So its been a little over a month, so we have much to catch up on. ¿Listo?
First we start with the tease:
OK, so I finished reading the book.
DAMN fine read, I must say. I think my favorite story is Flores - the mysticism of the story, the older gentleman, down and out, waiting to "meet" his end is a concrete example of Matt's skill with words. Damn near the whole book catches you off guard. Matt's writing is slick and easy on the eyes. I read the voices of each of his characters and love where they go, the fights they have, the way they write their own letters. Matt does a spectacular job at painting a picture in the lives of Latinos in El Paso and beyond. I am proud to know that cat and read his writing. Buy the damn thing, read it out loud to anyone who will listen, recommend it to your enemies, and introduce your corner of the world to the stellar work of Matt Méndez.
YOU NEED TO MAKE IT TO THIS WORKSHOP!!!
So a dear friend and fellow poet, Marcell Murphy plays host to one of the most innovative writing workshops around. It's a breakdown and construction all in one. The format is simple: an hour and a half of work, the development of a prompt or a guest host who presents a new idea or topic along with a prompt (on occasion). Its an enriching process devoid of ego and full of response and review and positive energy. Marcell and his beautiful wife Makeda, do a fantastic job at keeping the flow of the workshop running. Marcell highlights not only the practice the writing, but also the need for reading other poets. Its a great mix of both academic and novice advice. Write club is open to all poets and now is currently hosted on Saturdays at the East End Gallery. If you are in the Houston area, bring it!! Its tons of fun and open to all poets!!
TWO NEW BOOKS OUT THERE!!!
So as you are reading this, two friends of mine a debuting new books. Here they are:
Diana Lopez is an amazing writer and she will be here in Houston later today with her new book ASK MY MOOD RING HOW I FEEL.
Here is an excerpt from an article about the book and Diana -
Diana López says that the first glimmering of the idea that would become Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel (click on the title for more info) came to her at the end of a marathon; she’d run in the Komen Race for the Cure in honor of her aunt and was recapping the experience for her husband, telling him about a pink poodle she’d seen at the event. “I don’t know how they’d colored that dog such a vivid pink, but it was such a fun, celebratory image – that’s the feeling I got when at the race, that despite the way cancer had touched families in serious and tragic ways, there could still be celebration. I love writing for middle school kids, and thought it would be interesting to write about this subject from a daughter’s perspective.”
Before she’d really gotten to know who her characters would be, an image of a woman purchasing nine bikinis to wear in the days leading up to her mastectomy popped into her head. “Originally the book was called Nine Bikinis, 500 Names, which are now the book’s first and last chapter titles,” she says. “I had this image of a mom…what kind of woman would do that? It says a lot about her personality. That’s when the story began to take shape for me.”
If you have time, come check it out!! She will be at Blue Willow Books later today (2:00pm)
Where: Blue Willow Books
Address: 14532 Memorial Drive at Diary Ashford, Hou. TX
My dear friend, the BARRIO POET, Edward Vidaurre has a new release as well - I TOOK MY BARRIO ON A ROAD TRIP (SLOUGH PRESS) is an amazing collection of poetry. I have heard and read some of his work and I am always in awe of his texture and his vision. Get his book. Here is a little more about Edward from David Bowles, poet and writer from Austin, TX:
For the poetry scene in the Río Grande Valley, Edward Vidaurre has become an important figure, nurturing up-and-coming voices, organizing readings every month, helping poets to network and find venues for their work. I was very excited to learn of the impending publication of his first book of verse, I Took My Barrio on a Road Trip. Tracing his life journey from El Salvador to East Los Angeles and then to the Río Grande Valley, the book combines a deft sense of place with a rugged, authentic voice and an unwavering moral center. Weaving lyric and narrative in a seamless fabric, Vidaurre guides us through the trying and joyous moments (and the essential relationships) that together gave him the strength to be the sort of man writers can admire: a barrio poet who values family and community, but who still drinks deeply of the pleasures of life.
For more info on the book, read HERE.
I say, get both books and be ready for righteous reading. :) Hell yeah!!
Ok, so that's it for this blog post, and so, I leave you with the tease -