Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Between the Lines: Iliana Rocha and Karankawa

by Zinta Aistars
for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate

Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: Iliana Rocha

Iliana Rocha

Iliana Rocha has had a remarkable year. Her work was chosen for the Best New Poets 2014 anthology. While that was big, the drum then rolled on: her first poetry collection, Karankawa, won the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, one of the most prestigious prizes a poet can receive. That was really big. Karankawa was published by University of Pittsburgh Press and Rocha is now lining up readings to introduce her work to the public.

“Beginning writers really depend on these book prizes,” Rocha says. “I had had this collection out to contests for about a year. I didn’t even know that I was a finalist. I got a phone call as I was getting ready for work and they asked me, 'Are you sitting down?'"

Rocha is currently a Ph.D candidate in English with a creative writing emphasis at Western Michigan University. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Arizona State University, where she was poetry editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review.
Rocha chose the title for the collection, Karankawa, to honor a little-known tribe of Native Americans in her native Texas. “The impetus for the collection was the passing of my aunt,” she says. “She lived in that area of south Texas. So I started to do a little research and found that this tribe was subjected to ...

No comments:

Post a Comment