Archive for Poetry

Cover Reveal & Pre Order of 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

First Look Cover Wrap of Xánath Caraza’s “Corta la piel/It Pierces the Skin” Now Available for Pre-Order

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.

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

 

Pre-order… 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 

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 Poetry 2020 Forthcoming Authors

  • 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

FlowerSong Books takes submissions all year long. We have a quick response rate. Send manuscripts to flowersongbooks@gmail.com

We are currently reading poetry for 2021, prose, short stories, and novels for Winter 2020 and beyond

Pre-Order… Coatlicue Girl A Bilingual Collection of Poems and Stories by Gris Muñoz

Foreword by 

   Luis Alberto Urrea  

Tonantzin in El Paso

I first became aware of Gris during my many visits to El Paso related first to my books about The Saint of Cabora. My tia, Teresita. I hung out with the Byrds, of Cinco Punto Press, and my friend Benjamin Saenz. Crawled cemeteries and Segundo Barrio. Shopped for curandera herbs in Juarez. Then came back to write about the town for various publications.  

At the height of the narco depredations across the river, Gris appeared in my inbox. 

Having come up amidst the Chicano revolutionary days, a time when we were all seemingly a familia, we all worked on mad projects and world-saving Quixotadas, and nobody was ever formal with each other, I fell right in with her. Esta Gris seemed to believe, like I still do, that it is 1977 and we are all together saving the Raza and the country. She reminded me of all the homies and warriors I knew then

–Alurista, Angela de Hoyos, Ricardo Sanchez, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Rudy Anaya. You can fill in the blanks: pick any santa or santo who stood up and cried out for us.

Although she was discreet about her output, I slowly became aware of her writing, and of her dreams. And I was thrilled when the many words she was crafting and sharing in anthologies and journals coalesced into this first book. It is a vivid, wind-swept thing, this ritual. Multi-lingual, woven with faiths that are ancient and various and somehow one. Feminist, ancient, sophisticated and fervent. Gris moves from poetry to prose and back again. Like so many great Chicana scriptures laid down in our pasts, this is an announcement of arrival and a crie de coeur.

But let us never forget it is also a crie de guerre.  

This is the border, cabrones, the mero desierto. This is Apache blood in the veins. This is a dancer and a poet and a healer talking. A rock and roll curandera with a syncretistic religious heart. Tossing off chains as she goes.

I soon started to recognize Gris. I started to see the same spirit that moved in Teresita, La Santa. And the medicine women who taught me their secrets so I could write my books. That’s when I started calling her Tonantzin.

So happy this immense journey has begun. May many travel with you, hermanita.

L.A.U.

Chicago c/s

Now Available: Mowing Leaves of Grass by Matt Sedillo

“Matt Sedillo is stone-cold the best political poet in America. Every wildly inventive line is the snap of a switch-blade. Forget the pretentious toffs who poetize for the NPR crowd. Sedillo is Vengeance — the one we’ve been waiting for.” 

—Greg Palast, Author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and recipient of The George Orwell Courage in Journalism Award

$17.00 includes shipping. Order your copy today!

Events & Readings with FlowerSong author jo reyes-boitel

upcoming events

  • November 1 : Panelist at Mundo Zurdo Conference (full program here), Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
  • November 15, 6pm : Reading at Bella la Brew, presented by Aransas County Poetry Society, Rockport, TX
  • December 1, 3pm : Annual Peace Market at Esperanza Peace & Justice Center
  • December 7, 6pm : Sound Museum SATX, featuring new music, spoken word, and digital art, MBS Southtown, 1115 S Alamo. Presented by Darren Ryan | No Reality TV, San Antonio, TX
  • January 2020 : details to come, opening for Wendy Barker, Twig Bookstore, San Antonio, TX
  • February 27-29, 2020 : Panelist at Peoples Poetry Festival, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX
  • March 6, 2020 : AWP off-site reading, Queer poets at Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, San Antonio, TX