Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cinco de Mayo on Tres de Mayo

When life gives you Cinco de Mayo on a Tuesday, you celebrate on the preceding Sunday.

With this in mind, I am delighted to say that I will get to be a small part of the upcoming
17th annual National Cinco de Mayo Festival on May 3 from noon to 6 p.m. on the National Mall near the Washington Monument. (You can't miss it, seriously.)

At 1 p.m. and 2 p.m I will be reading The Best Mariachi in the World/El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo at the Children's Pavilion and Crafts ARea and giving away a few copies after each time slot. There will also be performances by the Maru Montero Dance Company, the host of the events, as well as other dancers and musicians and additional activities. Food from Mexico and other Latin American countries will be on sale (cash only), and I think it's fair to say that there will be sombreros. What's not to like?

This is a rain-or-shine event, so the weather will not disrupt our plans.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Poetic Voices Without Borders 2: The Reading

At some point, and without my having been consulted, April was chosen as National Poetry Month.

Thus every April for about the past 15 years or so I have been sitting around thinking "Okay, another National Poetry Month is here. Where's my cut?"

This year I can't complain, as I actually get to participate in an event tied in with National Poetry Month. The announcement goes like this:

On Thursday, April 23, 2009, at 7 PM the Arlington Arts Center will host a special reading in celebration of Poetry Month with the following poets: Luis Alberto Ambroggio, Naomi Ayala, Mel Belin, Jody Bolz, Ye Chun, Teri Ellen Cross, Patricia Garfinkel, Peter Klappert, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, C. M. Mayo, Judith McCombs, E. Ethelbert Miller, Miles David Moore, Richard Peabody, Kim Roberts, Blake Robinson, M.A. Schaffner, Gregg Shapiro, J. D. Smith, and Robert L. Giron who will read from the anthology and their current work.

The voices found within these pages are passionate and enlightening while echoing a desire in their own way to transform, to change, to transcend borders, be they personal, cultural or national, in a poetic manner as if to say that within literature there isn’t a border for the human spirit, for it is that energy that keeps us going.

In Celebration of Poetry Month
and the Release of Poetic Voices Without Borders 2
Thursday April 23, 2009 at 7 PM
The Arlington Arts Center
3550 Wilson Blvd. (across from the Virginia Square Metro stop)
Arlington, VA ~ 703.248.6800
In addition to Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, I plan to bring for sale a few copies of my second collection, Settling for Beauty, as well as display copies of The Best Mariachi in the World/El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo.
With a lineup like this, there should be something for everyone.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Message from Our Friends at RIF

Since the people of Reading Is Fundamental were kind enough to give away so many copies of The Best Mariachi in the World/El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo recently, the very least I can do for them is to spread the word about the 2009 Read with Kids Challenge, which began on April 1 and continues until June 30. Participants in the challenge are encouraged to log the amount of time they read with children, and the goal for participants nationwide is to record a total of 5 million minutes of reading, with chances to win a variety of prizes.

The link above and the illustration below will explain this better than I can.

People can even form reading teams in support of their favorite authors. Now there's an idea.

Discover the joy of reading with kids.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Anarchy in the Pre-K! (Now with Pictures)

Visit accomplished! I have proof, thanks to Chris Clardy of the Brooksfield School.

And on the morning of April 1 there were indeed sombreros, one full-sized and another, too small even for the kids, that could maybe fit a very patient guinea pig or rabbit.

There were two sessions. The first was with what I was told were 57 or 58 three to five-year-olds. They are very small and move fast, so I wasn't able to count them myself. The second was with about two dozen six to eight-year-olds, who aren't as small but move even faster.
I have two appearances scheduled in May, which I'll discuss soon, and tomorrow I plan to post a message from our friends at Reading Is Fundamental.
Until then, I welcome your guesses as to what I am holding in my right hand in the last picture.

Friday, April 3, 2009

FESTIBA and The Best Mariachi in the World on Rasco from RIF Blog

It's a blog world, after all. It's a blog world after all . . .

You get the idea.

Rasco from RIF, the blog of Reading Is Fundamental CEO Carol H. Rasco, has a post right here about Community Day in South Texas on March 28 at FESTIBA, held at the University of Texas-Pan American in McAllen. The video slide show here provides an overall sense of what went on, including pictures of children looking over their own copies of The Best Mariachi in the World.

I knew that RIF was giving away a fair number of copies, but I had no idea how many. As it turned out, RIF gave away more than 1,000 copies of The Best Mariachi in the World to kids and their families.

I hope that a great many niños y niñas are enjoying the book, perhaps even as I am writing these words.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Anarchy in the Pre-K!

The headline's a bit of an exaggeration, but some of you will enjoy the reference.

More literally, yesterday was my first school visit in support of The Best Mariachi in the World/El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo. Brooksfield School in McLean, Virginia, a Montessori school for pre-K to third grade students, hosted me for most of the morning.

We read and shared the bilingual and Spanish-language versions of the book, and students heard several tracks from a two-disc collection by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán that my wife Paula Van Lare bought for me in time for the appearance. The upper-level students danced for a few minutes, and both groups had some fun with show and tell and Spanish vocabulary.

Pictures and further details are forthcoming and, to paraphrase the title of a recent film, there will be sombreros.