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.