Tuesday, September 04, 2007


"I'm telling you a story of brick and bone,
of merciless rain subduing cars in their tracks.

I'm handling their images in my hand
a series of retablos, haloed faces in vapored windows..."

Check out The Outer Bands, a poetry collection by Gabriel Gomez, published by University of Notre Dame Press and winner of the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize.

“Gabriel Gomez is an accomplished poet, one who honors the resonance of language as well as reverberations of form. And, like a retablo, each poem shimmers with reverence, if not for saints and Biblical figures, but for the beauty and poignancy of complex, contemporary life.” —Valerie Martinez, from the introduction

Some sample poems.

from the U of ND press website: "The Outer Bands is a first collection of poems from Andrés Montoya prize-winner Gabriel Gomez. The book is an expansive examination of language and landscape, voice and memory, where the balance between experimentation and tradition coexist. The poems realize a reconciliation between the writer’s voice and the voice of witness, wonder, and tragedy; a dialogue between two worlds that employ an equally paradoxical imagery of the American Southwest and the marshes of Southern Louisiana. The book concludes with its namesake poem, “The Outer Bands,” a twenty-eight-day chronicle of the days between Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, which together decimated the Gulf Coast region in 2005. The sequence poem, a pastiche and re-contextualization of images, news blurbs, and political rhetoric, travels and responds in a spare subjectivity to the storm. Gabriel Gomez completed it during a two-month emergency residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute after his home in New Orleans was destroyed."

GABRIEL GOMEZ is a poet, playwright, and music journalist born and raised in El Paso, TX. He received a B.A. in Creative Writing from the College of Santa Fe and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from St. Mary's College of California. He has taught English at The University of New Orleans, Tulane University, The College of Santa Fe, and The Institute of American Indian Arts. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife Julie. The Outer Bands is his first book.

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For Latina/o poets with a first book manuscript (no entrance fee!) Andres Montoya Poetry Prize (judge Martín Espada) Deadline Jan. 15, 2008.

-Inaugural prize winner: Pity the Drowned Horses by Sheryl Luna

-Prize named after, in honor of: Andres Montoya, author of The Iceworker Sings & Other Poems

for more information about the upcoming book prize, check out the GUIDELINES and/or contact Francisco Aragón, prize coordinator.


Francisco Aragón said...

Thanks for the plug, Emmy. In Red Wing, MN this month.

Lee Herrick said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Emmy. I'll put it on my list.

hope all's well!