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“Ode to the Quinceañera Dress” finalist in River Heron Poetry Prize

4 Aug

So happy to share my poem “Ode to the Quinceañera Dress,” which appears as a finalist in the 2020 River Heron Poetry Prize issue this month. Heartfelt thanks to final judge, Alina Stefanescu, for choosing this poem among the top five out of 500 entries!

Thank you to Gregory Pardlo and my workshop-mates at the 2019 Palm Beach Poetry Festival for “prescribing” this poem, and Rosebud Ben-Oni‘s Poetic Forms class @UCLA Extension for creating a positive space for it to come forth into the world!

This poem is an homage to many things, beyond the quinceañera dress itself. It’s a shout out to my high school friends, to late 1980’s pop music, and my Abuelita and her gift of sewing. My grandmother could make anything out of fabric, so ultimately it didn’t boil down to the dress itself. I could even have made a Pretty-in-Pink inspired frock, but ultimately the pageantry still would have felt off to me. I loved dresses and wanted a gown worthy of Cinderella, but I couldn’t give myself over to the rest of it.

My whole entire life I have been a non-conformist, and this poem is a witness to that. I will never conform to what people want me to think or believe or wear, and I will always make my own choices and my own decisions based on what I feel is true and right.

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“Self Portrait con Valencia” on Women’s Voices for Change

31 Jul

A wonderful thing happened to me this week! Outstanding poet and writer, Amanda Moore, spent some time with my poem, “Self Portrait con Valencia” and wrote an essay about it for Women’s Voices for Change.

I’m honored and grateful and excited to share her words and insight into this poem, which is a time-travel back to when I was 14 and learning the nomenclature of chemistry. I am so grateful to Women’s Voices for Change for publishing it, I feel so seen.

With gratitude to Rosebud Ben-Oni for the impetus to write this, and to Dr. Oswaldo Holguín, renown chemistry teacher at Colegio Americano de Guayaquil. Look at what you taught me, Doctor.

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“Ode to la Conquista” Honorable Mention in Margaret Reid Poetry Contest 2019

15 Apr

I entered my poem “Ode to la Conquista” in the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest by Winning Writers and it won an Honorable Mention this month.

This poem is a sonnet, and one of the poems from my chapbook manuscript “How to Ride a Train in the Andes” which is unpublished and looking for a publisher.

Judge Soma Mei Sheng Frazier had this to say about the poem:

“Ode to la Conquista by Lupita Eyde-Tucker
This ceremonious ode, with its rich imagery, shrewd metaphor and mesmerizing anaphora, lays bare the savagery of human exploit. Like Ferrero’s opera, like colonization itself, the poem gives and takes—yielding beauty “to bet a kingdom on,” then reproaching with “brine rotting on boards / shrieks of secret spoils in island forests.”

“Ode to la Conquista” first appeared in Raleigh Review’s Spring 2020 print edition.

Galeón San Francisco (1586)

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.

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

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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.”

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Reading at The Betsy March 7th!

2 Mar

For the past three weeks I’ve been participating in a generative poetry workshop through O, Miami with wonderful poet and human, Mahogany Browne (#blackgirlmagic). The workshop’s focus is “Nature and the Socio-Political Body” and the work being produced by the poets has been outstanding.

If you have an opportunity to workshop with Mahogany Browne— DO IT. It was excellent in so many ways. First of all, she conducts her workshop very professionally, and is an excellent manager of time. She kept us on track and each session included time for two generative prompts, close reading of poems by contemporary poets, and workshop time for feedback on our new poems. Secondly, the themes and topics that she chose to help springboard our poems resonated deeply with us. These were not fluffy and safe topics, but they were well presented and designed to help us draw from the profundities of our own well.

This Thursday, March 7th our workshop is having a finale reading at The Betsy in Miami Beach. I’ll be reading new work!

Here’s a link to the official info from O, Miami: http://www.omiami.org/events/2019/3/7/mahogany-l-browne-community-reading

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This is me, reading at the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference in June 2018.

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