Speedway and Swan Episode 32: Ernesto Portillo, Jr.

Arizona Daily Star columnist and journalist and longtime KXCI host of Onda Suave, Ernesto Portillo, Jr. joins host Brian Blanchfield for an episode of poetry asserting identity, espousing heritage and homeland, ranging the borderlands, petitioning for listening, and keeping vigil at vanishings. Featuring poetry by Luis Alberto Urrea, Rodolfo Corky Gonzales, Gloria Anzaldúa, Tommy Pico, Jacqueline Waters, Enrique García, Martha Ronk, and Mario Suárez.

With musical selections by Olga Flores, Lalo Guerrero, Chunky Sanchez & Los Alacranes, Hinds, Blood Orange, and more.



Rodolfo Gonzales | from I am Joachin / Yo Soy Joaquin. (written in 1967), Bantam Books, 1972.

Gloria Anzaldúa | “To Live in the Borderlands Means You,” Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature, ed. Eliana Rivero and Tey Diana Robolledo. University of Arizona Press, 1993.

Tommy Pico | from IRL. Birds, LLC, 2016.

Enrique García | “The City Is a Body Swallowed,” Tortoise Boy Says. Spoken Futures Press, 2014.

Jacqueline Waters | “Heel of my Hand,” PEN Poetry Series, PENAmerica Blog, December, 2016.

Mario Suárez | “Loco Chu” Chicano Sketches. University of Arizona Press, 2004.

Martha Ronk | “The Voice Must Belong to Someone,” Ocular Proof. Omnidawn, 2016.

Luis Alberto Urrea | “Listen,” The Tijuana Book of the Dead. Soft Skull Press, 2015.

Rodolfo Gonzales | from I am Joachin / Yo Soy Joaquin. (written in 1967), Bantam Books, 1972.

SPEEDWAY & SWAN is a fortnightly, one-hour free-format radio program that presents contemporary poetry against a context of variously compatible and offbeat musical selections.  Culling from the exceptional libraries of his partners, the University of Arizona Poetry Center and KXCI 91.3 Tucson Community Radio, creator and host Brian Blanchfield is joined in conversation each episode by a rotating guest co-host who brings to the hour a selection of poetry from his or her personal canon, which, along with the freshest and best from the "new shelves," they read live. 

Most episodes also feature a recorded performance from Voca, the Poetry Center's audio archive of its legendary poetry readings since 1963. SPEEDWAY & SWAN represents a partnership between the Poetry Center, which archives the show in listenable format with an annotated playlist, and KXCI, where the show streams live.   

Since 1983, KXCI 91.3 FM has been committed to connecting Tucson and Southern Arizona to one another and to the world with informative, engaging, and creative community-based radio programming.

Brian Blanchfield is a poet and writer whose two books of poetry, Not Even Then and A Several World, have won him The James Laughlin Award, a Howard Foundation fellowship, and recognition as longlist finalist for the National Book Award. His third book, Proxies: Essays Near Knowing, was the winner of a 2016 Whiting Award in Nonfiction. Contact: speedwayandswan@gmail.com.