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Remembering Francisco X. Alarcon

Francisco X. Alarcon

Francisco X. Alarcon

Dear Friends of Poetry,

Please join us on February 18th in celebrating the life, work, and legacy of Francisco X. Alarcon. Francisco X. Alarcon was a prolific writer of poetry for adults and children. He was a friend to many and loved by all.

Francisco passed away on January 16, 2016. We will celebrate him on Thursday, February 18th beginning at 7 PM (an hour earlier than usual) at the John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 1st Street.

Sacramento poet and series host Nancy Aidé Gonzalez will take a lead in hosting this event.

Dr. Andy Jones



Francisco X. Alarcón


Francisco X. Alarcón’s poetry for adults include Body in Flames/Cuerpo en llamas (1990); De amor oscuro/Of Dark Love (1991); Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation (1992), winner of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche: New and Selected Poems (2002); Ce Uno One: Poemas para el Nuevo Sol/Poems for the New Sun (2010); Borderless Butterflies: Earth Haikus and Other Poems/Mariposas sin fronteras: Haikus terrenales y otros poemas (2014); and Canto hondo/Deep Song (2015).

Alarcón’s books for children include the bilingual poetry collections in the Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series: Laughing Tomatoes: And Other Spring Poems/Jitomates risuenos: y otros poemas de primavera (1997), which won the National Parenting Publications Gold Award; From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems/Del ombligo de la luna: y otros poemas de verano (1998), winner of the American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Honor Award for Latino Literature; Angels Ride Bikes: And Other Fall Poems/Los angeles andan en bicicleta: y otros poemas de otoño (1999); and Iguana in the Snow: And Other Winter Poems/Iguanas en la nieve: y otros poemas de invierno (2001).

Alarcón received the 1984 Chicano Literary Prize, the 1993 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and a Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association in 2002. He served as director of the Spanish for Native Speakers Program at the University of California at Davis, and the California Poets in the Schools program.



The following featured poets will be reading poetry at Canto Hondo: A Memorial Reading for Francisco X. Alarcón:


JoAnn Anglin

Paul Aponte

Francisco Aragón

Lucha Corpi

Luz Maria Gama

Marta Garcia

Nancy Aidé Gonzalez

Xico Gonzalez

Nicole Henares

Zheyla Henriksen

Suzy Huerta

Dr. Andy Jones

Arturo Mantecon

Gerardo Pacheco Matus

Adela Najarro

Rosie Ochoa

William O’Daly

Javier Pinzon

Graciela B. Ramirez

Betty Sanchez

Allegra Silberstein

Bob Stanley


Special Guests :

Javier Pinzon

Members of the Alarcon Family

Kalpulli Xihuacoatl Danzante Group

Mariachi Cielito Lindo




JoAnn Anglin of Sacramento is one of the original members of Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol / Writers of the New Sun, and of El Circulo des Poetas. She has published poems both locally and in literary journals and anthologies elsewhere. JoAnn has taught poetry writing to school children, seniors and, currently, at New Folsom Prison. She is also a coach for the Poetry Out Loud program.


Paul Aponte is an active member of Escritores Del Nuevo Sol (Writers of the New Sun). Aponte been published in “La Bloga”, “El Tecolote” press, and other publications.


Francisco Aragón directs Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He previously edited Momotombo Press. He served on the board of directors of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. Aragón’s books include Puerta del Sol (2005), and Glow of Our Sweat (2010). He edited the groundbreaking anthology The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (2007).


Martha Garcia is a Sacramento resident who admires books, poetry, the Romance, Esperanto and Enochian languages, and those who are gifted in these fields. She is sometimes funny, and dreams and loves in Spanish.


Nancy Aidé González is a Chicana poet, educator, activist and poetry host. Her work has appeared in Huizache: The magazine of Latino literature, La Tolteca, Mujeres De Maiz Zine, DoveTales, Tule Review, Seeds of Resistance Flor y Canto: Tortilla Warrior, other literary journals. Her work is featured in several poetry anthologies.


Xico González is an educator, artist, poet, and a political and cultural activista based in Sacraztlán. He earned a MA in Spanish from Sacramento State, and a MFA in Art Studio from UC Davis. González teaches Spanish and Art Studio at the Met Sacramento High School.


Nicole Henares is a poet and high school English teacher from San Francisco. Henares earned her MFA in writing and consciousness from California Institute of Integral Studies, and her BA in English from UC Davis.


Zheyla Henriksen, is an Ecuadorian, PhD, poet, researcher, and artist. She has taught at multiple universities throughout her career, and is now retired. She is a member of the group Writers of the New Sun, and participates in the ACH Registro Creativo. She has authored four books, and has received numerous awards for her poetry, both in the US and internationally.


Dr. Andy Jones is a poet, MC, faculty member at UC Davis, public speaker, and essayist. Andy has taught writing and literature classes at the University of California, Davis since 1990. Dr. Andy Jones is the producer, engineer and host of Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour on KDVS – FM. His most recent books include Split Sotck, Where’s Jukie?, and In the Almond Orchard: Coming Home from War. He is the poet laureate of Davis.


Gerardo Pacheco Matus, a Mayan native, was recipient of a 2015 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Work-Study Scholarship. In 2012, The San Francisco Foundation awarded Pacheco the distinguished Joseph Henry Jackson Award. Pacheco’s poems and essays have appeared and are forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press, Jambu Press, La Bloga Online Magazine, Grantmakers in the Arts, San Francisco Foundation, Spillway Magazine, Transfer Magazine, El Tecolote Newspaper, Cipactli Magazine, Amistad Howard-University, Poets Responding to SB1070 and The University of Arizona Press.


Adela Najarro is the author of two poetry collections: Split Geography and Twice Told Over. In order to determine whether or not to be born, Adela had coffee and pan dulce with Elizabeth Bishop and Francisco X Alarcon in Buenos Aires in 1953. Due to that prenatal conversation, she decided to take up poetry and live among us.


Rosie Ochoa has a B.A. in English Literature from Sonoma State University. Her books of poetry include The Beauty of Being a Woman (the winner of the International Latino Book Award), Examined Shadows, and Jimmy Fallen’s (Baked Bio) Lip-Syncing Despite Life.


William O’Daly is a poet, translator, and literary editor who has published eight books of his translations of Pablo Neruda’s late and posthumous poetry with Copper Canyon Press. The most recent book of his own poems, The Road to Isla Negra, was published by Folded Word Press of New Hampshire in June, 2015, and another of his books of poems, Yarrow and Smoke, will be released by Folded Word in 2017. He is currently translating Neruda’s very first book, Crepusculario, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2017.


Graciela B. Ramirez holds three Masters degrees. She taught Spanish and Ethnic Studies at CSUS for 25 years. Graciela has written two books yet unpublished: Educación, Una Epica Chicana, written in poetry, a history of the Chicano Movement at CSUS and Poemas Buenos, Malos y Regulares (Good, Bad and So-So Poems.) Now she has a memoir in progress.


Allegra Jostad Silberstein was named the first ever Poet Laureate of the City of Davis. A longtime Davis teacher (now retired), dancer, and philanthropist. She has written three poetry books: Acceptance, In the Folds, and West of Angels.


Please join us in celebrating the life and work of the most beloved poet of Davis, Francisco X. Alarcón.



See the Facebook page for this event:



You are also invited to join the Poetry in Davis Facebook group mailing list:



Upcoming Events:


March 3: Patricia Caspers

Founding Editor of the West Trestle Review, Caspers has won the Nimrod/ Hardman Pablo Neruda Award for Poetry.


March 17: Kate Asche and Jan Haag

Asche and Haag are Sacramento poetry all-stars. Wear green!


Spring: Other poets planned for the spring include Alan Williamson, Laurie Glover, and Linda Lancione. Expect Richard Loranger in the fall. Also, Dr. Andy is coming out with a chapbook, In the Almond Orchard, in March. Hooray!

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