Sharing poetry at Alonzo De Leon Middle School's Fiesta De Lectura Family Literacy Night. Always happy to share the stage with my friend Daniel Garcia Ordaz. Especially if it's for our youth. Alonzo De Leon Middle School hosted a wonderul event inviting parents and their children to a festival promoting literacy. Here are some pics. There was a blackout for most of the reading part but blinds were open and we managed.
Pasta, Poetry & Vino is excited to announce two gems in the Houston literary scene as features. Welcome Jasminne Mendez and Lupe Mendez. This is our first double feature. The date will be in January of 2016.
Jasminne Mendez is a performance poet, actress, teacher and published writer. She captivates audiences through the passion and energy of her words and voice. Mendez has performed her poetry in venues all around Houston, including the MFAH, Rice and the Alley Theatre. She has shared the stage with respected writers and poets, notably, Sandra Cisneros and Taylor Mali. Mendez has been published both nationally and internationally and her first multi-genre memoir Island of Dreams was published by Floricanto Press in November of 2013. She is currently working on her second memoir Thick Skinned about living life with chronic illness. For more about her journey visit her blog: Chronic Brevity: Living with Scleroderma
Originally from Galveston,Texas, Lupe works with Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, the Word Around Poetry Tour and the Brazilian Arts Foundation to promote poetry events, advocate for literacy/literature and organize creative writing workshops that are open to the public.
Mendez has over fifteen years of experience as a performance poet - having opened up for such notable writers as Dagoberto Gilb, Oscar Casarez, Esmeralda Santiago and the late Raul Salinas. He has hosted several workshop series throughout Texas and shared his poetry across the country in places like the Holocaust Muesum (Houston,TX), the Mission Cultural Center For Latino Arts (San Francisco,CA) , the National Hispanic Cultural Center (Albuquerque,NM) and the Mexican American Cultural Center (Austin,TX). Lupe has served as a keynote speaker at colleges and universities such as Sam Houston State University, the University of Houston, Lone Star College, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Lee College in Baytown, TX. Lupe is an internationally published poet, in book and online formats, including Norton's -Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories From The United States and Latin America, The Bayou Review (University of Houston-Downtown), Flash (University of Chester, England)- the international forum for flash fiction, Huizache, the magazine of Latino literature, Luna Luna Magazine, La Noria, Glassworks and Revista Síncope (D.F., México). In 2012 Lupe was honored as one "Houston Press' Creative 100s" - a annual spotlight on the Houston Press blog site where 100 artists & arts supporters are featured throughout the year . Lupe, along with the rest of the Librotraficante organizers, was also awarded the 2012 Downs Intellectual Freedom Award for the defense of Mexican American Studies and literature across the Southwest United States. Lupe also served as Fiction and Poetry editor for the online literary journal - Drunken Boat - on the Librotraficante Portfolio for their 18th issue. As of 2014, Lupe was selected as a CantoMundo Fellow and continues to work on submissions, creating more writing workshop opportunities and continues to share his poetry with local high schools, colleges and community/arts centers.
Lupe's work reflects not only his roots in Texas and the Mexican state of Jalisco ( specifically, Atotonilco El Alto, San Jose del Valle, San Juan de los Lagos, Guadalajara, Los Cuates, La Pareja), it is also a comment on commonplace issues, struggles, moments and relevant ideas and images he is humbled to witness. Lupe remarks on issues from the political to the emotional in a way that intends to connect with both the novice reader to the pro poetic writer.
Pasta, Poetry & Vino picks up steam to end the 2015 season and get back into it in January with award winning author Victoria Garcia-Zapata Klein. Origins:
It all started with a poetry reading at a rooftop Caribbean restaurant in Mission, Texas. I was the last one to read in the open mic part of a stellar line-up that included feature Ire'ne Lara Silva and an amazing line-up of local poets that I have grown to respect and admire throughout the years. I still remember that day and how nervous I was, and how perfect it felt.
We are looking at getting workshops together with visiting and local poets, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, continued support of The Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival held every year in April, Poets in the schools, and more...
We celebrate our 5-Year Anniversary March 2016 with the hopes of releasing an anthology of past features and the local RGV family of poets and authors.
I see many events around the country that strive and have been going on for years and that inspires me. Poetry is alive and well in south Texas, and PPV is going to continue the tradition of getting our voices and words out to the community.
October 24, 2015 PPV welcomes featured author: Rossy Evelin Lima
Rossy Evelin Lima, linguist and translator. Her fist poetry book Ecos de Barro (Otras Voces Press) was recognized by the International Latino Book Awards 2014. Her second book Aguacamino/Waterpath is a bilingual poetry collection published by Mouthfeel Press. She received the Gabriela Mistral Award 2010 by the National Hispanic Honor Society. She was awarded the international poetry award Premio Internasionale di poesia Altino in Italy. The author has been published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines in Spain, Canada, USA, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Italy and Mexico and is also
included in the Antología de Poesía y Narrativa Hispanoamericana (2015 Madrid, Spain). Lima co-organizes the Sin Fronteras Independent Book Fest. The author presented at TEDx McAllen.
November Date TBD Soon PPV welcomes featured author: Cindy Williams Gutiérrez
Selected by Poets & Writers Magazine as one of the top ten 2014 Debut Poets, poet-dramatist Cindy Williams Gutiérrez draws inspiration from the silent and silenced voices of history and herstory. Her poetry collection, the small claim of bones published by Arizona State University's Bilingual Press, won second place in the 2015 International Latino Book Awards. Poems have appeared in Borderlands, Calyx, Harvard's Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México's Periódico de poesía, Portland Review, Quiddity, and ZYZZYVA, and have been anthologized in Basta: 100 Latinas Write on Violence Against Women (forthcoming, University of Nevada-Reno) and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse Press). Her poetry has also been exhibited in People, Places, and Perceptions: A Look at Northwest Latino Art at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington. Plays include Words That Burn which premiered at Portland's Milagro Theatre in 2014 to commemorate the William Stafford Centennial, Hispanic Heritage Month, and the rescindment of Executive Order 9066 (incarcerating Japanese-Americans in World War II), and A Dialogue of Flower & Song featured in the 2012 GEMELA (Spanish and Latin American Women's Studies) Conference co-sponsored by the University of Portland and Portland State University.
Along with a Wharton MBA and an MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Cindy earned an MFA from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast Program with concentrations in Mesoamerican poetics and creative collaboration. A passionate educator, she has taught poetry to K-12 youth through Methow Arts, the Portland Art Museum, the Right Brain Initiative, and Writers in the Schools as well as to adults through Literary Arts' Delve Seminars, the Oregon Council for Teachers of English, and the Stonecoast MFA Program. Cindy is a founder of Los Porteños, Portland's Latino writers' collective, and of Grupo de '08, a Lorca-inspired, Northwest collaborative artists' salon.
December Date TBD Soon PPV welcomes featured author: PW Covington
PW Covington has been a figure in the Texas Indie Lit scene since the 1990's. His work is inspired and fueled by the quest for social justice and the Beat tradition of the American highway. He has recently been published by UT-RGV's journal "riverSedge",WritingRaw.com, and Kool Kids Press in Portland, OR. "His new collection, "Sacred Wounds" is available from Slough Press." Covington is a Pushcart nominee, a 100% disabled veteran, and a convicted felon.
December 19, 2015 PPV welcomes featured author: Vincent Cooper
Vincent Cooper is a poet living in the Westside of San Antonio. He is a member of Macondo Writer's Workshop (2015) and his chapbook, Where the Reckless Ones Come to Die, was published by Aztlan Libre Press (2014). His poetry has been published in several zines, journals, and anthologies around the country. Cooper is currently working on a full manuscript of poetry.
January 2016 PPV welcomes featured author: Victoria Garcia-Zapata Klein
Victoria Garcia-Zapata Klein is a poet and activist from San Antonio's West Side. She is the author of three collections of poetry. The first book Peace in the Corazón (Wings Press 1999), won the Premio Poesia Tejana, Another Water Bug Is Murdered While It Rains In Texas (Wings Press 2009) and Te Prometo (Paloma Press 2015). Her poetry is included in the anthologies, This Promiscuous Light, Hijos del Quinto Sol and Penguin Press's first collection of Latina Poetry, ¡Floricanto Si! She's also been published in The Express-News, The Texas Observer, La Voz de Esperanza, as well as other literary journals. She studied in master classes in creative writing with Sandra Cisneros, Joy Harjo, Pat Mora, Gary Soto, Alurista and Martin Espada. Victoria has taught poetry through the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Jump-Start Performance Co. and Gemini Ink. She has taught high school drop outs and students in the drug rehabilitation program of San Antonio's juvenile detention center. She has been featured in The Express-News, The Current, Backbeat Magazine and on NPR. She was a member of the poetry performance group The Women of Ill Repute :Refute! She hosts Barrio Barista's Open Mic Poetry. Victoria lives and writes in the Art Deco District in San Antonio with her family.
Other Readings in the works: Readings by authors of the following collections:
¡Juventud! Growing up on the Border & Twenty: Poems in Memoriam
¡Juventud! Growing up on the Borderis an anthology of Young Adult short stories and poetry written by award-winning authors for Hispanic youth. Edited by René Saldaña, Jr., and Erika Garza-Johnson.
Borders are magical places, and growing up on a border, crossing and recrossing that space where this becomes that, creates a very special sort of person, one in whom multiple cultures, languages, identities and truths mingle in powerful ways. In these eight stories and sixteen poems, a wide range of authors explore issues that confront young people along the US-Mexico border, helping their unique voices to be heard and never ignored.
¡Juventud! features the work of David Rice, Xavier Garza, Jan Seale, Guadalupe García McCall, Diana Gonzales Bertrand, and many others.
Poets and artists joined together to create Twenty: In Memoriam--in response to the tragic school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. This poetry collection is an offering to the children, parents, families, and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and to the community of Newtown, Connecticut.
Poets and artists from across the U.S. humbly offer this anthology in hopes of providing a literary embrace in the face of tragedy, with works about loss and healing, fear and faith, love and hope—the hope that words have the power to strengthen the ties that unite us as Americans and as human beings with a shared sense of compassion and kindness that help us honor the past and give us the gumption to dare to move forward.
Edward Vidaurre, an emerging voice in Latino literature and Beat poetry. His work is forthcoming in The Beatest State in the Union: An Anthology of Beat Texas Writers and in Poetry Of Resistance: An Anthology Of Poets Responding To SB 1070 & Xenophobia. Vidaurre has also been published in other anthologies: Arriba Baseball!, and Juventud! and Boundless--the Anthology of the Valley International Poetry Festival 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and in literary journals, among them: La Bloga's On Line Floricanto, Bordersenses, RiversEdge, Interstice, La Noria Literary Journal, Harbinger Asylum, Left Hand of the Father, Brooklyn & Boyle--a newspaper published in East Los Angeles, his hometown. His first collection of poetry, I Took My Barrio On A Road Trip, (Slough Press) was published in 2013 and his second collection, Insomnia (El Zarape Press), was published in 2014. Beautiful Scars: Elegiac Beat Poems (El Zarape Press) was published in 2015. Conceived in El Salvador and born in Los Angeles, California, in 1973, Vidaurre is the founder of Pasta, Poetry, and Vino--a monthly open mic gathering of artists, poets, and musicians. He has been listed in Letras Latinas List of 2013 A Year In Poetry: a Weblog of the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame as well as La Bloga's On Line Floricanto Best Poems of 2013 (list of six poets). Vidaurre co-edited TWENTY: Poems in Memoriam, an anthology in response to the Newtown, CT, tragedy, and Boundless 2014: the Anthology of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He resides in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.