Author Archive for FlowerSong

First Look: Tortured Barrio Songs

Reyes Cardenas, Chicano poet, has a new book out with FlowerSong Books. Tortured Barrios Songs is really not one book, but a trinity of three books, each tied to and adding to the understanding of the others. Cárdenas brings to bear, once again, his signature no-holds-barred humor, crossed with a stinging criticism of the injustices of being poor in America, something reflected sharply in all three sections of the book:

  • Andrés Sobaco, El Numbnuts, a flowing and painfully beautiful novel-in-verse set in the West Side barrios of San Antonio
  • El Ocho Patas, a darker, more philosophical and metaphorical tale of the man with eight legs
  • Canciones Desesperadas, a collection of poems unveiling the formative root experiences of the poet and other real people in his Vonnegut-style karass of a barrio

Together, they make a book both irreverent and yet somehow filled with respeto for life and the universe. The tender sacrileges with which he addresses God, or Christ, or La Llorona, remind us of a man whose tragedies have been so crushing that the hope within him has become even more persistent, and even more resilient.

la bloga interview with Odilia Galván Rodríguez

Odilia was recently interviewed about her newest book, The Color of Light, on la bloga.

First Look: Chicharra Chorus

Eddie Vega‘s Chicharra Chorus is, like its namesake, the ever-present South Texas cicada, a tiny but persistent witness, an almost unnoticed physical presence whose voice is long and lingering and leaves us haunted with the tragedies of everyday reality. Vega’s casual tone is deceiving. It bears an innocence and a gentleness that only hint at what lies deeper. These poems go down easy, like a cool agua fresca, but their ingredients are complex and powerful, ground in a homemade molcajete, fruit of heirloom seeds cultivated for centuries. This is a poet whose sensitivity to human suffering is draped gracefully in a finely tuned sense of humor. Vega’s poems demonstrate his ability to dance a humorous balancing act between two cultures and between the aching of our dreams and the chill of our realizations. Everyday life (and death) receive their tributes, in poems like There was no Carne Guisada, and a sci-fi voyage into the future, Ice Age, rings too true for comfort, and too ironic for us to not shiver at unending echoes of prejudice and immigrant exclusion. In true Vega style, he ends the collection with People of Olmos Park, every bit a joke, but true, where the punchline is dagger sharp. One cannot read Eddie Vega without sensing one’s compassion deepened, one’s heart more human.
– Carmen Tafolla, State Poet Laureate of Texas

Your Artsy Girl podcast interview with Jo Reyes-Boitel

FlowerSong author, Jo Reyes-Boitel, was interviewed by interdisciplinary artist Cristina Querrer for Your Artsy Girl.

Listen to their discussion around the development of her new book, Michael + Josephine, and creativity in the larger world.

First Look: Michael + Josephine: a novel in verse

Forthcoming from jo reyes-boitel.

“Michael + Josephine is the story of what every great love is—the clash of the everyday and the divine, the push and pull of what our lives demand and what our hearts long for, the hurt of everything we fight for and what we do not fight hard enough for. In these poems, jo reyes-boitel wields a pen that is feather light and scalpel sharp to dissect love, cauterize memory, and examine the unknowable.”

— ire’ne lara silva, author of Blood Sugar Canto and Cuicacalli/House of Song

Award Recipient: Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

FS Author Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros was awarded the 2019 Rubem Alves Award for Theopoetics by arts|religion|culture.

Congratulations, Carolina! You honor the FlowerSong Family.

First Look: Becoming Coztōtōtl

Forthcoming this month, Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros’ Becoming Coztōtōtl.

“Becoming Coztōtōtl is composed of eighteen poems that celebrate the forces that have made claims on us since the beginning of time: our bodies,our land, our families. Throughout these pages, Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros honors our children,our mothers, and our antepasados with a subtle lyricism that demands our attention.Read these poems. They are timely in their defiance of injustice, timely in their unfeigned compassion.”

— Octavio Quintanilla, San Antonio Poet Laureate and author of If I Go Missing

FlowerSong Books Pushcart Prize Nominations, 2018

FSB is pleased to submit the following FSB family nominations for the 2018 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. We are excited to have their excellence represent the press!

Daniel García Ordaz – En La Pulga and La Labor: Migrantes Del Valle

Valeria D’Lorm – Call Me By My Name

Fabiola Monserrat Salazar Garcia – One Piece, Please

Golbanoo Setayesh – My Name

Bella Vidaurre – Moving On

I Took My Barrio On A Road Trip (Second Edition) Now Available

Edward Vidaurre, FlowerSong Books’ publisher, is a driving forces behind the explosion of poetic and literary art coming out of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley region in recent years. This collection, published by Slough Press, offers a very personal and dynamic glimpse into the journey that brought both Edward’s poetry and his person to this point.

“I Took My Barrio on a Road Trip” is a tale of soul always searching; it is a story of a man that has found a home. It is a tale of a culture that exists anywhere you take your heart and your history. It looks to the future and it seeks to define itself in the ever-ending present.

I am not Chicano, but I have a brother in the pieces “Summer in El Salvador” and “The Bullet of ’91”. I did not grow up in the housing projects of Los Angeles , yet I share in the story of “Her Name was Maria”.
These poems each stand on their own merit and under their own power, but when taken together, this book becomes something greater than the sum of its parts. Divided into three, roughly chronological sections, exploring this collection leaves the reader with the feeling of having gotten to know a new friend, someone that CAN understand, because he HAS lived. Edward Vidaurre invites us all along as fellow travelers, knowing very well that we all are here to share the best and the worst life has to give us.

Buy this book of poetry, and if your travels every bring you to deep South Texas, do what you can to see Edward Vidaurre read, I promise, you will find a friend.

– PW Covington, Author of The Motor Hotels of Central Avenue: A Poetry Collection

Pick up this seminal text on Amazon. Or, get yourself to the RGV. The book – and the trip – are well worth it.

Called To Rise: Rio Grande Valley Youth Anthology (2018)

Here, from the caldrons of the South Texas borderlands, we behold the truth, many truths — made of desired love, family loss, “raspa stands,” the delight of art and the “Irony that Dreamers can’t dream,” as Golbanoo Sateyesh writes. And there is wisdom, as Luis E. Godinez provides, “Healing is the only rare face/ that needs to spread the news.” Yet, at the core of this dawn-eyed Río Grande Valley collection, we are checked by the heated question of our times —Valeria D. Lorm, unpacks the burn, “ Are you a Citizen of the United States?” To rise, to survive, to find the path of total being in teen zones where the fears of school shootings coexist with expansive possibility – these are the streaming elements that flourish in these poems. Let us salute each poet, each teacher and school, each familia and neighborhood for nourishing these poets busy with the creative tasks of re-imagining Texas and a nation undergoing critical change. Let us salute, Edward Vidaurre and Rodney Gomez, our City of McAllen Poet Laureates. A rare, most needed, and illuminating  set of heart-flamed and soul-chiseled verse — ¡Bravo!
     – Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States 2015-2017
Edited by Rodney Gomez and Edward Vidaurre.
Buy Your Copy on Amazon.