to Holy Bronx

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I’m getting ready for my feature at Writers with Drinks tonight and I can’t remember the last time I was so nervous for a feature.

If you’ve been to a Writers with Drinks, then you know what I’m talking about. The energy is incredibly kinetic and the caliber of writers is always top notch so I’m feeling some serious pressure on what I should read. I can go with the set that I’ve been used to doing the last couple of readings or go with all new stuff. The way I’m talking about this, you’d think I was doing these same poems for five years or sumthin.

Segue: Watching the National Poetry Slam finals recently through live internet stream was a nice experience cuz even if I didn’t like the poems per se, I do appreciate the spirit of competition. What I didn’t appreciate was the asshattery in the chat room. Way too many internet jerks saying things you know they would never say in real life. But, one comment did crack me up, as a poet came up and did a poem they’ve been doing in competition for a long time, and one of the commentators types “This is their Stairway to Heaven!” And as someone who used to have his own Stairway to Heaven I cracked up. End segue.

Ok, time to really get ready and I do want to try to add at least one really new poem to the mix because I don’t ever want to be that poet that does all the same things at all the same places. Been there, when I was younger, and done with it. I know all the reasons poets do the “hits” all the time but I really don’t care if there is “at least one person” in the room who has never heard that poem before. You know, that poem guaranteed to change lives. What I most care about is that the only way I can write that poem—the one that if I’m extremely lucky might get remembered 100 years from now—is by writing new stuff.

Speaking of new stuff. Here’s the latest revision of a poem I started at Martín Espada’s CantoMundo workshop. There’s at least three good stories behind this poem but that’ll have to wait for latah. See ya at the Make Out Room!

The Neighborhood and Tenant Association of Tremont Avenue, The Bronx, Gather to Erect a Statue for Robert Moses

[Poem was here. Can now be found at CrossBronx.]

Acknowledgment: CrossBRONX

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Many thanks to editors Sonya Chung and Helen Dano for publishing “About B-Boys in the Boogie Down” and “In the City, you can’t help but think of God” in the inaugural edition of CrossBRONX.

Additional shout-out to Anthem Salgado for recording the audio clips that accompany the text to the poems. Thanks much, brother man.

New York Peeps: Tonight’s First Wednesdays Bronx Culture Trolley will be featuring readings of selected works by some of the first issue’s contributing writers. If you check it out, please let me know.

Welcome to CrossBRONX

Welcome to the inaugural issue of CrossBRONX, compiled and edited by the Bronx Writers Center’s 2008 Fellows Sonya Chung and Helen Dano. The task to create a new digital journal was an extraordinary accomplishment. But just as extraordinary are the poets, writers, and artists selected for the premiere edition. Each reflects the diversity of the Bronx as well as its future. The talent that comprises CrossBRONX is only a sample of what will be presented in future issues.

There’s a dramatic change in the Bronx -new artists, poets, critical thinkers, and cultural visionaries sharing their insights, hopes, and creative talents. I’m sure that this venture will continue the borough’s growth as an incubator for the new creative frontier.

CrossBRONX will be published three times a year, giving a variety of writers and visual artists the opportunity to share their work in a new media form.

Bill Aguado
Executive Director
Bronx Council on the Arts