Winner of the inaugural
García Lorca Poetry Prize
I’m honored to share that that I’ve been selected by Ruben Quesada as the winner of the inaugural García Lorca Poetry Prize for an Emerging Latinx Poet. The prize includes an invitation to read at the Unamuno Poetry Festival in Madrid, a two-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, publication of my poem “Cognate” in American Poetry Review (with a translation in Spanish), and publication in the Unamuno Bilingual Poetry Anthology!
2 Panels Accepted for AWP 2019
I’ll be presenting and reading with some wonderful writers and people on two panels at AWP 2019 in Portland! I’m including the title and description of each panel below, along with links to the authors’ websites and/or Twitter:
In his essay “MFA vs. POC,” Junot Díaz sparked an important conversation about MFA programs, lack of representation in workshops, and meeting the needs of writers of color. In this panel, four poets extend this discourse to talk about writing after the MFA. They will discuss what resources helped them publish first books, including writing communities and conferences, PhD programs, and finding editors who value their work. Each panelist will also read from their recently published collection.
Of Andrés Montoya’s book, noted poet-critic Rigoberto González wrote, in 2008: “[I]n this generation, the ice worker sings should be known as the finest book of poetry to come out of our community.” 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of this classic text, winner of an American Book Award after the poet’s death, and recently re-issued. Five published Latinx poets, none of whom knew Montoya personally, discuss what this seminal book of poetry has meant to their work and their artistic sensibilities.
We Wear the Mask:
Persona Poetry and Social Justice
This June, I’ll lead the June Pulp! Workshop Series, coordinated by the Lemon Star Magazine editorial team. In the workshop, we’ll read and generate persona poems that are politically engaged with the world. Applications are now open!
Included on Mitú’s list
I’m honored to share that I’ve been included on Mitú’s list of Latinx Poets You Should Know for National Poetry Month, curated by Araceli Cruz.
Featured Reader at Fresno State’s Laureate Lab
After reading some of my poems, the amazing team at the Laureate Lab organized and led three wonderful, generative art workshops based on some of the themes they saw in my poems. I’m incredibly humbled and honored by the time and thought they put into each station.
Station 1: Tracing Your Reflection
At this station, each participant was instructed to trace (then paint) their reflection in the mirror. As I traced my own reflection, I noticed that I was constantly moving, making it difficult to outline my face. Mayra explained that this station was meant to illustrate how the way we perceive ourselves depends on the particular angle and position we happen to be in at any given moment while acknowledging our identity is always shifting.
Station 2: Deconstructing the Body
For this station, we cut out different body parts from magazines to re-create a new body. Rebeca explained that she wanted this station to help each person confront and challenge pre-existing social narratives.
Station 3: Reclaiming Prayer
At this station, there was a table of religious candles. Some of them still had their saint on them, some of them had been stripped. We wrote our own prayers on each candle and painted them. Raphi wanted to give each participant a way to define, on their own terms, what is sacred. Afterwards, we lit each candle.
The Laureate Lab Team (and me) from left to right:
Raphi Barakat, Mayra Cano, Me, Rebeca Flores, and Krystal Cantu