Broken Turtle Blog

Broken Turtle Blog

Monday, June 28, 2021

Booklist Out, Books Back, Jacobo Published

    Broken Turtle Books is coming back, but Broken Turtle Booklist is set to be retired, with one last featured author, ME.

    A confession, Broken Turtle Booklist was a great idea: to catalogue all Delaware authors in one place and feature specific authors from time to time, but it was an overly ambitious project. In the meantime, Broken Turtle Books, a publishing company created by the editors of Dreamstreets, gradually stopped publishing, and I assumed the assets and debts, roughly a wash, but for a few ISBNs. With the publication of my latest work, Jacobo the Turko: a novel in verses, I have revived the company. I intend to revive promotion of works we published previously, such as Steven Leech’s Untime and Douglas Morea’s Letters to You, as well as works by other authors in the Dreamstreets collective, such as Franetta McMillians latest novel, The Hololounge of the Mundane. A new website, Broken Turtle Books, will serve that purpose, but it is now “under construction.” The old Broken Turtle Booklist is still up, with my brooding mug soon to cast its shadow over the homepage.

    As for my latest opus, Jacobo the Turko explores the braided rivers of human kinship by tracing the misadventures of Jacobo Bitar, a young Ecuadorian of blended heritage and naïve dreams.

    With snippets of news, scholarship, and a host of classical and experimental forms, this hybrid, tragicomic novel shows how Jacobo, an Ecuadorian youth of Indigenous and Lebanese parentage, lands summer work at a Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Pizza joint, loses his pay and passport, cuts wings at a Georgetown poultry plant, scrambles to evade ICE, is rescued by an African American artist of Wilmington, bakes donuts on the graveyard shift at Dunkin’, and gets nabbed and deported to Lebanon (where he’s never been), and is ultimately jailed at Guantánamo.

    Jacobo earned me the 2017 Delaware Division of the Arts Established Artist Fellowship in Literature: Poetry.

    For stylistic inspiration, I drew on the works of Nicolás Guillén, Eduardo Galeano, William Carlos Williams, Rita Dove, and Guillaume Apollinaire. The more I think of it, however, I realize how all sorts of bad actors intrude on my esthetics—you know, Pound, Eliot, and such, maybe Keats, maybe that ad copywriter Don Blanding’s cheap encomiums to Waikiki beach, hula dancers, and coconuts I read in the fifth grade when my Navy pilot dad was stationed in Hawaii.

     Check out my webpage for more on Jacobo and other works, including videos of my performances of and at this and that.


No comments:

Post a Comment