Wednesday, April 21, 2010

VIPF Schedule of Events


(Please check for updates on schedule or call (956) 358-7211.
Poets listed are scheduled to appear, but may not be available as listed.)

Free Admission * Open To The Public
Donations Welcome * Books & Shirts For Sale

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Boundless 2010: Anthology Release Reception (McAllen)
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
McAllen Chamber of Commerce Conference Room
Note: Copies of Boundless 2010, the anthology of VIPF, available for $10. 124 pages; perfect-bound; anthology includes poems by 49 poets from across the U.S.India, and England. Wine and cheese reception and readings to follow; Registered poets check-in.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Poets in the Schools (private)
Juarez-Lincoln High School:—9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (tentative)
McAllen Memorial High School: Oscar C. Peña and Michael Guinn—9 to 4 p.m.
Edinburg North: Amalia Ortiz and Lady Mariposa—12 to 4 p.m. (tentative)

Youth Poetry Slam Contest (Mission)
6:00 – 6:45 p.m.
Jitterz Coffee Bar
Note: Recitation contest open to high school students; 6:00 register to compete.

UT-Pan American Student and Faculty Readings (Mission)
6:45 – 7:45 p.m.
Jitterz Coffee Bar
Note: While we respect freedom of speech, this is a family establishment; appropriate language is expected; inappropriate language will not be tolerated.

Open Mic (Mission)
7:45 – 8:30 p.m.
Jitterz Coffee Bar
Note: While we respect freedom of speech, this is a family establishment; appropriate language is expected; inappropriate language will not be tolerated. Sign up with M.C.

Featured Poet Reading: Jesse G. Herrera (Mission)
8:30 – 8:45 p.m.
Jitterz Coffee Bar

Featured Poet Reading: Michael Guinn (Mission)
8:45 – 9:05 p.m.
Jitterz Coffee Bar

Adult Poetry Slam (Mission)
9:05 – 9:55 p.m.
Jitterz Coffee Bar
Note: Recitation contest open to registered poets only.
Master of Ceremonies: Michael Guinn, Featured Poet
Note: While we respect freedom of speech, this is a family establishment; appropriate language is expected; inappropriate language will not be tolerated.

Saturday April 25, 2009

Potluck Desayuno/Breakfast (McAllen)
9:30 – 10:00 a.m.
McAllen Chamber of Commerce Board Room
Note: Please bring something to eat and drink, preferably to share.

Readings: Galeria 409 (Brownsville)
10:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Hosts: Mark & Betty Clark
Featuring: Diana Domínguez, Yolanda Barrera, Brenda Nettles Riojas, Jay Alvarez, Oscar C. Peña, Juan M. Pérez, Frank Piña, Arturo Saldaña, Julieta Corpus, Alan Oak, Lady Mariposa, Virginia Torres, Lauren Espinoza, Diana T. Cordova, Lina Suárez

Book Presentation: Chamber of Commerce (McAllen)
10:00 – 10:55 a.m.
Board Room
Hosts: Josie Mixon and P.C. McKinnon
Award-winning poet Josie Mixon discusses her third book, Off The Beaten Path; Mixon is a survivor of sexual and domestic violence and abuse. McKinnon is her biographer.

Workshop: Chamber of Commerce (McAllen)
11:00 – 11:55 p.m.
Board Room
Host: Shirley Rickett, author of Dinner In Oslo
Description: Finding the nugget in your poem.
Note: Please bring ten copies of your poem to share with other participants.

Readings: Narciso Martínez Cultural Arts Center (San Benito)
12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Featuring: Adriana Babiak-Vázquez, Oscar C. Peña, Robin Cate, Juan M. Pérez, Julieta Corpus, Luis Vázquez, Diana Domínguez, Tim Smith, Amalia Ortiz,
Rudy H. García, Jay Alvarez

Workshop: Chamber of Commerce (McAllen)
12:00 – 12:55 p.m.
Board Room
Host: Dr. Steven P. Schneider, professor of English at UT-Pan American
Description: I will illustrate how photographs and works of art can be used as a catalyst to inspire students’ writing. Each participant will write a poem in response to a photograph or work of art.

Readings: Jitterz Coffee Bar (Mission)
12:00 – 1:50 p.m.
Host: Gabriel de la Garza
Featuring:  Daniel García Ordaz, Jesse G. Herrera, Ken Jones, Laura Reagan-Porras, Meliton Hinojosa, Linda Romero, Jesús Beltrán II, Cory Raymond, Josie Mixon, P.C. McKinnon, Ernesto Dueñas

Readings: Museo Casamata (Matamoros, Tamaulipas)
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Host: Museo Casamata
Featuring: Kenneth Treviño, Arturo Saldaña, Yolanda Barrera, Brenda Nettles Riojas
Note: Passport is required; carpooling likely.

Book Presentation: Chamber of Commerce (McAllen)
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Conference Room
Host: Dr. Steven P. Schneider and Reefka Schneider
Description: Borderlines: Drawing Border Lives (Wings Press, 2010) is a bilingual collection of poems written by Dr. Schneider in response to a series of 25 drawings by his wife, Reefka.
Note: Books available for sale.

Spotlight on Mexican Poets: Chamber of Commerce (McAllen)
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Conference Room
Host: Efraín González
Featuring: featuring Arnulfo Vigíl, Vicky Rodríguez, Lucía González, Efraín González, Armando Alanis, Gabo de Montemayor, Yolanda Barrera
Note: Books available for sale.

Readings: Paragraphs On Padre (South Padre Island)
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Host: Joni Montover
Featuring: Kenneth Treviño, Juan M. Pérez, Diana Domínguez, Rudy H. García, Amalia Ortiz, Tim Smith, Alan Oak, Lady Mariposa, Virginia Torres, Lauren Espinoza,
Diana T. Cordova, Lina Suárez

Readings: Savory Perks (Weslaco)
2:30 – 4:45 p.m.
Host: Savory Perks
Featuring: Jesse G. Herrera, Oscar C. Peña, Laura  Reagan-Porras, Meliton Hinojosa,
Shirley A. Rickett, Jay Alvarez, Cory Raymond, Josie Mixon, P.C. McKinnon

ReadingsSouth Texas College: Mid-Valley Campus (Weslaco)
3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
Host: Arnold Becho, Librarian
Featuring: Mona D. Sizer, Oscar C. Peña, Adriana Babiak-Vázquez, Luis Vázquez, Rolando Villafuerte

Readings: Public Library (Pharr)
3:45 – 5:30 p.m.
Host: Adolfo García, Director
Featuring: Daniel García Ordaz, Juan M. Pérez, Frank Piña, Laura  Reagan-Porras, Linda Romero, Jesús Beltrán II, Lady Mariposa, Diana T. Cordova, Lina Suárez, Virginia Torres, Lauren Espinoza, Cory Raymond, Ken Jones, Ernesto Dueñas

*Poetry Pachanga Dinner (*private)
McAllen Chamber of Commerce Main Hall
6:00 – 6:50 p.m.
Note: Dinner for Registered Poets and their Guests Only ($10 per guest)

 4th Annual Poetry Pachanga: Musical Performance
by Karen Eubanks (McAllen)
Chamber of Commerce Conference Room
7:00 – 7:45 p.m. (Doors Open at 6:45 p.m.)
Karen Eubanks is a young singer/songwriter with country/soulful/pop vocals and an emotional, natural delivery. Catch the rising star of the Rio Grande Valley music scene.

4th Annual Poetry Pachanga: Readings (McAllen)
Chamber of Commerce Conference Room
7:45 – 10:30 p.m.
Featuring All Registered Poets: Armando Alanis, Jay Alvarez, Adriana Babiak-Vázquez, Yolanda Barrera, Jesus Beltran II, Vanessa Brown, Robin Cate, Diana T. Cordova, Julieta Corpus, Diana Dominguez, Ernesto Dueñas, Lauren Espinoza, Daniel García Ordaz, Rudy H. García, Efraín González, Lucía González, Michael Guinn, Jesse G. Herrera, Meliton Hinojosa, Katherine Hoerth, Kenneth Jones, P.C. McKinnon, Josephine Mixon, Gabo de Montemayor, Brenda Nettles Riojas, Alan Oak, Amalia Ortiz, Oscar C. Peña, Juan M. Pérez, Francisco Piña, Jr., Cory Raymond, Laura Reagan-Porras, Shirley A. Rickett, Virginia Rodriguez Garza, Linda F. Romero, Arturo Saldaña, Veronica Sandoval, Steven P. Schneider, Mona Sizer, Lina Suárez, Tim Smith, Virginia Torres, Kenneth Treviño, Luis Vázquez, Arnulfo Vigíl, and Rolando Villafuerte.

Sunday April 25, 2010

Dr. Gloria E. Anzaldúa Burial Site Visit (Hargill)
10:00 a.m.
Meet at UTPA Bookstore, 1201 W. University Dr.Edinburg (corner of 107 and 4th St.)
Note: We will depart the parking lot at 10:10 a.m. after sorting out carpool. Spiritual readings at the Valle de Paz cemetery.
Note: Call Daniel at 956-358-7211 to RSVP

Monday, April 19, 2010

Please RSVP?

A couple paragraphs from Grammar Girl's April 19 e-newsletter:

Last week's newsletter was a disaster! Not only was there a typo (yes, we have a proofreader and review the copy more than once), but also in the section about my New York City book signing on May 1, I wrote "Please RSVP." Oh, the horror! I've known that "please RSVP" is redundant since junior high.
"RSVP" is an initialism of the French phrase "répondez s'il vous plaît," which means "reply if you please." Since "RSVP" already has "please" in it, "please RSVP" is redundant.
Why did I write "please RSVP"? All I can say is that we all have bad days.

Spring Salon 2010

Photos in our Web album.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Maybe We Shouldn't Write Like the Profs

Here's the first few paragraphs of a good article on academic wrting in The Chronicle of Higher Education by Rachel Toor called "Bad Writing and Bad Thinking:"

Recently I was asked by a colleague to talk to his graduate class in physical education. He invited me because he had read some of my work—on being an athlete, on gender and body issues—but mostly, I suspect, because I was around and available.

They were a lively group of students, and we chatted for an hour, discussing topics we were all interested in. They asked smart questions.

When we were wrapping up, I asked them a question: "What is your relationship to reading and writing?" At that moment, they morphed from T-shirt-clad physical specimens and became generic graduate students, indistinguishable from all-in-black, cigarette-smoking studiers of literary theory and bearded-and-geeky future scientists. It's all we do, they wailed, and it's hard.

What's hard?

Click here for the rest of the article.

"Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?"

A new book on the authorship debate asks why some people refuse to accept "the Stratford man"
-- by Laura Miller

"It bristles with difficulties," observed Henry James about the "authorship controversy," the 200-year-old argument over who wrote the plays and poems attributed to William Shakespeare. You can count James (along with Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, Helen Keller and such notable actors as John Gielgud and Derek Jacobi) among the anti-Stratfordians, those who question the conventional view. The majority of experts may feel confident that the author "Shakespeare" was none other than the man Shakespeare and not some aristocrat or intellectual using the celebrated Elizabethan actor as a front, but those who disagree — a small but vocal minority of academics, independent scholars and outright cranks — will not be deterred.

James Shapiro's penetrating new consideration of the debate, "Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?" is misleadingly subtitled; Shapiro, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University and the author of the acclaimed history "1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare," does not doubt the Stratfordian view himself. But he does differ from his colleagues in insisting that the quarrel ought to be publicly addressed. Until now, most Shakespeare experts have treated the anti-Stratfordians much as the mainstream of science has handled the proponents of intelligent design theory: that is, as a crackpot fringe who will only be encouraged and legitimized by any response. And we all know how well that strategy has worked out.


Twitter Posts to Be Archived by Library of Congress

In case you missed it from the various media:

The Library of Congress announced Wednesday via its official Twitter feed that it would be adding tweets to its inventory of published works. The addition of the vast body of public tweets sent since Twitter's founding in March 2006 is the latest step in the Library of Congress' effort to incorporate digitally published works into its archives. With an official press release forthcoming, the Library posted a teaser on its blog...

Read more at The Atlantic.

Monday, April 12, 2010

EGADS! Advisor and President at April 22 Poetry Reading

EGADS! Advisor Diana Dominguez and President Alan Oak will be reading at the opening and anthology release for the Valley International Poetry Festival on Thursday, April 22, 7 p.m. at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, 1200 Ash Ave.

Dominguez and Oak have both been accepted for publication in the 3rd annual festival's anthology, Boundless 2010, and will be reading their included poems at the event, where they will be joined by many of the nearly 50 anthology contributors. It promises to be a star-studded event of the Valley's best.

The festival runs from Thursday, April 22 through Sunday, April 25 at venues throughout the Lower Valley. Visit the website to see event listings and make your plans.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Starbucks: It Could Have Been Pequods

CNN has an sycophantic article about Starbucks that includes the following literary tidbit:

Nothing says marketing genius like a vague literary reference. At least that was the logic of Starbucks' original founders -- two teachers and a writer -- who named their fledgling coffee bean business after a supporting character in Moby-Dick.
Before the founders decided to name the place after Captain Ahab's first mate, Starbuck, they considered naming it for Ahab's boat, the Pequod. According to a Starbucks spokesperson, they changed their minds when a friend tried out the tagline "Have a cup of Pequod."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wag's Review Writing Contest

Dear Writers,

Wag’s Revue invites you to enter its summer contest in fiction, poetry, and essays. Submissions of electronic writing are also encouraged in any of the above genres. First prize receives $1,000 and publication in Wag’s Revue issue 6. Second prize is $500, third is $100, and all submissions are considered for publication. There is no limit to the number of entries an author may submit. The contest deadline is May 31, and winners will be announced June 21. The submission fee is $20.

View our complete submissions guidelines here.

Aspiring to marry the rigors of print with the freedoms of the internet, Wag’s Revue is an online quarterly of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Its previous issues featured George Saunders, Dave Eggers, T.C. Boyle, Stephen Elliot, Brian Evenson, Wells Tower, Daniel Wallace, K. Silem Mohammad, and many others.

“Remarkable” – Poets & Writers
“A triumph in online literature” – The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog
“Highly recommended to everyone” – Live Nude Books

Read more at Wag's Revue.

We look forward to reading your work.

Sandra Allen, Dave Eichler, Will Guzzardi, and Will Litton
Editors, Wag’s Revue

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Samuel Johnson reads, "The Lives of the Poets"

Found this video of "Samuel Johnson" reading from his "The Lives of the Poets" on YouTube. Too cool. When you pull up the page, at right there are links to Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and others reading their works. Awesome!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Victorian Women Liked Sex!

Breaking: Victorian women liked sex!

Their corsetry may have been tight, but they weren't straitlaced in the bedroom, says a long-lost survey


English and Cognitive Science

I've been on the edge. Here's the proof!

History of Two Trendy Words

Found the following word histories for "goth" and "hipster," from Merriam-Webster and, respectively.

Goth: This word contains over a thousand years of drama. In brief:
Around the fifth century, the Goths were a tribe that helped defeat the Roman Empire; by the 1500s, gothic meant "barbaric" and was used to insult a new style of architecture; that architecture became associated with the medieval age; ideas of medieval darkness and mystery inspired gothic fiction of the 1800s like Dracula.
All this eventually led, in the 1990s, to goth fashion – characterized by vampire-ish black clothes and eyeliner, and a preference for dark music and moody Romanticism.
Norman Mailer famously used the word to describe the middle-class whites who fetishized jazz culture in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, and in 1958 Jack Kerouac applied it to the members of the Beat Generation. For most of the twentieth century, it was used as a vague and usually pejorative term for a person with trendy countercultural interests.