2018 Editor’s Choice Selection
WHY I AM LIKE TEQUILA is a collection of poetry spanning a decade of writing and performance. This collection exists in 4 parts – each a layered perspective, a look through a Mexican/ Mexican – American voice living in the Texas Gulf Coast. Set within spaces such as Galveston Island, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley and Jalisco, Mexico, these poems peel away at all parts, like the maguey, drawing to craft spirits, quenching a thirst between land and sea.
Originally from Galveston, TX, Mendez (Writer//Educator//Activist) works with Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, Brazilian Arts Foundation and other organizations to promote poetry events, advocate for literacy/literature and organize creative writing workshops that are open to the public. He is the founder of Tintero Projects and works with emerging Latinx writers and other writers of color within the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Lupe co-hosts INKWELL, a collaborative podcast on regional, national and international Latinx writers and other writers of color. Mendez is a CantoMundo Fellow, a Macondo Fellow and an Emerging Poet Incubator Fellow.
Mendez has close to 20 years of experience as a performance poet, having opened up for such notable writers as Dagoberto Gilb, Esmeralda Santiago and the late Raul Salinas. He has shared his poetry across the country in places such as the Holocaust Museum Houston, the Jung Center, MECA (Houston), the Mission Cultural Center For Latino Arts (San Francisco), the National Hispanic Cultural Center (Albuquerque) and the Mexican American Cultural Center (Austin). A keynote speaker/poetry performer across Texas, Mendez hosts writing workshops across the country, most recently as a teaching artist for the Poetry Foundation’s Teacher Poetry Summits.
Mendez is an internationally published writer with prose work in Latino Rebels, Houston Free Press, the Kenyon Review and Norton’s Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories From The United States and Latin America, Flash (University of Chester, England), and poetry in The Bayou Review (University of Houston-Downtown), Huizache, Luna Luna Magazine, Pilgrimage, Texas Review, Bordersenses, HeART Journal Online, Glass Poetry Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Voluable and Gulf Coast Journal, among others.