Tag: poetry

May 21, 2012 / / art
March 12, 2012 / / Culturelicious

By Guest Contributor Jorge Antonio Vallejos, cross-posted from Black Coffee Poet

Adrian Matejka is the author of The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), Mixology (Penguin USA, 2009), and The Big Smoke (Penguin USA, forthcoming in 2013).

His work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry ReviewPloughshares, and Poetry among other journals and anthologies. You can find him at www.adrianmatejka.com or on Twitter.

BCP: Why poetry?

AM: I first tried to write poetry in a lame attempt to impress a girl, but my appreciation for language came before that. I wanted to be an emcee when I was younger. Fortunately, for everyone, I figured out pretty quickly that I couldn’t spit rhymes and moved on to the next thing.

A few years after I gave up the mic, I discovered some poets who value sound and percussiveness the same way emcees do. First, Langston Hughes and Etheridge Knight. Then later, Gil Scott-Heron and Yusef Komunyakaa. Through these incredible poets, it became clear that poetry is an art that allows both music and communication. Once I figured that out, I never wanted to do anything else.

Read the Post An Interview With Former USA National Poetry Series Winner Adrian Matejka [Culturelicious]

November 11, 2011 / / Culturelicious

By Guest Contributor Jorge Antonio Vallejos, cross-posted from Black Coffee Poet

Amazing!

If I could get away with a one-word review the above would be it.

But let’s go a little deeper.

My first introduction to Roger’s work was last year and via her spoken word CD Firewater.  That too was amazing.

Unearthed is poetry on the page.  It’s different but just as powerful.  And Rogers has not strayed off her anti-colonial path.  Her words are just as fierce and poignant as ever.  And if they could be physically felt there would be a lot of people laying flat on their backs with a copy of Unearthed at their side.
Read the Post Poetry Review: Janet Marie Rogers’ Unearthed [Culturelicious]

By Guest Contributor Jorge Antonio Vallejos, cross-posted from Black Coffee Poet

I’ve got Scandalous by Psycho Realm playing as I write.

It’s a Brown thing.

Brown Pride more like it.

That’s what this is about.  It’s also a fitting song since I’ve been referred to as scandalous, angry, mean, and I love this one — reverse racist.

Being Brown in a place that doesn’t have many Brown faces with colonial Spanish names in the media has you starving sometimes.  Similarly, I remember my Anishinaabe friend Deb Daynard saying she never saw a Brown face (Native American) on T.V while growing in Winnipeg, Canada.  For me it was never having a Brown writer with a name like mine to follow as a kid.

I grew up reading Gordon Korman and Judy Blume.  Both were funny and had me entertained for years but I couldn’t relate to their characters.

What the f-ck did I have in common with white boys attending private school?

Read the Post The Brown Face

October 28, 2011 / / academia

By Arturo R. García

Thanks to Northwestern University’s Poetry and Poetics Colloquium for the heads-up regarding a new annual competition geared toward unpublished poets of color.

The PPC is teaming up with Northwestern University Press for the inaugural Drinking Gourd chapbook poetry prize. A panel of POC poets will select the winning entry, and the first prize chapbook will be introduced by poet

Northwestern University’s Poetry and Poetics Colloquium (PPC) proudly announces a partnership with Northwestern University Press for the inaugural Drinking Gourd chapbook poetry prize, a first-book award for poets of color. Poet Ed Roberson will introduce the winner, and will also publish an accompanying chapbook of new work to launch the series.

The submission deadline is January 15th, 2012, and the winner will be notified by March 15th. The two chapbooks will be published in Fall 2012 by Northwestern University Press. Submission guidelines are under the cut.
Read the Post Announcement: Northwestern’s Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize Series for Poets of Color

October 21, 2011 / / Culturelicious

By Guest Contributor May Lui, cross-posted from Black Coffee Poet

Souvankham Thammavongsa is a Laotian Canadian poet, author of the ReLit-winning Small Arguments and Found. Found was also adapted into a short film by Paramita Nath, which screened at film festivals worldwide including Dok Leipzig and Toronto International Film Festival.

Souvnkham has been published in many literary magazines and journals and has been invited to read at Harbourfront’s International Festival of the Authors 2011. Born in Thailand in 1978, she was raised in Toronto.

May Lui for Black Coffee Poet: Why poetry?

Souvankham Thammavongsa: It’s sort of like swimming in the deep end of a pool. You better know what you are doing there because it’s going to become very clear if you don’t. Looking good in a swimsuit isn’t going to help you out.

ML: Tell us about your writing process.

ST:
I don’t write everyday. Sometimes I try to do anything but write. I work for a financial newspaper full-time and have been there for ten years. I work with numbers all day and this allows me to think in a language that doesn’t have anything to do with words, to remember that sometimes words aren’t everything. No one at work knows I write poetry and I prefer it that way. I like that there’s a place for me there no matter what happens to my writing, whether it fails or if it’s successful. It doesn’t matter. I also owned a used bookstore with my husband and wrote short stories all day when it snowed and we had no customers, except for the ones who told us we weren’t going to make it or asked us what we were doing there or if the knapsack in our window display was for sale. I learned that there are people in the world who want nothing to do with books, that there are those who at the sight of a bookshelf start to slowly back up towards the exit, that there are those who would buy themselves a three-dollar book and tell their curious and bright son they don’t want to buy him a book of his choosing because they’ve already spent more than they’ve wanted. That was a learning experience for writing I don’t think I would have gotten by writing.

Read the Post Interview With Laotian Poet Souvankham Thammavongsa [Culturelicious]

June 17, 2011 / / Culturelicious

By Guest Contributor Jorge Antonio Vallejos, cross-posted from Black Coffee Poet

Joanna Shawana is Anishnawbe from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve.  Author of Voice of an Eagle, Shawana makes and sells Aboriginal crafts and works at a women’s shelter. Her poetry shows us all that there is beauty beyond abuse. Voice of an Eagle is a collection of poems and aboriginal teachings that walk us through her struggle of abuse and show us that no matter how dark the situation looks that we can break free and be with the “eagle’ to find our voice and say NO MORE! Joanna plans on writing another book explaining the signs of abuse and how both men and women can break free from the chains holding them.

Read the Post Celebrating Aboriginal History Month 2011: An Interview With Poet Joanna Shawana [Culturelicious]