Paper Cutouts to Steel

Remember when we told you about Carmen Lomas Garza's beautiful murals at New Hope Housing in Houston?

Now the documentary has its own website!  And, please like us on Facebook!

Turo's documentary on the process, Paper Cutouts to Steel, won a Silver Remi Award at the Worldfest Film Festival in Houston!

It will world premier at the 27th annual Wine Country Film Festival in northern California on Saturday, September 28 at 6p.

 We're going to New York in October.  Paper Cutouts to Steel will screen October 20th at 10a at the New York City Indie Film in Manhattan!

What's happening. . .

Poetry News 2013

So, Kat is a featured poet of the week Sept. 2-8, 2013 on the Poetry Superhighway, which features her poem "La Esquina" for our late friend Willy Santiago.  She also has poems forthcoming in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review and in  Cider Press Review.  Other poetry news. . .  She's now a senior poetry editor for the new Tupelo Quarterly,  a beautiful online journal published by Tupelo Press. With Jesse Bertron, Kat is co-director of the annual Poetry at Round Top Festival.  The featured poets this year (April 11-13, 2014) will be Jane Hirshfield, Joy Harjo, Gregory Orr, Jericho Brown, Eduardo Corral, Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, Tomas Q. Morin, and James Tolin.

Check out her website for more poetry information:

Summer always flees. . .
We were in Mexico again in June 2013, and then Kat toured Ireland with long-time friend Michelle Miller.  One day soon we will get the photos up.  In 2012, we made our regular retreat to Mexico and a gig trip to Salinas, Kansas (who knew?).  In July, Kat transformed in Taos, under the direction of Joy Harjo and in the company of New Moon Poet sisters Vanessa Ramos, Cindy Sylvester and Sara Parnell.  There was fire involved, the mountains, and hummingbirds, turquoise and random feathers.

But in 2011,  It's 107* today in Austin, as it has been in the hundreds many days this summer. Every morning in the pale light we water by hand, only allowed to turn on the sprinkler twice a week, after 7p and before 10a. It has been critically hot and dry this year.
In late June through July we were in Scotland, where it was most often cool and wet.

We began our trip driving from Edinburgh to Kilmartin Glen, on a road that took us past Kilchurn Castle. We explored the cairns,
standing stones and carved medieval monuments of Kilmartin before driving to Oban, gateway to the Isle of Mull. Oban turned out to be the unexpected charmer, a lovely little seaside town, but Mull was not without its charms. Among these were Duart Castle--where the lord of the castle himself visits with guests--and colorful Tobermory. From Mull we drove north to the wild Isle of Skye, a stunning wilderness, punctuated with another pretty town aptly named Portree. From Skye we took a scenic route through historic Glencoe, landing on Loch Ness, where the only monster we encountered was a curious swan.

And from Loch Ness we drove through the highlands back to Edinburgh, where we settled in.
During July, Kat taught a medieval literature course for the UNO low residency MFA program and explored Edinburgh, Rosslyn Chapel, Melrose Abbey, Abbotsford, Stirling, Glasgow and even Durham--yes, the family namesake. It was a marvelous month, thought-provoking, enriching, and cool. But, there is no place like Austin.

Summer poem news: "Photographs of the Saint's Finger Are Strictly Prohibited" appears in Bellevue Literary Review; "The Lesson of Fireflies" is in the Spring/Summer issue of Borderlands;

"Historias en Hilo," was the only runner-up chosen by A. Van Jordan for the Solstice Magazine Poetry Award, and "Life on Ganymede" appears in the 2012 Texas Poetry Calendar. An essay, "Lyrical Bee
s: Writing Poems Inspired by Biology," appears in a new dos gatos publication, Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry.

Turo was on the ground with Infynit Media Group filming the Texas Rollergirls bouts this summer, as well as working the weekly Infynit Hour show on Tuesday nights. He played with Beto and the Fairlanes at the Elephant Room, Central Market, San Antonio Jazz Festival, Waco Jazz Festival and various other places out and about the Lone Star State.

Soon school will be in session and fall will bring. . . what fall brings.

and then spent first week in beautiful Rincon. Second week, Kat was in a faculty seminar at Universidad de Sagrado Corazon, exchanging ideas about world literature. Meanwhile, Turo, back in Austin was designing for the high tech world, making music and videos, and seeing that the garden stays watered in winter.

Poems appeared--e.g., in TODO, a beautiful multi
cultural magazine in Austin and twice in the Austin Chronicle. Kat read for the Solstice celebration at Bookwoman in Austin, at Emily Dickinson's Birthday party in Conroe, TX (Lone Star College and friends), at Book People with the 2011 Texas Poetry Calendar. Mostly, Kat taught a lot of classes, and more are coming up . . . including an afternoon workshop for Writer's League of Texas on January 22.

Turo played a lot of music in the fall--a wonderful Dallas Uptown Festival, lots of Beto gigs at Elephant Room, and he made a video of the Austin Jazz Festival. Every Tuesday night he worked on the Infynit Hour production on Channel Austin, and the video documentary of sister Carmen's paper cut-outs to steel is in progress.

And so much more. . . too much to remember, backward or forward. . . maybe we are still dreaming about Costa Rica or the Birmingham Museum of Art or all of summer. . . maybe the plans for winter and
spring have our attention. Each season rolls into the next, each beautifully unique and comforting in their familiarity.

We all need more music, images and poetry in our lives.

We're still saddened that we lost a dear friend, a great musician, Tony Campise. What can we say, but we love you, Tony, and we hear you still. We're now saddened that we lost a fine friend, Austin poet and activist, Susan Bright, as 2010 came to an end.

WHOA! So you're driving down I-45 South and pass Griggs Road in Houston, and maybe you're stuck in traffic, so you glance out your window and see these gorgeous murals

on the side of a building--four consecutive buildings. They're Mexican paper cut-outs, the kind you see at birthday parties and other celebrations in Chicano and Mexican communities.
But! these are two-stories high and white steel against a field of traditional colors, blue, orange, yellow, green. What is it? A New Hope Housing residence, brilliant with Turo's sister Carmen's art.

Perforated to allow the light and air to pass, but solid enough to abate the freeway noise and to withstand hurricane winds, these playful murals add more than a touch of tradition and beauty to a place of dignity for some fortunate Houston residents.

We attended the grand opening ceremony with other members of the Lomas Garza family, some pictured here under the mural of El Abuelito Lomas watering his garden.

We're still thinking about -

The call for submissions to the May/June issue of qarrtsiluni (edited by Kat and the remarkable Lucy Kempton) featured Turo's photo of water at Encinitas, CA. Look in the current edition for Kat's poem "2012" and Turo's photograph, "Dressing for the Storm." Scroll through previous issues of qarrtsiluni online for Kat's photographs, "Maya Cycle," "Our Roots," and "Beyond the Gate," and poems, "Cyclamen" and "Between Season," her new media poem-without-words, "Diabutsu," and the photograph, "Nymph Prowl," and poems, "Poesis in Plato's Garden" and "Blue Morphos."

e moderated "Removing the Veil: Women Writers of the Middle East" at Texas Book Festival, November 1, featuring writers Bapsi Sidhwa, Randa Jarrell, and Zara Houshmand. They drew a beyond capacity crowd! Their books--all beautifull--are Sidhwa's The Pakistani Bride, Jarrell's A Map of Home, and Houshmand's The Mirror Garden. Please take a look at their phenomenal books.

We're just not ready to take down our memories of the Dia de los muertos ofrendas, including the one curated by Turo's sister Mary Jane and mother Maria at the Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, through November. This ofrenda, or altar, is dedicated to Texas artists who've passed, including Luis Jimenez and Raul Salinas.

The 2009 Texas Poetry Calendar include Kat's poem "4th of July" -- guess where the editors put that one?

The new TPC has a gorgeous cover of a Texas quilt, but we still like to show off "Flores Tejanas" on the cover of the 2008 Texas Poetry Calendar (And Kat's poem, El arbol milagroso," alongside Easter week.) Look for "El arbol" now in Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair: The Best of Texas Poetry Calendar.

The 2008 di-verse-city anthology, released April 11 at the Austin International Poetry Festival, includes Katherine's poem "Spanish Plums" on page 21. . .

Celebrating Texas Poet Laureates at the Texas Book Festival: Kat with laureates Steve Fromholz, Alan Birkelbach and Red Steagall.

A National Folk Treasure at the Texas Folklife tribute, una Tardeada con Santiago Jimenez, Jr. See the video on Channel 16 in Austin.

On the Texas/Mexico border, a new generation of immensely talented mariachis, ballet folklorico dancers, and conjunto musicians are training and producing professional productions while they are still in high school.

Looking out on the world