,

c. p. florez/blog

May 21, 2020

Nenadich Street, Poems and Passages, my second book, will be released sometime this month—my debut as a poet, and more! The inspiration for the poems evolved over a period of time, although I wrote some just last summer. It was my wish to create a life's narrative in a woman's poetic voice, reflecting strength as well as vulnerability. I envisioned Nenadich Street as a journey: a female navigating the corridors of life, full and sensual, sad and hopeful. The little chapters called Passages, continue to document the journey with candid social commentary and what I like to think is grittiness and wry humor.   

c. p. florez/blog

April 14, 2020

This is the prototype for the cover of Nenadich Street, created by my very talented illustrator, Matt Flores.  The image actually helped to further shape my vision for some of the work in Nenadich Street. Slowly, the persona of a strong yet vulnerable muse evolved to become the foundation for the poems and passages. She could be  a superhero, a goddess, or someone lost, searching for a higher path. 

c. p. florez/blog

February 1,  2020

Want to know who the "nena" in the photograph is? It's me! I was about six years old when I graduated from first grade in Puerto Rico. I completed  home school kindergarten and first grade in public school before my family returned to Brooklyn, N.Y.,where I was born. I cherish this photograph because I am wearing lipstick and my mother's pearl earrings—and holding my very first diploma!

c. p. florez/blog

January 30, 2020

All authors are not poets, but I believe all poets are authors, authors of the heart. Last month I submitted Nenadich Street to my publisher. It debuts many of the poems I have written over the years. Why the title? There was an old street in my Mom's home town, named Nenadich.  Nena means girl in Spanish, and is often used as a term of endearment. And lastly, my experiences growing up in an urban environment informed my choice of the word "Street." The process of writing poetry is very personal. Individual histories always emerge in one form of another. Girls have a lot to say.

c. p. florez/blog

December 25, 2019

As I sent out holiday greetings to friends and family, I again got to thinking about what Christmas means to me. For many first and second generation Americans, Christmas is no longer the celebration that their parents and grandparents embraced. As we become "homogenized", we may trade in their traditions for what TV commercials tell us  Christmas should look like. I love my Christmas tree, Santa, and Christmas carols. But what about Three Kings Day, and "straw" in little boxes for the camels? Do we miss any of it? I do cherish some Christmas memories from my childhood. Read "Elisa" in Puerto Rican Love Stories for the warmth of family and a little joy.

c. p. florez/blog

December 19, 2019

What do you think of this title? I've been thinking a lot about the process that led me to choose it. I realize it might not be so popular; some people are turned off by things "Puerto Rican." Was I looking to make a point?  Frankly, I did not know what else to call it. I thought really hard about it before I sent the manuscript to the copyright office.  There are some publications out there with similar titles, and I did not want potential readers to feel limited by what they might perceive to be a repetitive theme. But it is what it is, and after all, themes of love are universal, which is what, hopefully, will resonate with my readers. Maybe the "Oligarch and The Poet" may have been a better choice; it is the title of the opening story. 

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