Located in uptown
New Orleans, Louisiana
513 Octavia Street
(corner of Laurel)
Please join us for a reading and booksigning with New Orleans writer and poet Melinda Palacio celebrating her just released book, HOW FIRE IS A STORY, WAITING.
Melinda Palacio’s newest poetry collection creates images that are at once heartbreaking and humorous. She tackles elemental subjects of family and childhood with the same depth and grace as that of myth making and death. As the only child of a mother who died too young, she infuses her words with longing and life, and celebrates the women who came before her. Each poem offers up the truth in a fearless and unsentimental voice. Palacio’s lyrical language punches an unexpected pause to subjects such as domestic violence and her childhood in South Central Los Angeles. HOW FIRE IS A STORY, WAITING is divided into four sections: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. In each section Palacio tempers heartbreak, violence, and disappointment with the antidote of humor, beauty, and an appreciation for life.
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!
- Juan Felipe Herrera, California Poet Laureate 2012
Melinda Palacio is the author of the novel, OCOTILLO DREAMS, for which she received the Mariposa Award for Best First Book at the 14th International Latino Book Awards and a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. Her poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown won Kulupi Press’ Sense of Place 2009 award. She writes a column for La Bloga and is a 2007 PEN Center Emerging Voices Fellow and a 2009 alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers