Friday, March 15, 2013

Melinda Palacio: A Conversation with Deborah Miranda

Luis Rodriguez (author of Always Running, It Calls You Back and more) with me and Melinda Palacio at the AWP Book Fair.  We took over the Tia Chucha/Scapegoat Press table!

Melinda and I met at AWP in Denver, but we didn't really talk until spending hours together at the recent AWP conference in Boston.  Both of us were hawking new books, but had plenty of time to visit.

As a result of our time together, Melinda emailed me a set of interview questions recently, and they have been posted at La Bloga.  It never fails to amaze me that each time I do an interview like this, the questions are so different, and elicit such different kinds of reflection on my part.

Melinda's new book, How Fire is a Story, Waiting is rich with imagery.  Lines from this book come back to me even weeks after I finished it ... truly, worth your time.  No less than Juan Felipe Herrera - California Poet Laureate - has written that "Palacio’s work is expansive, physical, funeral-wet, elevated, funny, existential, woman-story, jazzy and Pachukona. She is unafraid to dive head-on into questions of death, loss and self. Into the fiery entwined spikes of father-daughter estrangements, mother-daughter intimacies and most of all, she is “insomniac” bold in this volume as an ongoing sequence on self. Melinda’s collection has Bop and “swagger,” lingo, song, denuncia, compassion and wild, unexpected turns– all the key ingredients and hard-won practices of a poet (and shaman) in command of her powers. I don’t think there is anything like this book. ¡Brillantissima!"

Melinda's first book was Ocotillo Dreams, which has also earned great praise. Visit Melinda at to find out more about her work and her reading schedule.  She is one busy woman!  I very much appreciate that she took the time to interview me, and am currently scheming to get her on a campus visit to Washington and Lee next year.

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