Friday, August 5, 2011

Check out my buddy's new blog

If you've never heard of  Vicente Lozano be patient. You will. He is one of the most talented writers I know, so I'm thrilled he finally decided to launch a blog (click on his name).  He is the second, among my most talented writer friends to launch a blog and let me say, it's long overdue.

This may sound snarky, but it seems to me that the first rush to blogging was made by those who were pushed into it by book P.R. folk, or by those who approached the process with the breathless anticipation of a teenage boy about to get some. Neither of those make for good blogging or writing, for that matter. So, it's cool to see writers—good writers—taking the form seriously. It may be going the way of MySpace, but I trust that after a fallow period, the form will emerge anew. How do I know this? It's just a hunch. In this restless media climate, I think the chips are still falling and I have to believe that good, solid writing will eventually survive.

Vince only has two posts. But please read and comment. It will encourage him and I'm all for encouraging good writers!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

CantoMundo Comes to Austin

Read my feature about CantoMundo, the new Latino poets collective HERE.

Sadly, it's one of the last books features to be published in the Austin Chronicle, the alt-weekly where I've worked for the last ten years. The books section is going away, as are several staff members, me included. Times are rough out there for print media. The good news is I have more time to write! The bad news: more hustling, less stability.  I had thought about taking a drawing class, maybe now is the time.

I'm thinking about changing the title of this blog. Not sure to what. Will give it some thought and announce.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

'What You See in the Dark': my review

My brief 300 word review in my home publication, The Austin Chronicle, cannot capture the full breadth of my astonishment over what Manuel Muñoz has accomplished in his debut novel, What You See in the Dark.  I have always found his work to be austere and beautiful, like Shaker furniture, and he delivers more of the same in this carefully constructed novel that links three, seemingly disparate women, whose stories are told before the backdrop of a film production (the iconic Psycho). The official pub date is Tuesday, March 29, but a little bird told me you could find it in bookstores now, as well as online.

Muñoz is one of those writers I feel blessed to have read, like Cristina Garcia and Helena Maria Viramontes (who Muñoz studied with). If I'm lucky, I'll get to spend some time with Muñoz and Viramontes at this summer's Macondo Workshop. Better start saving my pennies now!

Please click on the title above to read my review. What do what you think? I'd like to know.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Iréne in el Valle!

Iréne Lara Silva reading
Check out fellow Macondista and amazing poet, Iréne Lara Silva as she reads from her work, Furia, in el Valle. I heard her read at Resistencia Bookstore in Austin. I had forgotten what a gifted poet she is. Check her out! You can click on the link above the photo to watch. Unfortunately, it's only one poem, and I'm not too thrilled with the angle, but hey! It's better than nothing.

Congrats to Iréne! You really threw yourself, mujer!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A shout out from Sandra Cisneros— How cool is that?

San Antonio-based Sandra Cisneros and Austin-based writer David Rice spoke about the world Chican@/Latin@ writers find themselves creating in, in this installment of National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation, hosted by Neal Conan. Click on this link to read the transcript and listen to what what said. The remarks at the end of this interview are also illuminating.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New in 2011

For those of you wondering what I do when I'm not writing books—in other words, what do I do for a living?— I write for this fine alt-weekly, the Austin Chronicle. This is the cover of a new anthology of music writing gathered over three decades. While I am not a music writer (it's freaking hard!), I managed to get three pieces in here. Maybe more. The small, crowded print in the online Table of Contents made scanning hard. I'm thrilled, because one of the pieces I'm most happy with is included, a review of of Charanga Cakewalk's Chicano Zen

The Austin Chronicle Music Anthology is available from the University of Texas Press next month. To pre-order or to get the deets, click here.