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Carlos Colon

Carlos Colon

About Artist

Basic Information

  • Artist Statement

    I am both a literary artist and a theater artist.I have focused the last four years on the persona of "Haiku Elvis," which is both a literary pseudonym as well as a performance-art impersonation.  "Haiku Elvis" is a character I created to debut at the Haiku North America (HNA) international conference in Ottawa, Canada, in 2009.  Because of an extended illness, I was not able to attend the conference, but instead I unveiled him two months later at a performance art showcase at Artspace in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana, and in 2011, I made a surprise appearance at the Seattle Space Needle for the HNA conference.  Afterwards, I converted a long-dormant Twitter account to "Haiku Elvis" and began daily postings there and on Facebook.  The next step was securing a book contract, which I received last year from Laughing Cactus Press, a division of Silver Boomer Books, for Haiku Elvis: A Life in 17 Syllables (or Less).  The book was published in May 2013.For this poetical biography of Elvis, I used contemporary haiku, which de-emphasizes the rigid 5/7/5 structure and concentrates more on concise language and keen juxtaposition.  This type of contemporary haiku is the kind now being published in major English-Language books and journals throughout the world.  My book of 70 poems is divided into six sections: Early Life, Matinee Idol, Family Man, Graceland, Appetites, and On the Road.  Although many of the poems are humorous, others reflect the struggles and bittersweet life of the King.  There have been many influences on my writing.  Since 1991, I have met on Sundays to exchange work with The Trapped Truth Society, a group of local poets and prose writers.  In a workshop setting, I have studied under Brenda Hillman, Brenda Marie Osbey, Ava Leavell Haymon, Lynne MacMahon, Sherod Santos, Martha McFerren, Andrea Hollander Budy, Marsha Recknagel, Pearl Garrett Crayton, Harvey Stanbrough, and others.  Also since 1991, I have concentrated on writing haiku and senryu, a related poem that spotlights human nature.  Among my influences in haiku/senryu are Alexis K. Rotella and Marlene Mountain, and I had the opportunity to collaborate with each of them for more than a decade, starting in the mid-1990's.  On occasion I still write free-verse, structured, and concrete poetry.  My most-published free-verse poems use the literary device of apostrophe, where I address an absent person as if alive and present and could reply. The layout of a poem into a concrete (visual) format strikes me at times.  I have written concrete poetry for over 40 years and was inspired to continue writing concrete haiku after Wally Swist in a book review called mine "…some of the best I have seen—this includes the contemporary classic, Concrete Poetry Anthology, issued by the Indiana University Press in the mid-seventies."———————————-  As a playwright, I focused on writing plays for the KTBS3 Summer Reading Festival, which teaches the joy and importance of reading to second graders from at least four surrounding parishes.  Most of the 13 plays written for the Festival were musicals because the melodies and lyrics reinforce the theme to the children, even after the play is over. New lyrics were added to melodies the children already know.  In a recommendation letter for the SRAC Theater Fellowship I received, Gale Criswell, former Children and Teen Services Consultant for the State Library of Louisiana, called my plays "fun, funny and fast-paced" with "clever and lively" songs.  Three of the plays were included by the State Library of Louisiana in their annual Summer Reading Program Manual.  Some have also been performed by library theater companies in Baton Rouge, St. Mary Parish, and Woodworth, Louisiana.  The St. Mary production of my play Splish, Splash was aired on local public television.  In addition, the plays for 2008- 2010 were also performed at ARTBREAK.
  • Resume

    For my expanded artist résumé, click at the end of this section, where there
    is a link (View Detailed Statement / Bio).
    **************************************************************Major Awards: Named Caddo Parish Poet Laureate by Caddo Parish Commission, 2014Haiku Elvis (the book) shortlisted for 2013 Touchstone Distinguished Book AwardRecipient, Shreveport Regional Arts Council Theatre Fellowship, 2011Recipient, G. Scott Griffin Award (for a local artist who has overcome adversity), 2010First Place, San Francisco International Senryu Contest, 2004Second Place, Gerald Brady Memorial Award for Unpublished Senryu, 2003Recipient, Shreveport Regional Arts Council Literature Fellowship, 2002 Finalist for Sixteenth Annual Louisiana Literature Prize for Poetry, 2002Honorable Mention, Kanterman Merit Book Awards for editing haiku anthology, 2002 Shared $20,000 for 3 La. Div. of the Arts grants for The Yellow Bus Tour, 1995-1997Nominated for Pushcart Prize XX, 1994 Overall Publications as of January 17, 2015 (not including reprints or Facebook/Twitter postings)1026 poems, 8 articles, 126 reviews, and 10 songs; periodicals include Writer's Digest, Modern Haiku, Journal of Poetry Therapy, Louisiana Literature, Louisiana English Journal, Frogpond, World Haiku Review, Lilliput Review, Dry Crik Review, Lynx, Cæsura, Canadian Writer's Journal, Parnassus Literary Journal,  Golf Digest, and Reader's DigestBooks/Chapbooks (Self-published unless publisher is listed)Haiku Elvis: A Life in 17 Syllables (or Less), Laughing Cactus Press, 2013The Inside Scoop: New and Selected Poems (poetry), Naissance, 2010   Autumn Leaves: A Twelve-Tone Concrete Renku (with Raffael de Gruttola), 2010Wall Street Park: A Concrete Renku (with Raffael de Gruttola), 2007You Don't Need a Weatherman (unpublished poetry manuscript), 2001Circling Bats: A Concrete Renga (with Raffael de Gruttola), 2001Sassy (a collection of linked poetry with Alexis K. Rotella), 1998Clocking Out (haiku and concrete poetry), 1996Nothing Inside (linked poem with Alexis K. Rotella), proof press, 1996Mountain Climbing (haiku and concrete poetry), 1993Jiminy Limericks (children's poetry), 1991 and 1994 (illustrated version)Blue Jay on a Bowling Pin (poetry), 1991Almira Gulch: Confessions of a Social Wallflower (musical), 1987THE WORST OF almira gulch (satirical poetry), 1984The Kleppie Handbook (unpublished manuscript), 1982Anthologies (Selected):Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, W.W. Norton, 2013Haiku 21, Modern Haiku Press, 2011Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Modern English Tanka Press, 2011 and 2012
    Maple Leaf Anthology (four editions), Portals Press, 1994, 2006, 2009, and 2014Haiku: The Art of the Short Poem (print anthology and DVD), Brooks Books, 2008 Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum, Xavier Review Press, 2006Total of 12 poems in The Red Moon Anthology, which yearly collects the best English-language haiku and related works, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013Dark and Stormy Rides Again, edited by Scott Rice, Penguin Books, 1996 Theater:Playwright for 13 plays (including nine musicals) written for the KTBS Summer Reading Festival, 2001-2011 and 2013Member of the Shreve Memorial Library Players (acting troupe), 1999-2011 and 2013Five songs (total) used for the Red River Revue (musical), 2000, 2002, and 2004An Evening with Almira Gulch staged at the Gas Light Players' Season Party, 1987**************************************************************
    For my expanded artist résumé, click at the end of this section, where there
    is a link (View Detailed Statement / Bio).
    **************************************************************View Detailed Statement / Bio
Member since
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 00:00
Last online
5 years ago