DESPOJO by Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez Available for Pre-Order $19

Praise for Despojo


What Tatiana has done with Despojo is pure delight! She offers home, love, peace and healing. Her heritage woven into each line, sharing her roots and the wisdom from her ancestors. With each poem, she tells a story with a quiet yet bold flare that only she possesses. Masterfully written and a complete gem is this masterpiece!

—C. Thomas, Poet & Author of Bernard’s Bedroom

Despojo waters us with a conversation of identity Caribeños know all too well. A refreshing exploration of both wanting to belong and tracing back all that makes us feel seen. This collection reminds us that it is in the
shedding of skin that we learn to mend.

—Melania-Luisa Marte, Poet & Author of Mela

Despojo is a testament to so many things: the pain and healing in the aftermath of sexual violence, the lineages Tatiana honors and writes within, the fact that love is a verb. The poems in Despojo carry an impossible
amount of compassion for their subjects. I learn from Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez the act of staying put and just looking; she is a poet deeply invested in witnessing her family and ancestry, in writing with an uncompromising
eye towards balancing the truth and the turmoil. She never turns away. I am so lulled by her language, which is so skillful it has a spine. Flowers dot the pages, the air becomes thinner and sweet with molasses. Do yourself a favour and learn what it really means to trace lineage, to write with strength towards people who have hurt you, to stand and carry an entire
history on your shoulders.

—Nancy Huang, Author of Favorite Daughter

Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson’s “She Lives in Music”

Andrea’s new collection She Lives in Music (FlowerSong Books, 2020)

“I am such a fan of Vocab’s powerful voice and visions.” 

-Naomi Shihab Nye, Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate

“When you enter this temple of rhythm Vocab has so masterfully constructed, you best bring your dancing shoes. She has perfected a style of free-verse that tours through the senses like a band: beating like a drum, wailing like a trumpet, thumping like a bass, casting a spell only the truest jazz artists can conjure.”  -Charles “EasyLee” Peters 

“Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson is the “remix” and the mystery; the “edible melody” and the bass thump; the original and the new version of her own profound song.   Rhythm and sound, “4 beats to a measure,” read these poems for they will answer you in music.”

-Octavio Quintanilla, San Antonio Poet Laureate, 2018-2020

Xánath Caraza’s “Corta la piel/It Pierces the Skin” Now Available

Xánath Caraza’s “Corta la piel/It Pierces the Skin” is a remarkable collection of prose poems in which we see the conjuring poet fearless enough to take us through personal, political and geographical terrains.  The poems are muscular meditations on rage, powerlessness, love, and ultimately the sanctity/sanity of poetry.  The title fits into the visceral world filled with the
paradoxes of beauty and violence that Caraza is famous for: the fierce loneliness of the New York city trains over the Hudson, Violeta (the Salvadoran speaker, the figure who is observed, the writer who is writing the poem) discerns the full moon as “Icy, splendid, silvery white.”  In
one of her most poignant political poems, we encounter the disappeared forty-third student from Ayotzinapa who sees “The stars in the heavens were shining like never before” while his mouth is “buzzing with flies.” Another poem, “Our Sons and Daughters,” captures the heartbreaking evil of separating children from their parents at the border.  Water becomes an ever increasing trope throughout as we move from New York to Lisbon to Athens, an element essential for survival as poetry itself, the poet’s “liquid words” joining the river of memory.  They “flow on placid waters.  They sway back and forth in her mouth.”  Xánath Caraza is one of the most courageous Latina poets writing today. The “silent voice of dawn gallops” towards something framed in hope, and Caraza’s poems leave you light headed, sorrowful, yet empowered.


—Helena Maria Viramontes 

This is a book of beautiful, poetic images of loneliness, grief and emptiness. The persona of Violeta tells of a violent childhood of abandonment and impossible love via her travels in New York, Portugal, and Greece. For Violeta, only ink remains; only ink is indelible. Translator Sandra Kingery and her team of students have produced smooth, faithful translations that carry all of the sorrow of Caraza’s originals.

—Don Cellini
poet / translator
Piedra poemas / Stone Poems

Pearl, by Tom Murphy

Praise for Pearl

The poetic canvas of Pearl is as vast as the poet’s extensive learning.  The thrust of the book is a series of achingly poignant poems about the poet’s early life in California.  Gifted with a prodigious memory for detail
and an expansive heart, Murphy probes a litany of seminal life events including rebelliousness, drug and alcohol abuse, friendship, intellectual inquisitiveness, creativity, suicide, loss, and human sensuality, and he
does so with extraordinary emotional honesty and courage.  The stinging “bite” of these poems will remain with the reader long after the poems are read.

 
-Larry D. Thomas is a Member, Texas Institute of Letters and the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate

Pearl is both an amazing piece of work and very difficult to read.  It cuts, as Murphy puts it; “cleaner than Ockham’s Razor stored under a glass pyramid.”  The tragedy of a young man’s life is depicted so matter of
fact, it allows the reader distance. Then it creeps back, to blindside you, when you put it down. A collection of writing so large you will never forget it. 


-Michelle Hartman’s poetry books, Disenchanted and Disgruntled & Irony and Irreverence among others. She is the former editor of Red River Review. 

Tom Murphy casts a broad net in this collection and trains a sharp eye on his catch, as varied as it is bountiful.  Calling to mind the struggles of Tobias Wolff and A. J. Dubus III, Murphy carefully examines his harrowing boyhood, the corrosive effects of drug culture, urban blight and political dysfunction, the saving grace of mentors, his later roles as poet, scholar, teacher, traveler, husband and father, his wry encounters with Eugene Ruggles and Charles Bukowski.  Use of form and tone varies too, from haunting elegies, luxuriant prose poems and stream-of-consciousness meditations to sonnets, muscular villanelles and blistering social criticism:  “You want to bring your guns to my class?/….When the OK Corral breaks out, I’ll be yelling, ‘Kiss my ASS!'”  His poems rise above confession and protest, though, to touch resounding chords of love and loss, despair and redemption.  In his full-throttle search for the sacred, Tom Murphy ultimately maps the genome of the human heart, leaving readers the richer for his quest.

-Carol Coffee Reposa 2018 Texas Poet Laureate

Pearl is a love poem to a specific time and place: Barron Park, California in the decade before 1975. Refusing pure sentimentality like all the best love poems, Murphy depicts place, people, and culture, warts and all. The
reader is immersed in a community through a poetics that is expansive in scope, detailed in description, and sizzling in sonics. Written by a poet who admits to being “sardonic, sarcastic, and unsatisfied,” Murphy’s perfectly-pared lines and often luscious imagery invite us to explore lives lived fiercely.

-Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Oklahoma State Poet Laureate and author of What I Learned at the War.

Tom Murphy grew up in Barron Park, an unincorporated section of Palo Alto, CA. Murphy first published poems and fiction in 1986. Winner of the Charles Gordone award in both poetry and fiction. Murphy’s books & CDs: American History (Slough Press, 2017), co-edited Stone Renga (Tail Feather Press, 2017), chapbook, Horizon to Horizon (Strike Syndicate, 2015), CDs “Live from Del Mar College” and “Slams from the Pit” (BOW Productions, 2015, 2014). Murphy is Langdon Review’s 2020 Writer-In-Residence. Murphy is a committee member of the Corpus Christi People’s Poetry Festival. He teaches at Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi.

Codex of Love: Bendita ternura

Estos son poemas sin el qué dirán, sin censura, sin vergüenza, uncensored, unbottoned, unapologetic, nadando naked entre los muchos mundos que habitan las mujeres, ardiendo de azufre y volcanes, envuelta en hojas de maíz y de plátano, dando saltos mortales entre el aquí y el allá, y ese vientre fértil de por medio.


These are poems sin el qué dirán, sin censura, sin vergüenza, uncensored, unbuttoned, unapologetic, swimming desnuda between the many worlds women inhabit, blazing of sulphur and volcanoes, wrapped in corn husks and banana leaves, somersaulting between here and allá, and that fertile womb in between.

—Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

Codex of Love: Bendita ternura es una examinación del cuerpo, las raíces, la familia y los espacios compartidos. A través de un texto lírico bilingüe que derrumba fronteras —reales o imaginarias— Valenzuela se sitúa en un espacio abierto en y alrededor de México y Estados Unidos.

Codex of Love: Bendita ternura is an examination of body, roots, family, and shared spaces. Through lyrical bilingual text that collapses borders—real and imagined—Valenzuela situates herself in the open space in and between Mexico and the United States.


—Sehba Sarwar, author of Black Wings

De por debajo del peso de la vida, los poemas de Valenzuela habitan un lugar “a la merced de las estrellas”. Invocando lo metafísico y lo corpóreo, y la vastedad del cosmos, sus poemas giran alrededor de los deseos más urgentes de la vida. Tiemblan como sobresaltados al ser despertados.

From under the weight of life, Valenzuela’s poems dwell among “the mercy of stars. Invoking the metaphysical and corporeal, and the spaciousness of the cosmos, her poems circle life’s most urgent desires. They tremor as if startled after being awoken.


—Diana Marie Delgado, author of Tracing the Horse

La canción de Valenzuela se ofrece al lector en cinco secciones que difieren en tono y tema de poemas eróticos a poemas en prosa que exploran la maternidad y poemas en serie que indagan sobre la espiritualidad.

Valenzuela’s song is brought to the reader in five sections that differ in tone and topics from erotic poems to prose poems that explore motherhood and serial poems that delve into spirituality.

—Celeste Guzmán Mendoza, author of Beneath the Halo

La voz poética de Liliana Valenzuela es versátil, pero siempre fiel a las armonías y cadencias vitales, sensuales e imprescindibles entre corazón, físico y razón.
 
Liliana Valenzuela’s poetic voice is eclectic, but always faithful to the vital, sensual and essential harmonies and cadences between heart and body and mind.

—Lucha Corpi, author of Confessions of a Book Burner

ese golpe de luz by gabriel gonzález núñez

Prefacio
Gabriel González Núñez, escribidor

Este poemario existe por dos causas distintas pero entrelazadas. La primera es que, como todo aquel que escribe poesía, he leído muchos poemas en mi vida. Es natural que, de tanto leer a Neruda y Benedetti y Machado y tantos otros, vivos y muertos, quiera uno ensayar algo de todo eso. Así que cuando me puse a escribir utilicé las formas que conocía y que de un modo u otro me resultaban especialmente interesantes: el espacio expresivo del verso libre, la estética minimalista del haikú, la sonoridad rítmica del soneto y así sucesivamente.

 

El poemario es un reflejo de la vida de trotamundos improvisado que me ha tocado vivir. Tal vez por ello me he vuelto muy consciente de lo esencial que es la savia que sube por las raíces, lo complejo que resulta navegar las correntadas del mundo moderno y lo sobrecogedor que es buscar la trascendencia de la eternidad. Me gusta pensar que en este crisol de pasado, presente y futuro que somos existe una chispa divina que escapa todo entendimiento. Estos poemas son, entonces, unos torpes intentos por expresar distintos aspectos de eso que no se logra decir pero que todos intuimos.

 

Este mundo, que es el único que conocemos, tiene sus luces y sus sombras. Espero que el tiempo que cada lector le dedique a leer las páginas que siguen sea más de luz que
de sombra.

Noviembre de 2019
Brownsville, Texas, Estados Unidos

 

Codex of Love: Bendita ternura Poems by Liliana Valenzuela

Estos son poemas sin el qué dirán, sin censura, sin vergüenza, uncensored, unbottoned, unapologetic, nadando naked entre los muchos mundos que habitan las mujeres, ardiendo de azufre y volcanes, envuelta en hojas de maíz y de plátano, dando saltos mortales entre el aquí y el allá, y ese vientre fértil de por medio.

These are poems sin el qué diránsin censurasin vergüenza, uncensored, unbuttoned, unapologetic, swimming desnuda between the many worlds women inhabit, blazing of sulphur and volcanoes, wrapped in corn husks and banana leaves, somersaulting between here and allá, and that fertile womb in between.

—Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street 

Matthew Revert: A friend of FlowerSong Books. Look for new book covers featuring his art and graphic designs to feature on FSB.

book by Matthew Revert

About

Matthew Revert is a designer based in Melbourne, Australia who has gained prominence in the independent press and record label world for his creative designs. His design of different formats, including books, cassettes and LPs, for various clients ranging from independent presses to industry heavyweights such as Eraserhead Press, Thick and Vaney, Bizarro Pulp Press, Ampersand Press, Broken River Books, Lazy Fascist, Kye Records, Erstwhile Records, Slope Editions, Noemi Press, Civil Coping Mechanisms, Grindhouse Press and Dzanc, to name a few, has garnered him a strong following and a recognisable name. Sought for his unique style of design which often throws back to 60s and 70s era Penguin books, Revert’s work evokes a sense of nostalgia and harkens back to an untainted version of design. Known for a wide range of design styles and implementations, possibly his most popular signature is creating distressed, aged looks which can have even the trained eye believing the item in question to be well-thumbed and roughly treated by human hands and the inescapable ravages of time. His work ranges from purely digital design, to organic construction, to creation by hand and/or a careful symbiosis of multiple mediums to create eye-catching and idiosyncratic designs.

https://www.matthewrevertdesign.com/I-Took-My-Barrio-On-A-Road-Trip

Cover design by Matthew Revert
art by Matthew Revert

Boundless – The Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival’s Anthology for 2020 is now accepting submissions!

Boundless – The Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival’s Anthology for 2020 is now accepting submissions!

Boundless will be published as a perfect bound edition with an ISBN and will be available on amazon.com.  As always, poets do not have to register for or attend our festival in order to submit work for publication. A free copy of the anthology will be gifted to the included poets that are present at the Festival. Those anthologized poets not present, may request to receive a copy through the US mail however, shipping costs will be the responsibility of the poet.

Previous editions include poets from across the U.S., China, India, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Bangladesh, and England, Scotland, Ireland, etc.

Become a part of this exciting anthology!

GUIDELINES:

Submit up to three typewritten poems in a legible font. Poem may be on any topic, and any style—although visual/shape poems can be difficult due to margin restrictions, so please be sure that your poem fits or is formatted for a book of 6×9 dimensions. 

Poems may be in any language. (However, we ask for a translation if it is not in English.) Strict 35-line limit per poem, not including title and spaces. Only work submitted to this Submittable page will be accepted for consideration.

No previously published poems–or translations of previously-published poems–please, except from self-published chapbooks with limited distribution. DO NOT place your name or other identifying information on the poems themselves.  Please submit ONE document with your poems.

Add a cover letter that must include:

Your Name – as you wish to it appear on your published work.
The Title(s) of your poem(s), or the first line for an untitled poem.
E-mail address AND phone number.
A short bio – 50 words or less–  written in third person and
focusing on your life as a writer.

If you change your e-mail, please let us know immediately. 

A limited amount of perfect-bound copies of the anthology will be available for purchase at the anthology release event and potentially thereafter.

Youth Section Submissions Are Welcome from High School Students–Same Guidelines (Bio must denote Youth Submission)!

https://redearthproductions.submittable.com/submit/141884/rio-grande-valley-international-poetry-festival-boundless-anthology?fbclid=IwAR0UzcMmFGJqmggoqqZzvCQd4v5TAzABhNgIfdu1HKnYIFXxoh6ElcxjMyc

FlowerSong Books 2020-2021 Publishing Goals Fundraiser

FlowerSong Books nurtures essential verse from, about, and through the borderlands & beyond

Short Summary

FlowerSong Books nurtures essential verse from, about, and through the borderlands. The voices of those from Latin America,the U.S,A. and all over the world. We are Literary, Lyrical, Latino, and we welcome allies that understand and join in the voice of people of color and our struggle, truth, and hope.

We will publish novice, emerging, and established writers of short stories and poetry. We are open to submissions all year long and will make it a goal to have a rapid response to every submission. 

We will continue to work with the City of McAllen and the Poet Laureate Anthology Series to publish the voices f the Rio Grande Valley Youth of south Texas. In 2020, we will be publishing Volume 3 in the series.

We will also work with the local community to create free writing workshops for the community by paying authors to create workshop programs.

The money will help pay to create beautiful books by hiring artists that specialize in creating cover art and formatting skills. 

FlowerSong Books Poetry 2020 Forthcoming Authors

Dreaming: A Tribute To Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, edited by Odilia Galván Rodríguez

  • Dreaming: A Tribute To Selena QuintanillaPérez, edited by Odilia Galván Rodríguez
  • the most spectacular mistake you make, by Anatalia Vallez
  • Huelga, by Jessica Ayala
  • Ese golpe de luz, by Gabriel González Núñez
  • Despojo, by Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez
  • Codex of Love: Bendita ternura, by Liliana Valenzuela
  • Corta la piel / It Pierces the Skin, by Xánath Caraza
  • Pearl, by Tom Murphy
  • Screw The Wall, by Juan Perez
  • Notes from the Last Age, by José Chapa
  • No Way To Die, by Dario Beniquez
  • Yellow Eye Tea, by Diana Elizondo
  • Border Lust & Brujeria: Cantos Of A Tejano Beat Poet, by Hector Gomez
  • Driving into Black Mountains, by Sarah Joy Thompson

What We Need & What You Get

We had an aggressive 2019 and don’t plan on slowing down. We have our 2020 line-up set and are already looking into 2021 and beyond. Because the money to create all these come from just one source and income it sometimes slows the process. With your help we can continue with this important work and hire some help.

The Impact

The impact can be huge. We are already working with our youth in south Texas by way of the City of McAllen Poet Laureate Anthology Series going on its third year in 2020, and plan on working with Father Gregory Boyle and Homeboy Industries to provide literary workshops to Stand, Heal, and Invest in the Homeboys & Homegirls of Los Angeles. FlowerSong Books looks to spread across the nation and internationally, publishing stories and poetry of border poets across the world.  

Other Ways You Can Help

Spread the news about our campaign. 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flowersong-books-2020-2021-publishing-goals/x/22468421#/