Introducing The Tropical Roundup, in which I, at random times, post points of interest that may be thematically or geographically linked. Or, they could be event driven or contain some kind of vital-to-obscure news peg, Said points will most likely be stolen from other sources, such as blogs and dailies, but will also be gathered by scrawling notes on the back of gas receipts, in a fruitless effort to bring order to our blue and green sphere, which is currently screaming off its invisible tracks.
Also, I like lists.
1. First and foremost in the inaugural round up is FLORICANTO IN WASHINGTON D.C.: A Multicultural Reading in Response to SB 1070.
The reading takes place during the AWP Conference this Friday, Feb. 4, from 6-9 p.m., at the True Reformer Building in D.C., and is sponsored by Split This Rock, The Acentos Poetry Foundation, and Poets Responding to SB 1070. Floricanto presents more than 20 poets responding in verse to what organizers call the growing "xenophobia under which the bill was created," which "targets immigrants and legalizes racial profiling."
SB 1070 was signed into state law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in April 2010 and authorizes police to arrest and charge any immigrant not carrying identifying documents. When asked to comment on how police officers might discern suspects without profiling, Governor Brewer told the New York Times "we simply have to trust in our law enforcement."
Because blind trust in men with guns always works out well, doesn't it?
According to Rich Villar, executive director of the Acentos Foundation, the word "floricanto" has linguistic origins in both the Meso-American and Spanish languages, re-appearing during the rise of the Chicano arts and poetry movements of th 60s.. "Poets came together for celebration, for political ends, for self-affirmation," says Villar. "In the Floricanto, the poetic and political are not only compatible, but complimentary, inevitable."
"This reading is a show of solidarity," Villar adds. "It is also very a specific act. It is the unambiguous use of language, in the form of poetry, to counter the obfuscated legal language of war, death, and exile. The poets in this reading do precisely that, day in and day out."
Floricanto will be hosted by Oscar Bermeo and featured readers include Francisco X. Alarcon, Tara Betts, Sarah Browning, Regie Cabico, Carmen Calatayud, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Susan Deer Cloud, Martín Espada, Odilia Galvan Rodriguez, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Aracelis Girmay, Randall Horton, Juan Felipe Herrera, Dorianne Laux, Marilyn Nelson, Mark Nowak, Barbara Jane Reyes, Abel Salas, Sonia Sanchez, Craig Santos Perez, Hedy Trevino, Pam Uschuk, Dan Vera, Rich Villar, and Andre Yang.
2. AWP Conference, Author book signings
Here's a sampling of who will sign what at this year's bookfair. Is there an author/book that's been missed? Add it to the comments box.
Neil de la Flor, Almost Dorothy (Marsh Hawk Press). Buy this book and score a free voodoo doll bookmark. Neil will also be taking pre-orders with Maureen Seaton for their collaborative book Sinead O'Connor and Her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds (Firewheel Editions). A23, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2-2:45 p.m.
Jim Daniels, Having a Little Talk with Capital P Poetry (Carnegie Mellon University Press). H29, Friday, Feb. 4, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Susan Briante, Utopia Minus (Ahsahta Press). E27 & E28, Friday, Feb. 4, 10-11 a.m.
Valerie Duff, To The New World (Salmon Poetry). E26.
Dan Albergotti, The Boatloads (BOA Editions). Booth 208, Hall C,Thursday, Feb.3, noon.
All from Rose Metal Press. A4. Friday, February 4: Adam Golaski, Color Plates. 10:30 a.m.; Mary Hamilton, We Know What We Are. 2 p.m. Carol Guess, Tinderbox Lawn. 3 p.m.
Brian Spears, A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press). Signing at The Rumpus table.
Celine Keating, Layla (Plainview Press).
Elisabeth Frost, All of Us (White Pine Press). C33, Friday, Feb. 4, 3-6 p.m.
Cynthia Marie Hoffman, Sightseer (Persea Books). B29-30, Friday, Feb. 4, 1- 2 p.m.
Barbara Hamby, Lester Higata's 20th Century. Winner of the 2010 Iowa Short Fiction Prize (University of Iowa Press). D1, Friday, Feb. 4, noon-12:30 p.m.
Besides reading and blogging, my other incessant behaviors include listening to Daptone Records' recent comp release, a 23 track beauty by the name of Daptone Gold, with soul, funk, jazz, and afrobeat by Antibalas & Mayra Vega, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Binky Griptite, Lee Fields and more.
Here's one from The Budos Band, "Up From the South." Because who can't use a little more soul?