I hear that over 11,000 people attended this year’s AWP Conference (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) in Boston from March 6-9. Plenty of powerful latino authors participated in panels and readings. I didn’t get a chance to attend all events, but I did go to the presentation of NewBorder’s forthcoming Anthology: NewBorder: Contemporary Voices from the Texas/Mexico Border. I also got to hear poet Eduardo C.Corral in a panel entitled ‘The Divided Heart’.
At the NewBorder reading, Dalel Serda (http://newborder.org/masthead/dalel-serda/) read from her nonfiction piece documenting the lives of sex workers at the border, John O. Espinoza (http://www.john-olivares-espinoza.com/) shared poems about identity and border-crossings, and Sergio Troncoso (http://www.sergiotroncoso.com/) read an essay on taking his children to El Paso, waiting for the day when they might visit the Juarez of his childhood. La Casa Azul Bookstore even got a mention from Sergio Troncoso when he described Mexican presence in El Barrio.
At the panel ‘The Divided Heart’, Eduardo C. Corral read his poem “In Colorado My Father Scoured and Stacked Dishes” (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/243752). He explained that being the 2011 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition was a bitter-sweet experience. Sweet for the recognition and for knowing he would help pave the way for further latino poets. Bitter for the realization that he’s the very first latino poet to win the award. Corral says that when a door opens for him, he’s careful not to move too quickly towards the center of the room, and instead tries to stay at the door for a moment, holding it open so that other talented latinos can enter the space and share their work (http://www.eduardocorral.com/).
(Ah, AWP. What a nourishing, ecstatic, overwhelming experience: https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/overview)
See you in Seattle for AWP 2014!