Showing posts from April, 2013

Poetry Pasta and Vino To Celebrate Two Year Anniversary!

PPV, Circa 2011! Reading the First April is a busy month. We've been through this already. But you know what? Right now's a good time to pause and reflect on a little something called Poetry, Pasta and Vino. Poetry Pasta and Vino began as a reading series at Carino's Italian, hosted by none other than the Barrio Poet, Edward Vidaurre. It turned into a monthly celebration to raise money for nonprofit organizations, promote the arts, and reach out to the community. All good stuff. Today, I'd define PPV as an arts movement, and it's been a big part of the local arts reniassance (as Jan Seale has described it!) that began kicking up the dust in, oh, maybe 2007. I've been honored to have been with this reading series since its not-so-humble beginnings, and have grown and stuck with it ever sense. PPV even did a fundraiser for Mouthfeel Press, back in 2012! Anyway, I think what's most signifncant is that, although the reading series has grown and change

Katie's Writerly Crush on David Rice

Katie! And Rice. Courtesy Garcia-Spitz So I'm just going to come out and admit it: I have a totally professional and writerly crush on David Rice. I had the pleasure of attending one of his readings last month as a part of UTPA's Festiba. Man-oh-man. Phew. It was awesome. Packed room. And he was so inspiring! You see, I used to teach Rice's books back when I was working with the Upward Bound program, and my students loved his work because they could relate to it. And I loved his work, too. His stories are the kind that stick with you. Anyway, I stumbled into the reading a few minutes late, and was surprised at how packed the room was.  Packed! I actually didn't know Rice was reading. I was there to support one of our department's T.As and another colleague Robert, who were also reading. I peeked my head in, then started out. A man stood up, beckoned me back, and gave up his seat to me. I reluctantly accepted and squished my way into the crowded room. I'm

The Garden Uprooted Gets a Thumbs Up!

So... the conventional writerly wisdom is to not read your reviews. I ignored this advice. Last Thursday, my local newspaper, the Monitor, ran a super review of The Garden Uprooted (alongside a review of Brenda Nettles Riojas' La Primera Voz Que Oi ). I knew the review was going to run, and I had been thinking about it since their reviewer, David Bowles, asked me for a review copy. It was a little agonizing. Come Thursday morning, I was on my way to work and of course, the review was on my mind. I was obsessing. I ended up buying a copy along the way, before my first class even began. I opened it up, scanned through the paper, and there it was, the review. I think David hits my book spot on, calling my book " a rich hybrid verse." That's exactly right, both in content and form. I love it. Truth be told, I'm a little self-conscious about The Garden Uprooted . I know, I know, I shouldn't admit that in public but here I am, admitting it. I mean, I'm

National Poetry Month and Me

A new logo! I both love and hate this month. I love it because poetry is, once again, a part of our national conversation (or at least more of one than it usually is). I love it because my facebook feed is filled with poets who are talking about their work, encouraging each other, arguing about poetry. I love it because people argue whether or not poetry is dead, when in fact, we all know it's not. I love this month because of NaPoWriMo. I love it because of the public readings. I love it because at the end of the month comes the grand-daddy event of them all, the Valley International Poetry Festival, which I always see as an opportunity to meet poets, learn something new, travel the valley, showcase my year's worth of work, get inspired. I also hate national poetry month. I always intend to do great things and end up feeling insignificant, not serious enough, stupid, uninspired, the like. Case in point, this year, I fully intended to do NaPoWriMo, but on April 1st, I