Monday, December 29, 2008
Earlier this month, I had the honor of reading at UC Berkeley with Naomi Quinonez and Hugo Garcia Manriquez in honor of the 40th Anniversary of Berkeley's Ethnic Studies Department. Achiote Press sponsored the reading, and I'm extending a belated thank you to Craig and Jennifer, whose gracious spirit and hard work have produced some remarkable publications. Visit Achiote and stay a while.
Speaking of such publications, I was thrilled to get a copy of Oscar Bermeo's new chapbook and to see him, Javier Huerta, Patricia Wakida, and Summi Kaipa, among others, in the audience. Oscar kindly recorded some of the evening's readings---including this one of me reading "Exercises On Themes from Life," the last poem in Alice Walker's first collection, Once, published in 1968 (I read it with the 40th anniversary in mind). I'll leave this video up for a little while, and then it will disappear.
I think my blogging days might also be numbered. I am, however, very excited about the progress of my second manuscript. I have around 40 poems I feel good about---they are very different (darker, more assertive) than those in This Many Miles from Desire, but I am interested to see what shape they take as a collection. We'll see what happens. With the first book, I had a title early on and it never changed. With this second manuscript, no title has come to me. I doubt any of these will be the final title, but some of the new poem titles that I am tossing around as potential titles for the manuscript include:
* Division (or, This Division)
* Open Architecture
* Gardening Secrets of the Dead
* You Are Here
Anyway: Happy New Year to each of you---may 2009 be your best year yet.