On May 21, VAO Publishing held the reception/book launch for Along the River at 7:30 pm in the Douglas Clark Studio on 700 N. Main Street, McAllen. Despite the stifling heat and humidity, a large number of people attended, showing their support for the writers included in the anthology and for Valley Artistic Outreach, the parent organization of VAO Publishing. After about a half hour of mingling and refreshments (including Angélica Maldonado’s legendary margaritas), several of the poets who’d contributed to the anthology did readings. Afterward, the recipients of the three poetry and three prose prizes were announced. Copies of the anthology were on sale for $10, and they were snatched up pretty quickly.
VAO Publishing is thrilled to have had the opportunity to get the work of these worthy writers before the public eye. Along the River: An Anthology of Voices from the Río Grande Valley is VAO Publishing’s first annual collection of local authors. It features poetry and prose by a host of local talent, including the short story “The Time About the Dog” by Álvaro Rodríguez, co-screenwriter of the recent films Shorts and Machete.
Prizes were sponsored by Dr. Michael Flores, Josefina González, Maritza Park, Emily Anderson, Javier Villanueva, Luie Solís, Carol Concha, Roberto F. Loredo, Elizabeth Cásares, Betancourt Taxes, José Valdez, Abel Muñoz, Velma Rangel, and Debbie S. Rodríguez.
Refreshments were available due to the generosity of HEB.