Thursday, November 22, 2007


Thanksgiving is here and I feel like dancing! Throw on the Black Kids "I'm Not Gonna Teach ..." and dance along with me--c'mon!

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I've been sick over the last few days and haven't really had the energy to do anything. I had such big plans for this week. Damn. Anyway, I returned from Chicago last Thursday after reading at Palabra Pura. It was a wonderful experience. Ellen of the Guild really made me feel welcome and comfortable. (I hope she found the other half of my turkey sandwich under the passenger seat). It was also great to read with Eduardo Arocho who tore it up on stage. He's working on an interesting new project that I won't go into here, but I can't wait to see/hear it completed. We also talked about Humboldt Park, and some of the projects he's involved with to preserve the rich, cultural history of the area. The peeps he introduced me to were marvelous--warm, interesting, and obviously, talented gente. And then there was the MC of the night Johanny Vasquez Paz. She's funny and energetic, and just makes it a pleasure to be around her. We swapped books after the reading, and I read her Streetwise Poems/Poemas Callejeros twice on the way home. Git-it! And then Juan, who has ties to s. Cali, and who read an incredible longer poem in multiple parts. I can't wait to read it on the page.

Although it was a quick trip, I had a great time, and I'd like to thank Francisco Aragon for involving me in this beautiful project. What an experience.

On the way to Chicago:
Drunk by Noon by Jennifer L. Knox
Breaking the Alabaster Jar conversations with Li-Young Lee
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau

On the way to San Diego:
Streetwise Poems/Poemas Callejeros by Johanny Vasquez Paz
Teeth by Aracelis Girmay
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau

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I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Paz.

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Is this good?


oscar bermeo said...

sounds like good times. and thanks for the reading list, always nice to see what other folks are readin.

all da best,

ps: i dont know if a turducken is any good but i do love the idea of three different kinds of stuffin.

Johanny Vázquez Paz said...


It was great to meet you. I hope you come back to Chicago soon (try it in the summer, it's when we have a lot of wonderful free music festivals in the park). I'm so glad I checked your blog, I was not expecting to see my name in it. Thanks for promoting my book. I'm still reading your book. Your poems are like short stories and you're so funny.

Buena suerte in San Diego,


Francisco Aragón said...

Dear Paul:

I spoke with both Ellen and Mike Puican, both on the steering committee of PALABRA PURA and both said you were great. I'd been meaning to write you a note
(am currently in Montreal Canada---and it just so happens that I tried Turducken tonight and quite liked it!).

I'm sorry I wasn't able to be at your PALABRA PURA performance. Although I continue to curate the visiting portion of the series (all 10 slots for 2008 is mapped out), I'm now directing LETRAS LATINAS from DC. PALABRA PURA is taking a break in December and then launches anew on January 16 2008. We're hoping to announce the entire season soon. But thank YOU for saying yes to PALABRA PURA. Any chance you might make it out to NYC for AWP?

Manuel Paul Lopez said...

Thanks Oscar and thanks Johanny. I wish you both a wonderful holiday season.

Francisco, Mike and his wife were wonderful. I enjoyed them both during our dinner together. She actually asked me about specific scenes in the book, which was nice.

About AWP, I'm not sure yet. There are a few variables that need to be in harmony to make this happen. We'll see.

Thanks again and take care.