Estás en tu casa. Feel free to wander around, find out who I am and see what I've been up to. You can read my blogs or excerpts of my poetry, fiction and essays, watch videos of my lectures, buy my books, or book me to speak, and learn about some of the projects I'm involved in.
Discovery of the Week
Creative Capital funds innovative artists, and their grantees get support over a period of years, not just money, but also customized professional development. They also offer a lot of services to artists who are not funded: webinars and workshops on finances, marketing and a lot more. I just took one of their webinars and have another one to watch later this week.
Books, Books, Books
Medicine Stories II (Updated and revised)
With the closing of South End Press (see below) I have the unexpected opportunity to reissue my books Medicine Stories and Remedios, and to correct and update both books. I'll keep you posted.
Cosecha and Other Stories
with Rosario Morales
In 1986, Getting Home Alive broke new ground by its content, its form, and the identities of its authors, a New York Puerto Rican mother and her island born daughter, both feminists and radicals. Cosecha and Other Stories is the long-awaited sequel, fourteen short stories, factual and fictional, full of gardens and kitchens, love, loss, and revelation. Available here.
Kindling: Writings On the Body
Kindling: Writings On the Body is now available here at Red Room (my preference) and also on Amazon and CreateSpace.
Read selections from Kindling
"Aurora's writing is itself a kind of alchemy, balancing emotional nuance with rich historical context, simultaneously speaking in an intimate, personal voice and for a collective we. She offers us vulnerable, power-filled lyricism that moves the audience to new understandings of their own lives, as she claims her body's pleasure and pain."
Patty Berne, Co-founder and Artistic Director, Sins Invalid.
Camaradas Near and Far
Isabel Moya, editor of the Cuban feminist magazine Mujeres, at an event in February, honoring the late Sara Gonzalez, one of the most important figures of the Nueva Trova musical movement.
Barbara McAfee and I met because of a man we each spent some years partnered with. I sometimes call her my alimony, and she calls me her lover-in-law. She's an amazing singer/songwriter, song leader, voice teacher and friend, and each time I visit Minneapolis we walk by the river and trade tales. Check out her book Full Voice: The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence.
This summer I'm digging in to finish two very different books: my historical novel Filigree, and a bilingual collection of essays, Cartas Abiertas/Open Letters
I have three trips planned for this fall: First, the Bay Area, where I will be teaching a three Sundays writing workshop and working on plans for a joint performance with Climbing Poetree. Second, Colorado for the Puerto Rican Studies conference and a speaking engagement, and then in November, I'm going to Barcelona, Spain, to speak at a conference on inclusion, and plan to explore ancestral lands in Northern Spain and in Euskadi.
South End Press Closes
After many years as a premier publisher of progressive books, including mine, and a long, hard struggle to survive in the face of a changing book market and a series of unearned catastrophes, South End Press is closing effective tomorrow. This means that my two books on their list will be briefly out of print and then reissued by my own press, Palabrera. I had already made plans to revise and update both Remedios: Stories of Earth & Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas, and Medicine Stories, and
having the rights revert to me, along with print-ready files, will make that process easier. Thanks to the dedicated people of South End for all their many years of service to our movements, and the writers thereof.
Scroll to bottom for CORRECTED information on CASA DE LAS AMERICAS 2015 Literary Prize for US Latin@ Non-Fiction
I am so proud to be part of Sins Invalid. Here's just one of the reasons why. Sins Invalid members know that Disability Justice is intimately linked with all other liberation struggles. Read our statement on withdrawing from the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and check out this disability justice video.
In 1941, World Fellowship was founded in Albany, New Hampshire to be a center of progressive culture and activism for peace during a time of war. In 1959, my great uncle, Lou Sackman, a WPA artist, was among the guests who organized to go sing at the jail where director Wilbur Uphouse was imprisoned for refusing to turn over his guest list to the reactionary state Attorney General. In 2000 my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary there. So we chose it for our family reunion, too.
I spent last week there, gazing at the view of Mt. Chocorua, swimming in Whidden Pond, hiking to a mountain lake, sitting around on the veranda doing jigsaw puzzles with friendly strangers, and attending a week long fiction writing workshop with Ellie Meeropol.
Evenings, we discussed the creative process, writing as part of climate change activism, heard a stunning reading of political poetry by New York poet Pamela Sneed, a night of alternately moving and hilarious storytelling about his travels in Guatemala by co-director Andy Davis, a star studded "fun night" of shared talents, including members of the workman's Circle chorus, and a concert with Jean Rohe and her band. And for the last few days, all my father's descendents were there, with their families.
There's a special kind of relaxation that comes from sitting on a summer's afternoon, in a glorious setting, with people who share your deepest values. Not so much with the mosquitoes, but a body covered with welts is still an acceptable price to pay for such companionship.
The Presbyterian Divestment Vote
You can go to my blog to see what I have to say about this. I watched the vote live with other members of Jewish Voice for Peace and was deeply moved. My brother Ricardo's poster, below, uses text from one of my poems, "Red Sea." Here is an excerpt.
They say that other country over there
dim blue in the twilight
farther than the orange stars exploding over our roofs
is called peace...
This time we're tied at the ankles.
We cannot cross until we carry each other,
all of us refugees, all of us prophets...
No more taking turns on history's wheel,
trying to collect old debts no-one can pay.
The sea will not open that way...
This time it's all of us or none...