Back in the Bay

it’s been almost two weeks since i’ve been in berkeley for more than 24 hours…3 cities in two weeks. am back tho & catching up with emails & blogging. how is everyone out there? what’s new in the po-blogging world? here are some cool things that came across my e-desk:

1) Achiote Press answers two questions at the Poetry Foundation Blog (Thanks Barbara!). if you like achiote press, please go leave a comment over there.

2) back room live edited by oscar bermeo. i love his intro:

Oscar Bermeo: Whenever I say poetry the next work that leaps right into my head is community.  There’s no way around it for me.  I know that writing is a very solitary act and that no one can come in and write the poem for you but that’s only where the poetry starts.  Or maybe not, maybe the poem–even for the most reclusive of writers–begins in community as well.  In some form of sound, experience or thought that has made some connection with that writer, and, from that connection, the desire to make another connection.

I’ve been told this is a very idealized vision of poetry.  That poetry is a business–the grind of publication, the staunchness of the workshop, the hustle of live readings, the deadly serious pursuit of authenticity.  Yes, all those things are part of the rigor of poetry and they should never be taken lightly. But what about the joy of opening your circle of poetics?  Finding new audiences and encountering different poetic viewpoints?

The poets presented here believe in the value of community.  All the poems here happen in the wild open air with interactions as varied as Radiohead in Venezuela, a trip on the Bx1 in the Bronx, communion with the dead, and conversations with God.  These poems bristle against the unexpected, invite conversation and (in my idealized world) spread out to create connections with their poetry.


3) the next PAWA reading!!!

It’s that time again! Writers Justin Chin, Sarah Gambito, and Marianne
Villanueva will be reading at the next PAWA Arkipelago Reading Series
event. Musical guests are Myrna del Rio and Bo Razon!

Please join us for the next reading in the PAWA Arkipelago Reading Series

Where: The Bayanihan Center 1010 Mission Street @ 6th Street, San Francisco

When: Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Who: Writers Justin Chin, Sarah Gambito, and Marianne Vilanueva.
Musical guests Myrna del Río and Bo Razon.

This event is free and open to the public!

Justin Chin is the author of three books of poetry and three books of
essays. His most recent poetry collection, Gutted (Manic D Press),
received the Publishing Triangle’s 2007 Thom Gunn Award for Poetry.

Sarah Gambito is the author of the poetry collections Delivered
(Persea Books) and Matadora (Alice James Books). Her poems have
appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review,
Denver Quarterly, The New Republic, Field, Quarterly West, Fence and
other journals. She is Assistant Professor and Director of Creative
Writing at Fordham university and co-founder of Kundiman, a non-profit
company that promotes Asian American poetry.

Marianne Villanueva has published three collections of short fiction:
Ginseng and Other Tales from Manila (Calyx Press) Mayor of the Roses
(Miami University Press) and The Lost Language (published 2009 by
Anvil Press of the Philippines). She has been shortlisted for the O.
Henry Literature Prize and nominated for the Pushcart. Most recently,
she was a finalist for the 2009 Annual Donald Barthelme Fiction Prize.
Her recent work has been published in The Chattahoochee Review, Cafe
Irreal, The Santa Fe Writers Project, Isotope and The White Whale

Singing in English, Spanish, and French, Myrna Del Rio is a
show-stopping singer capable of delivering heart-felt ballads,
boleros, and blues that really swing. She was a featured vocalist in
renowned drummer Francis Clay’s band, Syncopation, and was also a
member of Domingo & Friends, a popular Rhythm & Blues and Soul band
led by Domingo Balinton. Ms. Del Río was featured in the 1st and 2nd
Annual Jazz Las Casas Festival and at the 3rd Annual Festival
Internacional de Jazz in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico in 2004 and
received rave reviews in the press.

Bo Razon completed Master Classes in Cuban Music and Folklore at the
Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana, Cuba in 1997. He has performed
with major international and local artists; given seminars, workshops
and clinics in Afro-Latin music theory and applications; written
numerous magazine articles and has written scripts and directed
programs and documentaries for television and public media. He
released a cd of original music in 1998 entitled “Biyahero” under BMG
Records Pilipinas.


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