Acknowledgement: Beltway Poetry Quarterly

No SB1070 mural
Originally uploaded by Steve Rhodes

Now this is a nice start to the New Year.

Many thanks to all the folks at Beltway Poetry Quarterly especially Kim Roberts and guest editor Francisco Aragón for including me in their latest issue. The fact that this is a special issue dedicated to the Floricanto in DC: A Multicultural Response to SB1070 makes it an even greater honor and lessens the sting of not being able to actually participate in last year’s AWP event due to bad weather. Now, thanks to the power of text and imagination, I can share a virtual stage with some voices that I deeply respect, am continually inspired by, and folks that I can even call friends.

For those of you who like to know the behind the scenes stuff–think Blu Ray commentary on the Poetry World–I gotta say I almost missed the cut on this issue and only thanks to the gracious prodding of Francisco Aragon was I able to get in. So why did that happen?

It wasn’t because I didn’t want to be in the issue but I honestly didn’t think I had anything to contribute that would honor the spirit of the publication. I have some good poems that don’t yet have a publishing home but I wasn’t just going to contribute the next poem in my queue but add something to not just be another voice. Especially since I don’t write a lot of response poems and only have one poem specific to SB1070.

Finally I decided to submit a poem that’s been on my blog since it’s been written, “the ice worker lives,” a cento written during the reading party for In the Grove #16, celebrating the life of and work of Andrés Montoya. If there is any poem that I’ve written that speaks about the injustice of a law like SB1070, it would be this poem that gathers the voices of all these speakers who by their words and actions stand against the idea of any legislation that would disrespect familia in any way.

Enough behind the scenes mess, please head over to Beltway Poetry and enjoy the gathering of poems that speaks against SB1070 and stands for poetry and its power of change.

Audio: CantoMundo 2011 Fellows Reading

CantoMundo 2011

Many thanks to Brenda Nettles Riojas of Corazón Bilingüe for this awesome clip of the CantoMundo 2011 Fellows Reading.

It was a real pleasure co-hosting this event with Amalia Ortiz and presenting the diverse work of all our fellow poetas to a packed house at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin. Looking forward to hearing the next part of the clip with the rest of the fellows.

For those keeping score at home, you can hear me read “Barry Bonds on the Witness Stand” at the 10:43 mark quickly followed up by Diego Báez doing a cover of my poem, “I’m Jus Askin.”

Photo Credit: The Center for Mexican American Studies

Acknowledgment: Generations Literary Magazine

More good news, folks! Many thanks to Kiala Givehand and all the folks at Generations Literary Magazine for including “Epistle to Kool Herc,” “Eulogy,” “Tribute,” and “Ode to My Clyde Pumas” in their second issue—Influences.

All these poems come from NaPoWriMo 2010 and are all special to me as they capture the spirit of hip-hop poetics that emerged from last year’s April poems.

Generations will be available in the next few weeks but you can be the most mac of all macs if you pre-purchase your copy now. Hit up this link for info on how you can be the first on your block with the new hotness.

Still on the fence? Peep the list of contributors and know this issue will be live when it hits.

Generations Literary Magazine: Issue Two

INFLUENCES: In this issue, we will explore what influences us. From role models to music to money. What influences your life? Your decisions? How have you been influenced by others? Are most of your influences from the generations before you or from your peers? What influences have you had on others?

Often, we are influenced by people, places, and events that we don’t realize until well after our interaction. We want to hear about the experiences that have shaped your life.

In keeping with the overall theme of the journal, we’d love to hear/see how other generations have influenced you. From one generation to the next, we impact and affect one another. We learn from or resist the influence of those before us. And whether we choose to or not, we also influence the generations behind us.

Your ideas and images can represent your neighborhood or the globe. You can share what is private or public, individual or universal. We want to see & read how you interpret the theme INFLUENCES.

This is a conversation — we are waiting to hear your voice.

• Elmaz Abinader
• Oscar Bermeo
• Cynthia Blank
• Michelle Brulé
• Aichlee Bushnell
• Valentina Cano
• William Cass
• Pam Carriker
• Macy Chadwick
• Kevin M. Chopson
• Emma Shaw Crane
• Lauren Crux
• Dave Davis
• Rick D’Elia
• Pat Falk
• Elizabeth Fishel
• Myrah Fisher
• Trina Gaynon
• Alisa Golden
• Becky Joy Hirsch
• Linda Lee Jaffe
• Samuel Levi Jones
• Kathamann
• Barbara Leon
• J.H. Martin
• Matt McGee
• Erica Minton
• George Northrup
• Tess Patalano
• Willie Perdomo
• Leah Piepzna-Samarasinha
• Samuel Sattin
• Katey Schultz
• M.E. Silverman
• Mica Valdez
• Amy Watkins
• July Westhale
• Christopher Woods
• Interview with Rachel McKibbens

Acknowledgment: The Acentos Review

Many thanks to poetry editor Raina Leon for including poems from my 2nd manuscript in the latest issue of The Acentos Review.

The poems included are from NaPoWriMo 2009 and it felt good to pull them off the shelf, read them with fresh eyes and revise them for Acentos. The poems are definitely a departure from the work in Anywhere Avenue as they have a more darker, serious tone dealing with an imagined mythos. Now that they’re out in the world, I will be definitely including them in future readings.


Acknowledgment: The Rumpus Poetry

“Let the wild rumpus start!”

Actually, it’s been going on for a minute at The Rumpus with some of the best writing on writing on the web and I’m honored to be down with that. I’m extra thrilled at the fact that they chose “Ode to Government Cheese” as part of their National Poetry Month Celebration. It’s one of my favorite poems because it encapsulates so much of what I want Anywhere Avenue to do, give insight and personal perspective to growing up in the Bronx on the underside of Reaganomics while maintaining integrity and, always, a sense of humor. It also allows for some interesting conversations with folks who also remember what it was like to have that ole block of cheese staring back at them on the meal plate.