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1176. René Has Two Last Names New Recognition

Congratulations to all the authors who were recognized by the International Latino Book Awards. My bilingual book René Has Two Last Names/René tiene dos apellidos received Honorable Mention in the Best Children's Picture Book (Bilingual) category. ¡Ajúa!

I received the great news at my Facebook page. My friend Yuyi Morales posted the link of 2010 International Latino Book Awards Winner List. My friend Linda Rodriguez also congratulated me for the honorable mention. This was a great birthday present for me.

René Has Two Last Names/ René tiene dos apellidos has received three recognitions this year. Thanks to all the readers and award committees.

  • Honorable Mention: Best Bilingual Children's Book- International Latino Book Awards
  • 2010 Skipping Stones Honor Award
  • 2010-2011 Tejas Star Book Award List

To learn more about René Has Two Last Names visit the book's website at www.renesbooks.com

Also my new books have their own websites. Take a look at The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez and My Shoes And I websites and learn more fun facts and ideas for the classroom and home.


If you are in Los Angeles Area,  don't miss my author reading
at Tia Chucha's Cafe Cultural

Sunday, June 6th 1-

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1177. On-Line Floricanto: Poets Respond to Arizona Racists

June 1 Poets Respond to Arizona

1. "Invocación al Sol" by Maria del Carmen Cifuentes
2. "The Ghost Dance" by Hedy Trevino
3. "I Am From Two Different Homes" by Itzie Alarcón
4. "La regla de los ladrones / The Law of Thieves" by Avotcjia
5. "Scavenger Dreams" by Jeanette Iskat de Aldana
6. "Hierba Loca: The Children of Aztlan" by Lorenzo Herrerra y Lozano
7. "Three-Ten to Tule" (Mixtek, Spanish, English) by Octaviano Merecias-Cuevaso

1. "Invocación al Sol" by Maria del Carmen Cifuentes

invocación al sol

arizona-coral, the rocks, tenacious, we face uplifted toward our ancestors’ spirits;
amethyst, the furled ravines, deepened witness of our grounded stance;
brown, the wrinkled earthen flesh, crackling under solar touch.

tonatiuh, we are yours
ya'áí, we are yours
taawa, we are yours
inya, we are yours
somos hijos del sol

crispened ivory, the strains of our history herniated by stampedes in the pursuit of—
somber, the starred manta upon our shoulders settles to ease the rupturing borders;
musky, the prominence of sweat evaporates in the drought of others.

than, tuyos somos
‘anya, tuyos somos
tavaci, tuyos somos
gui, tuyos somos
we are children of the sun

from the hours gardening their dreams, green, my nopal palms;
and magenta, now, its flowering, resolute, along my vessels overflows:
my soul shall be released from the venom their infection seeks to mold.

yaqui, ndikandii, shá, giizis, kìsiz, k’in, anchü, inti…
somos tuyos, somos tuyos

¡cuidado! this prickly pear heart in my grasp resounds—
it bursts the bounds of penned thorns, consumes the irons branding.
my children vein this arid terrain in the succulence of mixed languages;
through us, this maize land of bronze breathes;
red as the clay, golden as the sun we are nascent.

Sun invoked in Nahuatl, Western Apache, Hopi, Maricopa, Tewa, Mohave, Ute, Triqui, Taa’a, Mixteco, Navajo, Ojibwe, Algonquin, Maya, Mapuche, Kichwa…

2. "The Ghost Dance" by Hedy Trevino


By Hedy Trevino

Boots at the door, ya vienen por allí. With baton in hand the sound of metal crashed thru the door. Ya vienen for allí. But we fear not the tempest for we know this journey well a long long time ago as we stood by the shore and we welcomed our own destiny in 1519 the year of reed 1 remember, but here we are, look, here we are, forever more.

There by the door where you keep your memories at the ready is the little bag con tierra santa that abuelo gathered before you were born combined with cornmeal from the milpa he tended with such care. Can you hear the rustling of the corn like a symphony in the air guiding you and lifting you like a feather in the air. We are the children of the ghost dance, we are here, we are here. A new nation has risen we are the prophesy of the ghost dance fulfil

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1178. “Day of the Dead”: Novelist examines futility of war through events of a century ago

Book review by Daniel Olivas

In his new novel, Day of the Dead (Floricanto Press, $25.95 paperback), Manuel Luis Martinez shows us Mexico during the Revolution through the eyes of Berto Morales, an unremarkable man whose life crumbles when his wife, six months pregnant, is raped and murdered.

Martinez's narrative is tough and unsparing as we follow Morales on his quest to find his wife's murderers and exact a form of justice. But his journey becomes complicated as he develops friendships, and even falls in love, against the brutal backdrop of the Revolution.

Martinez is a native Texan who attended St. Mary's University in San Antonio, completed a master of arts in creative writing at Ohio State University, and then earned a doctorate from Stanford University. He is an associate professor at Ohio State University, teaching 20th-century American literature, American studies, Chicano-Latino studies and creative writing.

Day of the Dead is certainly a departure from Martinez's previous novels, Crossing (Bilingual Press) and Drift (Picador USA), both of which touched on contemporary issues.

"The reason I set Day of the Dead during the Mexican Revolution was because I wanted, partially, to reflect on the morass that is the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I didn't want to write directly about the conflict," he told me.

"At the same time, Berto's story had been something I wanted to write for 20 years, but I hadn't gotten to it because I knew I needed to spend more time in Mexico and to educate myself a great deal on Mexican history and politics before I could start."

Martinez's research is readily apparent from the first few pages of the novel, particularly in passages depicting the almost-random violence visited upon Mexico's populace.

"I stayed close to the actual accounts of the battle for Torreon," he said. "It was a horrific war aimed largely at terrifying innocent people."

Through Berto's eyes, the Revolution offers no obvious delineation between heroes and villains.

"I think that history shows that most starters of wars have no idea how awful a price war exacts," Martinez said. "People get caught up in nationalist fervors, or they begin to believe the propaganda that war is justified, that it will be quick and decisive, a thing of 'shock and awe' that somehow rights great wrongs."

"So I do think (moral ambiguity) is a general aspect of war, but in Berto's case, I wanted to bring this principle down to the individual level. The moral ground is always shifting, and once one discovers that, the reason for war becomes almost impossible to grasp."

Regardless of a person's view of war and its repercussions, Day of the Dead tells a compelling story of an ordinary man's attempt to make sense out of staggering loss during one of the most violent chapters of Mexico's history. By any measure, this is a potent and enthralling novel.

[This review first appeared in the El Paso Times.]

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1179. Alto Arizona: Pictures of Protest

Olga García Echeverría

Son las 2:00 de la mañana and I've just returned from Arizona's National Day of Action, where tens of thousands of us marched to protest Arizona's racist law, SB 1070. Although I have a lot to say about SB 1070, I have few words for La Bloga today porque...porque...Well, to be honest, my brain is totally fried. I'm exhausted, as I'm sure are the other 150 Angelenos who caravaned in buses, slept on dusty floors, and walked 5 plus miles to the state capital in 95 degree heat to voice outrage and opposition.
Pero donde faltan palabras hay fotos. I took hundreds of pictures of our trip to Arizona, but here are 42. ¿Cόmo va el dicho? A picture is worth a thousand words. 42 pictures X 1000 words = 42,000 words! Enjoy and adelante en lucha and love.
We were scheduled to leave on Friday morning at 8:30, pero you know how it is. We left closer to 10:00. In solidarity with our undocumented brothers and sisters and in opposition of SB 1070, we all agreed to leave all forms of identification behind.
The 10 stretches through the desert from Los Angeles to Phoenix. The highway is a reminder that we're connected--lo que pasa en Arizona afecta a Los Angeles and vice versa.
My view from the bus for about 7 hours. I kept thinking of Luis Urrea's The Devil's Highway.
Right after entering Arizona, we stopped for a quick restroom break. Arizona's state sign reads "The Grand Canyon State Welcomes You." Really? Prove it.
When we finally arrived to our destination--a warehouse in Maricopa County where we were all supposed to sleep--there was a bit of an issue. For starters, a permit to use the warehouse as a dormitory had not been secured. Also, the warehouse was directly across from a jail and sheriff's station. This sign above was posted on one of the doors. This was our welcome to Maricopa County. ¡Chale! ¡Vámonos!
8 Comments on Alto Arizona: Pictures of Protest, last added: 5/30/2010
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1180. Stop SB 1070!

Jornalerod CD CoverIn an effort to raise funds for the organizing and litigation effort in Arizona against SB 1070, Los Jornaleros del Norte, the people's band, have released a 10-track CD titled, "Que No Pare la Lucha," their third album release. With their new album, Los Jornaleros again put music to life, work, struggle and hope.

The release of their album could not be more timely. With the upcoming National Day of Action on May 29th in Phoenix, AZ, Los Jornaleros will once again lend their talents and passion for music and social justice to the march and rally, uniting the immigrant community and their allies under a common goal: Peace, Dignity and Justice for All.

Because the organizing efforts do require lots of resources, personnel, and legal fees, Los Jornaleros have decided to donate all of the proceeds of their album to the AltoArizona campaign. We are encouraging your support to this effort by going to the AltoArizona music site, purchasing the album (only $10, or more, if you wish) and sharing the link with family and friends on your social networks.

AltoArizona has made it as easy as possible to preview the album, purchase and share links to the music online. The title track, Que No Pare la Lucha, is available for free download.

The following are the names of the 10 tracks included:

1. Que No Pare la Lucha (free) 02:41
2. El Cochinito 04:12
3. Dónde Está la Justicia 04:34
4. La Movidita 02:38
5. Deportación Expres 04:49
6. No Dejes de Luchar 02:12
7. Acordeoncito 05:20
8. Traguito de Dignidad 03:52
9. La Redadas 06:27
10. Carwashero (Lava coches) 06:01

Included with your purchase, you will receive front and back CD cover art, liner notes, and 2 hidden bonus tracks!!

Click here for preview & album purchase.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) thanks you for your support in this critical moment in history. We look forward to seeing you at the march in Phoenix on the 29th and to your local solidarity actions being planned on the AltoArizona shared actions/events page.

Please feel free to forward this message on to your networks to support our efforts in Arizona

In Solidarity,

Pablo Alvarado
National Day Laborer Organizing Network

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1181. Who will La Bloga interview next?

In our years online, La Bloga has nurtured a significant body of lore in the form of interviews of Chicano authors, poets and others, and non-Chicanos as well. Coincidentally we know the site is used by students, collegiate and non, literally across the planet, although we have little info on the numbers or purposes. I'd assume many are students using La Bloga material to bulk up their theses or term papers. Qué bueno!

The interviews do and will serve a higher purpose than bibliographical
cites; they're the authors' own words about what inspired them, how they write, and why, where they come from and where they think Chicano lit might be headed. In that sense they're a pulse of how Chicano lit lives and breathes, and one day, dies, though the authors' prose and poesy lives on.

La Bloga
's staff is a bunch of dedicated individuals who've managed to build this body of work into something we know is enjoyed, utilized and perhaps even visited every day by many. But, given the inherently thin definition of what constitutes our staff, we could use help from readers.

We'd like your ideas about adding to this body of literary history:

We're especially open to interviews of those who've published books or collections in hard copy. At the same time, someone who's published stories, poems, essays, etc. in several publications could also deserve our attention, within our given time constraints.

We're not limited to covering Chicanos. We've been known to post interviews of
boriquas, newyorquians, mexicanos, peludos y a veces the occasional gringo, even.

If you as a reader would enjoy seeing an interview of a particular author, poet, editor,
o cualquier tipo del mundo de literatura, write one or all of us and let us know who that is, especially if you have a way of contacting them that we might not.

Autor, autor!

Or if you yourself are published and have wondered why we never contacted you before,
mándanos un mensaje, and we might surprise you. I assure you we've never meant to neglect anyone; it's just how slowly La Bloga works as an unpaid enterprise. So, contact us, whether you're Gabriel Garcia Marquez or quién-sabe-quién.

Hell, if you're a gringo and think you'd pass RudyG's
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1182. La Mission, Teatro Pregones, Latino Book Awards

June 4th 6pm EXCLUSIVE RECEPTION with special guest Benjamin Bratt

Reception includes: Low riders, old school music, delicious food and of course, Benjamin Bratt!

7pm LA MISSION screening $25/TICKET (includes reception and movie)

AMC 24 HIGHLANDS RANCH 103 Centennial Blvd, Littleton, CO 80129


The journey to Hawaii in the early 1900's set to contemporary music -- reggaeton, plena, pop, rock.

June 10th, 11th and 12th at 7:30pm

$18 General, $15 Stu/Sen, $12 for groups over 12 people

Presented at the Denver Civic Theatre 721 Santa Fe, Denver, CO


Congratulations to all those who received recognition from the International Latino Book Awards, presented May 25 at BookExpo America. You can see the complete list of honorees at this link.

A special tip of the ole sombrero to fellow bloguero René Colato Lainez for Rene Has Two Last Names/René tiene dos appellidos (Arte Público Press), which received Honorable Mention in the Best Children's Picture Book (
Bilingual) category; and to good friends Rudolfo Anaya for 2d Place for The Essays (University of Oklahoma Press) in the Best Biography (English) category, and Lucha Corpi, who won the award for Best Mystery Novel (English) for Death at Solstice (Arte Público Press.)

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1183. Student Strike at the UPR

For 36 days the students of the University of Puerto Rico have been on strike, closing down an 11-campus system with over 60,000 students. It all began in mid-April as a short-term measure to call for greater transparency in budget-balancing initiatives aimed, in part, at ending merit scholarships and funding for arts and athletics programs.

I’ve been following the strike from afar, listening to radiohuelga and watching impromptu video reports on youtube. I watched with second-hand nostalgia as students hunkered down behind closed gates, determined to stay “as long as it takes” to make their voices heard.

And they have stayed... despite riot police and calls from officials to prevent supplies from reaching them. They have courageously defied the intimidation, Masada-like, but hopefully with a better outcome. While public support has been strong, government and university officials seem eager to prolong the waiting game. Let’s see who gives up first. Let’s see how long our ADD society of media junkies can remain tuned to the student struggle. And now, after a first tragic death attributed to the strike, it looks like the scale may be tilting the other way...

Regardless of the outcome, there have already been many victories. For this generation of students to be organized in nonviolent protest is already a victory. For the actors who took to the streets with riot gear made out of cardboard and brooms to sweep the streets, parodying the disproportionate police force, that’s already a victory. And for us who watch and read from afar, for making us rethink our role as artists, writers and teachers... that’s yet another victory.

1 Comments on Student Strike at the UPR, last added: 5/27/2010
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1184. Children and the immigration debate: A sneak peek at FROM NORTH TO SOUTH

From Children's Book Press

Lately, it seems as if immigration is all over the news. Yet despite all the debate going on, the experience of children who are caught up in this issue is often overlooked.

That is, until now. The recent incident at a Washington DC-area school, in which a second grader told First Lady Michelle Obama that her mother was here illegally, has sparked quite a buzz among the talking heads in the media.

Author René Colato Laínez knows about this issue all too well. His new book with Children’s Book Press, From North to South / Del Norte al Sur, deals with the experience of family separation due to a parent's precarious immigration status. The book will be released in September of 2010.

René has written many children’s books about the immigrant experience. Born in El Salvador, he fled his civil war–ravaged country as an adolescent and entered the United States an undocumented immigrant. Now a US citizen, René is an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles, where, everyday, he sees the harsh realities that impact immigrants and their children.

In the book’s introduction, René writes:
“I am an elementary school teacher. My students’ and my own immigrant experience have been the inspiration for many of my books. One day, one of my students was crying because her father had been deported to Tijuana, Mexico. I discovered that many of the other children had cousins, uncles, or neighbors who had been deported, too. Most of my students had been born in the United States, and it is hard for them to see their loved ones forced to leave this country. For these children, family separation is a traumatic experience.”

Clearly, there will be and should be more discussion about this issue in the months to come. Check back often here at the Many Voices blog, where we’ll be posting more features, news, and information about From North to South.

And for those of you attending BookExpo America in New York City this week, find us at the Publishers Group West booth (#4310) where you can take a sneak peek at this important, timely new book.

 The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Peréz Book Trailer

My friend Tina Nichols Coury made this fantastic book trailer. Visit her at http://www.tinanicholscouryblog.com

1 Comments on Children and the immigration debate: A sneak peek at FROM NORTH TO SOUTH, last added: 5/26/2010
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1185. NLWC Keynote Address. On-Line Floricanto.

National Latino Writers Conference (Albuquerque, NM) Keynote Speech

Rigoberto González
May 20, 2010

Before I begin I would like to thank the organizers of the National Latino Writers Conference for inviting me to participate this morning as the keynote speaker at this exemplary gathering. This is the 8th year of building community, of fostering creativity and critique, and of guiding early-career writers toward mentorships and professional relationships with established writers whose generosity and insights are shaping the next generation of artists. To be honest, there is nothing unusual about these expectations at any writers conference, and there are dozens that take place across the country--most of them perfectly competent and useful. But what makes this conference so unique is that it is ours--a forum that has facilitated the face-to-face communication between Chicano/Latino writers, readers, and thinkers. And for that, I congratulate all of you who have sacrificed time and resources to contribute to that experience.

The year is 2010. And though we are currently standing beneath the shadow of the anti-immigrant and anti-raza legislation of our neighbors in Arizona (and let us hope that the disease of xenophobia is not contagious), I am going to keep my message positive this morning because, despite these acts of hostility against our people, there is much for us to celebrate. And if we do not recognize our successes, if we do not toast our triumphs, then we surrender to the afflictions of inferiority, invisibility and silence--the three disgraces of American politics and culture.

The year is 2010. To our left we have the U.S. Census, which will confirm for the country what we have always known when we wake up in the mornings to see the Aztec sun casting its rays over Aztlán: that we are plentiful, that we are here, that we are never leaving, that we will not be thrown out. To our right, we have the smoky memory of revolution, the cycle come back to the days of reckoning--1810, 1910, 2010--not only have we populated this land, we have also shaped its language, built its cities, spun its tales and written its songs. This is, indeed, nuestra tierra and we will keep the roots of our family and history embedded deeply into its indigenous and mestizo core.

But now come the important questions: How will each of us accept that responsibility? How will we contribute to this movimiento during this critical period of adversity? How will we know that we are marching on the correct path?

Since I am speaking in front of a group of poets and writers, I will speak to the answers through a cultural lens, acknowledging one of the greatest strengths of our community: its artistic muscle. Art and poetry, danza y teatro, cuento y canto, have always been essential components of the Latino cultural identity. From the pachanga navideña to the quinceañera, from the floricanto to the academic encuentros, we express ourselves through the arts because it is who we are: people who value creativity and imagination. Just look around you: the colorful palette of our folklore, the ingenious architecture of our altars, the linguistic textures of our slang, our names, our adivinanzas, the panoramic flavors in our foods, the range of decibels in our music, our cyber-chisme, our rascuachismo--it is all us all up in here, Senator Jan Brewer.

The impulse to dance and sing and, yes, the impulse to write it all down, to record and remember, is as natural and familiar to us as the impulse to breat

3 Comments on NLWC Keynote Address. On-Line Floricanto., last added: 5/28/2010
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1186. Come celebrate the release of the Homeboy Review!

Come celebrate the publication of the Homeboy Review (Vol. #2) featuring readings by authors Melinda Palacio, Daniel Olivas, Fred Mills, A.K. Tony and the brilliant Homeboy Poets. The Homeboy Review is edited by novelist Leslie Schwartz. Light fare from the Homegirl Cafe.

This reading is free and open to the public. However, please help Homeboy Industries in its current time of need. If you donate $5, you will receive five chances to win an amazing Homeboy gift including signed copies of Tattoos on the Heart (Free Press) by Father Greg Boyle, Homeboy Review's debut issue, a Homeboy T-shirt, coffee mug and lunch for two at the Homegirl Cafe, and more!

WHEN: Tuesday, May 25
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Homeboy Industries, 130 West Bruno Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

For more information, e-mail Leslie Schwartz, editor-in-chief of the Homeboy Review. You may also check out the event listings on the Homeboy website, or follow on Facebook Fanpages (Homboy Review Literary Magazine and Homeboy Industries) for up-to-the-minute event information.


A children’s story by Álvaro Huerta

"Hey! Who's that dude?" yells Fat Ritchie.

"I think he's selling Tupperware?" Lucky cracks a joke, making the rest of the Chicano kids from the Ramona Gardens housing project burst into laughter.

I sigh, wondering, "What have I gotten myself into?" I know these kids, since I used to be one of them. I remember playing a great game of baseball and ignoring my homework. Then one day a coach made all the difference. He encouraged me to get into organized sports and made sure I went to college.

Finally I get the nerve to approach these kids. We are at Murchison Elementary's baseball diamond on a hot Saturday afternoon. "Hi," I say. "Would you guys like to play in a baseball league?"

"My mom says not to talk to strangers," says Mayto.

"Wait, I know this guy," Beto responds. "He's cool, but I think he's trying to get in good with us so he can date my sister, Antonia."

"I want to see if you guys want to be part of the East Los Angeles Little League. I'll be your coach," I say.

"Why should we listen to you? You probably don't even know how to play."

"Who's your best pitcher?" I ask.

Nene steps up to the plate.

"OK, if I hit a home run, will you listen to me?"

All the kids, Nene, Lucky, Mayo, Fat Ritchie, Peanut Butter, Beto, Chato, Buddy, Herbie and Kiki hoot and holler, and roll on the ground, and point at me. I guess they don't think I can do it. But, and I can hardly believe this, I hit the ball out of the park. There is absolute and total silence. Then Nene saunters over and holds out his hand. As we shake hands he asks, "What do we have to lose?" We become the Ramona Gardens Sluggers.

We ar

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1187. Gloria Enedina Alvarez: Offerings from a Poetic Rock Star

Olga García Echeverría

Foto by Jose Lozano
We're at Liliana's tamales in East Los Angeles, grubbing on cocido and gorditas de nopal. Snoop Dogg is rapping on two large LCD screens that hang at opposite ends of the restaurant, but no one seems to be watching the almost muted TVs.

Instead, people unwrap hot corn husks with their dedos and dig into steaming tamales. They chatter at their mesas, a veces en Español, a veces in English, and sometimes in both. Estamos en Spanglish land. Language is fluid. It rises into the air like music and melds with the sweet, spicy aromas of chile, masa, menudo. Dishes clank. A mesera laughs. A baby cries. The urban soundtrack of passing cars afuera enters every time someone opens the front door. Yeah, I guess you could say it's a little noisy for an interview, but Los Angeles-based poet Gloria Enedina Alvarez doesn't seem to mind. She's sitting across from me toda tranquila, looking bien cool in her long curly tresses. Parece rock star.

Actually, it's not just the hair: Gloria Alvarez is a rock star. She's been poeting for decades, crossing linguistic borders a su manera, pissing off purists in both English and Spanish-speaking worlds. When publishers have wanted English only or no translated work or Spanish only, she's kept moving through other creative mediums, collaborating with other artists, delving into visual arts, theater, radio, creating her own artist books and chapbooks. Gloria Alvarez' work and long-standing presence in the literary scene have been instrumental in carving out a space for inter-generational Latina poets/writers in Los Angeles. She's a daughter of the Civil Rights Movement. A community-based artist. A Literary translator. A Curator. Mujer de Consiencia. Mother. Maestra. Mentor to generations of Latina artists. Master of La Metáfora. Born in Guadalajara and raised all over the place in Southern California--San Bernardino, San Pedro, the Mar Vista Projects, Pico-Union, East Los Angeles, South Central--she's a real LA homegirl, home grown with sunglasses and all, but her poetry sprouts thick raíces that branch in and out of the United States, cross over time and space to constantly tap into memory and identity.


Es olor de barro rising
In the morning
Its crevices hiding
Lupita’s secret wishes
It’s watching movies with our
Heads hung upside down
Through a peephole in an ancient wooden shutter
Los vecínos rociando
Sus palabras con el agua
En la acera
Es el ropero
Red mahogany mirror
Stained letters unsent
En cajones que bailan al abrirse
It’s my Tio Jose’s dairy
Hot milk
Recien ordeñada
Froth on my tongue
It’s the nopales y el mole
Made from our pet chicken killed on my birthday
It’s what remains but never returns

Gloria can transport us not only to her childhood in Mexico, but also to mystical places where female lenguas dance...

Tongue of fire,
The energy centered around the heart,
Moon myths halo de las regiones místicas de mujer,
Sacred depths of aguamiel, the sweet water dance,
The Origin
Her tongue awaits
Ofrenda aguadulce
Multiplies expressions

Her woman-centered work, full of alluring images, conjures both the past and the present...

For the fractured girl child
Skin broken
Bent torso
Purple illusions

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1188. Denver author signings missed

The hot Chicano comic

From Chicano vampiristico (sic?) Mario Acevedo, comes this note:
"To read about the new Felix Gomez Comic Killing the Cobra, in a special edition newsletter, click this link."
Happy fanging,

There's two covers to this issue and I have to disagree with Mario's pocho tastes and say this one ain't the winner. Reminds me of Charlie's Angels, the vata edition.

Here's the Cover B version. I'll take votes from all readers, whether you're registered, a resident or even don't look like your legal.

Anyway, I missed Mario's debut signing in Denver--pinche! I also missed Manuel Ramos's Denver debut Tattered Cover Bookstore signing of King of the Chicanos. Still down about being job-less and had hundreds of computer entries to make on grades, tests, etcetera. (At least my wife went and got me four copies I can Ebay to subsidize my unemployment checks.)

Anyway, I'm sure you'll find something about Mario's event on his website soon and Ramos posted a piece yesterday about what my wife told me what a huge and great event. Tattered sold out of all the copies they had, which probably means King will make Denver's bestseller list for awhile. I'm just finishing the novel and suggest you get one before all that's available is the 2nd, 3rd or 4th editions.

Borrowing from the master, Lalo

Inspired by and patterned after the classic poem "Stupid America" (1969) by the late Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado (QDEP), an old friend and academico Donaldo Urioste sent us this piece about Arizona and its recent anti-immigrant/anti-Mexican mania.

Stupid Arizona
See that Mexican
Walking the streets of your cities
and the barren lands of your countryside.
He doesn't want to harm you,
he just wants to work
and earn a decent wage
but you won't let him.

Stupid Arizona,
hear that Latina
Speaking Spanish and broken English
throughout your callous c

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1189. The Launch

Forgive my tardiness this fine May day, but the launch of King of the Chicanos at the Tattered Cover turned out to be a great night, and cause for a late morning. We sold out of books; old friends connected; the audience got cookies from the Capuchin Poor Clares at Our Lady of Light Monastery; and it felt good to finally publicly talk about Ramón Hidalgo, Tino García, Soledad Cortez Arango, and a few other characters from the story. I won't take up too much of La Bloga's space this morning except to let you know that in the weeks ahead I intend to feature a review of Tim Z. Hernandez's wonderful book, Breathing, In Dust; a few author interviews; and, of course, some surprises for you and me.

Photos from last night:

waiting for a signed copy

the author tries to come up with something clever

Denver authors Wick Downing and Mario Acevedo along with arts supporter Dr. Patty Baca

Thank you to everyone who showed up last night.


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1190. Dispatch from the National Latino Writers Conference

This week, La Bloga is happy to share late-breaking news and views from the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Alburquerque NM, site of the NLWC. Click link above for datos.

Margaret Y. Luévano

Forty thousand square feet of vibrant images gazed down upon us. We, artists of words, gathered in the torreon to witness the fresco coming into creation, eight years in the making. We craned our necks upwards to witness the story documented before us -- Arabs, Jews, missionaries, slaves, Spaniards, virgins, indigenous mothers. They looked at us, their descendants, looking at them. Overwhelmed by the beauty, with the magnitude of the work, all we could do was stare.

On the eve of the Latino Writers Conference in Albuquerque we had come together from all over the county, writers in search of community. We were there to learn and share, gain strength to move forward in our writing lives. In this world so attached to labels that divide, the fresco reminded us that we are all a mixture of history, that we are the sum of our past moving forward to create the future.

The next morning Rigoberto Gonzazles echoed this sentiment in his keynote address to open the conference. First we must pay tribute to those who have paved the way, but we must move forward as artists in a time of crisis. We must challenge ourselves to take on the mantle given to us by our antepasados and be agents of change; we must act as role models for the upcoming generations and help develop in them the tools to shape the future; and we must not be afraid to step out of our creative worlds to become literary critics, for it is through literary criticism that we grow as a community in dialogue.

Afterwards, we disperse to our workshops -- memoir, travel writing, news writing, poetry, young adult writing, playwriting, short fiction, comedy, and mystery. For the next two and half days it is our mission to pay homage to our mentors, to learn from each other, and take what we learn here and transform it into wisdom that changes the world.

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1191. Una Cumbia Con Flaco

Today, Thursday May 20, 2010 is my final day as an administrator at Maplewood Middle School. In the fall Maplewood will begin anew when opening its doors to an estimated 600 elementary level students. While I have little to no fear of moving on to new opportunities, Maplewood will survive like that first childhood kiss I experienced so many years ago.

Fresh out of grad school, Maplewood extended what has become my initial adminstrative opportunity. And as it was (for me) as a teacher, I am again convinced to have learned and benefited more from my students than vice versa. They are the heart e e cumming's speaks of in his famous poem, i carry your heart with me.

Flaco had no idea that yesterday would be his last as an eighth grader. He had recently returned to la vida loca. A few weeks ago I noticed the shift; late to school, tired eyes, blue dickies, locs behind the neck, and the gangsta limp. Early in our concluding conversation I recognized we had lost him long before, that the few months he managed to divert trouble was simply his own momentary lapse of reason. "Ya estuvo, I am done Tijerina, just can't do this school thing and todas las reglas no more." He pulled a blue rag from his right back pocket and continued by saying, "Este paño, mi jefe me lo dio before he was sent up for bangin'." I accompanied him outside through the front entrance. The stubborn wind and its snapping of the flailing American flag had no effect on Flaco. There was no hug, no handshake, nor departing phrase. His gesture of goodbye was a suttle backwards tilt of the head and he was gone. In a distance I could see his father's blue with white speckled paisly bandana echando una cumbia con el aire.

It was after Flaco had turned the corner going west that I recalled the latter lines of the cummings's poema, "here is the deepest secret nobody knows / (here is the root of the root and bud of the bud / and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows / higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) / and this is the wonder that is keeping the stars apart / i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)."

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1192. Interview With Author Jennifer Cervantes

Jennifer thanks for this interview for La Bloga. How would you present your middle grade novel Tortilla Sun to the audience? Tell us about it.
Tortilla Sun is a magical story filled with love, family, culture, friendship, life and death, and the need to belong. Izzy Roybal is sent to stay with her nana in a northern New Mexico village where she feels like a stranger in her own culture. Through story she discovers the truth about her father’s death and ultimately discovers who she is in the process.
How was the process from manuscript to publication for Tortilla Sun?

Long and sometimes quiet. I didn’t set out to write a novel, but after my daughter Juliana asked me to write her a story, I picked up the pen. This came at a time when I had the opportunity to spend a month in Santa Fe without the “outside” distractions that we all face, so I guess you can say the muse found me. As I wrote, I became addicted. More ideas sprouted and I needed a place to put them all. I began to think about the kinds of books I would love for my daughters to read, ones where they were reflected in the pages. Before I knew it, I started writing Tortilla Sun. I wrote the first draft in a few months, but boy, those revisions were tough. I joined a critique group and edited and revised over and over and over until I was confident enough to query agents. Once I signed with the amazing Laurie McLean, I realized that publishing really is a hurry-up and wait business and so I learned patience and accepted the waiting process. Through that challenging process, I decided I needed to rename “rejections” to “bow-outs.”  It just sounds better, doesn’t it? Laurie sold the manuscript in September of 2008 to Julie Romeis of Chronicle and I was so fortunate to work with such a talented editor. The entire team at Chronicle, from design and editing to publicity and marketing, has been a dream!

Tortilla Sun is a magical story but at the same time is very realistic. How did you manage both skills to write this amazing novel?
Thank you for such a lovely compliment. I write from a place deep inside that some might call instinct. When I’m writing, I’m not aware of both worlds—I see them as one. Our everyday world is filled with magic that we only need to take the time to notice.  While I wrote Tortilla Sun, I let the story unfold organically. This is the feeling I am always looking for when I create a story. If it feels forced, it just doesn’t’ work, not on the page, in my mind, or in my heart.

On the acknowledgments, you thanked Julie Bear for asking you to write her story. Can you tell us about the real Julie Bear?
My daughter, Juliana Sophia, is the original Julie Bear. I have always called her this and she too has a little brown stuffed bear that wears a proper black velvet hat and dress. Juliana liked her own nickname so much, she passed it on to this little bear. My daughter is eleven now and is light and joy. She is energetic and animated, and always gives me her opinion on my writing, even if I don’t ask for it.

Izzy, your protagonist, is a writer. How much of you can we find in Izzy?

Like Izzy, I can be unsure o

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1193. Festival de Flor y Canto 2010. He's a Fellow. On-Line Poetry Festival: Poets Repond to Arizona.

Prismacolor drawing: Magu

Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow set for September 15-17 at University of Southern California

In 1973, Los Angeles' University of Southern California hosted the first major literary conference dedicated to Chicana Chicano writers and critics. The historic assembly of up-and-coming writers and the day's most notable voices launched a continuing series of floricanto festivals, fueling what some termed a "Chicano Renaissance."

In a genuine renaissance of literary espiritu come September 15-17, 2010, Doheny Memorial Library on the USC campus hosts a reunion of surviving readers from that 1973 event, together with dozens of contemporary voices including both well-known and newer voices, in keeping with the formal name of the event, Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow. Details of the daily schedule will be announced later in May.

Highlights of the September festival include the father-son presentation by José Montoya and Richard Montoya, with members of Culture Clash. The performance includes excerpts from Richard Montoya's documentary-in-progress One More Canto, celebrating a 1979 Sacramento floricanto event. Joining José Montoya are reunion artists Alurista, Alejandro Murguia, Enrique Lamadrid, Ernest Mares, Estevan Arellano, Juan A. Contreras, Juan Felipe Herrera, Marco A. Dominguez, R. Rolando Hinojosa, Roberto Vargas, Ron Arias, Veronica Cunningham, and Vibiana Chamberlin.

Another highlight is Celebrando Chicana Poetry: Diana Garcia, Maria Melendez, Emmy Pérez, co-sponsored with USC by the University of Notre Dame's Letras Latinas Institute for Latino Studies, and the Poetry Society of America.

Readings and signings throughout the three-day festival feature poetry, short fiction, and novels. Look for the detailed schedule at La Bloga. Click here to join the mail list for news releases.

Discount lodging is available at the Radisson Hotel at USC and the Vagabond Inn, details forthcoming. While there is no substitute for in-person attendance, USC will serve a worldwide audience via web streaming video.

Videotaped performances from 1973 were thought lost until only recently. In conjunction with the September festival, Doheny Memorial Library will announce its release of those performances on-line via the Library Digital Initiative, as well as DVD sets by special order.

Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow is funded by a grant from USC's Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Ini

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1194. Guests: Roberto Cantú, José Antonio Villarreal. Juanita Salazar Lamb, Mission Santa Barbara Revisited. On-Line Poetry Festival: Responses to Arizona

José Antonio Villarreal: Pioneer of the Chicano Novel

Roberto Cantú
California State University, Los Angeles

José Antonio Villarreal (1924-2010) was a Mexican American writer who published three novels and many short stories in different anthologies throughout the past 50 years. His first novel Pocho was released in a hardcover edition by Doubleday in 1959. Don José, as we called him affectionately, published The Fifth Horseman in 1974, and Clemente Chacón in 1984, novels which spotlight the life of Mexican families during the 1910 Mexican Revolution, or on the U.S.-Mexico border in modern times. Don José passed away near his beloved Mt. Shasta on January 13, 2010. His wife Barbara will host a June celebration for don José that includes family and close friends.

I first met José Antonio Villarreal in Los Angeles in 1973. I was a graduate student at UCLA and had selected the paperback edition of Pocho (1970) as a reading assignment while tutoring Chicana inmates detained at Corona Institute for Women. I had sent Villarreal a letter suggesting I work on a Spanish translation of Pocho and his response, written in a graceful and ornate script, was prompt: he informed me that if he needed a Spanish translation of his novel that he would do it himself. Shortly afterward a brief note arrived in the mail asking me to meet him at his sister’s house in Los Angeles. I accepted the invitation.

On our first meeting, I saw Richard Rubio in the adult Villarreal: contemplative, observant, a chain-smoker. I also noticed that on a nearby table stood a bottle of tequila; before our meeting, Villarreal had enjoyed half of its contents. In a semi-humorous tone, he pointed with a smoldering cigarette to the memory of several boxes with copies of the hardcover edition of Pocho he had stored in his garage for many years. Doubleday had paid him in part with hundreds of unsold copies of Pocho. After giving away free copies to neighbors and to most of his family, one day he ordered the remaining boxes to be disposed by the garbage collector. We did not talk about the translation, but I got the point. It was evident he didn’t think there would be any interest in Pocho in the Spanish-speaking world; after all, hardly anybody had noticed in the United States. Nobody had any interest in literature that represented Mexicans in the United States, he argued; besides, Villarreal’s mind was on other, more important projects: he was waiting for the publication of his second novel, The Fifth Horseman, where he recounted the life background of Heraclio Inés (known in Pocho as Juan Rubio), and the national conditions that led to the 1910 Mexican Revolution. He assured me that this was his best novel yet. We drank another glass of tequila and continued with our conversation. I would have to wait until the summer of 1993 for the opportunity to translate Pocho. Meanwhile things were turning hazy around me as I listened and sipped tequila, so I rushed a few questions.

Villarreal informed me that his decision to be a writer was reached shortly before graduating with a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley in 1950. His plan was to write a cycle of four novels—he referred to it as a tetralogy—that would constitute a vast social landscape depicting the dispersion of a Mexican family through thr

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1195. Tortilla Sun

Tortilla Sun
By Jennifer Cervantes

5-1/2 x 7-1/4 in; 224 pp
Ages 8-12


Published in April, 2010
ISBN 9780811870153
ISBN10 0811870154

When twelve-year-old Izzy discovers a beat-up baseball marked with the words "Because…magic" while unpacking in yet another new apartment, she is determined to figure out what it means. What secrets does this old ball have to tell? Her mom certainly isn't sharing any—especially when it comes to Izzy's father, who died before Izzy was born. But when she spends the summer in her Nana's remote New Mexico village, Izzy discovers long-buried secrets that come alive in an enchanted landscape of watermelon mountains, whispering winds, and tortilla suns. Infused with the flavor of the southwest and sprinkled with just a pinch of magic, this heartfelt middle grade debut is as rich and satisfying as Nana's homemade enchiladas.

Jennifer Cervantes lives with her husband and three daughters in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she enjoys sunsets, tortillas, and chiles fresh from the family farm. Tortilla Sun is her first novel for children, and she is currently working on her second.

Tortilla Sun                                                            



The recent popularity of short-shorts, flash and micro-fiction in the US--all of which have a long tradition in Latin American fiction--made me wonder about the possible pedagogical uses of the short genre in the foreign-language classroom. While reading short fiction has been a staple of the language classroom, as it provides a way of incorporating cultural concepts alongside the purely linguistic in an already crammed curriculum, writing it--at least at the college level--is often resisted as a waste of precious class time... by students! Would they really rather discuss the subtleties of the subjunctive mode or go over the same lame textbook exercises than stretch their comfort zone in Spanish for a few minutes? Dudoso. I summoned my inner-Thatcher and just assigned a timed in-class writing challenge... Tienen diez minutos para escribir un cuento sobre una zanahoria, ¡no más! And they did it. All sorts of carrot stories. Now these texts won't make it to any flash-fiction anthologies anytime soon, but I was truly blown away by the sophisticated vocabulary and complex grammatical structures they used... Even better, they were blown away.

Now I wonder if these exercises, nicknamed "Los enanos"--now a common part of our classes--could help us, as writers, access stronger imagery via a language that is still somewhat "exotic" to us; imagery which we could then bring back to whatever language we normally use for writing... I tried it and got a fine crop of adjectives and images, which I then plagiarized from myself by translating them into Spanish. So I invite you to give it a try. Send me your microcuentos (en español) of 100 words or less by 5/25/10, and I'll post them here in the coming weeks. ¡Órale pues! And if you're in love with the results, send them here instead: Premio Revista Eñe de Literatura Móvil (Grand prize of 3.000 euros, baby!)
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1197. Recommendations - Bloomsbury Review at 30 - Book Launch


Indian Country Noir
edited by Sarah Cortez and Liz Martínez

Akashic, 2010

Years ago, when I finally got serious about understanding crime fiction, I learned, from people who knew, that noir is different from hard-boiled. But the two are often confused or commingled. No matter, readers know what they like. Some of the stories in this anthology are noir, some are hard-boiled, some are neither. Again, no matter, I like the stories in Indian Country Noir.

Akashic has quite the thing going with its noir series. Brooklyn Noir. Chicago Noir. Havana Noir. Istanbul Noir. London ... Mexico City ... Phoenix ... Twin Cities (?). No Denver, though. There are a lot of titles in this imprint. I've read a few, the quality is high, the authors are a good mix of well-knowns (Indian Country Noir features Lawrence Block, for example) and soon-to-be-well-known. The stories can be gut-wrenching, over-the-top, evocative. All okay.

Indian Country Noir is a welcome addition to the noir list. Comrade Sedano reviewed the anthology earlier for La Bloga, and I'll add my two centavos and also recommend this book. Pick up a copy and see what Native and non-Native writers have to say about crime among, to, and for the indigenous, on and off the res. Plenty of good surprises: R. Narvaez in Juracán tells a story set in Puerto Rico among the legends of the Tainos, stolen artifacts, double- and triple-crosses, uneasy justice; Joseph Bruchac gives us The Helper, all about the notorious boarding schools, and one former student's long-delayed but very satisfying revenge; Liz Martínez develops a new take on the familiar and sad Ira Hayes story, with a twist that reads very Indian to me, in Prowling Wolves. And if you really want noir, the final story is a gem. Kimberly Roppolo's Quilt Like a Night Sky is as tough as they come. The definition of noir from those smart people years ago, as I remember it, was that the protagonist is screwed on the first page and it only gets worse from there. And then I read Quilt Like a Night Sky.

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1198. Explanation & newsbits

I'm "under the weather," so apologies for only providing some newsbits for you today. That weather is the kind that will land me either in the unemployment line or a different elementary school, come Aug. I'll miss Barnum Elem. where I taught for three years, the kids, staff, but I'll just have to find another spot, parece. Below's some more enervating bits:

Ernest Hogan still alive
: Last Saturday's post highlighting some of La Bloga's cultural appropriation posts elicited one surprising comment. It seems SciFi writer Ernest Hogan, whom I'd presumed deceased, was in fact still breathing and composing.

In response to mentioning his Cortez on Jupiter novel, Hogan commented:
"I consider myself a Chicano. I don't know if having an Irish name on my Arizona driver's license will cause me any trouble. The 21st century is like one of novels."

His blog profile reads: "Ernest Hogan is a recombocultural Chicano mutant, known for committing outrageous acts of science fiction, cartooning, and other questionable pursuits. He can’t help but be controversial. Everything he does offends or causes psychic harm. Rumor has it he’s doing it on purpose. Some people think he’s funny. Read on at your own risk . . . His novels are CORTEZ ON JUPITER, HIGH AZTECH, and SMOKING MIRROR BLUES."
I threatened to interview him for La Bloga when he gets back from wandering the wastes and montañas of Utah & NM, but in the meantime you can check out his blog here.

Chicano vampire comic coming out: Mario Acevedo launches his new comic book, Killing the Cobra (#1 of 5 issues) featuring his book hero, Felix Gomez, vampire P.I. The event will take place at Goosetown Tavern, 3242 E. Colfax Avenue, Denver and the comic will sell for $4, cheap. 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 18.

Su Teatro's Despedida: Join Su Teatro today, Saturday May 15th, for a free showing of La Carpa de los Rasquachis and community potluck celebration, to be performed on the front lawn of the Elyria School Building. This will be Su Teatro's final performance at Elyria after twenty ye

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1199. Cardboard Creations: Homemade Libros from the Hood

by Olga García and tatiana de la tierra

Cardboard boxes, those that transport Cambodian candy, office supplies and Florida oranges, now have a higher purpose: poetry. Thanks to la necesidad, the mother of all inventions, poets and writers till the earth, pick through piles of trash, and stretch the imagination.Despite the circumstance—a writing retreat with creature comforts, a four-hour flight with a two-year old grunt stomping across the isle, or time stolen before work and during the spin cycle—an artist creates. Despite the mood—drunken elation, heartbroken madness or blank boredom—an artist creates. Likewise, by any means necessary, an artist publishes.

So it is that poems and pieces of cardboard eyed other to end up in holy unity as books.

The first cardboard books we ever saw came from Matanzas, Cuba, where Ediciones Vigía took root in 1985 amidst humid heat and material scarcity. Handmade with cardboard, scrap paper and found objects such as buttons, textile remnants, tissue paper, lace, and flower petals, these books are works of art published in limited editions. We later came to know books from Eloisa Cartonera, a press in Buenos Aires that was founded by a collective of artists and writers after Argentina’s economic collapse in 2001. These books are raw, colorful and imperfect, with photocopied inserts glued to the cover. Simple, yet charming.

So charming that we wanted to make our own. In our case, la necesidad is the poems we write that take up residence in piles of paper, filing cabinets, notebooks, digital files and who knows where else. Unruly poems and stories that we give birth to, only to have them walk around and get lost in folders and clutter. We wanted to select them, put them in one place, have them handy to share at events and poetry readings. And because we are of the species of Chicana/Latina bilingual bicultural queer bisexual marginal writers, we know that our best bet in getting published is to do it ourselves. Over the years, we’ve self-published our poetry and prose in a variety of chapbooks. But this time, following the tradition of Ediciones Vigía, Eloisa Cartonera and other cardboard publishers from Latin America—Sarita Cartonera from Peru, Yerba Mala Cartonera from Paraguay, Animita Cartonera from Chile, Santa Muerte Cartonera from Mexico, and others—we had our sights set on cardboard.

The task has been more laborious than anticipated, but it has also been highly addictive. With cardboard as the object of desire, every box that crosses our paths is a potential candidate for a cover or two. The Korean ginseng tea box glitters like gold. Negro Modelo boxes neatly stacked at a Mexican restaurant compete with green enchiladas for our attention. We visit the Cambodian market down the street repeatedly, hoping to score an empty lychee gelatin box. We put in a request for a Kettle potato chip box at the deli. We are in awe of the circular pattern left at the base of the box of canned cat food. Wherever we go, we take a second look at every box that shows up along the way.

3 Comments on Cardboard Creations: Homemade Libros from the Hood, last added: 5/17/2010
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1200. An interview with Manuel Luis Martinez, author of the novel, “Day of the Dead”

Manuel Luis Martinez is a native Texan currently living in Columbus, Ohio. He serves as an associate professor of twentieth century American literature, American studies, Chicano/Latino studies, and creative writing, and is the current Director of Undergraduate Studies at Ohio State University. He began his education at St. Mary's University, San Antonio (BA, 1988), completed a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at the Ohio State University in 1989, and earned a doctorate from Stanford University in 1997.

His first novel, Crossing, was published in October of 1998 by Bilingual Press and has been translated into Spanish for publication in Spain by Limes Press. It was chosen as one of ten outstanding books by a writer of color published in 1998 by PEN American Center in New York. His second novel, Drift, was published by Picador USA in 2003 and was chosen as one of the best books of 2004 by the American Library Association. It has also been published in Australia and anthologized several times. Martinez's book on postwar American dissent and its literature, Countering the Counterculture: Rereading American Dissent From Jack Kerouac to Tomas Rivera, was published in 2004 by the University of Wisconsin Press. Martinez has been a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune for which he writes book reviews and literary essays and has received several fellowships and grants for his artistic work and his scholarship including the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Mellon Foundation, and the MacDowell Artists Colony.

Martinez’s latest novel, Day of the Dead, was published in the winter by Floricanto Press. Set in Mexico during the Revolution, the novel tells the story of Berto Morales whose life changes forever when his pregnant wife is raped and murdered, just another victim of the bloody war. We follow Morales as he sets out to find his wife’s murderers. But his journey transforms him and his view of the world. This is a harrowing novel, filled with both terror and hope. Martinez kindly agreed to answer a few questions about Day of the Dead.

DANIEL OLIVAS: Day of the Dead is markedly different from your previous two novels which dealt with contemporary characters and conflicts. Why did you decide to do a historical novel? Did you confront any special obstacles or issues by setting your novel during the Mexican Revolution?

MANUEL LUIS MARTINEZ: I set out to do something different with this book. My work is dialogue heavy in that I'm most interested in voices and stories told by real characters, but I wanted to write something that was in the mode of classical Latin American literature and so I knew that Day of the Dead, set in the turn of the century, would give me the opportunity to stretch a bit with my prose. The reason I set Day of the Dead during the Mexican Revolution was because I wanted, partially, to reflect on the morass that is the US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I didn't want to write directly about the conflict. 0 Comments on An interview with Manuel Luis Martinez, author of the novel, “Day of the Dead” as of 1/1/1900
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