Alex Espinoza has won a 2014 American Book Award for his novel The Five Acts of Diego León. The award, presented by the Before Columbus Foundation, “respects and honors excellence in American literature without restriction or bias with regard to race, sex, creed, cultural origin, size of press or ad budget, or even genre.”
Espinoza’s story “Scenes from the Films of Orlando Real” – from an earlier version of Diego León – appeared in HUIZACHE’s debut issue.
Tobar vividly narrates the miners’ lives post-rescue as they come to terms with their life-changing experience and the media frenzy surrounding it. Rich in local color, this is a sensitive, suspenseful rendering of a legendary story.
In the Memoir/Travel category, PW includes Domingo Martinez’s My Heart is A Drunken Compass (Globe Pequot/Lyons, Nov.), noting “Martinez’s first memoir, The Boy Kings of Texas, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Here he returns to his roots with another bittersweet story of family.” PW’s full review of the book has yet to be released.
Maria Venegas’ memoir Bulletproof Vest: The Ballad of an Outlaw and His Daughter was published in June by Farrar Straus & Giroux. NPR raves: “[A]s amazing as that emotional honesty is, it’s the brilliantly executed narrative structure — the stubborn refusal to give in to established perceptions about the memoir — that makes the book truly amazing. It’s likely Bulletproof Vest will be taught in college classes for years to come, not just because of its brutal and heartfelt prose, but because of its technical brilliance. There are more than a thousand stories in this book, each one holding the others up and collapsing in on themselves. It’s a stunning achievement, and it proves, beautifully, what the memoir can be.” An excerpt from the book in progress appeared in h1.
Tim Seibles has been awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize: “Three judges selected Seibels for his book “Fast Animal,” a collection of work that threads life’s journey from childhood to adulthood. The text was a 2012 National Book Award finalist.” Poems by Seibles appeared in h1 and h3.
We’re excited to share news of Maceo Montoya’s latest publication, Letters to the Poet from His Brother. Montoya will be published in HUIZACHE’s fourth issue, coming this fall.
Here’s what he has to say about his book: “I’m writing now to announce the release of Letters to the Poet from His Brother, published by Copilot Press. A combination of both my written and visual work, the book is described as ‘hybrid memoir woven between essay, painting, drawing, and poem.’ Letters to the Poet from His Brother is a deeply personal book, delving into my relationship with my late brother, poet Andrés Montoya, as well as with my artist father Malaquias and the cultural legacy of the Chicano Art Movement. It’s an important moment for me to share these thoughts with family, friends, fellow writers and artists, and the greater community.
“Perhaps most importantly, I also see it as a way of sharing Andrés, my memories of him, and his impact on me. For that reason I wanted to find a way of connecting Andrés more directly to the project. So in his honor, proceeds from the first 300 copies sold will be donated to the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize Initiative–a project of Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. This will eventually help to fund a symposium focused on Andrés’s life and work.”
David Campos, whose poetry appeared in HUIZACHE’s third issue, has been named winner of the 2014 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize.
Rhina P. Espaillat, who judged this year’s contest, writes of Campos’ collection: “But the prize goes to the remarkable Pica, a work whose five parts trace a son’s effort—only partially successful—to fulfill his father’s expectations and—perhaps even more difficult—understand those expectations enough to forgive them.”
Congratulations to Laurie Ann Guerrero, who has just been appointed San Antonio’s new Poet Laureate by Mayor Julian Castro. Guerrero, whose collection A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying won the 2012 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, was a featured reader at HUIZACHE’s recent reading in Seattle.
Of her collection, Francisco X. Alarcón writes, “This is the poetry of both saints and sinners (and even murderers). The poet conjures up Pablo Neruda, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sylvia Plath, and is rooted in the best Latin American, Chicano/a, and contemporary American poetics, able to render an effective poetic version of Nepantla, the land where different traditions meet, according to Anzaldúa. These poems make the reader laugh, cry, cringe, lose one’s breath, and almost one’s mind, at times. These poems restore my faith in the power of poetry.”
And congratulations, too, to Carmen Tafolla, who has just completed her busy two-year term as the city’s first Poet Laureate, during which she conducted over one hundred events, ranging from school visits to public performances. Tafolla is the recipient of numerous honors, including two Tomás Rivera Book Awards, two ALA Notable Books, and the the prestigious Américas Book Award. She has been recognized by the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies for work which “gives voice to the peoples and cultures of this land.”
We’re honored to have published them both in HUIZACHE.
For more on San Antonio’s new Poet Laureate, visit:
HBO has optioned h3 contributor Domingo Martinez’s The Boy Kings of Texas (Lyons Press 2012). The coming-of-age memoir about growing up in Brownsville, Texas, in the 1980s was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012; a Gold Medal Winner of the Independent Publishers Book Awards; and a Non-Fiction Finalist for The Washington State Book Awards.
“It’s beyond my comprehension that this book has drawn this level of attention and success, but I’m doing my best to absorb it and adjust,” said Martinez, who is currently working on his next book, My Heart is a Drunken Compass, which will be published by Lyons Press in November 2014. “I have to credit my agent, Alice Martell, and my editor, Lara Asher, for seeing the potential in the book in the first place, and all the support I’ve had at Lyons Press. It was my first book, and with nothing in the way of a publishing background, I was certainly a gamble. But to their credit, they saw what the book could be and what it’s done, and so here it is, making the leap from the literary to the cinematic—and on HBO, no less.”
Martinez will write the script; Salma Hayek and Jerry Weintraub are the executive producers on the project.
And to read Martinez’s Changes in Altitudes, check out our third issue.