Sunday, October 30, 2016

International author Xánath Caraza’s latest book is a moving prayer, in Spanish and English, to water

DONDE LA LUZ ES VIOLETA / WHERE THE LIGHT IS VIOLET by Xánath Caraza,    Nov. 15, 2016  Translated by Sandra Kingery, Introduction by Beppe Costa, 208 pages, perfectbound, $18 ISBN: 978-1-939301-69-7 For inquiries and multiple orders: or for online discount $14.50 PayPal Click here. 
International author Xánath Caraza’s latest book is a moving prayer, in Spanish
and English, to water, at a time when this essential of life is most precious. Now a native of Kansas City, Caraza draws upon Nahuatl (Aztec), Spanish and English traditions in this accessible and lush verse diary. Each poem is a sequence in her journey to Italy, where she finds water ever present in seas, rivers, Venice canals, and rainstorms. This is a beautiful book. Tino Villanueva, 1994 American Book Award recipient writes: “Part diary, part poeticized travel journal, Caraza’s, Where the Light is Violet is nothing if not a paean to Venice, Murano Island, and likewise to Rome, Pompeii, Florence, et al.  The poet is ever swept away by all complexities of natural splendor (waterways, flora, and fauna), under a colorful vaulting sky, an exuberance conveyed in sensual verse, and chromatic flourishes, Greco-Roman mythology serving, at times, as backdrop.” See more information at Mammoth Publications

Xánath Caraza, award-winning author, teaches at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and makes presentations in Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. She is Writer-in-Residence at Westchester Community College, New York. She writes for La Bloga, Periódico de Poesía, Revista Literaria Monolito, The Smithsonian Latino Center, and Revista Zona de Ocio.  She is originally from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. More information and news at Xanath Caraza

Saturday, October 8, 2016

AWP forms Committee on Inclusion for Writers and Writing Programs

At the 2016 Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference last spring, Claudia Rankine challenged members to improve inclusivity of MFA Programs and literary organizations. David Haynes, a trustee of AWP, is heading up a new AWP Committee on Inclusion. Its goals are in the new AWP Chronicle, including (1) conversation about inclusion in "pedagogy," curriculum, administration, and social environment. . . ." (2) development of academic program benchmarks for "inclusive literary communities and how to teach effectively among diverse students" (3) review of AWP "governance, policies, and projects to ensure inclusiveness and equity." I'm humbled to be part of this committee, along with Bonnie Culver, Oliver de la Paz, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Christopher Merrill, January Gill O'Neil, Craig Santos Perez, Jerod Santek, Eduardo Corral, Luisa Igloria, Julie Landsman, Sonya Larsen, Katie Hae Leo, Adrienne Perry, Kristine Sloan, and Johnny Temple. See Rankine's comments on the AWP website, available to the public: “” 
In Our Way: Racism in Creative Writing

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Watkins Museum of History Sponsors a Free Memoir Workshop in Lawrence

Lawrence-KC area writers interested in the art of memoir, this free workshop is in Lawrence, Oct. 15:
Writing Out: A Memoir-Crafting Workshop. Dr. Kim Stanley of McPherson College will lead this free workshop exploring memoir-writing. She will start by defining the memoir, then provide examples, discuss how to provide context, and invite workshop participants to share memories and begin writing their own narratives.
This workshop is part of the Pulitzer Project in Kansas: William Allen White and Freedom of Speech, sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council.Register at: 785-841-4109 or See the Watkins Museum, city historical museum's Facebook page:
Prof. Kim Stanley has served for ten years as a book discussion leader for the Kansas Humanities Council. For KHC, she has used stories to teach hospice values, to lead book discussions in a state prison, and to conduct a project teaching imprisoned fathers to read to their children. She was lead scholar for a Vietnam War project: “The Big Read” (funded by the NEA).
After her travel seminar to Turkey, sponsored by the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue, she re-designed a course to use literature to teach students about world faiths through literature. At McPherson College, she teaches composition, poetry, and British and world literature.Education:
B.A., Trinity University in San Antonio; M.A., St. John’s College at Santa Fe; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Monday, October 3, 2016

Linda Rodrigeuz shares exercises that help writers stay sharp

My favorite definition of a writer is: "A writer is a person who writes." Perhaps ten years is the average apprenticeship, as my mentor Carolyn Doty used to tell me. Master writer (and teacher) Linda Rodriguez has a blog about how writers are like pianists--they both need regular exercise in their genre. Here is the beginning of her essay and a link to the entire piece on the Writers Who Kill blog:

"Pianists know they must practice every day, playing scales and various exercises that stretch the fingers
and give them the flexibility and dexterity that they will need to play complicated compositions. Long ago, I read in one of Madeleine L'Engle's wonderful journals of life and writing about this need for writers.

'Nobody can teach creative writing–run like mad from anybody who thinks he can. But one can teach practices, like finger exercises on the piano; one can share the tools of the trade, and what one has gleaned from the great writers: it is the great writers themselves who do the teaching.' –A Circle of Quiet

For years now, I've created my own finger exercises, as well as borrowing from other writers who've written books about writing, and used them in my journals."

Linda Rodriguez has published three novels in the Skeet Bannion mystery series, Every Hidden Fear (Minotaur
Books), Every Broken Trust (Minotaur Books), finalist for the International Latino Book Award and the Premio Aztlan Literary Award and a Las Comadres National Latino Book Club selection, and Every Last Secret (Minotaur Books), winner of the Malice Domestic First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition and finalist for the International Latino Book Award. She also has published two books of poetry, Heart's Migration (Tia Chucha Press) winner of the Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence and finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and Skin Hunger (Potpourri Publications; Scapegoat Press). She edited Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives (Scapegoat Press), second place, International Latino Book Award. She is the 2015 Chair of the AWP Indigenous/Aboriginal American Writers Caucus, immediate past president of Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime, a founding board member of Latino Writers Collective and The Writers Place, and a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, Kansas City Cherokee Community, and International Thriller Writers. Learn more about her books and events at