That time when Yesika Salgado and I read two poems and talked: about how we became writers, who we're in conversation with, and who we wish to become, and what L.A. means to us. Shout out to the 2019 LitLit Conference sponsored by the Los Angeles Review of Books. Thanks again to Kyle Fitzpatrick for … Continue reading Yesika Salgado and I chop it up: video from 2019 LitLit Conference: Latinx/L.A. Poetics
To Collage, To Carry: A Fragmented Essay Writing Workshop, Sat. 8/24, 10am-12pm ACE Hotel, $40 per person, limited full scholarships available. Register below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdY9C2elvBW5NC_tdwFWL1CwD8rs0e46dCtvobZN92aTFWQ5A/viewform Join Vickie Vértiz and Muriel Leung in a generative writing workshop that explores collage and fragments to illustrate the unreliability of memory in the personal essay. Memory is only as reliable … Continue reading To Collage, To Carry: A Fragmented Essay Writing Workshop, Sat. 8/24, NYC
Join us! All are free events. Friday, April 19, 2019, Skylight Books, 7pm. Book release parties for Kenji Liu's _Monsters I Have Been_ (Alice James Books) and Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes' _The Inheritance of Haunting_, winner of the 2019 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize. LIBRO MOBILE. Saturday, April 20, 2019, 5-7pm. A reading celebrating Heidi Restrepo … Continue reading Upcoming readings: April and May 2019
Join Vickie for a book signing and cumbia dance party pop-up with poet Heidi Restrepo Rhodes, author of The Inheritance of Haunting at AWP. Date and time: Friday, March 29, 2019, 3-4pm Location: AWP book fair booth 6042: The University of Arizona Press/Latinx Caucus * Come through for a second event! The reading is called "The … Continue reading AWP 2019– Portland
Thanks to the poet and teacher TC Tolbert, my poem "Only We Make Beautiful Things Just to Destroy Them" is up at the Academy of American Poets! Click here to listen, read, and share. It's important for us to remember what we've survived, like the Bracero Program and past anti-immigrant violence, so that even in the … Continue reading Vickie’s work at the Academy of American Poets, Poem-a-Day
Recently, PEN America announced the winners of the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards for books of note for writers living west of the Mississippi River. With much excitement, I'd like to share that my collection Palm Frond with its Throat Cut was selected for the poetry award! I'm extremely moved since the book is a collection of … Continue reading 2018 PEN America Literary Awards
Treat your ears and listen to some stories I have on how we can use writing to be self-determined, to be free. I spoke to writer and creative writing professor from the UTEP MFA, Daniel Chacon this summer about how to make room and art that's about joy and survival. Here's the interview from the podcast Words on … Continue reading “How to preserve and maintain our joy”: Vickie on Words on a Wire Podcast, UTEP
Gracias KXCI 91.3 FM, public radio in #Tucson where you can listen to me and Daniel Olivas read stories about our exes, our fathers, and our neighbors on the Tucson Festival of Books panel, "Borderlands New Wave Poetry." The discussion began with an introduction by the amazing social justice activist and consultant Sarita Gonzales. Listen here!Con … Continue reading Radio spot! Borderlands New Wave Poetry at the Tucson Festival of Books
Absolutely beautiful review of Palm Frond by the LA Review of Books via Isabel Gomez from Umass Boston. Thank you, Isabel and LARB!!
At Entropy, Palm Frond also made the list of best poetry collections this year! This list is FIRE, gracias ENTROPY.
At Remezcla, Dr. Ruben Quesada lists Palm Frond with other titles on youth and Latinx identity in the US. The list also includes Javier Zamora, Christopher Soto (Loma), and Veronica Reyes, Reyna Grande, David Tomas Martinez, and Willie Perdomo. What an honor to be included! Read the entire list here! "Latinx stories add to our … Continue reading Palm Frond at Remezcla!
From my memoir, a story about illusion and iluciones after college graduation. "Vete a la Chingada Party": "I close my eyes and I’m a pair of legs in a brown satin skirt. I’m finally a college graduate, and this is my welcome home party, but my friends don’t know it yet. Yes, they’ve forgotten to … Continue reading Vete a la Chingada, a party and a story (Rabid Oak)
Selected by National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes for the New York Times Magazine. “I do not know the language of that place” underscores this poem’s striking balance of ambiguity and mystery. Much is said in the white spaces, caesuras, breaks. The unpunctuated five lines of the first stanza unspool suggestively creepily. The hands in car … Continue reading New York Times Magazine: “Already My Lips Were Luminous”
From the Harriet Blog, via the Poetry Foundation: At Bitch Magazine: In "Fierce as Fuck: The Future of Poetry Is Brown & Queer," Soraya Membreno talks with Vickie Vértiz, author of Palm Frond With Its Throat Cut (University of Arizona Press, 2017); and Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, author of Beast Meridian (Noemi Press, 2017). Click here to read the full interview.
From my latest article on Artbound KCET: "The week of November 14, 2016, nearly 4,000 students from about 18 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District participated in walkouts against the president elect’s selection. As in the 1960s and ‘70s, students gathered at landmarks like Mariachi Plaza, Lincoln Park and city hall for rallies. … Continue reading New on KCET, Youth Resistance and Los Angeles Photography
I’m gonna get right to the list in a second here, but I just want to tell you all how excited I am that all these writers are out there creating their amazing art and that publishers like Topside Press, Arsenal Pulp Press, Kegedonce Press, and Metonymy Press are putting it out into the world. […] … Continue reading Must-read Trans Canadian Writers
Image from Anthropoid website. A tia gives limpias and embroiders magic. A short play published in late December, "Ruda," an experimental play inside a litany of remedios. Many thanks to Melissa Sipin-Gabon for this opportunity. Excerpt: TÍA: Someone gave you mal de ojo. CHATA: A cabron. Why? TÍA: Why else? Because they’re jealous. CHATA: … Continue reading “Ruda: Ten Remedies,” a play in Anthropoid
Avenue 50 Studio together with Writ Large Press and and Litmus Press present: Writing (US)Americ(k)a(s) October 15th | 8pm at Avenue 50 Studio 131 N Avenue 50 | Highland Park CA 90042 Litmus Press, in celebration of two recent releases—Restless Continent by Aja Couchois Duncan and Anti-Humboldt by Hugo García Manríquez—is curating a number of … Continue reading Writing (US)Americ(k)a(s) with Aja Couchois Duncan, Hugo García Manríquez, Jen Hofer, y Amarnath Ravva
In Friday's print edition of HOY magazine in Los ANgeles, reaching thousands of hispanohablantes, I discussed how our working-class immigrant families loved their queer children and neighbors in a way that would not have been possible without Juan Gabriel. Read the whole story in Spanish here, page 13! A HUGE "gracias" to translators Roman Lujan … Continue reading Juan Gabriel: How he helped families love their queer children– in HOY magazine
Everyone should visit the generous, lovely staff at the University of Arizona, Tucson's Poetry Center. A tremendous thank you to: Tyler, Wendy, Laura, Julie, Renee, the two Sarahs, Aisha, generous docents Marc and Tony, and of course, the inimitable, Hannah Ensor. Here are my selections from the stacks at the Poetry Center during my … Continue reading From the Stacks at the Poetry Center
Thanks to Joseph Rios, here is a sample of the open mic at Macondo Writers' Workshop 2016 in San Antonio. It starts with Carribean Fragoza and ends with yours truly reading the MOZ fans tribute poem, "Lover's Letter." Much love to Laurie Ann Guerrero for all her hard work, and to Alex Espinoza and Tim Z. … Continue reading Macondo Writers’ Workshop 2016– open mic recordings
"Susi stopped being my best friend once she got bangs and a hickey. Because I’ve heard her say it, I can hear her thinking: Ugh, what a wetter. Are all your outfits from the swap meet?" Today at Entropy, read about drama at the bus stop with a girl's momma. Maybe it was me. You'll … Continue reading Entropy–adding to an epic poem with epic girl drama
"— ninety thousand children crossing the border in the last three years what thirst what listening what refuge what desert harbor what desert keeps at bay what keens what dims what signals we cannot read what enforcement what filament what unmoved substrata what bleeds unregulated despite the body what will not bend will not sleep … Continue reading “Conditions” by Jen Hofer– a translation
Vickie is thrilled to have been selected by Natalie Diaz for the 2016 Summer Residency at the Poetry Center. Stay tuned for event details on the culminating reading in August. About the residency: Since 1994, the Poetry Center’s Residency Program has offered writers an opportunity to develop their work. The Poetry Center will award one residency each summer … Continue reading Poetry Center Award, Summer Residency at the University of Arizona, Tucson
I’m the Aztec God of War. Relentless ash, the devil at my elbow. I consume lick-flames hotter than your vieja. But I hold your hand. Love you like you are the only one. The last piece of steak in chile verde. The last slice of chocolate flan. That’s how you left me, gordo. En el … Continue reading Finally your dreams don’t bite: new poems at Omniverse
Join me as I moderate two panels at the #AWP16 writers' conference happening in LA this year! Latinx writers from all over the southland will share our prose and poetry on the following panels, THURSDAY, March 31, 2016: Panel R225. From New Wave and Punk: Musical influences on Latino Literary Aesthetics. 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm, Room … Continue reading Southeast Los Angeles writing featured at AWP 2016
The sign illuminates eight lanes of the neighboring 710 Freeway. In contrast to the new monument to luxury, the gritty Long Beach Freeway leads into the post-industrial heart of Southeast Los Angeles. Thousands of eighteen-wheelers trucking in the majority of exports into the United States from the Pacific Rim make this the busiest highway with … Continue reading How Bell Gardens is Banking on Bicycle Club Casino’s Luxury Hotel
Read these four new poems just published January 1st at The Volta. This issue was curated by J. Michael Martinez and Khadija Queen. I'm really excited to be published with Rosebud Ben-Oni, Fernando Perez, Emily Yoon, and Maya Marshall. Thanks to the Community of Writers in Lake Tahoe for the chance to meet these folks this summer!
This story is part of KCET Departures' series of articles and essays on the Informal Economies of L.A. and how local entrepreneurs create new opportunities outside of formal economic establishments. Read the whole story here. "Don't wait for everything to be perfectly aligned. I had to earn money and invest in my packaging. Earn more … Continue reading Cha Cha Nail Covers Take Over the World
Source: Dr. Craig’s Poetry Excellence Awards Go To… More great insight and critique from Dr. Craig (Santos Perez).
Bell Gardens City Council members with the 2015 Miss Bell Gardens Court. Photo: City of Bell Gardens"All the court members agreed it was a great experience. One princess, Vanessa Perez from UC Irvine said: 'I've lived in this city all my life. I'm proud to be from here and to get more involved.' Mayor Jennifer … Continue reading Worth Gold: Feminism and Leadership at the Miss Bell Gardens Pageant
Laverne Cox thinks Zoey Luna rocks and you will too. In this interview, Zoey and her mom, two Downey residents, tell their story of struggle and victory against transphobia, violence against trans people, and how the ACLU and so many other organizations have supported their journey.
What happens when your arch nemesis shows up at a random Commerce quinceañera in the same Payless platforms? Find out here at The James Franco Review. Thanks to the staff at The James Franco Review and Kamala Puligandla, the guest editor, for selecting the work. And to Sergio's Tacos, just because.
Excerpts from the KCET Departures' essay, "The Time is Now for Chicas Rockeras in Southeast L.A.": After the "Radical Body Love for Young Riot Grrls" workshop led by facilitator Gloria Lucas, one of the campers said, "I love my body!" Volunteers also said they heard girls say, "I'm not ashamed to be round. No soy … Continue reading The Time is Now: Radical Feminism at Rock Camp in Southeast LA
Having narrowly escaped death, what Benita had to say couldn't wait. The day she found her old journal in a taped-up box in her father's garage, she hurried home to type up the sweet, unfiltered diary of an El Monte high school girl. Benita Morgan Bishop self-published "Lost Girl from El Monte," comprised of diary … Continue reading Lost Girl: Tales of Loving and Leaving El Monte
Read the essay, "Kissing," a chapter from my memoir right now at The Offing. The essay will also be in print later this year in the anthology, Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices, by Trans-Genre Press. Many thanks to Helen Klonaris, Amir Rabiyah, and Michael Snediker for supporting this work.
Read Vertiz's new essay on KCET: "A Man in His Backyard: sightseeing in the City of Commerce with author Stephen Gutierrez." The essay is like driving through the streets of southeast LA: past its modest homes, past the Citadel Outlets, past parks and schools that made gold medal swimmers and writers like Steve. Of course … Continue reading A Man in His Backyard: sightseeing in City of Commerce with author Stephen Gutierrez
HOY Los Angeles newspaper wrote a feature on Vickie Vertiz, detailing her desire to teach creative writing, her upcoming book, and her political roots. Read the great Sergio Burstein article in Spanish here. The free workshops will cover nonfiction, play writing, and poetry. The Creative Writing Circles are held at three Boyle Heights libraries from … Continue reading Vertiz teaches free classes in Boyle Heights, sponsored by the Center Theater Group
"In the parking lot of the Food-4-Less supermarket on the corner of Atlantic and Slauson, two high school students stood near the sliding door entrance registering people to vote. The young women wore jeans and T-shirts (Garcia was probably in a Grateful Dead shirt), their hair gathered loosely into ponytails. Their temples beaded with sweat, … Continue reading Latina Leadership in Bell Gardens, a new KCET essay
After five presidents and three recessions, El Pescador seafood restaurants are more popular than ever. Read my new essay on immigrant hustle, family lineage, and the multiple dazzling skills of restaurateurs in southeast LA. Gracias!
"...now I know what the garden gives." - Jorge Segura, educator and photographer, Downey, CA Read a love letter I wrote to urban gardening in southeast Los Angeles here. "What the garden gives: homegrown food along the Alameda Corridor" Stay tuned for the next essays on the Bell Art Walk and more!
For those with philandering fathers or a penchant for the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, I offer you a cine poem featured on Luna Luna Magazine. Thank you, Ruben Quesada for the feature and Kenji Liu for the editing.
My family has lived in Bell Gardens since 1976, but we never drove past a pow wow at a local park. Gatherings that are sometimes open to the public, sometimes sacred ceremonies; they're hard to miss. Those big and bright gatherings with dozens of pop up tents in green and blue, people of all ages … Continue reading On KCET’s Departures, “Bell Gardens? That’s Indian town!”: 1980s Pow Wows and Cultural Persistence
Along with many talented writers, the awesome Sesshu Foster among them, Vickie published a poem in Parrafo magazine's Los Angeles issue. Read an excerpt from her poem below and click the link for the whole enchilada. "What You See, What You Take With You" AFTER MARISELA NORTE'S PHOTOGRAPHS OF LOS ANGELES On … Continue reading What You See, What You Take With You, in UCLA’s Parrafo magazine
(as shared by Dr. Melissa Hidalgo at Cal State San Bernardino and at the National Association Chicana/Chicano Studies Conference, 2014) Because we craved permission to be despondent in English Desperate for words to hide erections for other boys behind Trapper Keepers, to document Kotex leaks in our journals We needed To be maudlin about being … Continue reading A Lover’s Letter to Morrissey
As part of an ongoing project about the importance of the 710 corridor in Los Angeles, Vickie Vertiz contributed an article about the arts, teachers, and artists in Southeast Los Angeles, where she grew up. She names a few writers who also document the lives of the people in Southeast L.A., such as Steve Gutierrez's … Continue reading KCET Communities: “Pioneers of Artistic Revolution: Making Art and Space in Southeast L.A.
This poem is included in the collection, Swallows.
As the third installment of the Tropics of Meta series, East of East: Mapping Community Narratives in South El Monte and El Monte, in collaboration with the South El Monte Arts Posse, Vickie Vertiz contributed the essay, "El Monte Forever: A Brief History of Michael Jaime-Becerra." The project is an anthology about the diverse histories, communities, and cultures of … Continue reading El Monte Forever: A Brief History of Michael Jaime-Becerra