Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Anthology Publication: Against Agamemnon

Yesterday's postal mail brought, along with returned poems and nondescript items, my contributor's copy of Against Agamemnon: War Poetry 2009, edited by James Adams and published by Waterwood Press.

My poem "Questions on Recruitment" appears alongside work by poets from the United States and other countries including the following:

Alex Cigale
Cyrus Cassells
Jean Hollander
Fady Joudah
Nicholas Samaras
The latter two, Mr. Joudah and Mr. Samaras, are Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize winners.
The work in the volume approaches present and past wars from a wide range of perspectives, including those of combatant, victim and bystander, but any summary fails to due justice to the complexity and force of the poems included.
Should you have encounter any difficulties in finding a copy, the press can be contacted at waterwoodpress_at_gmail.com (substitute @ for word in address).
I am grateful to Mr. Adams for including me in this solemn and necessary collection.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Page on Book That Poet!

As part of my ongoing attempt to place my name and work in every corner of the Internet, I have recently set up a page here on the site Book That Poet!

The creation of poet and versetrepeneur Shoshauna Shy, BTP is a handy listing of poets with sample poems, biographies, and the kinds of readings and other events they are willing to provide. I am the only Washington, DC poet listed so far, but that could change.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with fellow BTP poet Sarah Busse and fellow BTP poet and Wisconsin Poet Laureate Marilyn L. Taylor at the West Chester University Poetry Conference.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Two Poems on Shape of a Box and YouTube

Since a week or more can go without posts here, it's a little odd to post twice in one day, but things are funny. As it turns out, my reading of two poems "Spiral" and "Origin" went live today as Issue 35 of Shape of a Box, the video magazine of Folded Word Press. You can find the video on the Folded Word Press blog here. Thanks to editor Jessie Carty for selecting my work and for setting things up so that I could do the reading in one take.

You can also find the video on YouTube here.

The poems were recorded in Chicago during the 2009 Conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

More importantly, I hope you enjoy them.

Photographs from Book Expo America

The pictures from Book Expo America have arrived, and they can be found here. You can view the pictures as thumbnails or as a slide show. In either case, you can see a few copies of The Best Mariachi in the World/El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo on display, and you can see evidence that I traveled with my sombrero, as everyone should.

At Booth 718 in the Chilldren's Pavilion I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Raven Tree Press authors Tim Hoppey and Janice Levy, shown at their signings, and publisher Dawn Jeffers.

Promoting a book is much different than writing a book, but both offer their own pleasures.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Second Award for Mariachi

Book Expo America has brought more news than I initially realized.

On Thursday, May 28, the 11th Annual International Latino Book Awards, sponsored by Latino Literacy Now, were announced at the Javits Convention Center. As it turns out, the Spanish-language version of my children's book, El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo, was awarded second place in the Spanish Children's Picture Book category.

A list of the first-place, second-place and honorable mention books in all categories can be found here.

Since I am the writer and not the illustrator, this is really our book. Without Dani Jones and her vibrant, thoroughly researched illustrations, there would only be words in search of pictures.

The book's first award, announced in January, was being included among Críticas Magazine's Best Children's Books of 2008, as discussed here.

To state the obvious, I am very much enjoying this.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Book Expo America Report

Booth 718 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was very, very good to Gustavo and to me on the afternoon of Saturday, May 30. Before long there will be pictures to prove this.

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. I was scheduled to sign copies of the English-language version of The Best Mariachi in the World and help to display the Spanish-language and bilingual versions of the book.

There was only one problem--if you want to call it that. At 2 p.m. the time slot of the next author, Tim Hoppey, was beginning, and there were still patient people lined up. What could I do?

With help from Tim and from Raven Tree Press personnel I was able to move to another table and continue signing books until about 2:15, when we ran out, and I had to apologize to a very understanding woman who was left empty-handed.

This was intense, and I was starting to get hoarse from all the meeting and greeting, but it staved off my fear of sitting around and looking needy.

The fun didn't stop there. After walking my sombrero around the exhibition floor, I later joined, among others, publisher Dawn Jeffers, illustrator Pam Barcita, and authors Tim Hoppey and Janice Levy for dinner. There we discussed the day and how to keep its momentum going.

One topic arose that I haven't mentioned in this space until now, and this is online reviewing. For a small press, online reviews and word of mouth help to level the playing field with big publishers and blockbuster titles.

With that in mind, I invite those of you who haven't already done so to write reviews of one or more versions of The Best Mariachi in the World/El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo at the following online sellers:
I will add other online sellers as I find them, and I very much appreciate any buzz you can help to create.