By: Shaya Rogers, Features Reporter
English and Cultural Studies instructor Felecia Caton-Garcia will be reading poems from her newly published book at a local bookstore next month, she said.
Caton-Garcia will read a selection of poems from her book “Say That” on April 17 at Bookworks on Rio Grande in the North Valley. This is her first published book, she said.
“It’s really exciting, more exciting than I expected it to be, just to actually be able to hold the book in my hands,” she said.
Caton-Garcia said she had been working on the poems for many years with no intention of putting them together for a book, but it fell into place.
“I have written for most of my life and I’ve written seriously and for publication for 10 or 15 years, so you always sort of have an idea that you’re evolving something,” she said.
The poems stem from personal experiences with death and family, including the death of her father and an uncle who died just weeks before she was born, she said.
Although her poems are based on real events, they show a fictional outsider perspective of these events, she said.
“I don’t feel terribly tied to facts of a the book is a combinaparticular narrative so tion of autobiographical work, but often even much of the autobiographical work is imagined,” she said.
Publishing “Say That” prompted her to consider how to recognize the artistic growth that takes place between the writing process, during and after publication, and the present moment, she said.
“I am choosing to see it as a snapshot of that particular time and place and who I was as a writer right then, and the next one will also not be who I am when it comes out,” she said.
She credits “Say That” with helping her evolve her writing and bringing her to where she is today, she said. She hopes that by reading her work, others will be inspired by the imagery or ideas in the story.
“Ideally, that’s what art does; art changes you. The act of making art changes you,” she said.
Caton-Garcia said she would like for readers to feel inspired by her work.
“Say That” is available at the UNM bookstore through unmpress.com/books and can be ordered wherever books are sold for $17.95.
Bookworks is located at 4022 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, Caton-Garcia will be reading her poetry from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17.