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Showing posts from April, 2017

POETRY MONTH! SPOTLIGHT ON MARGARITA ENGLE

Poetry is like a song, like a psalm, like a prayer. Poetry is different things to many people, and April being Poetry Month, The Latina Book Club has been celebrating and spotlighting poets all month long.


We are happy to end the month with a brilliant and stupendous poetry collection by the legendary  Margarita Engle, poet, writer and multiple Pura Belpre award winner. 


Margarita Engle’s collection is rightly named, BRAVO! POEMS ABOUT AMAZING HISPANICS.  The applause for this collection is endless. She honors the best and the brightest Latino stars. The subjects come from different lands, different professions, but all their poems share a richness that makes us proud to be Latino too.  And many thanks to artist Rafael Lopez who illustrated the books. His drawings are a great compliment to Engle’s poems.

SUMMARY:Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot―the Latinos featured in this collection, BRAVO!, come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their…

POETRY MONTH! SPOTLIGHT ON DR. MARIA ALMA GONZALEZ PEREZ

Poetry is like a song, like a psalm, like a prayer. Poetry is different things to many people, and April being Poetry Month, The Latina Book Club is celebrating by featuring Latino poets all month long.

Welcome Dr. Maria Alma González Pérez, whose new collection of Spanish poetry evokes feelings of love, community and survival.


Vivamos la realidad de nuestra sangre que nos da nuestra identidad. ---Dr. Maria Alma González Pérez

Dr. Maria Alma González Pérez has written a beautiful collection of poems in Spanish entitled CANTOS DEL ALMA Y DEL CORAZON.  It’s an emotional assortment of 50 poems to celebrate love, love of her parents, love of family, and love of her culture.  We especially loved her poem, Vivamos La Realidad, which translates roughly into Living the Truth. In it she proclaims that it is the blood of the people that carries the truth of their race and the truth of their identity.   
Another striking aspect of González Pérez’ book is that each poem is paired with a stunning photograp…

POETRY MONTH! SPOTLIGHT ON ARIEL FRANCISCO (INCLUDES POEM)

Poetry is like a song, like a psalm, like a prayer. Poetry is different things to many people, and April being Poetry Month, The Latina Book Club is celebrating by featuring Latino poets all week long.
We welcome to our site poet Ariel Francisco, whom we thank for sharing his poem with us.

A VIEW OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY FROM THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

Locks cling to the bridge’s facade like piercings, inscribed with names in marker or lipstick. Their keys sunken to the bottom of the East River, combinations lost in the brackish waters of memory. A man in a black trench coat sells the locks to passing couples, encourages them to latch their hearts onto the bridge that’s already heavy with rust.  Way out on the jilted water: the silhouette of a dream-sized woman standing on a distant corner looks so familiar from this far away– arm raised to hail a cab that will never come.            --Ariel Francisco              Originally published in Tupelo Quarterly          **Permission granted to reprint. All …

POETRY MONTH! SPOTLIGHT ON THELMA T. REYNA!

Poetry is like a song, like a psalm, like a prayer. Poetry is different things to many people, and April being Poetry Month, TheLatina Book Clubis celebrating by featuring Latino poets all week long.

We welcome to our site former Poet Laureate Thelma T. Reyna,  who has graciously shared with us an autobiographical poem, a glimpse from her childhood.



GROWING UP DUSTY IN A SMALL TEXAS TOWN
Our ankles were always gray, caliche dust swirling like guardian angels around twiggy brown legs leaping potholes, tripping on dirt clods. Nine children oblivious to what it meant to be growing up dusty.
In winter, rivers of mud separated us from Licha, Juan, Susie. Dripping mesquite trees beckoned. Black puddles dotted our ‘hoodscape far as child eyes could see, little lakes navigated house to house as we grew up dusty.
When morning light tickled our bedfaces, dervishes danced through cracks and chinks in sills and walls and floors and doors. Grandma’s rag couldn’t stem the tide of constant coats of dust as we grew u…

POETRY MONTH! SPOTLIGHT ON A.B. LUGO! (EXCERPT)

Poetry is like a song, like a psalm, like a prayer. Poetry is different things to many people, and April being Poetry Month, The Latina Book Club is celebrating by featuring Latino poets all week long.

We welcome A.B. Lugo, poet and playwright, who makes a very personal and emotional debut with  Spanish Coffee: Black, No Sugar from La Casita Grande.




SUMMARY:  In 2015, A.B. Lugo, award winning actor and playwright, suffered through the deaths of his parents only months apart. To cope with his grief, he dedicated himself to writing a poem for each week of 2016. Little did he know he would be chronicling an historic year, one of social strife and tragedy that would culminate in the election of a man whose movement brings new awareness and fear to A.B. as an Afro-Puerto Rican. Spanish Coffee: Black, No Sugar, much like its title, is a bitter experience, as life can be, but also one that gives us the energy and power to make it through each day. More worn, for sure, but also stronger, and ho…

POETRY MONTH! SPOTLIGHT ON ORLANDO FERRAND!

Poetry is like a song, like a psalm, like a prayer. Poetry is different things to many people, and April being Poetry Month, The Latina Book Club is celebrating by featuring Latino poets all week long.
We welcome poet Orlando Ferrand to our site.




I ask myself: is there a need for skin when you wear your soul inside out protected by the celestial skeleton of an umbrella? --From The Fool of Bronx Park East



CHATTING WITH ORLANDO FERRAND

Q:  Tell us about your first award-winning collection of poetry, Citiwalker. Is it about Cuba? the US? both? ORLANDO:  My first book and the award-winning collection of poetry,Citywalker, is my personal journey both geographically and psychologically in search of my identity as a construct of choice. Because I consider myself a hyphenated identity (Cuban-American), it's impossible to dig into my ethnic and cultural roots without considering the other part of my heritage, the Cuban component that has also shaped and informed my notion of identity. In that sense,

POETRY MONTH! OLDIES BUT GOODIES!

Poetry is like a song, like a psalm, like a prayer. 
Poetry is different things to many people, and April being Poetry Month, The Latina Book Club is celebrating by featuring Latino poets all month long.

Today we share poems from some of the Leading Latino Poets of our time—all award winning poets, but better yet, they speak to our inner soul.  Happy Reading!


GABRIELA MISTRAL First Latin American writer to ever win Nobel Prize for Literature. This poet and educator wrote about love and desolation and tenderness lost.


PABLO NERUDA Also a Nobel Prize for Literature winner, he was best known for his romantic poetry.


JULIA DE BURGOS Leading Puerto Rican poet, she often wrote of her homeland and how much she missed the land, the people, the river.


OCTAVIO PAZ Another Nobel Prize winner, his poems were heavy into surrealism and we loved it.



READ LATINO!

READ LATINO POETRY!


POETRY MONTH! CELEBRATING FEMALE LATINA POETS!

Poetry is like a song, like a psalm, like a prayer. 
Poetry is different things to many people, and April being Poetry Month, The Latina Book Club is celebrating by featuring Latino poets all week long.

There are numerous Latina female poets on which we could spend a whole month, if not more, discussing so I'll just stick with the immediate ones on my shelves and a quick snapshot of their books.  Happy Reading!




RISING, FALLING, ALL OF US by Thelma Reyna (Golden Foothills Press) From the Pope to immigrants to lovers to soldiers to celebrities to the mentally ill – all are examined and judged in Dr. Reyna’s poetry collection. The former Poet Laureate of the Altadena Library District has been published in numerous journals, and is now the proud founder and owner of the small indie press, Golden Foothills Press. Learn more about Thelma and Golden Foothills Press at www.goldenfoothillspress.com.

IT CONCERNS THE MADNESS by Nancy Mercado (Long Shot Productions) Mercado breaks up her “table of…

POETRY MONTH! SPOTLIGHT ON YOLANDA A. REID

Poetry is like a song, like a psalm, like a prayer. Poetry is different things to many people, and April being Poetry Month, The Latina Book Club is celebrating by featuring Latino poets all week long.

We’d like to welcome poet Yolanda A. Reid. She’s written two novels and has a collection of poems, SONNETS TO THE JAPIM BIRD, coming out this June.  The collection is a series of mesmerizing poems set in Brazil depicting the forbidden love between an Amazonian indigenous woman (a Tupi-Kawahib) and her husband’s guest (a European explorer).  Here is a small sonnet for our reading pleasure. (Note: Yolanda is donating 10% of the ebook proceeds to Amazon Watch.)

                           (X)
Compare you? What to? Neither amethysts Nor diamonds evoke a love immortal, Faithful, honoured, untinged by betrayal, Unhindered and unhindering; my wrists Glittered with these stones, ago–we’d not kissed Then: I was yet a child. My girlhood hails Diamonds–dozens of them–in sedimented pails; By elfin hands pitch…