The Lost: Children of the River anthology by The Raving Press is now officially out and ready to ship. There are several ways to obtain your copy. I will describe three of them here.
1.) Go to Amazon.com and insert the search:
"Lost: Children of the River The Raving Press".
It's a mouthful, yes, but if you insert only the title you get unrelated results. Save time. Copy and paste from here.
2.) Click through to our Createspace E-store
This method helps us, a small business/organization earn some royalties, therefore you would be supporting not only the arts but also small business. Win-win.
3.) Stay tuned on this blog to catch our book release events which will be announced soon and come out to meet us in person. Books at the events will be sold at a discount to those who sign our attendance list and give us their email address. Another win-win!
Thank you for dropping by. Keep coming back for more.
Special note about "Lost: Children of the River" if you contributed artwork, photography, or literature we want to gift you a copy of this publication. Please come out to our events to get your copy and perhaps read your poetry from the book or talk about your contribution. Thank you.
Edward Vidaurre is the author of four books. I Took My Barrio On A Road Trip, (Slough Press 2013), Insomnia (El Zarape Press 2014), Beautiful Scars: Elegiac Beat Poems (El Zarape Press 2015), and his latest collection Chicano Blood Transfusion (FlowerSong Books) was published this year. Vidaurre is the founder of Pasta, Poetry, and Vino--a monthly open mic gathering of artists, poets, and musicians. He resides in McAllen, TX with his wife and daughter.
Own the Lost: Children of the River anthology!
Contributions to Lost: Children of the River-
"In The Dark, Drifting" & "Vigil"
Octavio Quintanilla’s work has appeared in Salamander, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Southwestern American Literature, The Texas Observer, Texas Books in Review, and elsewhere. He is a CantoMundo Fellow and holds a PhD from the University of North Texas. Currently, he teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the MA/MFA program at Our Lady of the Lake University. He is a regular interviews contributor to Voices de La Luna: A Quarterly Poetry and Arts Magazine and author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014).
Own the Lost: Children of the River anthology!
I am proud to announce on behalf of The Raving Press that the latest edition of the LOST Anthology subtitled "Children of the River" is nearing its publication date and we will be unveiling it in cities around Texas.
This project is one that is near to my heart, not only because of the people whom it addresses (the children coming across the river) but because of what it has represented for us as a challenge to complete. Many times i felt that perhaps we would falter and fall short on our intention to publish this particular edition with the Central American Refugee crisis as its central theme.
It was always on the back of my mind, pressing on the discouraging belief that perhaps we would not be able to resurrect our beloved "LOST" anthology, which Isaac and I started planning in 1998 and then publishing in 2004.
But, of course, those are anxieties that are natural to creators when you don't have the final product in hand. For now we can put them aside and focus on the proof copy before us. I can say with certainty that everyone who contributed art, literature, and in any other way toward this publication will be very pleased by the result.
We hope to be able to unveil the final product by this coming September, 2016 barring any unexpected issues.
Thank you to all who have been patient with us while we finalize this project. And another great thanks to those who submitted and contributed to our effort. We hope to see you all at the book release.
I recorded the video of this very special dance troupe at the City of Edinburg auditorium. The concept here is such a statement that I thought it was definitely worth posting and sharing. I was brought up on a healthy dose of this type of music. To hear it in a theater production accompanying the dance moves of two graceful and elegant young dancers was just such a surprise and a delight. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
I had never paired this music with dancing of this sort. But I was also proud to see that something that to me had been so cemented in my childhood days as a manifestation of male-dominated, rancho-life, and alcohol flowing genre of Mexican Spanish language music now is being transformed into a much more elastic and versatile vehicle for the expression of dance. Not only that, but it is being done on a stage where before I had never seen that music played. And I mean "a stage" in a general sense, for the stage at the Edinburg City auditorium to me represents a platform for the higher arts. The ones that may be associated with a more distant, disconnected culture (think red wine and cheese) than those stages at the pulga (swap meet) where this kind of music might be much more of the expected norm (think tacos and espiro papas).
It was a real treat and a rare occasion to see a dance troupe perform this and other beautiful routines that truly touched me. They took me back to my childhood past and brought me back to an adulthood present full of possibilities for the arts in the Rio Grande Valley.
If you wish to know more about this group contact Jose Zamora at jzamoradance.com or visit their CholoRock Facebook page.
Today we had the very special privilege of witnessing a theatre production in the city of Pharr, Texas that superseded all of my expectations. "Lend Me A Tenor" directed by Frank Montero and presented by the Pharr Community Theatre is a, to borrow a clichéd expression in the world of performance art, tour de force. The dialogues, the hilarity, the vibrancy and energy of the cast was astounding. I feel proud to be a part of the family of actors who have participated at this theatre entity and wish to congratulate whole heartedly the entire cast and crew of "Lend Me A Tenor." I know these gifted actors will be captivating audiences for many years to come. I encourage anyone who is following this blog to support the theatre and art movement of the Rio Grande Valley. For the price of less than a movie-going experience you, too, can appreciate a production that far exceeds the expectations and standards of even the most stringent theatre critic. Congratulations to the Pharr Community Theatre and all who participated in this play.
Hace a penas dos semanas tuve la gran oportunidad de acompañar a un tercio de estrellas del ámbito teatral que se lucieron y deleitaron a su público en una producción que llegamos a titular "La Obra de Amor" y que fue de la autoría de todos los participantes.
En esta obra participó Judith Luna, Erika E. Garza, y Wendy Lara. Si no conocen a estas actrices muy pronto las conoceran. Sus trayectorias como artistas en los escenarios es extensa e impresionante. Es por eso y por su gran labor en La Obra de Amor, me siento muy orgulloso de haber formado parte de esa producción a lado de ellas, quienes con su talento capturaron los corazones, los sentimientos, y las risas de todos los ahí presentes desde el más chico de los niños a la más grande de edad.
Con personajes como "La Mima Memita" (Wendy Lara), "Berenice La 'Very Nice'" (Erika E. Garza), y "La Chole Soledad" (Judith Luna) y un servidor como el presentador, D.J. y asistente de las tres logramos elevar el arte ante un publico diverso y perspicaz. La producción fue un proyecto especial para Idolina's Adult Daycare y Daddy's D.C. Learning Academy, LLC en Peñitas, Texas. Esperamos poder seguir brindando el arte y teatro al público en los sitios que ellos frecuentan para que siga creciendo el acceso a la cultura y el arte para nuestra comunidad.
Queremos darle las muy merecidas gracias al equipo de producción Phos~Grafe de http://www.phosgrafemedia.com/, en específico a Lucy Salazar y Jose "Polo" Apolinar por su gran esfuerzo tomando video, fotos, y ajustando el sonido y ayudandonos con el lado técnico aparte de su apoyo y gran amistad.
Aquí les comparto una breve lista de las participaciones en los diferentes medios de comunicación y entretenimiento de estas actrices de la frontera Mexico-Estadunidense quienes muy pronto estaran tambien presentandose como integrantes del grupo Escenikos Art Club en el State Farm Arena en Hidalgo, Texas el 13 de Septiembre del 2015.
Erika E. Garza
Viva la vida
Cinco de mayo
Rumbo al hermoso Norte
Frontera sin fin
Monólogos de la vagina
La casa de Bernarda Alba
Man of La mancha
Ruinas Historia de amor
School house rock
La gran distancia
Salvame: Blood for the Sun
Lone Star National Bank
Fred Loya Insurance
Judith Luna (http://www.judithluna.com/)
Canal 9, Cable 19, Telemundo 40, Alegre Despertar
Flee Market Weslaco
Buscando a Frida
Frida y su Soledad
Frontera Sin Fin
Rumbo Al Hermoso Norte
Cordinación de show de niños "Moppets"
Dirección y actuación obra "Los Espejos del Teatro"
Grupo de teatro universitario pastorelas
Teatro de atril "Tengamos el Sexo en Paz"
Trabajo en show infantil
Curso teatro para adultos
Equipo tecnico iluminacion y asistente en "Frontera Sin Fin"
Guion y actuacion "Frida y Su Gran Amor"
Iluminacion en "Chisholm Trail"
Asistente y actuación en "Una huelga singular," y "Rumbo Al Hermoso Norte" (Lectura Dramatizada).
"South Texas Sinus Institute"
"Lone Star National Bank"
"Edinburg Housing Authority"
Few people in the Rio Grande Valley have the ability to organize and hold successful events. What is a successful event? When the crowd outnumbers the invited guests. Many times an event takes weeks in planning and coordination. I guess that's true for most of us. But there are those few, rare ones that possess a special charm, a can-do attitude, a positive outlook, and an enthusiasm that is contagious. These people can throw a party or organize an event at the last minute and people will come. Such a person is Raquel Lopez.
The latest installment of her literary and arts presentation known as Enero Rojo Lunar (subtitled Letras en Español for this occasion) took place on the 29th of June only two days after having put the word out for the event. Raquel said she literally did not sleep one night putting it together. Those hours of lost sleep were not lost in vain, though because not only did the event take place at a totally new venue, but the guests came through by attending and the crowd swelled with fresh faces.
In the poetry scene you start to notice after a while that the crowd is the same for every event held. But perhaps what has helped Raquel's Enero Rojo Lunar's events attract new blood is the fact that every time the program involves something totally new and also variety...plenty of it. This time around there were poets, story tellers, painters, and perhaps the one participant that stole the show, the singer Ana Lisa Salazar singing acapella. She had the crowd singing along and asking--demanding an encore. Truly a thing to see. Haven't been to one of these gigs yet? You're losing out-big time.
"Una Huelga Singular" by Jose M. Alvarez and directed by Pedro Garcia of the Pharr Community Theatre is a fantastic play of enourmous relevance and a hilarity that signifies how much this theatre group has matured. The actors have each honed their skills so well that they managed to do what some more generally accepted groups of actors wish they could accomplish: suspend reality in real time.
It's no easy feat. Standing in front of a crowd that holds you to a certain level of expectation to entertain them and help them immerse themselves in a fantasy. Movies are so good at doing this, especially the really good ones. But those actors have the benefit of the retake. These guys doing it live are tasked with going up there every night four times a week for two weeks and deliver the goods or suffer the pressure of an onlooking crowd that cringes and gasps for air as you freeze bringing the entire fast moving act to a screeching halt like a train about to be derailed. It's an aweful feeling. I've been there. Scary.
But these actors working with the Pharr Community Theatre are such professionals, such passionate individuals, completely dedicated to their craft that they deserve standing ovations, noteriety, fame and all the accolades and benefits that come with being professionals at what they love: acting.
The one reason I wrote this piece tonight after having seen the play is because I cannot stress how absolutely crucial it is for people to know of these things happening in the Rio Grande Valley. If you have not been to a play or to this play, do not hesitate. Get out there. The quality of the overall production I think is being under-emphasized. I dare anyone to go tomorrow (the last showing will be at 3 p.m. at the Carnahan Auditorium at 317 E Gore St. Pharr, TX.) and then come back to this post and tell me specifically why you disagree with this assessment. I can guarantee that you will find it impossible. As a matter of fact, I welcome any feedback on that play.
Congratulations to this wonderfull group of people elevating the art of South Texas and exemplifying what makes great theatre in the Rio Grande Valley.
Above is a gallery of images from the latest PPV (Pasta Poetry & Vino) featuring Rodney Gomez. I thought I would say something about it but I think it would be best to read it from the founder of PPV, Edward Vidaurre. Below is a copy of a post on Edward's blog on Blogspot. Check out the blog when you get a chance.
Pasta Poetry and Vino Featured Rodney Gomez
A flood warning didn't keep words from flowing tonight at Pasta, Poetry & Vino's 49th celebration.
Our featured poet Rodney Gomez introduced us to his beautiful poetry and award winning book, "Spine" winner of the Gloria Anzaldúa prize (Newfound 2015)
It was an intimate reading, with a diverse dynamic of writers fueled with honesty and passion for the written word.
No holds barred words from the depths of each poet and I was lucky enough to absorb each word. That's why PPV is such a gift to all who attend.
Thank you to our featured poet Rodney Gomez for honoring us with his poems and friendship.
In June we have featured author Gabriel Sanchez with his debut collection "The Fluid Chicano" (Slough Press 2015) and Vincent Cooper of San Antonio author of "Where The Reckless Ones Come To Die" (Aztlan Libre Press 2014)
See you in June!
It is amazing to think that almost a whole year has passed since the story of the unaccompanied refugee minors arriving at our doorstep from Central America really hit the mainstream news cycle. For a short while there it seemed that all the media attention would actually get something done, something good. Instead, just a few days ago i read a story about immigrants arriving at the Sacred Heart church in McAllen, Texas wearing ankle braces so as to be tracked. It made me think of animals in the wild when researchers tag them and attach a digital collar to track them and study them. The only difference here is that those wild animals are actually receiving better treatment from the researchers than these folks coming into our country seeking refuge. Now that I think about it, a better analogy is cattle. All that is left for them to be dehumanized completely is to be branded with hot irons right to the forehead, so as to be most visible like some primitive society's punishment to some burglar or armed forces deserter.
The main reason this is happening is not because there is a necesity for measures like these, but because these people are powerless and at the mercy of those processing them like animals that broke a fence and need to be reigned in and kept in check. We are all responsible for those poorly conceived ideas that are not solutions at any level to the issues driving the immigration problem. At issue is primarily a difference that is hardly understood and at times outright rejected by some: immigration and this refugee crisis are not one and the same. The immigration problem must be fixed somehow, that much is true. But the refugee crisis must be acknowledged first, accepted as something that we can address, and engage the issue head-on to try to find some real solutions. The first step is perhaps bringing ourselves back to the reality that these creatures coming from so far away, facing so many dangers and horrors, and leaving their beloved homelands are doing so not by choice but by necesity... and by the way, they are people. The necesity to survive, the necesity to find freedom, lawfulness, and security--that which is absolutely vital for the raising of children and propagation of family and community--is what is lacking in their lands. Who wouldn't head for the sweet land of liberty when facing those conditions? Maybe history can tell us who did and we will know that they, too, did not deserve to be treated like herds of cows run amok.
We are close to finalizing the anthology. I know I have said it before, but the publishing process is twice as difficult when there is no staff to delegate work to and you still have all your "real" work and family commitments to fulfill. The list of contributors to this project is as follows:
(In Non-alphabetical order)
Amalia Leticia Ortiz
Fernando Esteban Flores
Sister Juliana Garcia
Jenny Campos Galvan
Neftali de Leon
Raquel Lopez Suarez
Ana M. Fores Tamayo
Jose G. Cano
Cesar De Leon
We thank you all contributors, donors, and friends for your participation, support, and your continued patience. We are hoping to reveal the final product by late June 2015. Stay tuned...
Something that really intrigues me is art. Art as in painting, representation on a surface with paint of an idea or feeling, or inspiration. I really don't know what it truly is. How does an artist become inspired--possessed--to paint. I saw two painters at this event paint what seemed to me a near complete painting in under 10 minutes while I, along with other poets, painted ideas in the air with our words as we recited poetry. I was amazed. There were two blank canvases behind us and suddenly the artists approached like lionesses upon prey and ripped open the canvases with their paint brushes and images burst out. Truly awe-inspiring.
That was the scene at Hinovations Art Studio in McAllen, Tx on May 1, 2015. It was promoted as the Postcard Art for Hinovations Art Gallery. Artists from around the world sent postcard-sized works to the Hinovations Gallery owned and operated by Raquel Hinojosa. The proceeds from sales of these postcards will go to benefit the gallery's summer art program for youth. Artists as far as Eastern Europe sent in their work to support this important endeavor.
To further spur on the efforts of this worthy cause, Raquel (along with Gaby Rico, a fellow contributing artist at the gallery) set up their canvases in one of the spaces of the gallery where chairs were assembled for the scheduled poetry reading in which participated Rossy Lima, Raquel Lopez, Isaac Chavarria, and yours truly, Gabriel H. Sanchez.
Raquel Hinojosa is a staunch supporter of the arts in all forms. She very frequently opens her gallery to local writers and other art groups to hold events on her grounds if not in the gallery itself. She is a friend to all artists and an important source of the unique art work being produced in the Rio Grande Valley.
The title of our blog has now been changed to "RGV Cross Sections." This was in an effort to give it a much clearer sense of identity and origin...that and the fact that we discovered not long ago that there is a magazine online (not actually a blog, by the way) titled Cross Section (notice it does not contain an "s" at the end, so that's another point of difference).
So, although we were not infringing upon anyone else's ideas, we thought that ours should contain RGV at the front, since it does deal primarily with what is going on here in the Rio Grand Valley. So there it is. The Raving Press' "Cross Sections" blog is now "RGV Cross Sections." Thanks to all who take the time to come by and read up.
This past Saturday I went to the latest event organized by Pasta Poetry & Vino. If you don't know about this organization, it is one of the few that is consistently providing worth-while poetry events in the Rio Grande Valley. It was founded by Edward Vidaurre, a prolific poet from Califas who migrated to the RGV years back. Since, he has become a powerhouse in the literary scene of South Texas. I'm saying this guy is the Stephen King of poetry. He cranks out a collection of poems every time he yawns. That's how productive he is. He wasn't able to be at the event because he had a daddy-daughter dance to attend. Yeah, he's a good father, too. But the Pasta Poetry & Vino (PPV) had a much competent and capable m.c. in Cesar de Leon. Cesar is another one of those poets roaming the calles of RGV, working hard putting together his poetry manuscript that I'm sure will be award-winning.
The PPV this time around had as special guests the women of Vidas Cruzadas, headed by Linda Romero, a very kind and caring person. In their own words, "Vidas Cruzadas exists to offer guidance and mentorship in creative writing to clients and patients in Life Center and El Milagro Clinic as a community outreach program. Introduced in order to help give university students mentoring experience through service-learning, participants write and revise each other’s work and eventually mentor those new entering the project."
I was pleased and grateful to have been invited to this event. The poetry was sumptuous and the ambience at Sahadis lounge, bar, and café in McAllen was quintessential. If you don't know PPV, or Vidas Cruzadas, or Sahadi's, I recommend you get acquainted ASAP. They represent a trend toward perfection in the way we see art, food, and life in the RGV.
For more, contact Vidas Cruzadas, visit Pasta Poetry & Vino's Facebook page, or go to Sahadi's website.
What do you get when you combine the barest of means and resources with the highest intentions and a great effort by a talented set of actors hungry to deliver quality performances? You get a standing ovation. That's exactly what happened last night after our performance of "Rumbo al Hermoso Norte," a play/dramatic reading adapted for the stage by Lucia Macias from the book "Into the Beautiful North," by Luis Alberto Urrea.
The circumstances surrounding the preparation for the performance were difficult ones. Working on a zero budget brings its own set of challenges aside from the typical ones of actually being able to get to rehearsals on time or at all. There are matters of health (I became ill during the last two weeks prior to the event and was not able to attend rehearsals). There is also the matter of each of our own responsibilities outside of the commitment to theatre. And yet, in spite of the obstacles we all were able to overcome. This is not easily achieved but only when the individual's dedication and a little luck intervene.
I want to thank Lucia and the rest of the members of Escenikos Art Club for inviting me to participate in this event. They are a group of professionals that are so passionate about their craft and so dedicated that they deserve to, and I am sure they will, achieve great things as actors and artists, and in life as well.
Gabriel H. Sanchez is an author, poet, actor, editor, and publisher from the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, on the border with Mexico. Gabriel is the author of "Once Upon a Bad Hombre," "The X Series," "The Martian Ones: Tales of Human Folly," and "The Fluid Chicano." You can read more about him and his other projects at gabrielhugo.com or on his Facebook page: @gabrielhugoauthor.
Fueled by RPM