Moe Green Poetry hour

I was on the radio!

This Wednesday
June 25th
1pm m Pacific time, 3pm central 4 pm eastern
Join Rafael F. J. Alvarado (aka Moe Green) & Kate Durbin
as They listens to the poetry of

Jaun Felipe Herrera

Alexis Vergalla

Jaun Felipe Herrera
Zalla Scholar and Mazak Scholar Leah Maines lived in Gifu , Japan where she

Juan Felipe Herrera is the son of Mexican migrant workers and is an accomplished writer who has been honored with National Endowment for the Arts grants (1980, 1985), the American Book Award (1987), four California Arts Council grants, the UC Berkeley Regent’s Fellowship, the Breadloaf Fellowship in Poetry and the Stanford Chicano Fellows Fellowship. His publications include thirteen collections of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and picture books for children in the last decade with nineteen books in total His poetry and essays have appeared in both small presses (Bilingual Press and Curbstone) as well as mainstream publishing concerns (University of Arizona Press and Vintage). His works have been translated to Spanish by Mexico’s most important publisher, the Fondo de Cultura Economica. Other translations include German and Serbo-Croatian. For his literary endeavors, Herrera has garnered the Ezra Jack Keats Award, the Hungry Mind Award of Distinction, the Americas Award, the Focal Award, the Pura Belpré Honors Award, the Smithsonian Children’s Book of the year, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice, the IRA Teacher’s Choice, the LA Times Book Award Nomination, the Texas Blue Bonnet Nomination, the New York Public Library outstanding book for high school students and two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards. Born in Fowler, California, a small town southeast of Fresno, Herrera traveled with his parents on the seasonal crop circuit, eventually settling in the San Diego area at the age of eight. Upon graduation from San Diego High School in 1967, he was awarded a federal Educational Opportunity Grant and went on to UCLA, earning a B.A. in social anthropology. While at UCLA, Herrera became interested in the performance work of Luis Valdez’s El Teatro Campesino, and subsequently formed his own theatre group, Teatro Tolteca. In 1970, with funding from UCLA’s Mexican American Center, Herrera traveled to Mexico to study indigenous theatrical expression. The combination of “teatro and the journey through Mexico changed my [his] life forever”, and Herrera returned invigorated with a new sense of identity and purpose. His first major work, Rebozos of love we have woven sudor de pueblos on our back, appeared in 1974, and in 1977 he was accepted into Stanford University’s graduate program in anthropology, earning an M.A. in 1980. Herrera’s restless spirit, however, continued to find more creative outlets in poetry. His Exiles of Desire appeared 1983, a thematic collection exploring the darker side of urban existence, followed in 1987 by Facegames and Akrilika in 1989. With his literary career on the rise, Herrera enrolled in the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop in 1988, attaining the status of fellow with the distinction of Excellence in 1990. Awarded an M.F.A. in creative writing that same year, he joined the Department of Chicano and Latin-American Studies at California State University-Fresno. Throughout the 1990s, Herrera continued to produce collections of poetry in addition to his teaching load of creative writing and theater production. In 1995, Calling The Doves / El Canto De Las Palomas, poetry based on Herrera’s childhood experiences in the farming fields of California was released, which brought Herrera into third and fourth grade classrooms across the United States both in print and in person. The fate of indigenous people as they succumb to the pressures of modernization was the subject of his 1997 release Mayan Drifter: Chicano Poet in the Lowlands of America, the result of Herrera’s continuing quest to examine identity and culture in the crosscurrents of post-colonial Mesoamerica. He has three forthcoming books and is currently producing “The Twin Tower Songs,” a San Joaquin Valley performance memorial on the September 11th tragedy and writing for the PBS television series “American Family.” Mr. Herrera is a board member of the Before Columbus American Book Awards Foundation and the California Council for the Humanities. Promoted to Full Professor in 1998, Herrera was elected to the Chair of the Department. Of Chicano and Latin American Studies at California State University-Fresno in 2001.

Alexis Vergalla

Alexis Vergalla recently graduated from UCR with her MFA in Creative Writing.  Her work has appeared in Eclectica, Plankton and Diode Poetry and is forthcoming in Tales of the Unanticipated and Goblin Fruit.  She is currently readjusting to life on the East Coast and the sudden prevalence of green.

Here’s the link to listen:

Yay! And thanks to Elijah, who told me that I didn’t sound like an idiot. (Even if I did)


click your heels

Back to the East coast, drinking a beer with my brother after a somewhat successful attempt at driving standard.  He’s actually a really good teacher for it, and I’m sorry I doubted him.

It’s odd to be back, but it did feel nice to go for a run this evening, even if it was after a long day at work.  The prop shop is an endless source of odditysphinx and I want my head to settle a bit so I can mine the objects for all they’re worth.

I did forget how beautiful the light is here.  Sunset is glorious, without the aide of smog.  And there are lightening bugs! Makes up for the mosquitoes who thought, as I was running, I was their personal buffet.  It sort of looked like there was a blight in the trees, but it was just the goldenred of sunset.  Now it’s black and quiet.  But it feels like words are just a far stretch away, I’m not using any of it properly. sunshadow

Where I want to go

It’d be lovely to stay in La Jolla. Closest to paradise I’ve been in a long time.  I’m going to miss these friends. But time keeps rushing on and there isn’t anything to do but go with the sway of it.