FORMER TUCSON WEEKLY STAFF WRITER AND EDITOR MARI HERRERAS RELEASES HER DEBUT POETRY COLLECTION AT GRANDE AND CONGRESS
JUNE 2023 ON R&R PRESS.
AVAILABLE NOW FROM Small Press Distribution (SPD)!
As a fifth-generation Tucsonan, Mari Herreras always embraced what she describes as “this gravel-lot town’s ugly, weird, and beautiful,”during her decade as a staff writer and editor at the Tucson Weekly. Her poetry, like her journalism, simultaneously celebrates and reveals the harsh and lush reality of her gentrifying desert city and more.
As a journalist, Herreras focused on those often-difficult stories
surrounding Mexican American Studies at Tucson Unified School
District, regional development, as well as a home-town people like no
other. In At Grande and Congress, the poetry chapbook published by R&R
Press out June 2023, Herreras focuses most often on family, the
desert, and the tender complexities of identity and being Chicana.
Tucson writer and historian Lydia Otero, author of La Calle: Spatial
Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City and In the Shadows of
the Freeway: Growing Up Brown and Queer, says, “Mari Herreras’ debut
collection of poems and reflections is a must read for those looking
beyond caliche and concrete to appreciate the life experiences and
perceptions of a fifth generation Chicana ... As I read each poem, it
became clear to me that this author knows and loves Tucson.”
What others have to say about At Grande and Congress:
“From 4th Street to South Seventh, El Tiradito to Menlo Park,
Dunbar/Spring and back again––Mari Herreras’ debut collection At
Grande and Congress is a rich reminder that a place is made by its
people, and a poet makes herself through poems. Here we understand
that “there are miracles / in this town / delivered by / whispers” if
only we take the time to hear them. These are poems for café over
yellow oilcloth, for reading on the porch couch while waiting for the
last monsoon. This is not the “urban renewal clearance sale,” it’s a
warning that “we crossed paths in this drying / desert town for a
reason” –these are poems that we should take to heart, wherever we’re
from, and wherever we’re going.”
–Logan Phillips, author of Sonoran Strange
“At Grande and Congress is a riveting reminder how the monsoons raise
folx in the desert. How the cacti tell our story and how Sonoran
sunsets are both the last page and first page of a chapter. Mari’s
writing is the kind of prose that is so honest it makes your heart
quiver with a smile.”
–Teré Fowler-Chapman, author of Bread& and founder and host of Words
on the Avenue, the longest-running community poetry open mic in Tucson
Finally. The new glossy boasts a coming-of-age theme from a diverse class of writers, artists and photographers, including a cover-story book excerpt (and Q&A) from Maggie Rawling Smith’s heart-bending YA novel Catamopus, out next year on R&R Press. The cover features the lovely work of the world-renowned artist Cyfi. A flowering Final Word and symbiotic collage by Teré Fowler-Chapman closes out. In-between, rock & roll frontman Eddie Baranek pens an ode to mowing Detroit lawns for living while enjoying international rock-star fame. One of the country’s preeminent music journalists, Fred Mills, authors a moving homage to fatherhood. Internationally loved poet Brittany Perham takes us beneath surfaces, author Nicca Ray offers some gritty Hollywood street words, and writer-songster Cait Brennan untangles some teenage confusion. Also, lots of new work by emerging and established creators, including Jay Rochlin, Mike Sendrow, Kelly Fordon, James Diaz, Jacob from the Cigar Shop, Linda Suzu Kawano, Jeff Gardner, Barry Smith, Constantine Ballard, Tashi Saheb-Ettaba, Brandi Cole, Ember Gulden, Curtis Endicott, Jon Endicott and many worthy others.
Marlowe's Revenge was chosen as one of the 2023 Southwest Books of the Year!
TOP PICK: "This was a weird one, and weird ones meant trouble." So writes Dan Stuart near the opening of Marlowe's Revenge, the last of a trilogy. He's right, of course. Stuart has had plenty of experience in weird climes. As leader of the legendary band Green on Red, he's known rock-star fame. In the wake of fame, he's known addiction and climbed from the wreckage. He's been known to hit the links to work out the demons, and he's seen bad guys and Gila monsters up close. All figure in this picaresque tale starring alter ego Marlowe Billings and a Tucson that the tourist bureau won't rush to endorse, where drug smuggling, murder, skulduggery, dubious legal ethics, raw violence, and many another "preternatural event" figure. There's even some golf amid episodes set in plenty of recognizable Tucson landmarks. While he's paid his dues researching his shaggy-dog story, Stuart is clearly having a grand time with it—and so will readers. - Gregory McNamee
"People act like poetry is this obtuse thing that you have to 'get.' Freeman (and this is a compliment) makes it impossible not to. He tells you about his dad, about beer fridges in garages, about the Great Lakes, about birds, about history. And that's stuff we can all take with us. He tells us about philosophy, and theology, and about native tree-life to Michigan. He sees things, he tells stories about history." A fun and insightful discussion of Poolside at the Dearborn Inn from Tony DeGenaro.
"Real life, they say, is often stranger than fiction. The last few years on this seemingly damned planet have certainly seen that borne out. In the case of Dan Stuart, the two planes are mixed, stirred and served on a platter." Check out this interview with Dan Stuart in the LA Weekly!
"Revenge and temptation usually go hand in hand. The fleeting pleasure they offer often gives way to regret, yet we can’t resist them. Get tangled up in this terrible twosome, and you’re probably fucked." An interview with Dan Stuart in the Phoenix New Times.