Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Tonight is Acentos and the cluttered attic that is my brain has been toying with an idea that Rich Villar mentioned last month, a couple of weeks after their show with Louis Reyes Rivera.

When I heard they had a disappointing turnout for it - including my stupid hungover ass among the missing! - I was extremely surprised. Not even the scenesters made the short hike to the Bronx for what was, by all accounts, an amazing experience. At the following Acentos, Rich and I talked about it and some interesting ideas he was considering.

In a seemingly unrelated moment, while preparing for the Oneonta show last week, I was putting together a list of poetry resources for the audience and was dismayed to realize that I had nothing representing Latinos! Spent a while on Google looking for an equivalent to the Asian American Writer's Workshop or Cave Canem and came up empty.


All of this got me thinking about the significant gap that exists between the generation of poets that founded the Nuyorican Poets Café back in the '70s and my own generation of relatively unpolished but well-intentioned newcomers, echoing the concerns Rich had raised a few weeks earlier.

In my mind, the Café no longer represents what it did back in its early days, having morphed into a multi-cultural tourist attraction promoting starry-eyed wannabes with no real understanding or appreciation of what came before them, like some bizarre version of the American Idol auditions. Not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself but, reading Aloud and renting Piñero just isn't enough to call yourself a poet, much less a Nuyorican!

Rich and I, along with Fish and Oscar are going to brainstorm to figure out ways to address this problem. Oscar's already suggested convening a barbeque-summit which I think is a great idea! Stay tuned.

PS: During my search, I did come across an interesting magazine I'd never heard of before, US Latino Review, but I can't tell if they're still publishing as it doesn't seem to have been updated since last year and I can't find ANY information on the Hispanic Dialogue Press, its non-profit publisher. Going to try a find a copy at the bookstore today at lunch and see if there's any info in it.

Also, today I came across a pretty good list of writers at lasculturas.com and links to relevant sites.

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