Monday, October 16, 2006

Momotombo Press's Chapbook Show-Time at the National Writers Union

Just back from Francisco Aragon's fascinating talk on small publishing at the Washington DC National Writer's Union. I've long been an admirer of his Momotombo Press and the gorgeous chapbooks of Latino Literature that he's been bringing out from Momotombo's new home at Notre Dame University. (The Momotombo Press chapbooks were the inspiration for Tameme's new format-- the first Tameme chapbook, a short story by Mexican writer Agustin Cadena, is currently in production.) I hadn't realized that Momotombo itself was inspired by Gary Soto and Lorna Dee Cervantes's Chicano Chapbook Series-- which published, among other poets, Jimmy Santiago Baca and Sandra Cisneros. Aragon brought an astonishing variety of chapbooks to show--- some self-published, some very beautifully produced, some put together with Scotch tape, (beautiful, too, in their humble way). There was also a self-published chapbook by Uraoyan Noel that had a cover made out of those plastic anti-skid thingies that go under car carpets (what is the word for that?!)-- and the epigraph was by Cher. It was an education. Poet and activist Sarah Browning hosted; and DC's own Poetry Goddess Kim Roberts offered delectable morsels of advice, including reminding me to check out Beltway's gargantuan Resource Bank. Gracias all! (Now... I'm going to get out some scissors and glue and make a chapbook out of "The Building of Quality.")