Two poets: One “a master surrealist,” the other a soulful practitioner

By Santiago Valentín

James Cervantes

James Cervantes’s latest books are From Mr. Bondo’s Unshared Life (2013) and Sleepwalker’s Songs: New & Selected Poems, published in 2012. Other books include Temporary Meaning, The Headlong Future, The Year Is Approaching Snow, and Changing The Subject. He was editor of The Salt River Review for 13 years and is currently Foreign Correspondent for Hinchas de Poesia, a “digital codex of contemporary pan-american writing.” Cervantes has been publishing poetry in print since 1969 and almost exclusively online since 1997. Cervantes has been called “a master surrealist,” and the persona in his latest book described as “. . . a surreal, perceptive, and lonely Everyman: Who wouldn’t want to stand by his side, mesmerized by a hummingbird, singing the blues?” (Pat Valdata)

Poetry readings
By James Cervantes and Bill Pearlman
Fri, Apr 25, 4:30-6pm
Garrison & Garrison Books
Hidalgo 26
50 pesos admission can be
applied to purchase of any book!

Once upon a time, he could truthfully claim to be a professional musician, a cellist, as a matter of fact, and performed with the United States Air Force Orchestra’s Strolling Strings at the White House for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. There were many other less exciting gigs.

Cervantes’s varied past includes work as a psychiatric aide at a private mental institution, a stint as a late night jazz dj, a near-death experience in 1970, director of an art gallery, and teaching English and writing at several colleges and universities. He studied at the University of Washington and earned his MFA at the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop, where he studied with Donald Justice, Marvin Bell and Norman Dubie. He and his wife, Eleanor Yepez, are now full-time residents of San Miguel after six years of dividing their time between Arizona and San Miguel.

Bill Pearlman divides time between San Miguel and California and has been writing poetry since the 1960s, when he was a student at UCLA. Bill lived in New Mexico for many years, and studied poetry with Robert Creeley; his collections of poetry include Surfing off the Ark, Flareup of Twosomes, Inzorbital, An Elegy for Prefontaine and Brazilian Incarnation (Selected Poems 1967-2004). Duende Press, based in Placitas, New Mexico, published two of Bill’s books. He worked in community mental health in New Mexico as well as teaching at UNM, UCSB, Central NM Community College and Southwestern College in Santa Fe.

His book, Characters of the Sacred, reflects interests in Jungian psychology, drama therapy and theater as a soulful practice. He also worked as an Equity and SAG actor, and founded the Zocalo Theater in Bernalillo in 1982. Bill was recently (2013) awarded a Philip Whalen Memorial Grant.

He currently lives in San Miguel de Allende, where he has been active in International PEN and started a writers’ series, Writers Aloud, and helped found SOL, English writing in Mexico, an online journal. He continues to do theater and write. Bill will read from work new and old.

Poets James Cervantes and Bill Pearlman read at Garrison & Garrison Books, Hidalgo 26, Friday, April 25, 4:30-6pm. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided.


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