Thursday, December 29, 2011

My mom loves this song and so do I. I am leaving El Paso, TX tomorrow for Denver, CO and will miss El Paso very much. When I get back to Denver, I will immediately begin sending poems out to journals again. El Paso is warm today. I could wear shorts! It just snowed here, ( a light dusting ;) ) last week. Will miss the border immensely, but things are really working out for me in Colorado these days. Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

There are bad books of poetry written by Latinos too. Just sayin'. So is marketing where it's at, solely? I don't think so. I think people push and clamor their way into readings and events and blah, they read, and it's absolutely terrible, but people are polite. Sooo, nobody says X book of poems is lousy. As a matter of fact, some people compliment and swoon because X poet is in a position to get them readings and residencies, but the fact is, as LDC used to say, the proof's in the pudding.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

This is me, my brother and mom with my 99 year old grandmother! Great x-mas and a blessed new year to all of us!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

So happy for these holidays as I am home and yes, it's snowing on the border!!! Amazing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today I got some wonderful feedback on the manuscript. Fact is, with time, it's getting better and better. In any case, I will probably meet with this editor for lunch in January, and I'm learning to be thankful for each improved line, each improved image, and the changing ordering of the poems; boy did I get some much needed help on that with one fantastic email which covered the manuscript well. I am learning patience, which is a VERY good thing. I don't want to publish a crappy book. It's worth the waiting, the editing, the re-visioning. I have a new title and new themed sections on the way yet again. One on El Paso and colonization, one one women and one on the Father figure. It has a great title I think, but I'll wait to share that.

I'm back in El Paso and having a wonderful time with family. My grandmother is now 99, and we will see if she makes it to 100 as she may need a new pacemaker, which can't be replaced due to her age. I hope she makes it to 100.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Here's information about the art show if you are in the Denver area.

Today, I caught the Christmas spirit! I'm leaving to El Paso on Sunday! Hope to be at Amit's party on Tuesday! Yay! Who is Amit? The editor and publisher of BorderSenses. One nice guy. In any case, Saturday is the art show. After NOT wanting to show up, my books came in today, so I've decided to sell my book, Pity the Drowned Horses, along with the art. People are encouraging me, but, I'm really a beginner. You know it's like someone who's just begun writing saying they are a poet. But I will show up on Saturday with all my pastel and pencil designs. Told someone I didn't care to hear his opinion or get his credit today and it felt really good, REALLY good! My work is cultural and expresses a respect for diversity. Anyone who doesn't respect the IDEA of diversity, doesn't get to tell me to take a poem out of my manuscript. Period.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sent the manuscript out again after cutting it from 75 pages to 50 pages. Re-titled it too and am Very nervous. But why worry now? I have to keep trying and get the mindset that in time it will be taken. Ugh. Have to get my mind on the newer work and be relentless in sending it out. Hopefully this small independent press will like it. I really like the new title a lot. I've really streamlined it I think, but at the moment I have no sections as sections keep feeling forced, and I want it to flow nicely from one poem to the next without a coerced theme that makes the collection seem uneven.

I have plenty of time to write and think while I'm waiting to hear back I'll work on new work which I will eventually send out to journals. Why worry? I lack confidence. But I am working my way back to having it. I think this press may like it, but I have no idea really if they will as it's very different than Pity and am glad to have dropped the title Seven and the too-heavy load of poems that came with it. It's much lighter and more cohesive, but boy do I worry!!!!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Deep breath. I will re-order the manuscript and re-work poems and send it out again sometime in January to this new press. I believe I may re-title it as well.

At the library looking at ALL the poems I've written since 2005. I'm going to work on gathering the best ones and re-organizing the entire manuscript. I think I'm looking at three sections now, instead of the heavy seven.

Headed to El Paso on Dec. 18th for the holidays. Yay!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

CantoMundo is a master writers workshop for Latina/o poets. It will occur in Austin, Texas, July 12-15, 2012.

For more information, go to

Admission to CantoMundo is by competitive application. The deadline for applications to CantoMundo 2012 is Saturday, December 31, 2011. Guidelines are below.
Submission Guidelines for CantoMundo 2012
Master Poet Craft Workshops
Submit the following:
  1. Cover letter (One page, single-spaced, 8½ x 11-sized paper, with 1-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font) – Include
    a. Contact Information
    i. Name
    ii. Address
    iii. Phone Number
    iv. Email
    b. Brief history of previous publications and/or public readings/performances
    c. Statement of commitment to CantoMundo vision
    d. What you would like to gain from the CantoMundo retreat
  2. Sample of writing (Five pages maximum, single-spaced, 8½ x 11-sized paper, with 1-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font)

Criteria for Craft Workshop Selection
The criteria are:
  1. a significant record of publishing in poetry (book-length manuscript, chapbook, major journals, etc.) and/or broad and accomplished experience in the performance of original poetry. Self-published work is excluded.
  2. Self-identify as Latina/o

Formatting Directions for Applications
WordDocs only
Letter-sized paper (8½ x 11), with 1-inch margins
12-point font, Times New Roman

Email the application packet
Please email the application packet

(Cover Letter and Writing Sample)
as one WordDoc attachment with the heading
Celeste Guzman Mendoza

All applications must be received by midnight, CST, Saturday, December 31, 2011.
Only email applications will be accepted. 

Poets who gain acceptance will be notified no later than March 5, 2012 (via phone or email).

If you have any questions, please write:
Celeste Guzman Mendoza
CantoMundo is committed to including a collective of diverse poetic voices and styles, as well as representation from all Latina/o backgrounds.
Each accepted poet is responsible for her/his own per diem, travel and hotel costs.
Upon acceptance CantoMundo will provide information on discounted hotel rooms.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Oh Lord. AZ rejected my manuscript, my poor little manuscript which has nowhere to go. Maybe. Another press has "invited" me to submit and they are "invitation only," so hopefully my poor poems, my impoverished, skinny little things will find a long lost home! AZ has books published till 2013, a balm to my wounded ego. No, I still have the ego in tact, though self-esteem is teetering. Will I ever find a place for that manuscript? First one falls through,and the second option takes a dive. Is the third time the charm? Is this a hint from the universe that I start again from scratch?!!!  That would be okay. I think maybe I tried to rush due to everyone else publishing books back to back, but alas that's not my destiny. It's slow going down on these lower rungs of the literary establishment and/or po-biz. No Poetry Society of America exposure for my little sad poems and sadder thoughts and posturings about Latino poetry or about poetry.My poems need anti-depressants they are so lonely. But I am trying and I will try and try again.I've sent work to a number of journals I am waiting to hear from. I can work on it all a little more, though these malnourished poems aren't feeding me! They have in the past and I want them to take care of me again, ever? Maybe I should reapply to Yaddo or something. I feel at a loss here with all this time to write and nowhere to publish. I hope my spankin' new press likes my submission.  It's come down to a difficult choice re: next month, but I'm going to go where I can find some shelter from the storm. I hope. I need to be treated well. And my poems should be treated better. They, like me, if anything are persistent little suckers.