The Coiled Serpent: Poets arising from
the cultural quakes and shifts of Los Angeles
For national distribution, with a launch planned at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in early 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Tia Chucha Press is publishing an anthology of new and veteran Los Angeles-area poets, focusing on the city’s grand mosaic of voices and flavors in the first 15 years of the 21st century. AWP hosts the largest gathering of writers and teachers of writing in the country, with upwards of 14,000 participants. This anthology will introduce the world to the vitality and variety of verse in the City of Angels, a city of poets.
Los Angeles has close to 60 percent people of color, 225 languages spoken at home, and some of the richest and poorest persons in the country. TCP plans to capture the contrasts, divisions, but also the fusions and interlocutions that have created this most global of cities. With an expansive 502.7 square miles of city (and beyond, including the massive county of 4,752.32 square miles), the poetry should draw on imagery, words, stories, and imaginations that are also vast, encompassing a real “leaves of grass.”
Tia Chucha Press is one of the country’s leading small cross-cultural poetry presses, now in its 25th year. Now the publishing wing of the nonprofit Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley, TCP books are distributed by the prestigious Northwestern University Press. TCP authors have gone on to win a National Book Award, a Jackson Memorial Award, a Paterson Poetry Prize, a PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, and have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award. They run the gamut of works by Elizabeth Alexander (President Obama’s first inaugural poet), Terrance Hayes, (National Book Award winner), Virgil Suarez, Kyoko Mori, Tony Fitzpatrick, Patricia Smith (National Poetry Slam Champion), Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Alison Luterman, Chiwan Choi, and Deborah A. Miranda, among others.
The image of the coiled serpent appears in various forms in mythologies throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, India, and the Americas. In pre-conquest times, Quetzalcoatl—the Precious Serpent—served as a leading personification of earth-bound wisdom, the arts and eldership.
Deadline July 1, 2015, sent to Coiled Serpent Anthology, c/o Tia Chucha Press, 13197-A Gladstone Avenue, Sylmar CA 91342. Hard copy or digital delivery is acceptable. Any questions please leave message for Liana Cabrera at 818-939-3433 or write TCPress@tiachucha.org.
Poets are asked to send up to ten one-page poems. Shorter poems will allow us to have more poets represented. TCP hopes to publish up to three of each poet’s best work—this may change to one poem depending on the number of quality submissions.
Payment will be in copies. The books will be distributed to bookstores, libraries, colleges, universities, the Internet, and other outlets. The book will be 6 x 9, with a full color cover, 80 to 120 pages, permanent bound.
Editors for this anthology are:
Neelanjana Banerjee, managing editor at Kaya Press and co-editor of the award-winning “Indivisible: An Anthology of South Asian American Poetry” (University of Arkansas Press). Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Pank Magazine, The Rumpus, World Literature Today, the Literary Review, and more.
Daniel A. Olivas is the author of seven books including the award-winning novel, “The Book of Want” (University of Arizona Press). His first nonfiction book is “Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature through Essays and Interviews” (San Diego State University Press). Olivas is also the editor of the landmark anthology, Latinos in Lotusland (Bilingual Press).
And Luis J. Rodriguez, founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and current Los Angeles Poet Laureate, who will also write the introduction.