“Another Door Calls” by Elise Stuart

Elise Stuart’s debut collection shimmers in the rain, gets snagged on the cholla, frees itself in the night winds, and goes rolling down a flooded arroyo. This terrific collection couldn’t have been written anywhere but New Mexico, Stuart’s spiritual home. Her familial roots lie elsewhere, but her narrative voice and sensibility reside firmly in the…

An evening with the maestro: Juan Felipe Herrera comes to town

The 21st Poet Laureate of the Unites States came to little Silver City this week. The place will never be the same. Herrera was a hurricane of ideas, poetry, stories, music and love. In front of a packed house, he talked (and sang) about his childhood, about his days tending farm animals, about his father’s…

“Notes on the Assemblage” by Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera is a protean figure, a one-man dynamo: an actor, activist, professor, musician, author of thirty books, and now the first Latino Poet Laureate of the United States. His personal story is extraordinary. His parents were migrant workers, constantly on the move across California. He found an alternative path when he won a…

Rapture – by Sjohnna McCray

McCray’s themes in this first poetry collection are desire, identity and memory. He excavates his past and dredges up images and motifs that form a personal mythology. Many of the poems seem autobiographical. There is a particular focus on the imperfections of the human body: the stump of a father’s amputated leg; “flabby buttocks” and…

60 years of Howl-ing

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, *Ginsberg wrote his seminal poem “Howl” in 1955. It was utterly…

Low White Page: three poets

White page. Sounds like the writer’s biggest challenge. Low white page. Sounds like an abstract crossword clue. Or the beginning of a haiku. Denise Low, Orlando White, Jeremy Page. Three poets whose work I’ve just read. Bone Light by Orlando White I encountered Orlando White a year ago at the Southwest Festival of the Written…

Mailbox Chronicles no. 1: Mission at Tenth

‘Mission at Tenth’ Volume 5 arrived in my mailbox last week. It includes an extract from my novel, Damnificados (page 49, if you really want to know), so I’m a little biased, but I think it’s an excellent publication. I haven’t read it all yet, but I particularly enjoyed a brilliant story by Josip Novakovich…