanos/Latinos are left out of the national conversation about race, which is a dialogue between black and white. I’m talking politics and policy, law and literature.

i give a damn about glbt issues!

here's another reason to love cyndi lauper.

she has started an online campaign called we give a damn which is geared towards anyone who cares about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality and issues. i hope this includes a lot of you straight people.

so sign up. read the blog. watch videos by elton john, kim k., jason mraz, and cyndi.

read real life stories.

read up on issues like hate crimes, marriage, immigration and youth suicide.

and help spread the word!

i don't need awp goodies! i just ordered the book i wanted

J. Michael Martinez

Monday, April 05, 2010

Hottie of the week: Curtis Stone

attention tempe/ arizona writers!

Brenda Cárdenas and Paul Martínez Pompa will be reading this Wednesday (April 7th) at the Tempe Center for the Arts at 7pm.

I'm so there!

awp bits

so i'm not going to awp this year. it sucks! i'm going to miss seeing a lot of you. not all of you. some of you i don't like.
oh the crazy folks! i love going to awp because it's full of crazy writers. CRAZY! crazy, crazy, crazy.
i'm going to miss the insecurities and nervousness.
i'm going to miss picking up this book. though i've told a friend that he needs (please!) to pick me up a copy. i don't want anything else from awp. just a copy of this book.
i'm going to miss chatting with mfa students. i love doing that! i'm always so curious about their writing, their programs, their plans for post-mfa life.
i'm going to miss the ONE POEM FESTIVAL.
i'm going to miss some of my favorite bloggers: c. dale, corn shake, oliver, steve fellner, and crazy crazy reb.
i'm not going to miss collin kelley though.
i'm going to miss the terrible dancing at the "dance" parties. oh the humanity!
i'm going to miss meeting poets whose work i've enjoyed in journals or online.
i'm going to miss the star-struck.
i'm going to miss the book fair.