Poetry. California Interest. Azorean culture. Lusophone Diaspora. KISSING THE BEE is Lara Gularte's first and long overdue collection of poetry to be published in a standard edition. To gain access to the significance of her poetry requires an understanding of the poet's cultural heritage out of whose true diaspora of Portuguese and Lusophone speaking people molded her perception as a poet. Born in 1947 in San Jose, California where she grew up, her family came from the Azore Islands to look for gold in California during the 1800s and 1900s. Failing to find gold and "strike it rich," her family turned to ranching to make a living. Her great, grandmother Maria Cabral-Neves, came to Fort Jones, California as a mail-order bride during this period, and today her homestead, remains a local landmark. Lara has memories as a young girl of her great grandmother telling her stories about the old country. As an adult she became curious about her heritage and explored family history. In so doing, she used the writing of poetry as a means to express what she learned about her family and culture. Lara is a member of a Facebook discussion group called Presence/Presença. Named by Frank X. Gaspar, the group formed in June 2011 at the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal, in response to the relative absence of Luso-American voices in contemporary letters. Presence/Presença provides a community for North American writers of the Portuguese and Lusophone diaspora. This diaspora includes those with roots in Lusophone countries such as Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Macau, and Galicia, as well other regions where Portuguese have migrated. Lara's poetic work depicting her Azorean heritage is included in a book of essays called Imaginários Luso-Americanos e Açorianos by Vamberto Freitas. Her work can be found in The Gávea-Brown Book of Portuguese-American Poetry. She was a resident poet at Footpaths to Creativity Writer's Residency and Retreat on the island of Flores in the Azores, where her maternal grandfather was born. Lara earned an MFA degree from San Jose State University where she was a poetry editor for Reed Magazine, received the Anne Lillis Award for Creative Writing, and several Phelan Awards. She was a second prize poetry contest winner for Empirical Magazine's 2012 contest, and nominated by Bitter Oleander Press to Best New Poets 2010. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Bitter Oleander, California Quarterly, The Clackamas Review, Evansville Review, The Monserrat Review, Permafrost, The Water-Stone Review, The Fourth River, The Santa Clara Review, and she has been published by many national and regional anthologies. She is currently an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine.
Lara Gularte lives and writes in the Sierra foothills of California. She was featured in the Autumn 2014 (vol. 20, no. 2) issue of The Bitter Oleander. Her poetry, depicting her Azorean heritage, is included in a book of essays called Imaginários Luso-Americanos e A‡orianos by Vamberto Freitas. Additional writings may be found in The Gávea-Brown Book of Portuguese-American Poetry,and in Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora in the United States and Canada. Gularte earned an MFA degree from San Jose State University where she not only served as a poetry editor for Reed Magazine, but received the Anne Lillis Award for Creative Writing, along with several Phelan Awards. Her work has appeared widely in journals and magazines, and has been included in many national and regional anthologies. In 2017 she traveled to Cuba with a delegation of American poets and presented her poetry at the Festival Internacional de Poesia de la Habana. She is currently an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine.Author City: DIAMOND SPRINGS, CA USA