Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Auspicious Beginnings

I plan to use this blog to discuss writing, my own and that of others, but I also want to look at society and politics. I’m, of course, not a member of the art-for-art’s-sake-only-and-if-it-has-something-to-say-it’s-no-good party. As I said at the opening program of The Writers Place in 1992, we as writers have a responsibility to show our society both the what-is that’s going wrong and the what-could-be that would make things right. We are the torch-bearers who must point out the dangers and light the way into a better future. Even in poems about “little” everyday things.

Enough of that for now. I’m a happy woman as I begin this blog. We’ve just inaugurated a new president, and I believe that Barack Obama is the right person at the right time for the United States. More hope on the political front than I’ve had for many years. (Though, of course, that’s not true since I always hope. I’m the Queen of Hope. Hope is life = my mantra.) Also, I just had a call from the Missouri Arts Council and it looks as if the two major grants I just wrote and turned in for comments will probably be funded. That means that the Latino Writers Collective will have an even bigger, more ambitious reading series to follow this year’s. My book, Heart’s Migration, is beautifully designed and typeset and has a gorgeous cover. Many thanks to my great publisher, Luis J. Rodriguez (no relation) of Tia Chucha Press and his great designer, Jane Brunette. Most of all, Virgil Suarez has just sent a lovely blurb for the cover of the book.

Heart's Migration by Linda Rodriguez is a generous, gorgeous book of poetry. It's the kind of beautiful book that comes along every once in a long while, to keep the reader the perfect company. It's courageous, unflinching in its voice and tradition. You read a poem the likes of "My Daughter's Nightmares," and you feel the pangs of familial love and responsibility. Rather quickly at the start of this book you feel like you are invited in, taken into a landscape of vivid image and memorable detail, such is the vibrant tapestry of this book. This is a gifted, capable poet who takes pride in making a lasting human connection. I praise her voice and her passion!

Virgil Suarez, author of 90 Miles: New & Selected Poems, University of Pittsburg Press.

I’m happy that this will go on my book cover and, we hope, convince reviewers and potential buyers to give it a try. But most of all, I’m happy because I respect Virgil as a wonderful poet himself, so just knowing that he liked my work this much sends me flying. It’s much the way I felt after reading on Luis’ blog “the phenomenal poetry of Linda Rodriguez.” Because aside from his work as publisher, community developer and anti-gang activist, Luis is a great writer himself. However, since he’s publishing the book, he’s got a vested interest of sorts.

Anyway, much to be happy about in my universe. I have a loving husband and terrific kids, and I do believe that 2009 is going to be my year!

Queen of Hope, remember?

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