By Ada Tseng
FROM: LA Times OC
The first poem in Anatalia Vallez’s “the most spectacular mistake” is called “bond,” and it’s about honoring the generations of Mexican women who came before her.
By Alexandra Umlas
FROM: Cultural Weekly
Arminé Iknadossian’s mother would gather olives from the trees that grew just outside of her daughter’s high school; she couldn’t imagine all of that wonderful fruit going to waste. Iknadossian has not written a poem for this image she remembers all of these years later, but perhaps all of the poems in her first collection of poetry are, in a way, an homage to her mother’s incessant olive gathering.
by Therese Marie Konopelski
FROM: Letras Latinas Blog
Endeavor is a tender and sorrowful work, opening old scars and healing them with love and retrospective wisdom. There is a respectful and appropiate sense of nostalgia that permeates the narrative; for Inglewood, CA before gentrification, for innocence, and freedom of days gone by. It does not grieve, rather it treats Latinidad, womanhood, and abuse survivors with compassion and understanding. Guardado offers sincere meditations on injustices that affect women every day. Ultimately, the reader is renewed, and finds a sense of freedom in remembering these lived scars.
By Brian Dunlap
Earlier this week three L.A. poets, Irene Monica Sanchez, Angelina Sáenz and T. Sarmina got accepted into the prestigious VONA/Voices of Our Nation summer workshop at Realm Academy in Berkeley. The workshop is for emerging poets and prose writers-of-Color.
From: Jack Jones Literary Arts
Jack Jones Literary Arts, located in Los Ángeles, is hosting its second annual writing retreat at Blue Sky Retreat, Taos, New Mexico. This two-week retreat will be held October 13- 27, 2018, and is open exclusively to women of color. Jenna Wortham joins us as our 2018 Writer-in-Residence.
From: THE SUNDRESS BLOG
Anna: Can you tell me a little bit about Antígona González?
Xochitl: Antígona González is a book of poetry from Mexican poet Sara Uribe and translated by John Pluecher that uses the classic Greek tragedy, Antigone by Sophocles, as a container to speak about the disappeared of Mexico. In the classic, Antigone is a princess that breaks her uncle’s edict in order to bury her brother Polynices after he has been declared a traitor and his dead body abandoned in the desert. In Antígona González, “Polynices is identified with the marginalized and disappeared,” while Antígona represents the sisters searching for their disappeared brothers: “I didn’t want to be Antigone / but it happened to me.”
by Isabel Gómez
“IT’S THE BROKEN PARTS that matter” claims Vickie Vértiz, in a note to her poem “Nahuatl — A Revenge,” which features what she calls “imperfect” translations from the indigenous Nahuatl language into English. Vértiz’s imperfect translations recall what theorists Emily Apter and Jacques Lezra, following Walter Benjamin, call “untranslatables”: philosophical concepts that both invite and prevent transfer between languages, words that call out to be reinvented in their new language context precisely by resisting translation. In Vértiz’s poems, Latinxs living in California share “untranslatable” experiences that take place between English and Spanish. Her poems transform displacement and a polluted cityscape into sources of resistance and aesthetic restructuring. The visually and sonically rich setting of these poems may be polluted — by toxic air, water, and soil; toxic masculinity and white supremacy — but Vértiz celebrates what her community grows in this toxic ground and voices their untranslatable experiences.
By Agatha French
From: Los Angeles Times
Kima Jones is the founder of Jack Jones Literary Arts, a not-yet-3-year-old, three-person L.A.-based book publicity company whose clients are primarily women of color. Jones is a savvy media strategist and creative force, already counting a Pulitzer Prize winner (Tyehimba Jess’ poetry collection “Oilo”) among her campaigns.