How to Ride a Train in the Andes – 2020 Sandy Crimmins National Prize in Poetry Runner Up!

23 Mar

I’m grateful to share that my poem, “How to Ride a Train in the Andes,” is a runner up in the 2020 Sandy Crimmins National Prize in Poetry! The poem has been published in the Spring 2020 issue of Philadelphia Stories.

This poem was born during NaPoWriMo in 2018, so it is very fitting that it ended up being published in April. It’s the first poem that I wrote about my grandmother, my Abuelita, who was born in Alausí, Ecuador. Although my grandmother most likely had only a sixth grade education, she was a renaissance woman. She taught herself many things, especially in the arts, including painting, how to play several instruments, knitting, crochet, and most importantly sewing. My Abuelita was a master seamstress, and 3D fabric artist. She could make anything out of cloth.

My poem “How to Ride a Train in the Andes” is an homage to the Guayaquil-Quito trans-andean railroad that my grandfather worked for, and the decisions my grandmother took to break free and a different life for herself. While the poem sounds fantastical, it’s all based on facts. Click on the link, and take a ride with me. If this story fascinates you, as it fascinates me, you can read more about it here.

old fashioned train through an Andean valley

The G&Q train moving up the switchback called Devil’s Nose, in the Ecuadorian Andes mountains.

Año Viejo – A Poem for New Year’s Eve

31 Dec

Año Viejo

In Guayaquil, in December,
the old year is a dying man,
face painted on a paper-mâché head,

dressed in yesterday’s clothes,
stuffed with newsprint emblazoned
with headlines from the past year.

His widows— we cry for him on the corners
taking up a collection for his funeral.
We spend it on fireworks

to stuff down his shirt
so he burns bright when we light
him on fire, minutes before midnight.

But first, his last will and testament is read
bequeathing blessings for the year ahead.
His final countdown explodes

in the middle of every street
and the city is a battlefield, ablaze,
the new year brought forth through the haze.

Our eyes full of smoke
we raise a champagne toast: we embrace
in silence and watch our old man burn.

by Lupita Eyde-Tucker.

“Año Viejo” was first published in Naugatuck River Review, Issue 18, Fall 2017, and was nominated for a  Pushcart Prize.

AÑOVIEJO PASTOREVEILLON2
Etienne Le Cocq [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Translation: Question of Lust

3 Nov

I’m happy to share that another one of my translations of Oriette D’Angelo’s poems from her book “Cardiopatías” has been published!

The poem “Question of Lust” is now live on the Columbia Journal Online.

Screenshot of Oriette D'Angelo's poem on the Columbia Journal website

To read the poem, click on the image.

 

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Creek Lover – A Chapbook!

25 Oct

Cover image of Creek Lover, chapbook. Image includes two copies of the book, with a picture of a creek dock and the marsh on the cover.

This past month I published my first Chapbook! It’s called Creek Lover and it’s a collection of poems centered around the salt marsh of Pawleys Island, SC.

I began writing the first poems in this collection in 2013, then later in 2017 they started taking form as a manuscript while participating in the O, Miami Chapbook Workshop in late 2017.

Two years later, the manuscript is now a shiny chapbook, self-published, hand made, and straight from my heart to yours.

Want to order one? They are only $10 (shipping included). You can send me the funds via Paypal or Venmo. All the details, plus some poems from the book can be found here.

Here are some comments I’ve received so far:

“Thank you for offering your poems to the wider world. They are a gift. Your images are powerful reminders of the splendor of the coast, the marsh birds & live oaks. What stirring words to warm me on this chilled mid-Western autumn day!” — C. Wheeler

“What a delight!” — J. Schledorn

“Your book is beautiful.” — S. Ahrens

“I love the personification, love the eroticism, love the glimpse at nature’s many faces, and loved the repetition of green-gold across several of your poems.” — A. Sehnaoui

Sábado en Alausí / Saturday in Alausí

22 Oct

Columbia Journal Fall Contest Finalist!

I’ve always been a little wary about sending poems to contests. It seems almost impossible to win, and although the prizes can be substantial, the entry fees are not cheap.

This year I decided to try my luck and entered a number of contests. While I’ve definitely gotten my usual share of rejections, this year things have been different. I won the Betty Gabehart Prize, which was amazing. Then, I was selected as a semifinalist for the Frontier Industry Prize. While I didn’t make it to the finalist round, they told me that my poem made it to the top 4% of entries. That made me feel very good and it’s been a huge encouragement for me and my poetry.

Last week I got excellent news: my poem “Sábado en Alausí/Saturday in Alausí” was selected as a finalist in the Columbia Journal Fall Contest! I didn’t win any money, but my poem got published in the Columbia Journal Online— so stoked!

The poem is about the knock on the door that so many of my ancestors dreaded. Even after emigrating to South America from Spain, the Inquisition followed. The characters are different, but this story keeps repeating itself over and over.

This poem is in Spanish and English, which is another reason why I am so grateful that it was selected. It is a gamble to send a multilingual poem in as a contest submission. But, this poem has to appear in both languages, because it is written for the descendants. I couldn’t just send it in English. It would have been like sending half the poem.

Click here to read the poem: http://columbiajournal.org/fall-2019-contest-poetry-finalist-sabado-en-alausi-saturday-in-alausi/

Then, come back here and let me know what you think in the comments!

Self Portrait Con Naranja

9 Sep

I am elated to share that my latest poem is live on the Nashville Review!!!

This poem is dedicated to my mother, Lupe Eyde.

I am so grateful for the friends and mentors who helped me in the writing and revision process, including Maggie SmithNickole Brown and Gregory Pardlo. Seeing this poem living at Nashville Review is a dream come true for me.

Click here to read it: Self Portrait Con Naranja by Lupita Eyde-Tucker

Screenshot of "Self Portrait Con Naranja" on the Nashville Review.

2019 Betty Gabehart Prize for Poetry!

25 Jul

I have amazing news – I won the 2019 Betty Gabehart Prize for Poetry! I will  be reading my poems onstage with Dr. DaMaris Hill, author of “A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing.

From the Kentucky Women Writers Conference website:

“Every year the Kentucky Women Writers Conference offers three emerging writer awards in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Each winner receives full tuition support for the September conference, enrollment in a workshop, a $300 honorarium, and the opportunity to read her winning manuscript onstage during the conference. The Betty Gabehart Prize honors our good friend, patron, and former director who led the conference during its seminal decade in the 1980s.  2019 WINNERS ANNOUNCED! (please click on this link)”

The prize did not include publication. My winning manuscript was called “How to Ride a Train in the Andes & other poems.”

Betty_Gabehart_Twitter_Announcement.jpg

Heart Diseases on Asymptote!

23 Apr Meme-type graphic depicting a woman in distress with the overlay of text "Caracas is a woman with a chest full of bullets. I am a foreigner next to so much lead." From "Heart Diseases" by Oriette D'Angelo, translated from the Spanish by Lupita Eyde-Tucker. This image is property of Asymptote Journal.

 

The past year, in addition to working on my own poetry, I embarked on a project translating the work of Venezuelan poet Oriette D’Angelo, who has been exiled from her native country since 2015. D’Angelo’s first book of poetry, Cardiopatías, won an award in Venezuela that same year.

Five of the poems from her award-winning book appear in the Spring 2019 issue of Asymptote, translated by me! To see how the world is embracing Oriette’s work brings me a ton of joy. Please jump over to Asymptote’s website and check them out, and if you like them, please jump back and let me know!!

Meme-type graphic depicting a woman in distress with the overlay of text "Caracas is a woman with a chest full of bullets. I am a foreigner next to so much lead." From "Heart Diseases" by Oriette D'Angelo, translated from the Spanish by Lupita Eyde-Tucker. This image is property of Asymptote Journal.

“Caracas is a woman with a chest full of bullets. I am a foreigner next to so much lead.” From “Heart Diseases” by Oriette D’Angelo, translated from the Spanish by Lupita Eyde-Tucker.

Guest Poet: Isabel Alvear

21 Apr

The Park Awakens

Inside the park, dirt churning
The sandy soil moistly warming
The earth readying, fortifying
Nurturing, gathering power
Pushing up daffodils and lilies

Deep inhale, the smells of spring
Heat gathering as nature’s strength
Returns to give life, permeates
All through Jackie Robinson park
The dogs following her vigor
Gather scents feverishly, salivating
Zig-zagging, nuzzling the earth

Oft times like forensic scientists
Dogs are like the original CSI’s
Of the human domestic experience
Lifting one paw whilst noses buried
Smelling all creatures’ messages
Like the tulip bulbs splitting open
Like the worms actively moving seeds

Pollen floating through sun-rays
The park cheerful with mating birds
Budding branches gently quivering
Under the weight of their vibrating
Chests, and nature yawns, stretching
Awake under winter’s uneasy slumber
Spring’s dominance now commencing

©April 2019, Isabel Alvear

Spring is coming on strong, and this poem illustrates that heady sensation exquisitely!

Asymptote’s Translation Tuesday: Forbidden to Pass By and Stay

19 Mar

Excited to share that my translation of Oriette D’Angelo’s poem, “Forbidden to Pass By and Stay” is featured on Asymptote’s Translation Tuesday today. Here is a link to you can check it out: Forbidden to Pass By and Stay by Oriette D’Angelo

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