On 50% discounted sale: JUAN LUNA’s REVOLVER

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Dear poetry lovers and friends far and wide—

I have on hand possibly the last 100 copies of Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press); and they are on sale for $9 each or 50% discounted (add $3 US shipping, $19.99 for all other international orders of 1-3 books total). Orders may be placed through PayPal using luisa dot igloria61 at gmail.com

Will you get them for yourself? For family and friends? For a local library or two or three?

Many, many thanks in advance for your support!!!

xx
Luisa

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2 new books coming out this year!

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Dear friends, I am overjoyed to share some good news— I look forward to two new books this year:

the first one, at the end of spring from Phoenicia Publishing (Montreal)— NIGHT WILLOW: PROSE POEMS

and the second, in summer from Utah State University Press – ODE TO THE HEART SMALLER THAN A PENCIL ERASER, which was selected by Mark Doty for the 2014 May Swenson Poetry Prize.

If any of you are running reading series, literary festivals, or poetry events, please consider these two books— I would be happy to consider invitations to read from early fall 2014 onward.

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In addition, thank you for considering these books for course adoption.

Thank you/Mil Gracias/Maraming Salamat for all your support!?

Over the moon…

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… to receive tonight by email, a copy of the blurb written by 2014 May Swenson Poetry Prize judge Mark Doty for my manuscript Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser:

“When Luisa Igloria cites Epictetus— as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place— she introduces the crowded and contradictory world her poems portray: a realm of transience, yes, where the vulnerable come to harm and everything disappears, but also a scene of tremendous, unpredictable bounty, the gloriously hued density this poet loves to detail. ‘I was raised/ to believe not only the beautiful can live on/ Parnassus,’ she tells us, and she makes it true, by including in the cyclonic swirl of her poems practically everything: a gorgeous, troubling, over-brimming universe.”

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Toward the end of 2013, we experienced a milestone life event in that we closed on our very very first home shortly before Thanksgiving, which meant a mad rush of packing and moving into our new home right before the Christmas holidays. All this of course was going on as we wound down the fall semester at the university where I teach— which meant days and nights of sheer exhaustion in our race to beat deadlines of various kinds.

We stopped to catch our breath for a few days to celebrate Christmas and the new year, and our daughters coming home from school for the holidays with their significant others. In between festivities, there were new homeowner challenges of many kinds— sewers backing up, emergency calls for plumbing and HVAC service, termite and pest control services, etc. In other words, we got thrown the whole book, without benefit of a training workshop!

Then, after the older daughters had returned to school and we here at home anticipated the start of the spring semester, we all were felled by some evil strain of influenza (even though we had taken care to get our flu shots in October). Much languishing and generable miserability followed, for a good ten days: coughing, unremitting headaches, pain, pain, pain, fevers, sawdust-in-the-mouth syndrome, some episodes of upchucking…

So it was that shortly before the Lunar New Year rolled around and we had all just shakily returned to work/school, I received a much needed boost in the form of a phone call from the director of the Utah State University Press, Michael Spooner, who told me that my poetry manuscript Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser, had been selected by contest judge Mark Doty for the 2014 May Swenson Poetry Prize. Utah State University Press will publish the book in paperback, hardcover, and e-book versions in summer 2014.

It’s just now starting to get publicized, and poet, qarrtsiluni co-editor, and publisher Dave Bonta tonight very generously posted this wonderful announcement on his Via Negativa blog, where I have been posting (and where he has been archiving) my daily poems for the last three years.

Here is Dave’s post tonight about the 2014 May Swenson Prize:

“I want to congratulate my Via Negativa co-blogger Luisa A. Igoria for winning the 2014 May Swenson Poetry Award. Her manuscript Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser was chosen by Mark Doty, a poet I greatly admire, from among 25 finalists — which had in turn been winnowed by preliminary readers from a field of nearly 700 entries. It will be published in hardcover, paperback and ebook later this year, with a preface from Mr. Doty.

Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser will be Luisa’s 15th full-length book of poetry, and her third (with The Saints of Streets and Night Willow, forthcoming from Phoenicia Publishing) to include poems from this website. Luisa estimates that about 75 percent of the poems in the book first saw light of day at Via Negativa. That includes the title poem.

Needless to say, this is another huge vindication for Luisa’s daily poem-writing practice. I hope it might encourage other poets to be a bit more open about sharing poems on blogs, as well, and to stop worrying that A) writing every day might mean compromising quality, or that B) regular online self-publishing might preclude other opportunities. Personally, I know I wouldn’t be writing either as much or as well without Luisa’s daily example as a guide and inspiration. I hope she’ll continue to share her work on Via Negativa as long as she is able.

*

If you’d like to study writing with Luisa and her colleagues—John McManus, Michael Pearson, Janet Peery, Sheri Reynolds, and Tim Seibles—at Old Dominion University, their MFA Creative Writing Program is currently accepting applications for next fall (deadline: March 1).”

Thank you, Dave… In so many ways, your generosity in sharing creative space at Via Negativa and The Morning Porch have made this and my two other recent books (The Saints of Streets, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, fall 2013; and Night Willow: Prose Poems, forthcoming from Phoenicia Press, Montreal, spring 2014) possible.

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My thanks to novelist Cecilia Manguerra Brainard for the invitation to write this guest blog.

Another Videopoem by Marc Neys: “Trauermantel”

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The talented and critically acclaimed Marc Neys aka Swoon Continue reading »

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A few weeks ago I completed a small series of Tarot-inspired poems.

Though there are 78 poems in the series, they do not closely adhere to the actual layout/distribution (suits, major or minor arcana) of a conventional Tarot deck. Rather, what I wanted to accomplish was to create poems on/using the idea of divination, using domestic objects and experiences as thematic starting points.

The series, which I have called Chance: A Poetic Tarot is available for reading/viewing in its entirety at Via Negativa

Thinking a little bit more today about “divination,” I am reminded that the root word is “divine”— meaning, all that lives in and comes from mystery, which we immediately recognize when we are thrown into its presence, but over which we do not really exercise any human influence or power.

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Before I go further, a digression— Three years ago (on November 20, 2010) I began writing at least a poem a day and posting these on Dave Bonta’s Via Negativa website.

Without initially intending to do so, I have since become fully engaged in and by the daily practice of writing poems. Not only has “running with my muse” daily made me more limber and given me much valuable biofeedback about my writing; it has also taught me many lessons about fear and anxiety, my habits (both good and bad), the many little (and big) excuses that the self seems to conveniently find when confronted with things it is afraid of and/or that must get done…

Three years later, I realize with so much gratefulness: Continue reading »