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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2011 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Award: Winner receives $1,000, publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press in fall 2012, 15 copies of the book and a feature reading.

Final Judge: Patricia Smith.

Eligibility: African American writers who have not had a full-length book ofpoetry published by a professional press. Authors of chapbooks and self-published books with a maximum print run of 500 may apply.

Deadline: Reading period opens March 15, 2011. Manuscripts must be postmarked no
later than April 30, 2011. Manuscripts received after May 9, 2011, 5 pm, will not be
considered, regardless of postmark date.

Complete guidelines HERE.

Barbara Jane Reyes

...readers of all stripes can always find a way into your work, unless they just don’t want to. So with Diwata, I had little apprehension about it being alienating; it was a non-issue. I told them there’s always a community of people who want to read our work, folks for whom the poetry is mutually resonant, and it’s just a matter of finding them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

poems that i love

ISKANDARIYA

It was not a scorpion I asked for, I asked for a fish, but maybe God misheard my request, maybe God thought I said not “some sort of fish,” but a “scorpion fish,” a request he would surely have granted, being a goodly God, but then he forgot the “fish” attached to the “scorpion” (because God, too, forgets, everything forgets); so instead of an edible fish, any small fish, sweet or sour, or even the grotesque buffoonery of the striped scorpion fish, crowned with spines and followed by many tails, a veritable sideshow of a fish; instead of these, I was given an insect, a peculiar prehistoric creature, part lobster, part spider, part bell-ringer, part son of a fallen star, something like a disfigured armored dog, not a thing you can eat, or even take on a meaningful walk, so ugly is it, so stiffly does it step, as if on ice, freezing again and again in mid-air like a listening ear, and then scuttling backwards or leaping madly forward, its deadly tail doing a St. Vitus jig. God gave me a scorpion, a venomous creature, to be sure, a bug with the bite of Cleopatra’s asp, but not, as I soon found out, despite the dark gossip, a lover of violence or a hater of men. In truth, it is shy, the scorpion, a creature with eight eyes and almost no sight, who shuns the daylight, and is driven mad by fire, who favors the lonely spot, and feeds on nothing much, and only throws out its poison barb when backed against a wall — a thing like me, but not the thing I asked for, a thing, by accident or design, I am now attached to. And so I draw the curtains, and so I lay out strange dishes, and so I step softly, and so I do not speak, and only twice, in many years, have I been stung, both times because, unthinking, I let in the terrible light. And sometimes now, when I watch the scorpion sleep, I see how fine he is, how rare, this creature called Lung Book or Mortal Book because of his strange organs of breath. His lungs are holes in his body, which open and close. And inside the holes are stiffened membranes, arranged like the pages of a book — imagine that! And when the holes open, the pages rise up and unfold, and the blood that circles through them touches the air, and by this bath of air the blood is made pure . . . He is a house of books, my shy scorpion, carrying in his belly all the perishable manuscripts — a little mirror of the library at Alexandria, which burned.

Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

free books! free books!

Kelli Russell Agodon has organized a Big Poetry Book Giveway for National Poetry Month!

She rocks.

63 bloggers have signed up to give away books. Click HERE for the list of bloggers.

harvard magazine profile: manuel muñoz

Yet Muñoz, who worked hard to move away from a life in the fields, is wary of labels. His debut novel, What You See in the Dark, published in March, is neither essentially gay nor Chicano. It marks his foray into the unfamiliar, cinematic world of 1950s Bakersfield, California—the tip of the Central Valley that he never saw growing up, that takes its cues less from the crops than from Los Angeles.

bits (for dan levenson)

i can't stop listening to this arthur russell song.
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i added a sentence to my bio. happy now, dan? ha.
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still no title for the book. well, there's one possibility. the more i think about this title, the more i love it.
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slow
slow
slow
slow
slow
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i love this song.
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wild
wild
wild
wild
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the other day i wrote down three lines. i think it's the beginning or the ending of a poem i've been carrying around in my head for months.
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hi, rodney gomez. are you ready for cantomundo?

Craig Morgan Teicher on Dave Lucas

Again and again, Lucas performs the impressive trick of imbuing these very real places with poetic charge without romanticizing them. In fact, that's the point: Though the Hulett ore unloaders aren't the typical stuff of poetry, they indeed do look -- and perhaps feel -- like "Unfinished cathedrals buttressed against themselves."

Interview: GC Waldrep

I workshopped those poems at Iowa and people loathed them. Dean Young, my dear friend, hated them with a passion. Cole Swensen my advisor, who is a wonderful poet and also a dear friend. She said ‘I must not be the intended reader for this work,’ I believe is what she said.

Friday, April 15, 2011

bits

back home.
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i had a great time in el paso. it was a blast reading with carolina monsivais and barbara jane reyes.
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i didn't read well. i got nervous. my hands were shaking! i didn't make eye contact with the audience.
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brent goodman: closet high school girlfriend.
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and it was a pleasure meeting benjamin alire sáenz, sasha pimentel chacon, and daniel chacon.
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small press spotlight: richard yañez
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i read a couple of times at the macdowell colony and both times i did a good job. my voice was strong. i made contact with audience. i cracked a few jokes. in short, i was me.
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miguel angel, thank you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

reading: el paso, texas


The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Undergraduate Creative Writing Society's "Buttered Toast Reading Series" presents special guests Barbara Jane Reyes, Carolina Monsiváis, and Eduardo C. Corral.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 13
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: UTEP Centennial Museum and Gardens

3 bits

it never fails. i always get sick when i come back home. sore throat. runny nose. damn kids. ha.
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Carmen Giménez Smith is having a great week. She won a fellowship from the Howard Foundation of Brown University and her third collection won the Juniper Prize for Poetry.
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still no title for my forthcoming book. the search continues!
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Friday, April 08, 2011

walking through the dark (for cornshake)

here are some pics of my walk through the dark at the macdowell colony. i'm telling you: it got scary. right, cornshake? i would hear things moving about in the woods. i would see dark shapes dart across the path. in these pics i'm walking from colony hall to my room at the lodge.







Monday, April 04, 2011

airport bits

i'm at the manchester airport.
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today was my last day at macdowell.
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i'm stupid. i forgot to leave my studio/bedroom keys at the front office. i noticed i still had them in my pocket AFTER i was dropped off at the airport. i called back the handsome man who gave me a ride and he was kind enough to loop back to pick them up. thanks, scott!!!
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two months spent in the woods. what a gift.
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the macdowell colony will always have a special place in my heart. it was my first colony way back in '06. and this time...i still get emotional when i think about it...forgive me...this time, during my first week in residence, i found out my manuscript had been selected for the yale series of younger poets.
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dreams do come true.
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back to southern arizona for a bit. then a reading in el paso, texas. and then a month-long residency in new mexico.
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thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you