"The whole world is a form for truth." Rumi
GOOD NEWS: My 4th novel, SONG OF THE GOLDEN SCORPION, and a new book of poetry, GRACIAS, has been published as Twins in 2013. **Now working on current novel, memoir, always poesia, 2019**Go to 'LINKS' (the right hand column) for a direct route to the novel- also, just log onto Amazon to find all of my books, gracias. The novel and the poetry are up on Amazon right NOW, both book and Kindle. The novel takes place in Mexico, where I now live, an 'older woman, younger man' relationship (not the 'cougar type'), their story gathering many other necessary stories of our time, as we enter the Sacred Sixth Sun...GRACIAS follows my life in Mexico, crossing the USA border to teach, visit familia, friends, and other travels, on the outer map and the inner map, sorrow and joy, always GRACIAS. The book of poetry, GRACIAS, has just been published, both in paperback and E-book, just go to Amazon, and please leave a review after you read it, GRACIAS... The cover photo for 'GRACIAS' was taken on Dia de Los Muertos, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, life/death holding hands, dancing. This is the tone of life here in San Miguel de Allende...daily fireworks announcing a beloved's death, a wedding, a fiesta.
I just climbed the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, rattle in hand, singing....
SOFT CHAOS, my last book of poetry (2009), is available on www.amazon.com- please feel free to review it, gracias again. It turned out beautifully, thanks to the lovely 'Windhorse' painting on the cover (by the painter, Alfredo Arreguin- titled 'Jardines del pedregal). My novel, LUNA'S CALIFORNIA POPPIES, has been included/excerpted in the newly published anthology, CALIFLORA- a lovely book, including John Muir, Mary Austin, Robinson Jeffers, Linda Yamane, Gary Snyder, M.F.K. Fisher...a mix of prose, poetry celebrating California's vast beauty. An essay, 'Leap of Faith,' was recently published in the anthology/textbook, VISIONS ACROSS THE AMERICAS- actually a republication with some new writers it appears- with these wonderful writers... Toni Morrison, Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, Alice Walker, Black Elk, Arthur C Clark, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, N. Scott Momaday, John Steinbeck, Nikki Giovanni, Isaac Asimov, Luis M Valdez, Malcolm X, Ursula Le Guin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Louise Erdrich, Paula Gunn Allen, and more. These are some of my favorite writers, their essays, an honor. Can't wait to read these essays- for all you teachers, take note. Finally, on the writing front- I've completed my fourth novel (final, FINAL draft), SCORPION HUNTER, which led me into the Mayan Sixth World, the Hopi Fifth World... December 21, 2012...not 'the end of the world,' but a time of human transformation, as the Mayan Long Count Calendar begins anew. The next cycle, 5,200 years. And I've begun work on a new novel- always the poetry, and dreams, continue to guide me.
I was raised in San Francisco's Mission District by my curandera/healer Yaqui grandmother, Jesus Villanueva... with the assitance of my mother, Lydia Villanueva and her sister Ruth Villanueva. Jesus taught me to recite poetry by heart (in Spanish) for church and she often read me poetry in Spanish. So, though I write in English, the language/meaning is rooted in Spanish, and the Yaqui prayers I heard my grandmother sing every morning to the new Child Sun. Without Jesus Villanueva, Mamacita, no MEMORY. No poetry. No stories.
I began to publish poetry first in the late 1970s, winning first place in poetry with the University of California at Irvine's Chicano Literary Prize. My books of poetry: BLOODROOT- MOTHER, MAY I?- LIFE SPAN- PLANET (which won the Latin American Writers poetry prize, N.Y.)- DESIRE (poetry chosen for THE BEST AMERICAN POETRY, 1996)- VIDA. Some anthologies: A CENTURY OF WOMEN'S POETRY- PRAYERS FOR A THOUSAND YEARS, Inspiration From Leaders Around The World- UNSETTLING AMERICA- A FORMAL FEELING COMES, and many more, as well as textbooks from grammar to university.
My three novels: THE ULTRAVIOLET SKY (won an American Book Award, listed in 500 GREAT BOOKS BY WOMEN)- NAKED LADIES (won the PEN Oakland fiction award, anthologized in CALIENTE, The Best Erotic Latin American Writing)- LUNA'S CALIFORNIA POPPIES (recently excerpted in the anthology, CALIFLORA). And WEEPING WOMAN, LA LLORONA AND OTHER STORIES, a collection of short stories. Most recently, a short story from WEEPNG WOMAN, in the anthology SUDDEN FICTION LATINO, also with Marquez, Allende, Bolano and others. COMING OF AGE IN THE 21st CENTURY, a short story from WEEPING WOMAN, also with Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, ZZ Packer and others. As well as many other anthologies, both fiction and poetry, that are listed under my name on Amazon.com. And again, my fiction, and poetry, is published in textbooks, from grammar to university- I hear from students, as well as teachers, which I always love. As well as 'regular readers,' which I also appreciate (and love).
I taught fiction/poetry at UC Santa Cruz, as well as Cabrillo College in Aptos- have done guest teaching at Naropa Institute (in Boulder, Colorado)...Mesa College, UC San Diego (in San Diego, California)...Stanford University, Pacific University, to name a few. I now teach in the MFA in Creative Writing program with Antioch University in Los Angeles **I taught at Antioch University Los Angeles for 20 years- however, the Social Justice intent, 'motto,' has LEFT THE BUILDING. A student of color was treated BADLY, RACIST MANNER by a mentor/teacher (Kessler)- we both filed complaints with Administration, longer story, HE CONTINUES TO TEACH THERE, OUR COMPLAINTS NOT ACKNOWLEDGED, WRITERS OF COLOR BEWARE AND ALL AWARE SOCIAL JUSTICE WRITERS, POETS- I've taught at Antioch for twenty years at this date 6/19- many of my students have gone on to publish, and I'm very proud of them.**THIS REMAINS TRUE, THE PRIDE OF MY STUDENTS, 20 YEARS THIS PROGRAM- I NO LONGER TEACH AT ANTIOCH, TO MAKE CLEAR** I now live in San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), the past fourteen years, and travel during the year to do readings, workshops, seminars, writer visits, as well as private ones here in San Miguel. So I travel back and forth between Mexico, the USA, the ancient trade routes, during the year. I'd like to add that I've been doing readings of my work, presentations, for thirty-five plus years as of 2019...I often like to lead the audience in a guided visualization to the top of the Pyramid of The Sun in honor of the Mayan Long Count Calendar's ending/beginning anew on December 21, 2012 (when they foretold an unfolding of human spirit, and the Hopi very challenging times). I use/play the clay Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent) flute, I bought over thirty years ago at the foot of the Pyramid of The Sun, as a guide to the top, that view, that vision. In my thirty plus years of doing readings, I've had quite a few standing ovations, and once an audience spontaneously shouted, I LOVE YOU, and I said it right back to them. My poetry and fiction has been the subject of Masters/Ph.D. thesis papers in the USA and abroad, and I often hear from graduate students in this regard. But most of all, I believe poetry is from the heart/spirit to the heart/spirit of another human being- and if they stand to honor that, write about my poetry/fiction in their thesis papers, or to receive an honest question, compliment, from a grammar/high school student, I'm very happy. Again, I travel during the year to do readings, seminars, workshops- please feel free to contact me directly at the email on this site for available dates, as well as publication permissions, queries. Also, to students who contact me regarding their thesis papers, I'm glad to answer up to four questions but I can't answer a list, but, again, I do love to hear from students and readers, their personal thoughts...and I do receive wonderful emails, gracias.
And so, as we have entered the Hopi/Pueblo Fifth World...the Mayan Sixth World...the unfolding of the human spirit, the next 5,200 years, may it be so, as the Mayan Long Count Calendar begins anew. If I ever see you in person, ask me to show you the 'nakwach,' the Hopi handclasp of brother/sisterhood. An amazing Hopi kachina carver/creator at Indian Market, Santa Fe- his kachinas were stunning- while talking and laughing, suddenly grabbed my right hand in the 'nakwach,' telling me, "This is how we'll know each other in the next World."
Into the Sixth World...
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org