He is an award-winning poet and educator who was born in Los Angeles, California, and is the author of eleven volumes of poetry, including, FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF NIGHT: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (University of Arizona Press 2002), SONNETS TO MADNESS AND OTHER MISFORTUNES (Creative Arts Book Company 2001), SNAKE POEMS: AN AZTEC INVOCATION (Chronicle Books 1992), DE AMOR OSCURO / OF DARK LOVE (Moving Parts Press 2001).
He is also an acclaimed children's author who is able to write his books both in English and Spanish. His most recent book of bilingual poetry for children celebrates a natural wonder of the world, ANIMAL POEMS OF THE IGUAZÚ (Children's Book Press 2008) and it was selected as a Notable Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association, and as an Américas Award Commended Title by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs. His previous bilingual book POEMS TO DREAM TOGETHER (Lee & Low Books 2005) was awarded the 2006 Jane Addams Honor Book Award.
The seasons of the year inspired Francisco to write four award-wining books of bilingual poems published by Children's Book Press of San Francisco. LAUGHING TOMATOES AND OTHER SPRING POEMS (1997) was awarded the 1997 Pura Belpré Honor Award by the American Library Association and the National Parenting Publications Gold Medal. He also received the 2000 Pura Belpré Honor Award for his second book of bilingual poems for children, FROM THE BELLYBUTTON OF THE MOON AND OTHER SUMMER POEMS (1998), and the 2002 Pura Belpré Honor Award for his fourth book of bilingual poems for children, IGUANAS IN THE SNOW AND OTHER WINTER POEMS (2001). He has published another book for children, ANGELS RIDE BIKES AND OTHER FALL POEMS (1999).
He moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, when he was 6. He graduated from California State University, Long Beach, and Stanford University.
Francisco has been a finalist nominated for Poet Laureate of California in two occasions in the past five years. He teaches at the University of California, Davis.
In response to a group of students chaining themselves to the Arizona State Capitol on April 20, 2010 to protest the anti-immigrant legislation Arizona SB 1070, Alarcón penned the poem "For the Capitol Nine" and posted it to his Facebook page. Prompted by the response to this poem, he created a Facebook group called "Poets Responding to SB 1070", which grew to include over 1200 poems and received over 600,000 hits. A anthology of poems from the group is being prepared for publication.
Francisco X. Alarcón, 1994, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1123715)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digital
Laughing Tomatoes: And Other Spring Poems / Jitomates Risuenos: Y Otros Poemas de Primavera (The Magical Cycle... by Francisco X. Alarcon and Maya Christina Gonzalez
Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Series: The Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Children's Book Press; First Trade Paper Edition edition (March 10, 2005)
Amazon: Laughing Tomatoes: And Other Spring Poems
Tomatoes laugh, chiles explode, and tortillas applaud the sun. With joy and tenderness, delight and sadness, Frances X. Alarcón's poems honor life and nature: welcoming the morning sun, remembering his grandmother's songs, paying tribute to children working in the fields, and dreaming of a world filled with gardens. Artist Maya Christina Gonzalez invites readers to experience the poems with her lively cast of characters - including a spirited grandma, four vivacious children, and playful pets who tease and delight. Follow them from page to page as they bring each poem to colorful life. Laughing Tomatoes is a verbal and visual treat, giving readers eighteen opportunities to see everything for the first time.
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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