Carmen Giménez-Smith @ Ostrich Review
Carmen Giménez-Smith is a CantoMundo fellow. She is the author of a memoir and three poetry collections: The City She Was, Odalisque in Pieces, and Goodbye Flicker for which she was awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry. A Latino/a Poetry Now featured poet, Carmen Giménez Smith is slated to read—along with poets J. Michael Martinez and Roberto Tejada—at the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center for the penultimate reading of this national series. She is currently featured at issue 1 of the Ostrich Review, an online literary journal edited by Nayelly Barrios (with excellent artwork).
Carmen’s poem is titled “Are My Fingers Comb.” What I particularly enjoy about reading a poem is that feeling of being stunned by a particular image or sound and wanting to simply remain in that moment of discovery. Here are a few such lines from “Are My Fingers Comb:”
“is the freckle of my nose the dimmest grief”
“Are my taste buds each tiny current and are the drums
in my ears is my body any currency worth trading”
Xánath Caraza @ Kritya
Xánath Caraza who was recently profiled in this book review and interview for the Letras Latinas Blog is currently featured with four poems at the international journal of poetry, Kritya. Caraza is author of the chapbook Corazon Pintado and the book-length collection Conjuro (Mammoth Publications) due to be released in September of this year. Conjuro or “spellbound” in English (with an introduction by Fred Arroyo) is a trilingual collection of poems written in Spanish, English, and Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) and which the poet weaves together to create “a continues spell of verse.” Of the four poems featured in Kritya, “Copalilllo,” an ekphrastic poem, captures Caraza’a ability to capture what Rigoberto González called the “wisdom from the natural and experiential landscapes, the oral traditions of the heart.”
Eduardo C. Corral @ Undertow Magazine
CantoMundo Fellow and Latino/a Poetry Now Featured Poet, Eduardo C. Corral is also the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Yale Younger Poets Prize. His poem “Saint Anthony’s Church” (along with a nice and meditative note on Eduardo’s poems and what they do to the spaces and people that inhabit them) is currently featured at Undertow Magazine. From the head note: “The poems… hold beautiful imagery that’s somehow quiet and also rough, meditating on the ideas of the spaces people embody and the feelings of distance and estrangement between people and spaces (or spaces and other spaces).”
María Meléndez @ La Bloga
Amelia María de la Luz Montes profiles María Meléndez at La Bloga and her poem “Why Can’t We All Get Along.” Amelia María de la Luz Montes writes a compelling headnote in which she discusses the media’s failure to capture a compelling form of the imagination and language that truly communicates the injustices of our days: We may be presented with statistical sums and other “fair and balanced” opinions but we can never imagine them. It is because of this failure of language and the need to restore the affection that is born of imaginative experiences (like reading poems) that poets like Meléndez are needed. Her poems “open up familiar terrains in ways one may never have considered before—in poignant and searing language. “Meléndez, a Latino/a Poetry Now featured poet, is also slated to read in the fall of 2013 at the final installment of Latino/a Poetry Now on the campus of Notre Dame.