Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children's Literature

Francisco Xavier Alarcón

Selected Awards & Recognitions

  • Finalist, Poet Laureate of California, California Arts Council, 2008.
  • Jane Addams Children's Book Award, Jane Addams Peace Association, for Poems to dream together = Poemas para soñar juntos, 2006.
  • Finalist, Poet Laureate of California, California Arts Council, 2005.
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice, School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for Iguanas in the snow and other winter poems = Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno / poems/poemas, 2002.
  • Finalist, Poet Laureate of California, California Arts Council, 2002.
  • Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award, Bay Area Book Reviewers Association, 2002.
  • Pura Belpré Honor Book Award, American Library Association, for Iguanas in the snow and other winter poems = Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno / poems/poemas, 2002.
  • Finalist, Américas Book Award Commended List, the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, for Iguanas in the snow and other winter poems = Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno / poems/poemas, 2001.
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice, School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, 2000.
  • Pura Belpré Honor Book Award, American Library Association, for From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, 2000.
  • Finalist, Américas Book Award Commended List, the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, for From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, 1998.
  • Carlos Pellicer-Robert Frost Poetry Honor Award, Third Binational Border Poetry Contest, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, 1998.
  • Pura Belpré Honor Book Award, American Library Association, for Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, 1998.
  • Finalist, Américas Book Award Commended List, the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, for Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, 1997.
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice, School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for In my family = En mi familia, 1996.
  • American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, for Snake poems: an Aztec invocation, 1993.
  • Josephine Miles Literary Award, PEN Oakland, 1993.
  • California Arts Council, fellowship in poetry, 1989-90.
  • Prisma Award, CURAS, 1987.
  • First prize, Chicano Literary Contest, University of California—Irvine, 1984.
  • Named Distinguished Alumnus of California State University—Long Beach, 1984.
  • Second prize, Palabra nueva contest, University of Texas at El Paso, 1983, for Los repatriaciones de noviembre.
  • Recipient, Fulbright Fellowship, 1982-83.

Publications

Poetry for Children and Young Adults

  • Animal poems of the Iguazú: poems = Animalario del Iguazú: poemas, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 2008.
  • Poems to dream together = Poemas para soñar juntos, illustrated by Paula Barragán, Lee & Low Books (New York, NY), 2005.
  • Iguanas in the snow and other winter poems = Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno / poems/poemas, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 2001.
  • Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1999.
  • From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1998.
  • Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1997.
  • Snake poems: an Aztec invocation, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1992.

Other Poetry

  • From the other side of night = Del otro lado de la noche: new and selected poems, translated by author and Francisco Aragón, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 2002.
  • Sonnets to madness and other misfortunes = Sonetos a la locura y otras penas, illustrated by Rene Castro, Creative Arts Book Company (Berkeley, CA), 2001.
  • (With Elba Rosario Sánchez and Robert Chiarito) Lenguas sueltas: poemas, Moving Parts Press (Santa Cruz, CA), 1994.
  • No Golden Gate for us, Pennywhistle Press (Santa Fe, NM), 1993.
  • Poemas zurdos, Editorial Factor (Naucalpan de Juárez, Estado de México), 1992.
  • De amor oscuro = Of dark love, Moving Parts Press (Santa Cruz, CA), 1991. 1
  • Body in flames = Cuerpo en llamas, translated by Francisco Aragón, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1990. 1
  • Loma Prieta, We Press (Santa Cruz, CA), 1990.
  • (Editor, with Lorna Lee Cervantes) Quarry West 26: Chicanas y Chicanos en Dialogo, Porter College, University of California (Santa Cruz, CA), 1989.
  • Quake poems, We Press (Santa Cruz, CA), 1989.
  • Tattoos, Nomad Press (Oakland, CA), 1985.
  • (With Rodrigo Reyes and Juan Pablo Gutierrez) Ya vas, carnal: poetry, Humanizarte Publications (San Francisco, CA), 1985.
  1. Body in flames = Cuerpo en llamas has been published in Swedish and Irish, and De amor oscuro = Of dark love has been published in Irish.

Poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, including

  • Revenge and forgiveness: an anthology of poems, edited by Patrice Vecchione, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2004;
  • Poets against the War, edited by Sam Hamill, Sally Anderson and others, Thunder's Mouth Press/Nation Books (New York: NY), 2003;
  • We beg to differ: an anthology of peace, edited by Luke Breit, and Traci L. Gourdine, Sacramento Poets Against the War (Sacramento, CA), 2003;
  • Under the fifth sun: Latino literature from California, edited by Rick Heide, Heyday Books (Berkeley, CA), 2002;
  • Los vasos comunicantes: antología de la poesía chicana, edited by Ricardo Aguilar Melantzón, Huerga & Fierro Editores (Madrid, España), 1999;
  • Virgins, guerrillas & locas: gay Latinos writing on love, edited by Jaime Cortez, Cleis Press (San Francisco, CA), 1999;
  • Wild stars: poetry from Art of the Wild: Squaw Valley, California, July 1999, edited by Jill Wright, Starry Puddle Pub. (Los Angeles, CA), 1999;
  • Goddess of the Americas = La diosa de las Américas: writings on the Virgin of Guadalupe, edited by Ana Castillo, Riverhead Books (New York: NY), 1996;
  • La voz urgente: antología de literatura chicana en español, edited by Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez, Editorial Fundamentos (Madrid, España), 1995;
  • Paper dance: 55 Latino poets, edited by Victor Hernandez Cruz, Leroy V. Quintana, and Vigil Suarez, Persea Books (New York, NY), 1995;
  • Beyond definition: new writing from gay and lesbian San Francisco, edited by Marci Blackman and Trebor Healey, Manic D Press (San Francisco, CA), 1994;
  • Currents from the dancing river: contemporary Latino fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, edited by Ray Gonzalez, Harcourt Brace (New York: NY), 1994;
  • Voices from the fields: children of migrant farmworkers tell their stories, interviews and photographs by S. Beth Atkin, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 1993;
  • After Aztlan: Latino poets of the nineties, edited by Ray Gonzalez, David R. Godine (Boston, MA), 1992;
  • New Chicana/Chicano writing, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 1992;
  • Lighthouse Point: an anthology of Santa Cruz writers, edited by Patrice Vecchione and Steve Wiesinger, M. Press (Soquel, CA), 1987;
  • Best new Chicano literature 1986, edited by Julian Palley, Bilingual Press (Binghamton, NY), 1986;
  • Practising angels: a contemporary anthology of San Francisco Bay area poetry, edited by Michael Mayo, Seismograph Publications (San Francisco, CA), 1986;
  • Palabra nueva: poesía Chicana, edited by Ricardo Aguilar, Armando Armengol, and Sergio Elizondo, Texas Western Press (El Paso, TX), 1985.

Also contributor to periodicals, including Alcatraz, Americas Review, Andelas, Berkeley Poetry Review, Bloomsbury Review, Confluencia, Five Fingers Review, The Guadalupe Review, James White Review, The Last Word, Literary Calendar, Metamorfosis, Mocking Bird, La Opinion, Plural, Poetry Flash, Poetry Now, Puerto del Sol, Revista Mujeres, Wild Duck, and ZYZZYVA.

Other

  • (Contributor) "Reclaiming ourselves, reclaiming America," in The colors of nature: culture, identity, and the natural world, edited by Alison H. Deming and Lauret E. Savoy, Milkweed Editions (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.
  • (Contributor) "The poet as other," in Chicano/Latino homoerotic identities, edited by David William Foster, Garland Publishing (New York: NY), 1999.
  • (Translator) Carmen L. Garza, Magic windows, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1999.
  • (Editor, with M. Cecilia Colombi) La ensenanza del español a hispanohablates: praxis y teoria, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997.
  • (With Fabián A. Samaniego and Nelson Rojas) Nuestro mundo, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997.
  • (With Fabián A. Samaniego and Ricardo Otheguy) Tu mundo, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997.
  • (Translator) Carmen L. Garza, In my family = En mi familia, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
  • (Translator) Lynn Moroney and Te Ata, Viborita de cascabel, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
  • (With Fabián A. Samaniego and Nelson Rojas) Mundo 21, D. C. Heath (Lexington, MA), 1995.
  • (Contributor) "Reclaiming ourselves, reclaiming America," in With-out discovery: a native response to Columbus, edited by Ray Gonzalez, Broken Moon Press (Seattle, WA), 1992.
  • (Contributor) "Introduction", in Tomorrow triumphant: selected poems of Otto René Castillo, Night Horn Books (San Francisco, CA), 1984.

Sound Recording/Musical Score

  • Oscuro, composed by Pablo Ortiz, Albany Records (Albany, NY), 2006.
  • Canciones del ombligo de la luna = Songs from the bellybutton of the moon, composed by Pablo Ortiz, Juan Switalski Digital Audio (México City, México), 2003.
  • Alarcón madrigals (1993): for a cappella women's chorus, music by Roger Bourland, Yelton Rhodes Music (Los Angeles, CA), 1993.
  • Letters to the future: for men's chorus, 3 synthesizers, electric bass, and drums, music by Roger Bourland, Yelton Rhodes Music (Los Angeles, CA), 1993.

Selected Publications About the Author

Critical Studies

  • Alarcón, Francisco Xavier, "The poet as other," in Chicano/Latino homoerotic identities, edited by David William Foster, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1999, pp. 159-174.
  • Aldama, Frederick Luis, "Francisco X. Alarcón," in Spilling the beans in Chicanolandia: conversations with writers and artists, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2006, pp. 37-51.
  • Benedict, Jennifer Nichole, Grandfathers in children's books: authors' reflections on grandparent influences, Ed.D. diss., University of San Francisco, 2001.
  • Basurto, Imelda, "The poet behind the series: an interview with Francisco X. Alarcón," New Advocate, vol. 15, no. 1, Winter 2002, pp. 1-8.
  • Conway, Christopher, "Poeta serpiente: el indigenismo Chicano de Francisco X. Alarcón," Insula: revista de letras y ciencias humanas, vol. 667-668, July 2002, pp. 21-23.
  • Day, Frances Ann, "Francisco X. Alarcón," in Latina and Latino voices in literature: lives and works, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2003, pp: 19-23.
  • Del Pino, Salvador Rodríguez, " Francisco X. Alarcón," in Dictionary of literary biography, volume 122: Chicano writers, second series, edited by Francisco A. Lomeli and Carl R. Shirley, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1992, pp. 3-7.
  • Foster, David William, "Dark love," in El ambiente nuestro: Chicano/Latino homoerotic writing, Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe (Tempe, AZ), 2006, pp. 21-41.
  • __________________, "Homoerotic writing and Chicano authors," in Sexual textualities: essays on queer/ing Latin American writing, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1997, pp. 73-86.
  • __________________, "The poetry of Francisco X. Alarcón: the queer project of poetry," in Chicano/Latino homoerotic identities, edited by David William Foster, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1999, pp.175-195.
  • González, Marcial, "The poetry of Francisco X. Alarcon: identifying the Chicano persona," Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe, vol. 19, no. 2, May-August 1994, pp: 179-187.
  • Hartley, George, "Hegemony and identity: the Chicano hybrid in Francisco X. Alarcón's snake poems," Studies in twentieth century literature, vol. 25, no. 1, Winter 2001, pp. 281-305.
  • Hernández-Gutiérrez, Manuel de Jesús, "Alarcón, Francisco X.," in Latin American writers on gay and lesbian themes: a bio-critical sourcebook, edited by David William Foster, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1994, pp: 7-13.
  • Leone, Robert, "Palabras heridas: an interview with Francisco X. Alarcón," Lector, vol. 5, no. 1, 1988, pp. 18-21.
  • Munoz, Elias Miguel, "Corpus of words and flesh: Body in Flames/Cuerpo en llamas," Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe, vol. 16, no. 2-3, May-August 1994, pp: 235-240.
  • Pisarz-Ramírez, Gabriele, "Bilingual, interlingual-language and identity construction in Mexican American literary discourse," in Holding their own: perspectives on the multi-ethnic literatures of the United States, edited by Dorothea Fischer-Hornung and Heike Raphael-Hernandez, Stauffenburg (Tübingen, Germany), 2000, pp. 67-75.
  • Rodriguez y Gibson, Eliza, "Alarcón, Francisco X.," in The Greenwood encyclopedia of multiethnic American literature, edited by Emmanuel S. Nelson, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2005, pp: 123-124.
  • Underwood, Leticia Iliana, "Confluencia de textos y voces en la poesía de Francisco X. Alarcón: 'Poemas serpiente, una invocacion Azteca,'" Explicacion de textos literarios, vol. 26, no. 2, 1997, pp. 20-43.

Reviews

  • Booklist,
    • March 1, 1992, Pat Monaghan, review of Snake poems: an Aztec invocation, p. 1191;
    • June 1, 1997, Annie Ayres, review of Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, p. 1707;
    • October 15, 1998, Annie Ayres, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 423;
    • July, 1999, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 1958;
    • December 1, 1999, Annie Ayres, review of Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, p. 707;
    • March 15, 2000, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 1342;
    • August, 2000 Isabel Schon, review of Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, p. 2154;
    • October 1, 2001, Isabel Schon, review of Iguanas in the snow and other winter poems = Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno / poems/poemas, p. 328;
    • July 1, 2005, Stella Clark, review of Poems to dream together = Poemas para soñar juntos, p. 1918.
  • Center for Children's Books,
    • June, 1997, review of Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, p. 349.
  • Children's Bookwatch,
    • February, 1999, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 2;
    • August, 2008, review of Animal poems of the Iguazú: poems = Animalario del Iguazú: poemas, p. NA.
  • Criticas,
    • July/August, 2002, Paul M. Kienlen, review of Iguanas in the snow and other winter poems = Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno / poems/poemas, p. 61;
    • January/February, 2004, Coop Renner, review of Viborita de cascabel, p. 62;
    • June, 2008, Ann Welton, review of Animal poems of the Iguazú: poems = Animalario del Iguazú: poemas, p. 32.
  • Hispania,
    • March, 1996, Todd F. Hughes, review of Mundo 21, p. 80;
    • March, 1999, Jack B. Jelinski, review of La ensenanza del español a hispanohablates: praxis y teoria, p. 92.
  • Horn Book Guide,
    • fall, 1997, review of Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, p. 338;
    • spring 1999, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 130.
  • Hungry Mind Review,
    • summer, 1997, review of Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, p. 26.
  • Instructor,
    • May, 2001, review of Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, p. 37;
    • October, 2001, Alice Quiocho, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 16.
  • Kirkus Reviews,
    • March 15, 1997, review of Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, p. 458;
    • July 1, 1998, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 964;
    • July 1, 1999, review of Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, p. 1050;
    • May 1, 2005, review of Poems to dream together = Poemas para soñar juntos, p. 533;
    • August 1, 2008, review of Animal poems of the Iguazú: poems = Animalario del Iguazú: poemas, p. 697.
  • Lambda Book Report,
    • February/March, 2003, David Bergman, review of From the other side of night = Del otro lado de la noche: new and selected poems, p. 34.
  • Language Arts,
    • July, 2007, Sylvia M Vardell, review of Poems to dream together = Poemas para soñar juntos, p. 554.
  • Library Journal,
    • August, 2001, Barbara Hoffert, review of Sonnets to madness and other misfortunes = Sonetos a la locura y otras penas, p. S77.
  • Library Media Connection,
    • April/May, 2005, KaaVonia Hinton-Johnson, review of Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, p. 44;
    • January, 2006, review of Poems to dream together = Poemas para soñar juntos, p. 84.
  • The Modern Language Journal,
    • summer, 1997, Charles Maurice Cherry, review of Mundo 21, p. 277;
    • Autumn, 2002, Terri A. Gebel, review of Mundo 21, p. 478.
  • Multicultural Review,
    • October, 1992, Jack Foley, review of Snake poems: an Aztec invocation, p. 66.
  • Parnassus: Poetry in Review,
    • spring-fall, 2008, Eric Murphy Selinger, review of From the other side of night = Del otro lado de la noche: new and selected poems, p. 535.
  • Publishers Weekly,
    • July 20, 1998, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 222;
    • August 30, 1999, review of Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, p. 86;
    • September 17, 2001, review of Iguanas in the snow and other winter poems = Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno / poems/poemas, p. 82;
    • September 24, 2001, review of Sonnets to madness and other misfortunes = Sonetos a la locura y otras penas, p. 91;
    • February 25, 2002, review of From the other side of night = Del otro lado de la noche: new and selected poems, p. 57;
    • June 23, 2008, review of Animal poems of the Iguazú: poems = Animalario del Iguazú: poemas, p. 54.
  • The Reading Teacher,
    • May, 1998, Evelyn B. Freeman, review of Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, p. 684.
  • School Library Journal,
    • November, 1996, Rose Zertuche Trevino, review of In my family = En mi familia, p. 134;
    • May, 1997, Ann Welton, review of Laughing tomatoes and other spring poems = Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera: poems/poemas, p. 118;
    • December, 1998, Denise E. Agosto, review From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 98;
    • August, 1999, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 38;
    • October, 1999, Reina Huerta, review of Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, p. 130;
    • August, 2000, review of Angels ride bikes and other fall poems / poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño / poemas, p. 37;
    • August, 2001, Ann Welton, review of Iguanas in the snow and other winter poems = Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno / poems/poemas, p. 166;
    • August, 2002, Paul M. Kienlen, review of Iguanas in the snow and other winter poems = Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno / poems/poemas, p. S61;
    • October, 2005, Ann Welton, review of Poems to dream together = Poemas para soñar juntos, p. 148.
  • Sciences,
    • January/February, 1996, Gary Paul Nabhan, review of Snake poems: an Aztec invocation, p. 40.
  • Skipping Stones,
    • May/August, 1999, Jena Novotny, review of From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems / poems = Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano / poemas, p. 5.

Internet Sources