The idea for the "Poets Facing the Wall" anthology was born right on the U.S. - Mexico border. It has been both the anti-Mexican/immigrant rhetoric and the deafening silence or apathy of most Americans including many living along the border that made the need for such a publication a must. People need to realize what this wall truly represents. At a time when border crossings are down, and many immigrants are actually going back south to their respective homes, why is the wall more needed now than when the influx was higher? Is its true purpose to stop people from coming in? Or could it be that it is meant as a symbol to cast a message broadly and clearly to the world beyond our southern border?
"DON'T STEP IN MY YARD. EVEN IF YOU ARE RUNNING FROM DANGER. I DON'T CARE. STAY OUT!"
The Statue of Liberty stands on an island turning its eyes toward Europe with a soft demeanor, gently posed holding the torch to light the way for the weary traveler seeking refuge from the darkness of the world they have left behind. The Statue of Liberty's torch is the light that represents the dream of a better future, where the sun shines equally upon all who look to it seeking its warmth. The statue itself is the guardian and guarantor of that promise.
According to the National Park Service's website,
"The torch is a symbol of enlightenment. The Statue of Liberty's torch lights the way to freedom showing us the path to Liberty. Even the Statue's official name represents her most important symbol 'Liberty Enlightening the World'."
By contrast, what does a non-human-like and unnecessary barrier say when its faceless and eyeless semblance stares coldly at our neighbors in Latin America? It speaks of a greater problem than illegal immigration. It speaks of an inability to recognize that without immigration, the U.S. would have been impossible. People in our country like and respect those who "tell it like it is". And in this case, it is a fact that our country was founded by illegal immigrants first, then legal immigration became the preferred institutionalized method of entry. But there are exceptions. Asylum seekers and refugees must be given a chance to be heard and helped. Especially, since data shows that the vast majority of all immigrants actually prop up our economy; they do not drain it.
But then the question of race comes into play. And that is the biggest obstacle to our future. Perhaps, more than anything, the wall will represent not the need for security form evildoers, but the failure to defeat false beliefs of racial superiority. This has been the greatest stain in our past. The cement holding the construction of those false beliefs must not be allowed to solidify, for like all walls that have ever been erected to divide it will not succeed. Only bridges and roads can take humanity onward toward the future. Let this anthology assist in taking a step in that direction.
Below is the list of accepted works and their authors. (Not in order of appearance in the final publication.)
An Inheritance of Fear
By Jill Evans
As We Forgive Those
By Roger Sippl
Seres Jaime Magaña
By C. R. Resetarits
BLUES FOR JOSE ANTONIO ELENA RODRIGUEZ
(Traditional 12 Bar Blues Song)
by Laurie Jurs
Construction of First Border Wall Segment to Begin
in a South Texas Wildlife Refuge
By Kristin Barendsen
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HELD AND HELD
by Catherine Lee
By Richard Nester
-The Greatest, Most Beautiful Soliloquy EVER!
-Ten Commandments Updated
By Rick Blum
Guardian of the Mountains
By Michael Garrigan
-I Am Chicano
-You Make the Call
By Sammy Ybarra
Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By Miranda Rocha
Myopia of belonging
By Sunayna Pal
By Ana Maria Fores Tamayo
By Xanath Carraza
Oh, Say Can You See
By Wendy Baron
On Day 1, We Will Begin Working
By Natalie D-Napoleon
-The Fool’s Game
By Teri Garcia-Ruiz
-ok | walk on the way
-yr assignment spend a day here along
By Steven Alvarez
-Blood, Sweat and Tears
By Vanessa Caraveo
By Sharon Lundy
by Sheena Pillai Singh
-Song for America XXIII (the nation’s anthem)
-Song for America XXV
-Song for America XXVIII (for Marvin Gaye)
By Fernando Esteban Flores
-De este lado del muro
By Gabriel González Núñez
Ten Feet Higher
By Richard King Perkins II
The Promised Wall
By Kimmy Alan
-This Just In
By Sandra Anfang
-more harm than good
By Linda M. Crate
-Walls Divide Us
-Mr. Trump Tear Down This Wall
By John “Jake” Cosmos Aller
By John M. Bellinger
by Johnny Barboza
-Lament for Emma Lazarus
By Robbi Nester
We are Sisters!
By Patty York Raymond
-What I Need Now
By Dorothy Baird
-The Travel North
-Keep my dream Alive
By Jose Rafael Castilleja
-WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE
By Jude Brigley
by Octavio Quintanilla
Thanks to all of the poets who submitted their work for evaluation. The accepted submissions are of great significance and literary quality. The poems along with the introduction by Enclave Magazine's founder and editor, Hector Luis Alamo, make this anthology one of the most important and well-crafted we have put together. I am proud to have my name associated with this project. It should become required reading for public schools, colleges, and universities. We are looking to a late October or early November publication. We will announce an official publishing date in less than two weeks.
The submission deadline for the upcoming "Poets Facing the Wall" anthology (The Raving Press, 2018) has come and gone. We have received an abundance of amazing poetry. We were astounded at the level of sophistication of most of the submission material we received. This anthology will be our first to include three different languages, and contributions by writers from as far as New Delhi, India, making this not just an international publication, but a global one.
Many of the works you will see in this anthology come from prize-winning authors, as well as from writers relatively new to the publishing process, but who exhibited a lot of heart and passion. And that is why we went to the poets primarily for this project.
It is the poets who speak from the heart. It is the poets who are historically willing to risk liberty, life, and limb to stand up for justice, for humanity in an inhumane phase of history, and for beauty in an otherwise savage world. Poetry may not bring riches. Poetry may not win wars. Poetry may not even sway the masses when the track that's been laid before them leads the train down a dark and irreversible path to their own destruction. But poets (as opposed to historians, politicians, media talking heads, and Monday-morning quarterbacks) call the plays as they should be in real time regardless of the fury and fire they may spark in those whose interest is to keep the people blind to the truth.
We hope that this project and future ones (here's wishing the First Amendment a very long life still) will inspire and fill with hope everyone who comes across it. That they may sample the brilliance of the minds that contributed the sacred fruit of their ponderings to this publication and feel elevated. That they may repurpose the walls that ignorance and hate erect to divide people and use them as bridges on which all can walk in each other's shoes and see a common humanity.
Thank you, poets, friends, authors, editors, reviewers, our introduction writer (soon to be revealed), collaborators, teachers, family, and compatriots. We will be announcing the publishing date in early Fall.
Until then, keep writing and reading books. If you are ever in need of reading material please consider getting yourselves a copy of one of our latest titles like "Lost:Children of the River"
or "Bad Hombres & Nasty Women".
The deadline to the "Poets Facing the Wall" poetry anthology is approaching fast! We have received submissions from around the country from writers with an impressive array of past publications. We are also receiving submissions from poets who are relatively new to the publication game. This makes for an interesting time sorting through the submissions, since neither of those two backgrounds is a true determinant of the quality of individuals' works. But the result will be the selection of only the top material for this very important publication.
We want to encourage individuals who are still considering submitting to do so asap. Don't let the deadline pass you by. Once we go past the deadline we will be moving on the selection process "like a bitch" (LOL) to determine the shape of the book and its flow. Get in on this now. The surprising thing about it is that, although it is a publication about a topic affecting primarily people of the borderlands of Mexico/U.S., most of the submissions are from outside of this area. Strange because the border is filled with poetas who have things to say. This is your chance to join a diverse crowd of wordsmiths from around the country.
No notices have been sent out to authors who have submitted material. So if you are one of those authors, please know that we won't send out any notices until AFTER the July 1 deadline. Thank you for your patience and for taking part in this project. It's going to be a great book. You will be proud of the final product when it is published.
Remember, only 6 days left. Go HERE for submission guidelines!
Saturday, April 14, 2018 was the date of the 2nd Annual Book & Art Festival by The Raving Press Events held at Speer Memorial Library in Mission, Texas. Several important things happened that ensured the success of this great effort in collaboration with the Speer library staff and Barnes & Noble. In this post, we remember the greats...the individuals that showed up and represented.
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).
To build "THE WALL" or not to build "THE WALL," that is the question. Will it curtail the flow of illegal immigration? Or is it merely a symbol of unwelcome to immigrants from south of the U.S. border?
Like Liberty Island features the Statue of Liberty welcoming Europeans with a warm poetic phrase ("Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."), so too does the US/Mexico border deserve poetry to adorn the otherwise featureless, cold, and faceless barrier that like an extended, flat-sided hand will stop THOSE immigrants in their tracks, turning them back to whence they came.
Submissions are open from February 28, 2018 to July 1, 2018. Deadline is 11:59 pm July 1st.
THIS ONE IS AN ALL-POETRY ANTHOLOGY
We accept up to three (3) poems (English, Spanish, or mix/bilingual) of up to two pages in length. No previously published work accepted.
Submit your work as a Word document along with a short bio to:
Incomplete submissions will be rejected.
Please submit works that are compelling, passionate, and well-thought-out. Please do not submit rants, name-calling treatises, or exercises in distaste. Write as if you are talking to a family member whom you don't hate, and whose view of the world is diametrically opposed to yours.
The Raving Press (through one of its promotional arms "The Raving Press Events" partnered with Barnes & Noble among other entities) is proud to announce the very first book fair event of 2018!
We want to invite you to another book signing to kick off 2018's very first book fair by The Raving Press Events hosted by Barnes & Noble. The event takes place in McAllen, Texas (see the flier for details).
Being that we actually have stuff written about this by our partners at Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande and Barnes & Noble, we'll just shut up and let you read their messages for yourself.
Help us by supporting our efforts in publishing books through various imprints, as well as promoting other local small press publications. You'll also help the Catholic Charities, authors of the Rio Grande Valley, and Barnes & Noble: the last great nation-wide bookstore. This one particular store in McAllen, Texas is supporting local authors and presses in full force. Society simply cannot do without any of these groups.
We hope to see you at our kickoff book signing event on February 23, 2018.
It's somewhat of an odd feeling to write about myself here because most of the time this is a blog about events and other things happening along the RGV and the border in general. But I would be remiss if I let you miss out on a gift I am giving to all the people that follow the work that I do here and on other platforms. On October 31, 2017 I will be making my book "The Martian Ones: Tales of Human Folly" available for FREE for four days. This is a somewhat feminist, somewhat political critique, Latino/HIspanic/Chicano-themed sci-fi/dystopian horror collection of fiction stories.
For more on this please CLICK HERE.
In other, more pertinent to this blog, news: the anthologies "Bad Hombres & Nasty Women" and "Lost: Children of the River" by The Raving Press are now available for just $0.99 cents on Kindle!
However, if you are the type that prefers the paperback you can get a discount by CLICKING HERE.
And, of course, if you are in the Rio Grande Valley, you can always pick up a copy of any of these books at our local Barnes & Noble in McAllen, Texas. For their address and other details, CLICK ON THIS.
Support the arts of the borderlands. Buy a book. It's holiday season. Time to start planning gifts. Give the gift of literature. The world will be a better place because of it. Thank you.
Straight to business. No mumbo-jumbo. Here is the link to your completely and totally
The book is our anthology about the unaccompanied minors at the U.S. - Mexico border titled "Lost: Children of the River" (The Raving Press, 2016). But you need to click the link asap because the offer ends at midnight tonight.
However, if you are late to this message, as a consolation gesture we will extend another great offer to you. A half price discount on that same book but in the paperback version. For that, you will need to visit our E-Store and use the promo code: D3PPENCT
The second topic is a book launch happening today. The book in question is of my own authorship. Yes, I am also a writer. This book is a collection of fiction about the idea surrounding the proposed establishment of a colony on the planet Mars. The book is titled "The Martian Ones: Tales of Human Folly" by Gabriel Hugo. (That be me).
The event takes place today August 18, 2017, at Barnes & Noble Palms Crossing at 6 p.m.
3300 Expressway 83 # 1100
McAllen, TX 78501
Why am I plugging my own book here? Because this book along with a whole host of others by different local Rio Grande Valley authors and publishers are all part of our on-going Barnes & Noble Book Fair in support of the great work being accomplished by the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, a non-profit organization out of Harlingen, Texas.
If you come into this particular Barnes & Noble store (see address above), all you have to do is say "I support the Young Center Book Fair" at the register and the folks there will make sure that a portion of the money from your purchase goes to that organization.
Folks who are not in the area can also help by going to Barnes & Noble .com and using the book fair voucher id: 12204590 at checkout.
The in-store book fair will be running until August 25, 2017. It continues online until August 30, 2017.
Thank you all for your support for The Raving Press, local authors and artists, to me, to our local book stores, and to our local non-profits. Have a great weekend!
I won't lie to you. If you miss this event, you will end up hating yourself. Oh, and also, please come out to this event and help us fill up 174 seats!!!
It's 12:22 am at the moment this letter is being written. It's a last minute push to put the word out about our event at the Weslaco public library theater. There are 13 1/2 hours to go until we get up on that stage. You might wonder what is a newsletter about books and publishing doing talking about a "show"? I'll explain briefly.
I have been around poetry readings and book signings so much that I am more than familiar with the common approach. Usually, it involves people sitting around watching an individual get up to a podium or microphone stand and literally read to the audience. The reader will usually use a book or one of a variety of devices to read from. This approach is good when all you care about is the actual poetry itself more than the person who wrote it. But after many outings to similar events, you start to want something more. That's what happened to me. I wanted to see a show, not just someone reading off a book.
That is how "The Raving Press Events" was born. We organize and coordinate events centered around authors and their books. But we ask them to try to make it a show. This is accomplished in several ways: video presentation, dramatic performances, recitation (that is, reciting your works without reading it off a page or a device), and or, delivering a motivational/inspirational/enlightening speech.
So, if you are still wondering what an event like this would be like, there you have a gist of it. But you know the best way to experience it? By being there in person. Every time we hold one of these events people leave it with smiles on their faces and books in their hands. I think it is because they realize while they are there that they have been part of something different. Something transcendental. That is what we aim for. That is what you will get. And even if you don't buy books or cds, you can't deny that nothing beats going to a show in a great, classic theater, enjoying a FREE show in the cool a/c while all the other poor souls burn in this South Texas heat. And if you are not in the area, you should plan to come down this way sometime. There is magic happening in the borderlands. You need to be a part of it.
Mayor Joe V. Sanchez Public Library (Weslaco public library)
Gabriel H. Sanchez is an author, poet, actor, editor, and publisher from the Rio Grande Valley.
Fueled by RPM