For Immediate Release/ October, 17, 2012
Contact: Luis Rodriguez/ 818.898.0013
Poet Michael Warr Wins 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature for “The Armageddon of Funk”
SYLMAR, CA—Tia Chucha Press— the publishing wing of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural and Bookstore—is proud to announce that Michael Warr’s poetry collection “The Armageddon of Funk,” has won the 2012 PEN / Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. Warr will recite at the 22nd Annual PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Awards ceremony on Saturday, December 1, 2012, at the Oakland Public Library, Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Ave. from 2 to 5pm.
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association this year also awarded “The Armageddon of Funk,” Warr’s second collection of poems. Tia Chucha Press first published Warr in 1991 with his groundbreaking work, “We Are All the Black Boy.” He is a recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Poets Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. A former resident of Chicago and Addis Ababa, he now lives in his hometown of San Francisco, CA.
“I don’t think you need me to tell you that these poems are the real thing, brilliant in language and imagination, never a nerveless line, they move in both senses, of their own music and of the heart. But I’m telling you anyway,” wrote the late, legendary, poet Adrienne Rich of Warr’s poetry.
PEN International, a Nobel Prize-winning organization devoted to defending freedom of expression, was founded in 1921. Founded in 1989 by Ismael Reed and co-founders Floyd Salas, Claire Ortalda and Reginald Lockett, PEN Oakland (dubbed the “Blue Collar PEN” by The New York Times) was created as a “multicultural” conclave to “promote works of excellence by writers of all cultural and racial backgrounds and to educate both the public and the media as to the nature of multicultural work.”
Poet/writer Luis J. Rodriguez founded Tia Chucha Press in 1989 in Chicago. In 2000, Luis moved to the Northeast San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles and a year later co-founded
Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural, which provides workshops in the arts, writing, dance, theater, music and more, as well as a bookstore, art gallery, and publishing center. By 2005, Rodriguez moved Tia Chucha Press from Chicago to Sylmar, CA. In twenty-three years this small press has published renowned poets like Elizabeth Alexander, Diane Glancy, Nick Carbo, Ricardo Sanchez, Patricia Smith, Terrance Hayes, A. Van Jordan, Tony Fitzpatrick, Kyoko Mori, and new and emerging voices.
The most recent books published by Tia Chucha Press are Patricia Spear Jones’s “Painkiller,” Jose Antonio Rodriguez’s “The Shallow End of Sleep,” and a tabletop book with essays, interviews, poetry, photos, and art called “Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams: How the Arts are Transforming a Community,” edited by Denise Sandoval and Luis J. Rodriguez.
For more information on Tia Chucha Press and Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural, please go to www.tiachucha.com or call 818.939.3433. To order Tia Chucha Press books, contact Northwestern University Press online at http://www.nupress.northwestern.edu or cal1.800.621.2736.