2000-2001 Premio Poesía Tejana Winners
- Greta de Leon: Splintered Silences / Silencios Astillados
- Frances Marie Treviño: The Laughter of Doves
- Carolina Monsivaís: Somewhere Between Houston and El Paso
- Poesia Tejana Contest Rules
Splintered Silences / Silencios Astillados, by Greta de León, translated from the Spanish by James Hoggard with the author
ISBN: 0-930324-63-3. Paperback, $14 | Buy this book
Greta de León Anchondo was born in Mexico City. For the past four years she has lived in San Antonio, Texas, where she works as the Theater, Film Series and Design Coordinator for the Mexican Cultural Institute. She was a founding partner and the first director of the VAU contemporary art gallery, and worked as the Assistant Director of the Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes Museum, both in Mexico City. In 1995 she received a fellowship from the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes to study French and French Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, with Professor Mireille Pingeot, with additional coursework at the Unversity of Reims on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections.
The co-translator, Dr. James Hoggard, is the current Poet Laureate of Texas.
Here where the "soul's threads" are "frayed by doubt," the poet is determined "to live, exercising the secret and / merciless mystery / of desire and silence." Here a word, "suspended / threatens like a thunderhead" or it can "fall on lips / that refuse to pronounce farewells." Here the "outline of fear" is a "profile illuminated by stories and dreams," an "unconscious landscape / fused flesh and stone." Here then is a new voice willing explore depths of vision rarely reached in a first book.-- Bryce Milligan, Editor, Daughters of the Fifth Sun, ÁFloricanto Sí! A Collection of Latina Poetry, etc.
No, no son silencios astillados, es vendaval, brama, es el sue–o indeterminable, trunco, inasido, obsecado, de la ni–a, sus afanes de oropel colgando de listones de todos los colores, sus despertares hœmedecidos en el estiaje de la caricia, es una estrella en la cruz de David, la piel jironada, la asepcia del atav’o, la mirada serena y hueca, el chaquete—n de safari, y lo que sigue. . . . No, no son silencios astillados, es dolor, angustia, drama, esperanza conformada en lejan’a y solitud, en aullidos que se desbaratan en el traquetear de un tren, en aviones, autos y naves que nunca llegan al puerto. No, no son silencios astillados, es energ’a, mando, humor, alegre’a de vivir, es el empezar de nuevo desde donde siempre desde donde entonces desde donde ayer. No, no son silencios astillados.-- Felipe Santander, dramaturgo
The Laughter of Doves, by Frances Marie Treviño
ISBN: 0-930324-61-7. Paperback, $14 | Buy this book
Frances Marie Treviño is the chair of the English department at Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Texas, home of the oldest high school literary magazine in the state. She is also a writing instructor at The University of the Incarnate Word. Her publications include A Certain Attitude: Poems By Seven Texas Women and a chapbook, Mama & Other Tragedies (both Pecan Grove Press). The Laughter of Doves is a recipient of the 2000 Premio Poes’a Tejana.
Breathless, yet filled with light and mystery, Treviño's poetry has the directness and simple sensuality of poetic truth. Emotions bared, her images flutter upward like the laughter of doves. This young poetic talent truly has the power of "artery, vein, blood and breath." -- Carmen Tafolla, Ph.D. author of Curandera, Sonnets to Human Beings, and other works.
Somewhere Between Houston and El Paso, by Carolina Monsivaís
ISBN: 0-930324-62-5. Paperback, $14 | Buy this book
Carolina Monsivaís is currently an Outreach Advocate at Sexual Trauma and Assault Services, Inc. (STARS) in El Paso, Texas. Originally from El Paso, she moved to Houston in 1994 to complete her education (B.A. 1998). While in Houston she was first a Residential Advocate, then School's Educator for the Houston Area Women's Center. She is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant supported by the City of Houston/Harris County (2000).
Here are poems from the heart of a committed activist side-by-side with poems of personal insight. Catching sunsets that greet her "with a different face / each time I make my way back home / to desert," Monsivaís finds both courage and inspirationsomewhere between Houston and El Paso. -- Bryce Milligan, Editor, Daughters of the Fifth Sun, ÁFloricanto Sí! A Collection of Latina Poetry, etc.
Carolina MonsiviasÕs approach toward art frees us to enjoy our roles as writers, teachers, activists. She has a gift for telling stories that are provoking and moving through the most essential elements of poetry. Hard hitting but uplifting; tough as nails but soft as a kiss, this is art that forges a new imagination where we can revel in the horror and the glory of the human experience.-- Tony Diaz, author of The Aztec Love God, editor of the anthology Latino Heretics
Review: El Paso Times (Sunday, April 27, 2003) Poetry details life in Houston to El Paso area-- By Raymundo Eli Rojas
"I drop a rope inside myself and with callused hands covered with blood I pull on the rope that has my strength on the other end." So reads an untitled poem, descending like a rope down a page in Carolina Monsivais' small book of poetry "Somewhere between Houston and El Paso,"
Monsivais, a youth outreach counselor in Houston, grew up in El Paso's East Side and attended Eastwood High School. She graduated from the University of Houston and, while there, began writing poetry. She also began counseling women and children who had been victims of violence.
Monsivais describes how for years she counseled the same woman who would come into the counseling center -- though not really the same woman, but each time another woman in the same situation: "She arrives stifled / she arrives in silence / she arrives calculating / she arrives wearing the face of too many women."
The poet's work won the Premio Poesia Tejana Prize, and she was awarded the city of Houston/Harris County Individual Artist Grant.
"Somewhere Between" has a style reminiscent of Lorna Dee Cervantes with the thirst for human rights of Abelardo B. Delgado. Women play a big role in Monsivais' poetry, which includes poems about a sister, grandmother, a mother with cancer and many nameless women with fresh wounds delivered by their spouses.
In one poem, the poet even describes fellow El Pasoan Cecilia Rodriguez. In the poem, Rodriguez, Monsivais describes the Zapatista rebellion of 1994 to a Houston audience: "She brought to us stories of pueblerinos whose names we'd later write on paper tombs during a protest of their massacre." The title poem states,
As always, I anticipate the sunset that greets me with a different face each time I make my way back home to desert, I carry always right below skin in sand-swept pulses, It drops red, behind mountains ...
Monsivais' work is one that the reader will soak up and cherish. Her future looks bright, and we hope she keeps her pen flowing. Copyright 2003, El Paso Times. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of the author.