"We Held Hurricane Season," part of my longer poem "Somewhere in the Darkness, We Broke Even", appears in Issue 5 of Barzakh.
Issue 2 of Camera Obscura is now available online, and includes my story "A Way Out of the Colonia," which won The Editor's Prize. It was first available in print, 2010.
My play Quimera on the Storm will run for 12 performances as part of a AEA showcase at UP Theater from June 4 to June 15. Details to follow.
The Conversant interviews my HER KIND co-editor Arisa White and me on our editorial philosophy, being out of body and mercurial tricksterness.
My essay "The Wild of Kept Things" appears on The Better Bombshell.
And a pleasant surprise: my BookWoman reading was a Best Bet featured in the Austin American-Statesman.
Feeling: "Out of Line"
Had a great time at AWP, my first time ever. We killed it at the VIDA Prom.
Tony Diaz for Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say interviews me on their KPFT-FM, Houston, radio show. Thanks to hosts Tony Diaz, Liana Lopez,
and Bryan Parras for having me, and to John Pluecker for his fantastic
My poems "On Living" and "The Appetites of Plastic Flowers" are now live on The Brooklyner; the latter first appeared in the wonderful Sundog Lit.
My poems "Questions for My Doctor" and "The Night Shark" appear in Sundog Lit Issue #2.
The Next Big Thing is a blog-tag of writers answering a series of questions about their next book/writing project. The fantastic Adriana Paramo, who introduced me to this blog-tag, recently wrote Looking for Esperanza, which won the 2011 Social Justice and Equity Award in Creative Nonfiction. Last year, I solicited her to write for HER KIND (check out her witty "Magic Mike’s Pelvis Made Me Think of Literary Events"). Gracias, dear Adriana, for asking me to continue the tagging with own forthcoming book of poem, SOLECISM, due out March 2013.
What is the title of your book? SOLECISM-- which is, to say, a meditation in and concerning nonstandard or ungrammatical usage; many a breach of good manners or etiquette; errors, improprieties or inconsistencies.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? An exodus, cross-pollination and exorcism of borders I have crossed, ranging trom that between Mexico and the U.S. to East and West Jerusalem.
What genre does your book fall under? Poetry.
Where did the idea come from for the book? I am guilty of all the meanings of the word solecism, so I decided to explore that, rather correct it. The why and how and when I error, fumble, miscommunicate. Each has its own world, opens new realms, challenges what people assume to be fixed and static-- traditions, borders, spacial identities, even histories. Ruins on the border of Mexico and Guatemala, for instance, are quite fertile.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I've been working on the manuscript itself for about 2 years, though some poems were drafted as far back as my freshman year of college.
Who or what inspired you to write this book? My family. The stories they've carried down with them, the ones we've lived/are living together. The Torah. The intelligence and behavior of birds, especially crows and sparrows, their tenacity to survive. The sense of humor and curiosity of parrots. Corridos, narcorridos, Posada's broadsides with the calveras. The melancholy of Jerusalem. Migrations.
Who will publish your book? Virtual Artists' Collective
What other works would you compare this book to within your genre? The poet Marian Haddad, whose work I treasure, said the manuscript reminded her of Harryette Mullen. I'm not quite sure to whom to compare, but I can name the poets I've read throughout its completion: Guillaume Apollinaire, Arisa White, Nazim Hikmet, Metta Sama, Mahmoud Darwish, Yehuda Amichai, Tara Betts, Lee Herrick, the Israeli poet Rahel, Lorca, Coral Bracho, Amy King. All these poets have influenced my writing. The sprawling prose of Orhan Pamuk and Yaakov Shabtai too.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Since it's poetry, I'd love it if Salma Hayek or Javier Bardem read them aloud. They both have such great voices.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The cover is a painting by my uncle Rogelio Cisneros. It’s a tribute to a wolf he found and raised himself; he never truly defeated the wildness in her, and that's something I've always admired, the ability to not tame but adapt to the various shades of her wildness. My uncle is married to my mother's sister Olivia, and they live in San Diego; one can see from their house the flickering lights of Tijuana. The neighbors were always on the verge of figuring out she was a wolf. After years of working on border patrol, my uncle retired and had decided to dedicate his time to painting. Then, my Aunt Olivia-- the life of the party, so to say-- became very ill and my uncle has had to take care of her full time. I am in awe of that love.
Thanks again to Adriana for putting me on the tag line. And here are my tags for next Wednesday:
Ren Powell, author of Mercy Island: New and Selected Poems
Jade Sylvan, author of Kissing Oscar Wilde
Arisa White, author of A Penny Saved
Lee Herrick, author of Gardening Secrets of the Dead
Stephen Delbos, author of Chetty's Lullaby
Ching-In Chen, author of The Heart's Traffic
Feeling: "Throw Down"
Went to Hong Kong with my love for the first time ~ just my speed...
My play Don't Call it Returning appears in Knock Magazine online; it will be reprinted in Print Issue #16 in June 2013.
"To The Night Shark" appears as TheThePoetry's Poem of the Week.
"Un-Returning as Talisman: On Letting Go," my new essay on 7 Train Love for Sundog Lit Blog, is live now.
My poem "Off the Q" appears in The Fox Chase Review.
The Tidal Basin Review nominated my poem "Coming of Age in Sal Si Puedes," published in the Summer 2012 Cultural Pride Issue, for a Pushcart.
My poem "Song of Waxing Gibbous" appears in print in Puerto del Sol.
I'll be writing a series on 7 Train Love for Sundog Lit Blog. The first "Jubilant Moon Cloud Affirmations" is live now.
Stills from October 3, 2012 Performance of Drawn From Water
Melinda Wilson interviews me about my forthcoming debut book of poetry SOLECISM for the Southeast Review. Check it out here.
My poem "Coming-of-Age in Sal Si Puedes" has been reprinted in The Feminist Wire.
My play "Owless of Santa Clara" appears in the October 2012 of Scene 4 Magazine.
Rehearsal (9.26.2012) for upcoming production of my play DRAWN FROM WATER. Featuring Ximena Mieles and Mauricio Pita. Directed by Bob Teague. All Photo Credits: Holly Burdorff.
Feeling: "Why Some Girls Love Horses"
My poem "For the Mixed Child with Pale Skin" appears in
My poems "Coming-of-Age in Sal Si Puedes," "Creation Story of Sal Si Puedes" and "The Reply of Sal Si Puedes" appear in Tidal Basin Review's Cultural Pride Issue. So honored to be a part of this.
And just added to the event, I will be reading from SOLECISM at "Escritores por Ciudad Juárez: un manifiesto y un recital" at 4 PM at McNally Jackson. Thanks to Madeline Millan and Pillar Blanco Ruiz for inviting me.
Rehearsal for upcoming production of DRAWN FROM WATER. By Rosebud Ben-Oni. Featuring Ximena Mieles and Mauricio Pita. Directed by Bob Teague. All Photo Credits: Holly Burdorff.
Feeling: "Fear" *Been writing poems about the Night Shark*
My poems "Gangster as Narwhal" and "Pauraque" appear in the new issue of Poecology. Check out the whole issue here.
My poem "Returning to Sal Si Puedes" appears here in B O D Y. Thanks to editors Stephan Delbos and Christopher Crawford.
I'll be reading in The Bakery's Deep Fried Reading Series in November in Rochester. Also, the very cool Albert Abonado is seeking submissions-- especially from women-- for The Bakery.
From CONGOJA in 2009. That's Silvia Tovar on the right and Flor Bromley on the left.
Feeling: "Under the Bridge" <been traveling across the U.S.-Mexican border>
Speaking of VIDA, Riverhead Books is throwing a shindig/fundraiser at the Brooklyn Brewery. Come out to grab a drink, dance and mingle with us.
An excerpt of my play "The Amaranthine Thread" appearshere
My story "As the Twig is Bent" appears here in Ragazine. Special thanks to editor Metta Sama.
Feeling: "On Living"
I'm THRILLED to announce my debut book of poems SOLECISM will be published by Virtual Artists Collective in early 2013.
A friend sent me Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes' last message on Twitter: "There
must be something beyond slaughter and barbarism to support the
existence of mankind and we must all help search for it."
"Ants Eating a Bone," the first of my Fuzhou in Flushing stories, appears here in Escape into Life.
I have a lyrical essay on Gender & Cultural Inheritance in Intercultural Alliance of Artists & Scholar's Special Issue of phati-tude's "WHAT’S IN A NOMBRE? Writing Latin@ Identity in America." Honored to be in the same issue as Junot Diaz, Esmeralda Santiago, Oscar Hijuelos, and Gary Soto.
FIT is sponsoring a production of my play Drawn from Water as part of Hispanic Heritage month in late September/ early October; there'll also be a talk back with the cast and myself. Stayed tuned for details.
Midnight in Matamoros
has now gone into development under the dramaturgy of Bob Teague,
Artistic Director of Truant Arts. We've brought abroad Carlton Zeus, a
Brownsville native and fresh new voice, to write original music for the
The play was conceived first in a poem I recently wrote, "At Ten I had the Look of Locust," which was recently published.