Now in Color Book Launch

On Monday, November 2, we celebrated the publication of Jacqueline Balderrama’s first full-length collection, Now in Color, winner of the 2020 Perugia Press Prize! This event on Día de los Muertos featured Balderrama and special guests: poets Juan Felipe Herrera (U.S. Poet Laureate emeritus), Sally Ball (author of Hold Sway), and Alberto Ríos (Arizona’s inaugural poet laureate). This important new book uses ekphrasis, portraiture, and family mythos to deepen our understanding of hybrid identities and call attention to those impacted by tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border. Watch the recording of the launch event here.

Featured readers:

Jacqueline Balderrama

Jacqueline Balderrama lives and teaches in Salt Lake City, where she is a doctoral candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah. She is the author of the chapbook Nectar and Small (Finishing Line Press, 2019), and her first full-length collection Now in Color won the 2020 Perugia Press Prize (Perugia, 2020). Balderrama is a poetry editor for Iron City Magazine and Quarterly West. She has been involved in the Letras Latinas literary initiative, the ASU Prison Education Program, and the Wasatch Writers in the Schools. Author website:

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera is a performance artist, activist, and author of numerous books published in poetry, spoken word, novels for young adults, and collections for children. He served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2015-2017 and is the recipient of awards and fellowships including two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards, PEN West Poetry Award, UC Berkeley Regent’s Fellowship, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, among others. Professor Emeritus of creative writing at UC-Riverside and CSU Fresno, he has served on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets. He lives in California. Blue Flower Arts author page:

Sally Ball – by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Sally Ball is the author of three books of poems: Hold Sway, Wreck Me and Annus Mirabilis (all with Barrow Street), and her long poem “HOLD” was made into an award-winning artist’s book by Czech printmaker Jan Vičar. A professor of English at Arizona State University, Ball is also an associate director of Four Way Books and teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Author website:

Alberto Ríos

Alberto Ríos, Arizona’s inaugural poet laureate and a recent chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, was born in Nogales, Arizona, and he has written from that geographical and sociological perspective for five decades. His twelve collections of poetry include Not Go Away Is My Name and The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, a finalist for the National Book Award, from Copper Canyon Press. He has also written three short story collections, a memoir, and a new picaresque novel entitled, A Good Map of All Things. Ríos is the host of the PBS program Art in the 48 and has taught at Arizona State University since 1982. In 2017, he was named director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Blue Flower Arts author page: