Saturday, February 02, 2008

Where In The World Is Lorna? Rally, Rallying, And Lorna Dee's New Book!


Foto Copyright 2008 by Francisco J. Dominguez - Not to be used without expressed written permission.

Well, one place I'm not is NYC at the AWP. I so wanted to go this year and meet up with all of you, visit old friends and attend the Latino Arts Conference which was at the same time. I also wanted to attend the honoring of Tato Laviera, and all the other side readings and events to the AWP this year. Also, maybe get in some schmoozing. IF I so desire and choose to re-enter academia. Ahem. But the conference sold out early, and my economic resources depleted early as well. Besides, what with all this germ warfare going on, I've been fighting off a nasty flu/ bronchial thing that just keeps lingering on like the pink mucus de-energizer bunny.

So, where I've been is rallying and rallying. Besides the 35th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade event in San Francisco, I had the great honor to be invited by Janice Mirikitani, a poet who has had a major influence on me and my work, via Leticia Hernandez, a young poet who is dynamite and who presented at the event last year - to present for the 22nd Annual Martin Luther King March and Rally for the Glide Memorial Church at the Bill Graham Theater. Luckily, my voice held out, only one little off-squeek. But I was so nervous, I made the mistake of reciting my slogan: Don't Hate, Educate! as starting out: "Hate..." Oops. I should have covered my tracks like a jazz musician and said something else, turned it into something else, but instead I apologized and then got it right. I had 5 minutes so read 3 short poems, 2 new ones on immigration rights - stating that if MLK, Jr. were alive today, he'd be standing for the rights of immigrant workers. Then I read "10 One-Line Poems For America" from DRIVE: The First Quartet. Early on I asked Howard, the incredible Saxophonist for the Glide choir and Tim, the electric guitarist to jam with me on the one-line poems. Luckily, they agreed. I do SO love performing with jazz musicians - it really is in my blood. Howard jumped in on the second immigration poem and it sounded really good. It was a very moving day, all around. And, thanks so much to photographer extraordinaire, Francisco Dominguez for snapping this shot (no doubt destined to be a classic) of me reading the last word of the second poem: "JUSTICIA!" a la Phil Goldvarg.

Then, rallying once more, I presented my poetry along with a little motivational speaking and lecturing on the writing process (the creative/critical process) for the Chicana/Latina Foundation. This was also quite moving. It was so great to see so many beautiful minds in that room, and know that each one is afforded the opportunity she deserves. Good luck to all.

Meanwhile, I was asked to provide copies of my latest book for them and the board members of the foundation, but DRIVE costs $25 each and I couldn't get the books on time (I just had a week), so I offered to put together some chapbooks of poems selected specifically for them. Well, that project turned into an 80 page new book of new and selected poems entitled BIRD AVE y New Mission Poems. I have limited copies for a mere $10 each. Sure to be a collector's item soon. You can write to me; or, better yet, invite me to come read/present in your location for copies. You can also click my Amazon pay system at the bottom of this page (long scroll, sorry) and see if that works to pay directly, and I'll shoot you a copy in the mail.

I'll be reading at UC Davis on Feb. 20th. And possibly reading for the Lunada at the Galeria de la Raza here in The City; that is, if I can convince Marc Pinate that the full moon is actually on thursday, Feb. 21. More on my spring schedule soon.

Also, I'll be starting intensive workshops this month. More on that soon, too.

"Peace is a many tendered thing."

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