As you read this, I am finally at a point where I can say things have "calmed down" - as if life is ever boring. But for real, I am always apologizing for not getting this thing up to date soon enough. Hopefully, that will change. Its been over a year and a half since I started this blog and I can't seem to figure out a good day to post. I am hoping for Thursdays so, let's see if this works. As usual, I will try to cover at least three areas and bring you some news. Thanks for reading and please add comments. Tell your friends, tell your enemies, just get them to read.
"HE HASN'T SLEPT IN YEARS"
This is the closing sentence in the bio for Edward Vidaurre and his latest collection of poetry titled "INSOMNIA". It is an sharp read. He doesn't hold anything back from the page, from the reader or himself. Edward has taken a culminating look of something so dense and damaging, and made it bold and introspective. All the poems in this collection are packed with a magnitude of images and metaphor that make the reader take pause and adjust their sleepy eyes to the newest ideas he has to offer.
Edward has done a masterful job of laying out his soul in these pages. There are poems related to his experience in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. He calls upon the images of his daughter, of the moon lit nights and the dreams he has yet to have. Ed is a blacksmith with this metal. He creates pieces that speak to a cultural relativity interwoven with sestinas, pantoums, haikus and slew of beat poems. There are shadows that live in these poems. They are gritty and worth every letter on the page. Congrats Edward!! This is a badass beast!!!
Straight from the intro to the book:
"In his second collection of poetry, Edward Vidaurre offers new poems focusing on--and inspired by--bouts of insomnia, and the vivid dream-like imagery that a lack of sleep creates. With an introduction by award-winning Katherine Hoerth. Pick up this book on those weird and wonderful nights when it’s 2:07 a.m. and the waning echoes of yesterday’s shattered dreams and sprightly nightmares reverberate madly against the thickly transparent rays of the moon. In this collection of poems, Edward Vidaurre captures the lingering accusations and celebrations of the night that mingle with the fresh affirmations of the morning through poems filled at times with umbrage and desperation and at others with the sort of devilish charm that has come to define his candid wit. Like a bad dream that won’t go away or a good dream that just makes one’s day Vidaurre’s new collection, Insomnia, rouses us with a twitch and spilt coffee jerk and lulls us with knowing nods to those moments of clarity and opaqueness, of sweetness and acrimony, of haunting realism that can’t help but keep us awake for just one more poem."
If you are interested in getting your hands on a copy of the book, click the link below: INSOMNIA
You can hit Edward up on Twitter at @EdwardVidaurre. Let him know what you think of the book and follow his posts!
MEANWHILE, BACK in EL CHUCO
If you are like me, then you have a love for all things historical. History can be found in the very walls you live in - it can be in the places you work and you study in. It is a treasure that should be cherished and protected, if for nothing else, to stand as a reminder of either darker times that should not ever be revisited or a reminder of better days - so to give hope and forward thought.
It is also a frustrating thing when "in the name of progress" places and images are removed with out any thought to its affect on the greater community.
In El Paso, that is exactly what the community is fighting. Let me be very clear: The Texas Department of Transportation or TXDoT is bolding working towards taking down a 100 year old building - Lincoln Center. The reason? TXDoT wants to make room and link up highways. Point blank. Nasty, right?
Para que veas - click on the link below to get an idea of the latest events as they have occurred-
Demolition of Central El Paso Lincoln Center delayed by court order
Did you read it? Good. Now for some background on Lincoln Center.
Lincoln Center in El Paso, TX has its roots at the very heart of the foundation of what would later be the city of El Paso as we know it today. Originally, the land where Lincoln Center (and Lincoln Park) was developed had been worked on, in 1852, by Hugh Stephenson. He built several buildings and his home at this site, back then known as Concordia. Historically, it was the site of the first Mexican community north of the Río Grande. Later by the 1860's it had transformed from a residence to a military base ( an addition if you will, to Fort Bliss, which is in the area) and later a school. From about 1880 to 1910, the land had additions built and rooms added on - and by they time you reach the 1960's the Lincoln School was El Paso's segregated school. Only Mexicanos attended. Once the Civil Rights Act was passed, the school changed up and eventually was sold off in the 1970's by the El Paso Independent School District.
From 1977 to 2006 the building had survived the construction of freeways overhead and eventually became the Lincoln Cultural Arts Center. It is/was the only cultural center in El Paso, a city that boasts over an 80% Mexican American population.
If you want to get more info on the history of Lincoln Center - click HERE.
OK, so as it stands, there has been a struggle for acknowledgement and preservation actions from the Lincoln Park Community since 2006. It is a part of a culture now. It has always been a part of la comunidad and a prime example of what shared history is.
Support the efforts of the El Paso community! DO NOT LET TXDoT OVER REACH - they already tried very quickly to start with the dismantling of the building. It took many brave men and woman to protest and PHYSICALLY stand outside the center to keep the wrecking crews from coming in and starting the demolition.
The difficulty now is that the city of El Paso will not take any more steps to save Lincoln Center - effectively turning its back on its Mexican American community. They will not take over the building, no attach line item funding to help the building out. The future of Lincoln Center rests in the hands of the community.
I am adding three links below that tell you the true tale and efforts of the community. SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT - the more press, the more people are aware, the more pressure is in the air for government officials to do something positive for the community. It is time to open the doors of Lincoln Center!!
So here is the blurb (press release we created for the Word Around Poetry Tour and the new LINE UP for 2014. Get it ready mi gente, ya se arma bien pronto! We are expanding the events for poets and for community, so keep tabs on the site and on this blog for more info.
Click here for the website - www.wordaroundtown.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 28, 2014
Word Around Town Poetry Tour Announces the 2014 Poet Line-Up!
Houston, TX - The Word Around Town (WAT?!) Poetry Tour’s purpose is twofold: 1) To introduce poets to venues they’ve never been to and 2) To expose audiences to poets they’ve never heard before. The WAT?! Tour’s 9th year is shaping up with a formidable line-up of poets. The week-long poetry event kicks off Sunday August 10th and runs through Saturday, August 16th. It’s poetry for 7 nights straight in 7 venues. It’s a line up that consists of 18 of Houston’s top poets and a select nightly feature that promises to bring diversity and excitement that defines what it means to be a performing poet in Houston. As always, all shows are free and open to the public- nightly at 8pm,throughout the tour.
The 2014 Line- Up:
This line up represents the full spectrum of Houston poetry- poets garnering attention from local, national and international publications and award winning performances. These poets are slam poets, poets working on MFAs and PHDs amongst performers, hosts and producers of theatre, blogs, live shows and internet radio. They are professors, judges, students, activists, jazz musicians, and graduates from the school of hard knocks from all over the Houston area. The Word Around Town Poetry Tour presents:
ALICE ALSUP| SAVANNAH BLUE | BGK| GERALD CEDILLO | PW COVINGTON
WINSTON DERDEN | DIGH | ERANIA EBRON | MARLON LIZAMA | SAL MACIAS
DARLA MCBRYDE | JONATHAN MOODY | BISHOP RAGTIME
OSCAR PEÑA | RAIN | AMIR SAFI | TRADEMARK | MARY WEMPLE
K, so that ties up another blog post right there. The next time you read, I will give you some updates on Tintero Readings, Sclero Awareness Month and one last item that I will save as the teaser for next week. See you then!