Archive for Poetry

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

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

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

First Look: Cenzontle/Mockingbird: Songs of Empowerment

Forthcoming title from Daniel Garcia Ordaz. Coming April 2018.

A code-switching collection of diverse poetic forms, styles, and personas celebrating the dynamics of the human voice & spirit. Daniel García Ordaz, the Poet Mariachi, the author of You Know What I’m Sayin’?, encourages readers to perform the text aloud, such as his adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet.” A polyglottic exhibition of empowerment through performance. Influenced by and dedicated to the memories of Maya Angelou and Gloria E. Anzaldúa.

First Look : Chicano Blood Transfusion

Forthcoming from Edward Vidaurre in March 2018.

Sometimes the grind of life in modern America sucks Latin@s dry: between the daily micro-aggressions and institutional racism, la gente find themselves drained of that essential chispa. At times like those, we need a Chicano blood transfusion like the one Edward Vidaurre injects straight into our souls in his most recent collection. So just lean back and let yourself be guided through the graffitied recesses of our collective barrio by one of the most important poets of deep South Texas, whose unique voice blends street, Beat, form and striking breadth.

 

First Look: Transplant

Transplant cover full

Forthcoming later this month, Transplant by Shirley Rickett.

Where is home? Mostly in the mind and spirit. If we visit a place where once we lived, it’s the memories crowding in that take us back, not the plaster and brick. Moving is in our DNA, even if we have lived in the same place for years. The wood and glass changes because we change. In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard says that all inhabited space bears a notion of home, and that an entire past comes to dwell in a new abode. Transplant explores these themes of change and loss, and aging, and more. It seeks to carry out what Bachelard calls the function of poetry: “to give us back the situations of our dreams.”

First Look: Unwoven

Unwoven cover final

Forthcoming from Erika Garza-Johnson, Unwoven.