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Poetry Comes in All Shapes & Forms.

What is up, MI GENTE!?!!?  

So far, so good. - From last week to this week, its been a great time to be involved in writing and poetry. I discover new stuff all the time and so, I hope to share that with you here. - Thank you, Obrigado, Mil Gracias to A. Raa - for the comment. I replied back. (YEA!!! - at least one person reads this thing!!! :) )

Let's get the things going. 

THE TEASE: 

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The VALLEY INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL -

NOW in its 6th year- the Rio Grande Valley (the RGV) plays host to a spectacular weekend of poetry, literary celebration and homage to the written word. The organizers, Daniel Garcia Ordaz and Brenda Nettles Riojas, the actual founders have done an amazing thing by creating this event. They have worked in as many different facets to include registered poet, the community at large, fans of poetry, professors, college students, teachers and kids - hell, they have even managed to host a poetry reading across the border. This will be my first time at the festival and I am completely giddy in anticipation for this event. I have been given a sort of run down of the events for the weekend- and I am sworn to secrecy until we get closer to the date, so stay tuned. 

These are the details as I know them so far: 

Date: 
April 25th  - 28th, 2013
Location:
All across the RGV

If you want a bit more information, including locations and bios on featured and registered poets, then take a look at the festival site, here.

The organizers have even put together an annual anthology for the event itself - BOUNDLESS. Then, on top of that, they also end the entire event with a Sunday visit to the gravesite of Gloria Anzaldúa, who was a Rio Grande Valley Native  So, if you have time, take a trip to the valley and check it. 

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AND NOW... a NEW DISCOVERY!!  (not really that I discovered..but)

So I noticed on a friend's Facebook post, they had a link to an audio recording of Gloria Anzaldúa (Thanks Georgina!!), and so I took a look-see and liked it. I decided to take a further look and you know what, the Univ. of Arizona's Poetry Center has an impressive collection of audio and visual recordings of poetry and poets. You should check it out!

I have included a few of them:

A 1977 reading from Phillip Levine (it goes into the intro first, then flips to the next audio file) 

A 1993 reading from Benjamin Alire Saenz

A 2011 reading by Kazim Ali

A 1991 reading by Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Really pretty awesome stuff and very easy to sign up for!!  Enjoy!!  here is the link to sign up:
University of Arizona Poetry Center

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YOU SHOULD TRY TO MAKE IT TO THIS SHOW!!!

a dear friend, OUTSPOKEN BEAN - (go to my links and check his site out!!) is up and running with his one man show. Here are the details: 

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Outspoken Bean is a tremendously talented spoken word artist and writer. So try to make it to his show!!  I will be there on Sunday, - so hope to see you there.

Here are the details:

Date & Time :  Saturday, April 20th - 8pm
                        Sunday, April 21st - 3pm

Price:  All tickets pre-sale, $12 - at the Door - $15
Where: Freneticore Theatre - 5102 Navigation Blvd. , Houston, TX

See you there!!

GET READY!!

If you remember last week, we talked a little bit about the WORD AROUND TOWN POETRY TOUR. If you are just joining the blog, no worries, just click on the title and it will take you to the site. SO, now we are ready and waiting, hoping we get as many poets to participate in the POET DRAFT for the WAT tour. This year, we have selected 9 poets (a hard decision to make, might I add) to rejoin the tour, leaving 7 spots open to be filled by newer poets (new to the tour that is).  Last year, we had the event at Khan's Wine bar in mid-town, but this year, we felt we needed a little more elbow room. - This year, we will bring the POET DRAFT to TAFT STREET COFFEE HOUSE - one of the original venues for the tour!!  Taft St. has always had a long running open mic on Tuesdays, and its gone through its share of hosts (many thanks to Millie Fiori, Joey, and  Jessie for all your hard work in running that open mic in the past!!) and so on April 30th, we will take over the night and run the draft. ALL POETS ARE WELCOME TO COMPETE FOR A SPOT ON THE TOUR!!  (unless you are already selected, you can come and support!!) 

Make sure you bring one poem to read in front of the judges. Make it a good one. 
Here are the details for that night- 
Where: 
Taft Street Coffee House
2115 Taft St, Houston, TX 77006

Time:
8 pm

Contact: 
713.522.3533

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Bueno, con eso, se acabo la bloga por hoy. But, I will leave you with a tease:

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You Should See What Writers Can Do.

Buenas Tardes Gente, 

Welcome back!!  Hope all is well on your side of the screen. Happy Mardi Gras and if you celebrate, then I hope this Ash Wednesday was a good time of reflection. Que te sigue lo bueno.  These last two weeks have been amazing for literature and writing in my world and the whole of Houston and it doesn't seem to be taking a break. - So let me fill you in on more events and details.

If you saw last weeks post, then you saw this last flyer:

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Now, here are the details as promised - From Marlon Lizama himself 
"Cultural Ladrones is an event celebrating true grassroots artists. Focusing on artists who not only embody the grassroots mentality, but also contribute to their community. The term 'Cultural Ladrones' was chosen on the fact that 'OUR' type of artist generically taught him or herself by combining cultural, sub cultural, the conventional, and the un- conventional route. We focus on the power of art, music, words to create and reach as many people as we can through movements, ideas, and social justice." 

CULTURAL LADRONES will take place on Feb. 24th from 8 to 1am.
The event is for fans of art, music and poetry who are 21 & up. 
Where: - House of Blues ( 1204 Caroline St. 77002 -Foundation Rm.)

If you are interested in tickets for the event, click here.

Please, support the local art scene!! This should be an amazing event.

SO you might be wondering what's before this particular event, huh? (Humor me.) 

THIS Saturday, get ready for the 10 year anniversary of one of Houston's finest poetry shows - Starving Poets: Poetic House Party.


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Here are the details:

The Poetic House Party of the decade hosted by the Starving Poets will be a night to remember in February. Live music, poetry and a few special surprises and guest. Be a part of history and dont miss what everyone will be talking about for years to come.

10 Year Anniversary
Starving Poets: Poetic House Party - Poetry, Spoken Word & Soul
Friday, February 15 at 8:00PM
Purchase Tickets: 1-866-811-4111
www.starvingpoets.org

Featuring:
HBO Def Poet Rock Baby
Savannah Blue, Houston National Slam Team
Donte Newman, TED, TSU Poet
DJ G Woody
More TBA

and Saxophonist Stephen Richard + Band

Host:
PJ
Outspoken Bean
2-Die-4

at AvantGarden
411 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006
Btw Taft and Whitney

Well, if you are a romantic and a fool in love or just want a chance to get your hands on some intense art and poetry, then look no further: 

ART & VERSE - 

You can join in on an intimate event highlighting the talented work of Lizbeth Ortiz and the lovely words of my better half, Jasminne Méndez(I never introduced her to you guys, did I? OOPS.) Check out her blog and Lizbeth's website. They are highly remarkable artists and our event ART & VERSE gives them the opportunity to shine. 
Not only will you get a chance to hear and see the art and the poetry, you will get a chance to take a part of it home with you, as both ladies have collaborated to create a set of postcards, one side depicting Lizbeth's work and the other, a poem specifically written for the image. Kinda neat, yes?  Here are the details: 

Saturday, February 16th, 2013 ( very Valentine's Day-ish)
2:00pm - 4:30pm @ Casa Ramirez FOLKART Gallery - 241 West 19th St., Hou,TX 77008
Light snacks and drinks to be provided, courtesy of Casa Ramirez

This next part is really me, trying to get YOU, to support Latino Cinema. No, for real, please support Latino Cinema. Point Blank. There are amazing stories that need to be told. OUR stories need to be told (soapbox ends) and only we can make that happen, so SUPPORT!!  Here is a classic that if FINALLY being brought to the screen: 

BLESS ME, ULTIMA by Rudolfo Anaya. Its an amazing book. A controversial text (¿Por que? - Sabra Dios) that has finally come to the big screen. 

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So this last week, I had the honor of getting a sneak peak of the film - y fue  espectacular. The seats were packed, the audience entranced and the mood was right. So, if you are a fan of Mexican American Literature (or read the book once, a looooooong time ago), love images of mysticism, and tender period pieces, then please, please, go support this movie. You can see the movie preview below:

The film opens February 22nd NATIONWIDE, asi es que agarra tu gente, tus amigos y vamonos al cine.

OK, so with all that coming through, I think this is where I get to tell you a little bit about what I have been up to (aside from readings and stuff).  Lately, poetry/literary events have been keeping me busy for more than a month now and show no signs of stopping. I have just finished my commitment to Public Poetry - having served as one of the selection committee members for this past 2012-2013 year (if you want more info on that , take a look here ) and those readings have been sheer joy to attend. A new selection committee has just been organized and they are already choosing this next year's set of poets for the year. 
      Aside from that, I am with pad and pen constantly writing so I don't go crazy and still working on my MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing. So far, so good. I am now in my 4th class - Advanced Poetry Writing, with the wonderful Sasha Pimentel-Chacón and its kicking my ass. I think more so what's kicking me in the head is working toward a refinement of my poetics, my style and fine tuning my voice. - I am able to write for performance and for the page, but now, I think I am at a point where I want to see how I can intertwine and respect both forms. I am up for the challenge and loving every minute of it. PLUS, its the first time in my educational career that I can say I am a 4.0 student (cross your fingers, that it stays that way, no me den mal de ojo, cabrones. 
          From there, I get to humbly work an incredible group of people with NUESTRA PALABRA: LATINO WRITERS HAVING THEIR SAY. It's been about 14 years since I started working with the group and man, its been an amazing experience. NOW, we get to take the work we do and talk to people about it!  So last year (close enough) we started the LIBROTRAFICANTE MOVEMENT , and now we just received an award - thw 2012 DOWNS INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM AWARD.  On top of that, in a week, we get to talk to students and faculty members at the NACCS TEJAS 2013 Conference about the experience and the insights gained in creating such community around banned books and bringing light to what's happening with Arizona's HB2281 (If you don't know, look it up). If you want to learn more about the conference, click here So far, so good . . . 

And now, I think I will leave you with an event to think about - I think I will always end with a tease of sorts, just to keep you coming back for more - if I get the details correct, this should be coming around Spring Break and on one night, both me and the wifey get to show our writing skills - love when dynamic arts meet :