It's that time of the year again...The Raving Press Events' Book and Art Festival time, that is! And for those of you who live way too far from the border with Mexico, no worries! You can join our projects by submitting to our upcoming poetry anthology (Fall, 2018).
April 14, 2018 is the day that a large group of "bad hombres" and "nasty women" authors, artists, musicians, photographers, and public speakers will be convening for The Raving Press Events' 2nd Annual Book & Art Festival hosted by Speer Memorial Library. I say "bad hombres & nasty women" because I am referring to folks who for the most part live on the border with Mexico, which according to at least one source, is a war zone where barbaric Mexican hordes are raiding, pillaging, looting, and invading. I don't know how close you have to live to the actual line on the map that represents the border, but I live about 14 miles away from one of the international bridge, and all I see around here are people rushing to work, coming home from work, taking walks in parks right on the border, literally within eyesight of Mexico, and gente deep into their carnezaso and birongas every weekend. Because this is one of the most prosperous parts of the country. It's vibrant and it's growing. And we have folks in uniform to a degree that is unseen in any other part of the country. So, yeah, we are not just safe, we're pretty much sheltered. Like little kids whose parents won't let them go play outside for fear that they might scrape an elbow.
But enough about the actual state of the border. Let me tell you about some of the people of the border area. Like Seres Magana who is a tremendous poet and writer. He has adapted the story of Romeo & Juliet for the stage with a local Mexican American flavor to it. It will debut at the Pharr Community Theater, and it's going to be a smash. Seres will be our MC for the Book & Arts Festival poetry reading and open mic segment.
Authors Patty Raymond York, Mary Humpal-Bain, and Christopher Rocha will be reading their books to the kiddos during our Children's Book Reading segment. Two of these authors I have witnessed perform for children and they are phenomenal. They get even the adults following along. Like Patty Raymond York, when she reads from "The ABC's to Ranching." She brings her own boom box with a mixtape and gets everyone on their feet dancing, singing, and getting there wiggles out. My friend Christopher Rocha has a history of work in radio, and it shows. When he gets up to the mic he reads stories from his book "The Adventures of CurlyFur Bear." HIs voice and his physicality are so thunderous that he'll wake you up if you are starting to doze off. And he'll paint clear pictures with his storytelling. I call him Chris "Radio Voice" Rocha. He reminds me of my childhood when we would visit my grandma in Mexico and she would play her "novelas" on the radio (they had no TV for many years). These stories on the radio were so well told and performed with special live sound effects, that I still remember them as if I had seen them on the big screen.
Damien Duque is a young musician of amazing talent. He has been wowing audiences for at least two years that I know of with his psychedelic-styled (so say I) ambient guitar riffs accompanied by a cool, trippy light show and or video projection in the background. It is a unique experience. Damien will be rocking with us starting at 1 pm on that day.
And last, but not least, I will be presenting as well. (Actually I will be starting at 10:30 so, really I am the first, or "el number one". ;D) I will be talking about publishing for all people at all levels of understanding of the trade. I believe every person has at least one book that they could, or should, write. Because everyone has at least one story in their lives that is worth telling.
While these presentations are taking place, about 20 authors will be manning or womanning (?) booths selling their latest books of poetry, short stories, novels, art, and photography. Even my 13-year-old son who is an artist will be selling copies of his first collection of art that is on display at Galleria 121 inside the Pharr Memorial Library until April 22, 2018.
And as promised, for you people that can't make it out because of the distance, send us your poetry. We are working on the next anthology, which will be coming out sometime this fall, 2018. The topic is "the Wall". The title is "Poets Facing The Wall." If you are a poet, or if you know one, please visit our Submissions page to learn how to submit your own contribution.
That's it for now. We hope to see you at our 2nd annual book festival next Saturday at the Speer Memorial Library in Mission, Texas. We will be there from 10 am sharp, to 4 pm on the dot. So, if you are running late, don't turn back. Keep going until you get there. And remember, keep an eye out for the barbarian hordes hiding in the outdoor library drop boxes! ;p
Gabriel H. Sanchez is a writer, poet, blogger, actor, and all-around artist from South Texas.
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