"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Friday, September 29, 2006

Chicano Literature: Kudos on two very good blogs entries; EPT events; Carlos Flores visit "updated"

I hope John Rechy's visit to the hometown went well last night.

Two Bad Ass Blog Entries

Hey vatos and vatonas. Pluma Fronteriza has to give out kudos for two very good blogs. Check out Daniel Olivas' Writers Write. Period on La Bloga.

The second is Eduardo Corral's I'm Taking the Train Instead on Localorca.

Alfred Arteaga, Cherrie Moraga, Naomi Quinonez, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Jean Vengua, and Francisco Alarcon will perform in SF, Oct. 5, at Cell Space, 7pm

Cantos del Corazon/Songs of the Heart

September 19, 2006

An all-star lineup of poets of color will participate in a special fundraising event for poet and educator, Alfredo Arteaga. The reading, Cantos del Corazon/Songs of the Heart is one of several organized to assist Arteaga with medical costs needed for stem cell treatments as an alternative to a heart transplant. The event will take place on Thursday, October 5 from
7 to 11 p.m. at Cell Space in San Francisco. Arteaga, who is a professor of Creative Writing and Ethnic Studies at Cal Berkeley is also a renown poet and has written several books including Cantos (1991), Red (2000), House with the Blue Bed (1997) and a recent collection, Frozen Accident (2006).

Among the poets participating will be Lorna Dee Cervantes and Naomi Quiñonez. A nationally and internationally celebrated poet, Lorna Dee Cervantes has received many awards including the American Book Award and the Lila Wallace - Readers Digest Award for her politically and spiritually evocative work. She has written several collections of poetry including Emplumada (1981), From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (1991) and her most recent book Drive: The First Quartet (2006). In addition to her first-rate poetry, Cervantes incorporates performance into her exciting and charged deliveries. She is a professor of Creative Writing at the
University of Colorado Boulder.

Chicana poet and educator, Naomi Quiñonez will read from her upcoming book Exiled Moon (2006) a collection of poetry that examines race, class and sexism on the borderlands. Rooted in the social change movement, her poetry excavates a historical landscape of inequality, resistance and transcendence. Quiñonez is also the author of The Smoking Mirror (1998) and Sueño de Colibri/Hummingbird Dream (1986). She received the American book award for editing Invocation L.A.: Urban Multicultural Poetry (1990) and currently teaches in Raza Studies at
San Francisco State University.

There will be a number of surprise guests appearing to support Arteaga, and Lorna Dee Cervantes will auction an original manuscript that will be on view during the event. Cell Space is located at
2050 Bryant Street in the San Francisco SOMA district. Admission is $5.00 for students and $8-10 general. For more information please call (714) 401-4024 or (415)

UTEP: Hispanic Heritage Celebraton Events

Oct. 5. Lecture: “Strengthening Voter Turnout: Barriers to Hispanic Voters in Texas” by Dr. Henry Flores, Graduate Dean, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio. 6:30 p.m. El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center. Sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement, the Center for Law and Border Studies, and the Department of Political Science. 747-7969.

Oct. 11. Reading and Book Signing: “Voices in the Kitchen: Views of Food and the World from Working-Class Mexican and Mexican American Women” by Dr. Meredith Abarca, Assistant Professor, English Department, UTEP. 7 p.m. University Suite, Student Union Building East, Room 312. Reception: 6 p.m. Sponsored by Chicano Studies, the Department of English, and Women’s Studies. 747-5462.

Oct. 13. Presentation and Book Signing: “I Am My Language: Discourses of Women and Children in the Borderlands” by Dr. Norma González, Professor of Anthropology and Education,
University of Arizona. 1:30 p.m. Quinn Hall, Room 212. Sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the College of Education. 747-5740.

Carlos Flores visit: Updated

October 9 & 10

Flores will be visiting local and area schools, community centers, and organizations.

October 10 (Tues) 5-7 p.m.

Open house for Mr. Flores

6 p.m. reading and book signing

Sponsored by Cultural Center de Mesilla

For information contact: 1-505-647-0138 or bbf@zianet.com

Austin High School

October 11 Wednesday morning at Austin High School

For information contact Vona Van Cleef at 587-2500

October 11, Wed evening 5:30 PM to 7:00

"House on Hueco Street night with Carlos Flores cannot be missed!"

Sponsored by Household Furniture

925 McKelligon in Kern Place

El Paso Tx 79902

Tel # with questions 842-7937

Fund Raiser for non Profit “EL Paso Counts”

Pot Luck , Dinner and Spirits, all to help our city become #1 in the state of Texas this November.

Thank you Carlos Flores.

Bring the kids and relax after work--jumping balloon and baby sitter on site.

El Paso Community College

October 12 (Thurs morning)

Reading and booksigning sponsored by Richard Yanez and his composition class.

Contact Rich Yanez at 1-915-831-2630


October 12 (Thurs evening)

Reading will be at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, in the Blumberg Auditorium of the UTEP library.

Sponsored by the West Texas Writing Project

Quetzacoatl Café

October 13 (Fri) 6-8:30 p.m.

Reading along with Rich Yanez and Ray Lara at the Quetzalcoatl Café

Sponsored by La Fe Cultural and Technology Center

721 South Ochoa, Rear Bldg.

For information contact Estela Reyes at 474-3775 or


Tumblewords Project

October 14 (Sat) at 12:45-2:30 Reading, presentation, workshop, and book signing

Tumblewords Project at La Fe Cultural and Technology Center, 721 South Ochoa, Rear Bldg.,

For information contact Donna Snyder at 915-546-2050

Or tumblewordsproject@yahoo.com

Sunland Park Mall

Westside Barnes and Noble at 3:30 p.m.

Call for information: Karen 915-581-5353


Thursday, September 28, 2006

John Rechy to read from his works tonight

From the El Paso Times

John Rechy to read from his works tonight

Acclaimed author and UTEP alumnus John Rechy will give a reading of his works at 7 p.m. today in the Peter and Margaret de Wetter Center at UTEP.

The reading is free and open to the public.

Rechy will be honored for his contributions to literature with a gala at 7 p.m. Friday in the Tomas Rivera Conference Center, UTEP Union East Wing, third floor. Dinner will be served. Tickets cost $50 a person, and the public is invited.

Reservations: 747-8600.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New book out on Fidel; Octavio Solis opens new play; Granados in Dallas

Above Mural Honoring Trinidad Sanchez, Jr.

Boulder Poetry Festival

In association with Alianza, Educarte Bookstore, El Centro Amistad, Lafayette Public Library, Naropa University & YWCA of Boulder County

Please join us for an afternoon of art y cultura, with performances, musicians, and readings by published and emerging poets, as well as local youth. This culturally important event will also include food, books for sale, and much more.

2-6 p.m. Saturday, October 7, 2006
in the Canyon Theater of the Boulder Public Library
1000 Canyon Blvd., Boulder, CO

For more information, please contact the Boulder Public Library's Outreach Coordinator, Ghada Elturk at elturkg@boulder.lib.co.us 303-441-4941 or Elena Aranda at elena27@comcast.net 720-273-3860.

Octavio Solis Play to open on the 5th

Octavio Solis play “Marfa Lights" premieres at West Texas

State University A&M in Canyon, Texas on October 5-14,


From West Texas A&M Press Release

CANYON, Texas—West Texas A&M University will present the world-premiere of Marfa Lights, a potent new theatrical work by Texas native and San Francisco playwright Octavio Solis. The production marks the first performance in the Studio Theatre of the new Fine Arts Complex at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5-7 and Oct. 12-14.

In Marfa Lights, a fraternity hazing takes on a dangerous tone and unforeseen and interesting encounters lead to the play’s unique conclusion. The play confronts larger questions of identity, racism and violence with candor and surprising tenderness that can be related to any university. Marfa Lights contains adult language and intense situations not suitable for children. The production will be WTAMU’s entry in the American College Theatre Festival.

According to Royal R. Brantley, director of the production and head of the Department of Art, Communication and Theatre, Marfa Lights was specifically written for WTAMU.

“It was commissioned by the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts,” Brantley said.

The play, which runs approximately 85 minutes, will be performed without an intermission. Cast members for this world premiere production are listed by hometown, classification, major and role.

Michael Newman, senior theatre major—Hank
Matthew Payne, freshman mass communication/public relations major—Tubbs
Orlando Segarra, junior theatre major—Jorge
Laura Harrell, senior musical theatre major—Lena
Will Grayson, senior theatre major—Sonny
Skylar Hinds, freshman theatre major—Meiken
Dustin Swatzell, junior theatre major—Jim
Savanna Shipp, sophomore theatre major—Babe

Solis, who met Brantley during their graduate school days at Trinity University, has been working one-on-one with the performers, making the experience exceptional for the students.

“This is definitely new and definitely different,” Brantley said. “A rare opportunity for any theatre.”

The playwright’s other works include Man of the Flesh, Prospect, Seven Visions of Encarnacion and Bethlehem. He has received NEA Playwriting and McKnight Fellowships, a National Theatre Artists Residency and the Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center along with several other prestigious awards.

WTAMU students with a Buff Gold Card can attend Marfa Lights at no charge. Tickets for WTAMU theatre productions are priced at $10 to $15 each for reserved seating and $7 to $9 each for senior citizens and children 12 and under. Season tickets also are available and offer ticket holders convenience and savings. Group rates also are available. Tickets for Marfa Lights will go on sale Monday, Sept. 25. For more information, call the BIT box office at 806-651-2798.

Christine Granados in Dallas

Friday, October, 13, 6:15 p.m.
Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, Texas read from
"Brides and Sinners" with Diane Gonzales Bertrand and Diana Lopez as
part of the Texas Latino Voices series presented by the Texas Center for the Book.

Hispanic Heritage Celebration Continues - Events in EPT

Oct. 11. Reading and Book Signing: “Voices in the Kitchen: Views of Food and the World from Working-Class Mexican and Mexican American Women” by Dr. Meredith Abarca, Assistant Professor, English Department, UTEP. 7 p.m. University Suite, Student Union Building East, Room 312. Reception: 6 p.m. Sponsored by Chicano Studies, the Department of English, and Women’s Studies. 747-5462.

Oct. 18. Reading and Book Signing: “Dreaming the End of War” by Benjamín Alire Sáenz, Associate Professor, Creative Writing Department, UTEP. 7 p.m. Café Mayapán, 2000 Texas Ave. Sponsored by Chicano Studies, the Department of English, and the Creative Writing Department. 747-5462.

TBA. Reading by John Rechy. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Department. 747-5713.

Carmen Tafolla to Speak at MANA de Kansas City Function Oct. 21

Dinner Performance by Carmen Tafolla

Poet & Author, Carmen Tafolla,

Dr. Carmen Tafolla is an internationally acclaimed writer and educational consultant. A poet, author, and sought-after speaker and performer, she has published five books of poetry, seven television screenplays, one non-fiction volume, and numerous short stories, academic articles, and children's works. She has just completed a movie script co-authored with film-maker Sylvia Morales for a feature-length film, a comedy entitled REAL MEN...and other miracles. Her works are archived at the University of Texas Benson Latin American Collection.


New book out on Fidel


“A timely new edition of a bestseller on religion and revolution
Press has just published a new edition of Frei Betto's extended
interview with Fidel, Fidel and Religion, in English and Spanish. This book remains unique among the many biographies and interviews that have appeared over the decades in offering an intimate insight into the “man behind the beard.

It is also a timely publication because of the recent illness of Fidel and the international speculation about his legacy and the prospects for a post-Fidel Cuba.

This fascinating dialogue has a new introduction by the Brazilian liberation theologist Frei Betto explain-ing the impact of the first publication of this book in Latin America in the 1980s, how it helped pave the way for Pope John Paul II's visit to Cuba in 1998, and how it influenced the change in the rules of the Cuban Communist Party to accept as members those practicing their religious faith.

It also seems an appropriate moment to revisit the discussion of religion and revolution, especially in Latin America where even Hugo Chavez, Washing-ton's new bete noire, describes himself as a Christian.” – quoted from Oceans Press E-letter.

ORDER NOW: postage free!


Fidel Castro in Conversation with Frei Betto on Marxism and Liberation

1-920888-45-4 (paper)
300 pages, $19.95


Conversaciones con Frei Betto sobre el Marxismo y la Teología de Liberación
1-920888-77-2 (paper)
300 pages $19.95

Ocean Press

Monday, September 25, 2006

Need a Pitchman for your book: How about Hugo Chavez

Hugo's book club? Chavez speech sparks sales for Chomsky

Last Updated Thu, 21 Sep 2006 16:55:45 EDT

Author Noam Chomsky got an unexpected boost in sales after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez cited one of his books in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

Hugo Chavez shows the UN General Assembly a copy of a Noam Chomsky book, Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance. (Ed Betz/Associated Press) Hugo Chavez shows the UN General Assembly a copy of a Noam Chomsky book, Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance. (Ed Betz/Associated Press)

At the start of his talk Wednesday, Chavez held up a book by Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, and recommended it to everyone in the General Assembly, as well as to the American people.

"The people of the United States should read this ... instead of … watching Superman movies," the long-time critic of U.S. foreign policy later told reporters.

The unexpected promotion had a surprising effect on online bestseller lists.

Hegemony or Survival, originally published in 2003, had jumped into the top 10 of Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com as of Thursday afternoon.

A deeper look at the Amazon results shows an even more profound impact. The online bookseller also charts what it calls "Movers & Shakers," books that have seen a sudden rise in popularity in the last 24 hours.

Three Chomsky books made the list's top 10: His 2002 book Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda, was third, while the paperback and hardcover versions of Hegemony or Survival were the fourth- and seventh-highest risers.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the sixth-highest riser was Eric Shawn's The U.N. Exposed: How the United Nations Sabotages America's Security and Fails the World.

Chomsky, the famed 77-year-old linguist, has been an outspoken opponent of U.S. foreign policy. His many books include 9-11, a bestselling collection of interviews, and Failed States, which came out last spring.

With files from the Associated Press

Judge Edward Marquez walks on

I just caught this, local hero Judge Edward Marquez passed away. I has just seen him a few week ago crossing the street in Downtown El Paso. I remember yelling, "Hey, isn't that Judge Marquez!"

Family, friends, colleagues recall a hometown hero

Judge put El Paso on political radar
By Ramón Rentería / El Paso Times

Eddie Marquez held photos of his father, retired Judge Edward S. Marquez, who died last week at the age of 75. (Debra Gulbas / El Paso Times)
Edward S. Marquez embraced a double life, impacting hundreds of lives as a humanitarian and as a low-key but outspoken state judge.

Marquez made national headlines in 1994 when he convened a series of courts of inquiry and challenged the state of Texas to stop shortchanging his community in everything from money for highways to social services for hundreds of abused and emotionally traumatized children, the elderly, and mentally ill people.

Read More: http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_4392244

Friday, September 22, 2006

El Pasoen 's book finalist for the Colorado Book Award and more news: Subcomandante Marcos, Gary Soto, Illan Stavans, raul salinas

Award-heavy book

We just heard that Sheryl Luna's already award-heavy book, Pity the Drowned Horses is a finalist for the the Colorado Book Award. Congrads!

More from the Arte Publico Catalog

Spinning through Arte Publico's Catalog, there are some older awards mentioned from 2005. But one this year is one we mentioned in an earlier blog. El Pasoan Alicia Gaspar de Alba's book Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders was the winner of the 2005 Lambda Literary Award - Best Lesbian Mystery and the winner of the 2006 International Book Award inthe Best Mystery Novel catagory.

Another new book mentioned:

We Happy Few by Rolando Hinojosa. This actually came out in April.

Why wait until November

Well guys and gals, we won’t put out a Libros, Libros issue until November, so we thought we’d give you some heads up on some books coming out from now until then.

Puerto Rico, rico

Henry Holt and Co has put out Sergio and the Hurricane (Paperback)( Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks by , Alexandra Wallner. Description goes: “Sergio lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico. San Juan is usually sunny and peaceful, but one day the sky grows dark and the ocean gets choppy. A hurricane is coming, and Sergio and his family must prepare for the storm. Sergio is excited at first, but he soon realizes that hurricanes can be dangerous. Through the experiences of one little boy, readers will learn about hurricanes and the damage they can do. And they'll also see how a community can pull together to repair that damage.”

El Tapon still livin' large: raulsalinas put out new one

Raul Salinas will put out (or maybe he has already) raúlrsalinas and the Jail Machine : My Weapon Is My Pen (Paperback)(Center for Mexican American Studies University of Texas at Austin), Louis G. Mendoza (Editor).

Yo mama: Julio Cortezar

One we missed in the literary criticism area SUNY Press released MOTHERS, LOVERS, AND OTHERS: The Short Stories of Julio Cortázar in Jan 2006 by CYNTHIA SCHMIDT-CRUZ. Description: “Provocative reappraisal of the portrayal of women in Julio Cortázar’s short stories. Using feminist revisions of psychoanalytic thought and cultural studies, Mothers, Lovers, and Others examines the pervasive role of the conception of the feminine in the short stories of Argentine writer Julio Cortázar (1914–1984).

Contending that his obsession with the mother is the source of Cortázar’s uneasiness with femininity, Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz traces an evolution in his relationship to female space, from a convoluted and defensive posture to a more open and tolerant stance, paralleling his increasing political commitment. Schmidt-Cruz explores the role of gender in Cortázar’s quest to reconcile his divided allegiance to Argentina and France, and his denunciation of the atrocities of the Argentine military dictatorship.”

Soto and Jesse

Another young adult work is out by Gary Soto. Jesse on Harcourt Paperbacks is described as Soto’s “first novel for young adults, Gary Soto paints a moving portrait of two sweet, ambitious Mexican American brothers who hope junior college will help them escape their heritage of tedious physical labor.

Their struggles are humorous, true to life, and deeply affecting, and young adults will sympathize with them as they work through their problems and eventually come to terms with what is possible in an imperfect world.

UMI stuff available on web

Another one we missed (WE NOT PERFECT!) is 'It doesn't have to be this way': Re/presentations of Chicano masculinity in Chicano and Chicana literature, film, and performance on ProQuest / UMI March 19, 2006 ISBN: 0542194767), Phillip Ruben Serrato. And this is interesting because many of the dissertations are being put up on the web for sale now.

Just like ordering from UMI, you can get the printed version, but it also allows you to buy the PDF version. Description reads: “This dissertation surveys the diverse ways that Chicano masculinity has been constructed, deconstructed, and re-imagined in Chicano and Chicana literature, film, and performance.

From the nineteenth century to the present day, Chicano and Chicana writers alike have been engaged in reassessments of Chicano masculinity. But as this dissertation reveals, these writers' approaches to have varied depending on their historical context, personal anxieties, and personal subject positions.

Notably remaining constant across the various writers that I discuss in this dissertation is the centrality of the issue of masculinity in their nationalist projects. Chapter after chapter reveals how a concern or preoccupation with masculinity is at the heart of these writers' nationalist endeavors. Yet while in some cases writers betray an obsession with Chicano male primacy, in other cases they insist on a transformation in Chicano masculinity.

Chapter 1 attempts to gain insight into the psyche of early Mexican-American men by examining Juan Seguín's Personal Memoirs and Américo Paredes's George Washington Gómez. Chapter 2 describes how two early Mexican-American female writers, Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton and Jovita González, respond to the tragic inflexibility of men like Seguín and Paredes by suggesting in The Squatter and the Don and Dew on the Thorn, respectively, the need for a transformation of Mexican-American masculinity.

To illustrate the difficulty that male writers have had in synthesizing Chicana feminism into their nationalism, I also discuss in chapter 2 a classic of the Chicano Movement, Victor Villaseñor's Macho!.

Chapter 3 discusses the ways that two films, Zoot Suit and Born in East L.A., open up some critical concerns about Chicano masculinity but end up re-valorizing Chicano masculinity.

Chapter 4 looks at the different degrees of success that the comedy trio Culture Clash and gay performance artist Luis Alfaro have had in engaging critically the subject of Chicano masculinity.

Finally, chapter 5 uses Victor Martínez's adolescent novel Parrot in the Oven and Ana Castillo's illustrated chant My Daughter, My Son, the Eagle, the Dove to explore how children's and adolescent literature are important yet fraught arms of critical Chicano masculinity studies.”

More crit stuff

Sticking in literary crit, Ethnic American Literature: Comparing Chicano, Jewish, And African American Writing is being put out by University of Virginia Press in October. Written by Dean J. Franco, description goes: “In Ethnic American Literature: Comparing Chicano, Jewish, and African American Writing, Dean J. Franco offers a comparative approach to ethnic literature that begins by accounting for the intrinsic historical, geographical, and political contingencies of different American cultures.

These contingencies, he argues, dictate critical perspectives that are ultimately ethical and that establish the terms for the study of ethnic literature in the first place. Franco looks at a range of writing, from novels by Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Toni Morrison, and Alejandro Morales, to literature and criticism by Tony Kushner, Cherrie Moraga, and José Limón, among others. While the early chapters focus specifically on what mourning means in these different cultural contexts in the representation of and response to trauma and loss, the later ones critically examine metaphors of the borderlands, diaspora, and nationalism.

Proposing a method that both accounts for what is common in ethnic literary cultures and describes what is at stake in understanding their differences, the author extends current discussions of identity politics, race theory, trauma studies, and multiculturalism into a praxis of comparative ethnic literary criticism that is rooted in an ethics of respect.”

Okay, say "Milwaukee" right: Getting past the Cunninghams, the Fonz, and Lavern and Sherly

Another one we missed earlier this year is Latinos in Milwaukee (Images of America) on Arcadia Publishing by Joseph A. Rodriguez and Walter Sava. Description reads: “‘I didn’t know there were Latinos in Wisconsin’ is one of the more frequently heard comments when visiting outside of the state. In fact, more than 100,000 Latinos live in Milwaukee, and the continued growth of this community is visible in every segment of the city.

Milwaukee’s Latino community began humbly as a “Colonia Mexicana” in the 1920s, when Mexicans were recruited to work in the city’s tanneries. Subsequent waves of workers came from Texas to work in Wisconsin’s agricultural fields. In the early 1950s, Puerto Ricans began arriving to the area, and the population doubled in the 1990s.”

Edge of what?: Marina put out anthology

Mariner Books will publish Lengua Fresca: Latinos Writing on the Edge edited by Ilan Stavans and Harold Augenbraum. Description goes: “Brazen, bold, nervy, and fresh: an unexpected take on Latino literature, spotlighting some of the culture's most exciting experimental and emerging voices. An entertaining, provocative and often exhilarating collection, Lengua Fresca celebrates some of the most original and cutting-edge work to emerge from the cultural collide that is Latino life in the United States.

Featuring an eclectic mix of Latino writing including fiction, journalism, essays, comics, and even cultural ephemerathis unique anthology showcases literature found in unexpected places. Selections include stories from Junot Diaz and Ana Lydia Vega; graphic pieces from the Hernandez brothers (creators of the groundbreaking comix Love and Rockets) and Lalo Alcaraz (creator of La Cucaracha); and essays by Michele Serros and Dagoberto Gilb on pop culture topics such as The George Lopez Show and Taco Bell.

The growth of Spanglish, the lingua franca of Hispanic communities, is highlighted as well. Compiled by the editors of the classroom favorite Growing Up Latino, Lengua Fresca offers an unconventional window on a vibrant, quickly expanding culture.”

Doesn't get more uncomfortable than this: Marcos and Paco

Also this month, Akashic Books published The Uncomfortable Dead by Subcomandante Marcos and Paco Ignacio Taibo II . In alternating chapters, Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos and the consistently excellent Paco Ignacio Taibo II create an uproarious murder mystery with two intersecting story lines.

The chapters written by the famously masked Marcos originate in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico. There, the fictional "Subcomandante Marcos" assigns Elias Contreras-an odd but charming mountain man-to travel to Mexico City in search of an elusive and hideous murderer named Morales.

The second story line, penned by Taibo, stars his famous series detective Hector Belascoaran Shayne. Hector guzzles Coca-Cola and smokes cigarettes furiously amidst his philosophical and always charming approach to investigating crimes-in this case, the search for his own "Morales." The two stories collide absurdly and dramatically in the urban sprawl of Mexico City.

The ugly history of the city's political violence rears its head, and both detectives find themselves in an unpredictable dance of death with forces at once criminal, historical, and political.

Well, my hand is getting tired. So I’ll stop for right now. See ya tomorrow and I’ll think of something thoughtful to write.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Arte Public Press 2006 Catalog

I just got the Arte Publico 2006 Catalog in the mail. I think other have received this already and I don't know if we received it late.

Some of the news that they give out:

Down Garrapat Road was a finalist in the Texas institute of Letters Fiction Award and Winner of the ForeWord Book of the Year Silver Award-Juvenile Fiction Category.

The Frog and His Friends Save Humanity/La rana y sus amigos salvan a la humanidad was the Recipient of the 2006 Skipping Stones Honor Award

I am René, the Boy/Soy René, el nino was the Winner of the 2006 International Latino Book Award—Best Children’s Picture Book—Bilingual. We already mentioned this on the blog before. It also got a Special Recognition for the 2006 Peterson Prize for Books for Young People.

Little Crow to the Rescue/El Cuervito al rescate received Special Recognition by the 2006 Peterson Prize for Books for Young People.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Book News

Coming Events

Christine Granados

Friday, October, 13, 6:15 p.m.
Christine Granados reading
Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, Texas read from
"Brides and Sinners" with Diane Gonzales Bertrand and Diana Lopez as
part of the Texas Latino Voices series presented by the Texas Center
for the Book.

October 24-26
Christine Granados will also speak at the Southwest Writers and Artists Festival at Texas A&M University, College Station.

Playwright Octavio Solis

Octavio Solis new play "Marfa Lights" premieres at West Texas State University A&M in Canyon, Texas on October 5-14, 2006. Then it opens at St. Mary's University in Moraga, California on November 7-12, 2006.

Latinos and the Law

Soltero, LATINOS AND AMERICAN LAW: Landmark Supreme Court Cases

A historical overview and analysis of fourteen landmark Supreme Court

cases that have significantly affected Latino rights in such areas as

education, the administration of criminal justice, voting rights,

employment, and immigration.


Table of contents and excerpt:


New book on Cesar Vallejo

HOMAGE TO VALLEJO by Buckley, Christopher, Ed.

Greenhouse Review Press, 2006

ISBN: 978-0-9655239-3-6

Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. 41 American poets respond to the poetry and life of the great Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo. This anthology includes poetic homage, variations on a theme and imitations of this seminal 20th century master by such poets as Donald Justice, Philip Levine, Larry Levis, Luis Omar Salinas, Pamela Stewart and Charles Wright. Each poet has also written a prose complement in which they discuss Vallejo's influence on their own work and on contemporary American poetry. In his introduction, Christopher Buckley discusses Vallejo's unique influence on contemporary American poetry, and expresses the hope "that this collection of poems will be, in some small part, a witness to the great and enduring life, poetry and soul of Cesar Vallejo."


New Neruda Translation

by Neruda, Pablo

$17.50 / paper / pp.363

Host Publications, 2006

ISBN: 0-924047-20-8

Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. Translated from the Spanish by George Schade.

This bilingual edition of FIFTY ODES by Pablo Neruda, lovingly translated by

Latin American scholar George Schade belongs in the collection of every serious poetry lover. Neruda magically transforms everyday objects, from dogs to dictionaries, into essential elements of an always amazing and surprising world. Alastair Reade, dean of Latin American poetry translators, declares, "These translations have the same fizziness, the same physical excitement that Pablo Neruda has."



Growing Up Beef: KU Students Discuss Meat-Packing Towns
Sylvia Maria Gross

KANSAS CITY, MO (2006-08-21) This week, the two candidates for governor of Kansas both came out in support of a state policy making English the official language. State Senator Jim Barnett, the Republican candidate, told the Lawrence Journal World that he thought many Kansans feel that English is slowly being minimized. A spokesperson for Governor Kathleen Sebelius said she respects the heritage of all Kansans, but believes it would be easier to communicate in school and business, if English were the official language.

Some University of Kansas students disagree. In a panel on campus about the meat-packing industry several months ago, three students talked about growing up in the immigrant communities surrounding slaughterhouses and plants. Here are some excerpts from that conversation; the moderator was KU law student Ray Rojas, and participants were graduate students Crystal Viurquez and Rebecca Crosthwait, and law student Leo Prieto.


Premio Aztlán Literary Prize

Call for Submissions

The Premio Aztlán Literary Award is a national literary award, established to encourage and reward emerging Chicana and Chicano authors. Renowned author, Rudolfo Anaya and his wife, Patricia, founded Premio Aztlán in 1993. The prize was reestablished in their honor in 2004 by the University of New Mexico Libraries.

The winner of the prize will be awarded $1,000. Recipients are required to be present at the award ceremony and give a public lecture at the University of New Mexico in April 2007.

Past award recipients include:

Gene Guerin (2005) Cottonwood Saints

Mary Helen Lagasse (2004) The Fifth Sun

Sergio Troncoso (1999) The Last Tortilla and Other Stories

Ronald Ruiz (1998) Guiseppe Rocco

Pat Mora (1997) House of Houses

Wendell Mayo (1996) Centaur of the North

Norma Cantú (1995) Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera

Denise Chavez (1994) Face of an Angel

Alicia Gaspar de Alba (1993) The Mystery of Survival and Other Stories


Literary prize is for a work of fiction (novels and collections of short stories) published in the 2006 calendar year.

Authors must have published not more than two books.

Entries must be the work of living authors.

Edited works, self-published books or manuscripts in process are not accepted.

No poetry, children or young adult literature will be considered.

If named as recipient, person must be present to receive the award and is expected to give a lecture at the University of New Mexico in April 2007. Travel and lodging will be paid for by the University of New Mexico Libraries.

Honorarium will be sent following the recipient’s presentation at the University of New Mexico. Not attending the Premio Aztlán award and ceremony will result in the selected honoree’s forfeiture of the prize.

The closing date for entries is December 31, 2006.

Submissions must include:

5 copies of the book

Letter of interest, or if from the publisher, a letter of nomination

Author’s curriculum vitae, resume or background information, which must include a list of their published works and any communal involvement in the Chicana/Chicano community.

Be postmarked by December 31, 2006

Please send submissions to:

Premio Aztlán Literary Prize

University Libraries, Dean’s Office

MSC05 3020

1 University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131


New book from Floricanto Press

Latina Icons:Iconos Femeninos Latinos e hispanoamericanos. Edited by María Claudia André.La Mujer Latina Series ISBN: 978-0-915745-85-2. Floricanto Press, 2006. $26.95. See Description below:

This books brings the most prominent Latino icons, popular figures, represents the most important clear description of the process of iconization of the most cherished female Latin American figures.

This book attempts to define and provide meaning to these popular women within context of popular symbols and the function these women played in the construction of their individual and collective identity.

These articles, written by well-known Latin Americanists, many of them Latinos themselves, reflect a most revealing landscape of iconization of these Latinas ranging from religious, political, and popular articulation. These images help us understand the complex discursive process of the creation of popular images, and the influence that institutions and cultural traditions play in their creation.

La Malinche, the movie actress Maria Felix, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Maria Ilonza, Frida Khalo, Selena, Yemayá, Carmen Miranda, and Malena, the woman object of the most notable Tango, are among the figures discussed in this extraordinary book.

Spanish Description

Esta colección de ensayos explora los procesos de representación y de iconización de algunas de las figuras femeninas más prominentes de América Latina. En ella se intenta definir qué significado tienen estas figuras dentro del contexto popular y determinar cuál es la función que desempeñan en la construcción de una identidad colectiva e individual. Los ensayos aquí incluidos presentan un revelador panorama sobre las múltiples articulaciones entre lo religioso, lo político y lo popular que nos permite vislumbrar no sólo la compleja red discursiva que circula a través de los diversos medios de producción cultural, sino también establecer el nivel de participación e influencia que ejercen de los organismos institucionales en la construcción de símbolos, imágenes y tradiciones culturales. La Malinche, la actriz del cine Maria Félix, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, María Ilonza, Frida Khalo, Selena, Yamayá, Carmen Miranda, y Malena, la mujer centro del tango mas famoso escrito, son las figuras femeninas aquí discutidas extensivamente en este extraordinario libro.


The Talented Chews of El Paso

Check out Martha I. Chew SánchezCorridos in Migrant Memory: Corridos are ballads particular to Mexican traditions that are used to analyze or recall a particular political, cultural, and natural event important to the communities where they are performed.

As part of the cultural memory, many of the most popular corridos express the immigrant experience: exploitation, surveillance, and dehumanization stemming from racism and classism of the host country.

The corrido helps Mexican immigrants in the United States to humanize, dignify, and make sense of their transnational experiences as racial minorities. Corridos in Migrant Memory examines the role of corridos in shaping the cultural memories and identities of transnational Mexican groups.

These narrative songs, dating from the earliest colonial times, recount the historical circumstances surrounding a model protagonist whose history embodies the everyday experiences and values of the community.

The everyday experiences and cultural expressions of Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants have not found their way into textbooks in Mexico or in the United States. Martha Chew Sánchez's study provides a foundation upon which to build an understanding of the corrido. Martha I. Chew Sánchez is assistant professor of global studies at St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York.

Albino Carillo Enters the Blogosphere

Go to: http://elespejofumeroso.blogspot.com/


Newspaper Tree Book Group

Greetings -

NPT is continuing its book group with a look back at a rollicking El Paso around the turn of the (past) century. The book is: “Them was the Days: From El Paso to Prohibition” by Owen P. White. If you don’t have a copy, this book is hard to find, except for on Amazon, where there are 29 available (used). You can order one today at:


See table of contents:

We will be meeting on Saturday, October 7 at 4:00 p.m. in our offices downtown at 109 N. Mesa (corner of Texas), 7th floor. Drinks, snacks, quarters for parking meters, etc. will be provided. Please let me know as soon as possible if you can’t come due to another conflict, so that we can extend other invitations.


Monday, September 18, 2006

This and that

The University of New Mexico has just published The Battle for Los Angeles: Racial Ideology and World War II by Kevin Allen Leonard. The description reads:

"World War II prompted many Americans to join an ongoing debate about the meaning of "race." Some argued that the United States was fighting against Hitler's racial ideology. Others insisted that a "white" America was fighting a "grasping, cruel and insanely ambitious race," as the Los Angeles Examiner referred to the Japanese. This debate was especially notable in Los Angeles, home to the nation's largest Japanese American and Mexican American communities and to a large and growing African American population.

Kevin Leonard follows this verbal "battle for Los Angeles" immediately before, during, and after the war. Until late 1942 few people challenged the idea that "race" determined how a person thought and behaved. After Pearl Harbor many of the city's leaders argued that all people of Japanese ancestry were racially Japanese and therefore loyal to Japan. This traditional racial ideology influenced the incarceration and removal of Japanese Americans from coastal areas.

The "Zoot-Suit Riots" of June 1943 forced many Los Angeles residents to question their beliefs about "race." Some community leaders argued that the belief that "race" made some people prone to criminal behavior had led to the rioting, in which "white" sailors, soldiers, and civilians attacked young Mexican American and African American men. Elected officials agreed that traditional racial ideology had hindered the U.S. war effort, and explicit statements of these beliefs about "race" virtually disappeared from Los Angeles newspapers. The disappearance of such statements, however, did not lead to the end of racial discrimination. As the war ended defenders of discrimination frequently claimed that their opponents were Communists.

I've stared reading this and it looks like a good read, so check it out.

Rafaela Castro's book out in Nov.

Rafaela Castro just let us know that she will be putting out a book on Chusma House Press in Nov. called Provocaciones: Letters from the Prettiest Girl in Arvin.



Rigoberto Gonzalez, alway putting out reviews on our literature has send us this review link on the El Paso Times:

Graphic novel LA PERDIDA by Jessica Abel...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Paseno ramblings

I was in the hometown about a week ago. I was anxious to come home. With all the rain, many told me that they had never seen the river so high. And it had never been so high, at least in our lifetime. I took a trip to Mesilla and crossed over the river. Yes, it was high. Puny levees were not going to hold it in.

Up river asta el downtown of Hatch go flooded. They they got a lot of rain one night and it was all over the news that it would flood down to EPT.

The Lincoln barrio was dry when I was there, but it had been flooded several times in the last few month. The big ditch next to Condoria Cemetery was full. Dr. Bixler, when I talked to him at Chicano Studies, mentioned how even before they built the interstate, he also know Lincoln was prone to flooding.

Sheriff Turns Into Uncle Laban

Apparently, there had been union busting by the El Paso County Sheriff as well as power trip in that he wants his deputies to enforce immigration law. (Also see: This link)That too bad, he could have retired a legend in El Paso. I still remember him coming to my church as a child and speaking about God and Jesus. I guess in his eyes, Jesus would be busting every so-called mojado he comes across. Many Chicano ministers in El Paso were saddened at the sheriff's stance. He could have retired a legend but now he’ll retire a crazy old man.


UTEP spirit was in the air as football season started. UTEP has had some good seasons so games have been selling out. I’ve never seen El Paso with so much spirit. Too bad El Paso’s has the same faithfulness for UTEP as they do the Cowboys.

Chicano Studies

As I menteioned before, I dropped by Chicano Studies. The office has been remodeled so those of you looking for that aqua sofa they use to have, you’re not going to find it. The “Hispanic” Heritage Celebration schedule is out. Here are the next weeks events:

Aug. 21 – Sept. 22. Exhibit: “Childhood Development (Bandura Modeling Behavior: Either War is Obsolete or Men Are ~ R. Buckminster Fuller)” by Gabriel Saucedo. 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Friday. Union Exhibition Gallery, Union Building East, Second Floor. Reception: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 25. Sponsored by the Office of Special Events. 747-5481.

Sept. 1- Oct. 15. “Humanities Texas Exhibit: Border Studies.” Photographs of the both sides of the Texas-Mexico border. Regular Library Hours. University Library, Third floor, gallery area. Sponsored by the University Library Special Collections Department. 747-5697.

Sept. 14. “A Reception Honoring fames 96 year old illustrator and National Humanities Medalist, Jose Cisneros and a Exhibition of Newly Found Drawing from the 1920’s and 1930’s. 5:30 p.m. Adair Margo Gallery, 415 East Yandell. Jose Cisneros and his family will be present. Sponsored by Adair Margo Gallery. 533-0048.

Sept. 14-16. Film: “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.” 6 p.m. Sept. 14; 7 p.m. Sept. 15-16. Union Cinema, Union Building East, First Floor. General admission, $2.00; UTEP faculty, staff & students, $1.00; Cinema Novo members, free. Tickets on sale at UTEP Ticket Center and the door 30 minutes prior to show time. Sponsored by the Office of Special Events. 747-5481.

Here are the literature events

Oct. 11. Reading and Book Signing: Voices in the Kitchen: Views of Food and the World from Working-Class Mexican and Mexican American Women” by Dr. Meredith Abarca, Assistant Professor, English Department, UTEP. 7 p.m. University Suite, Student Union Building East, Room 312. Reception: 6 p.m. Sponsored by Chicano Studies, the Department of English, and Women’s Studies. 747-5462.

Oct. 18. Reading and Book Signing: Dreaming the End of War” by Benjamín Alire Sáenz, Associate Professor, Creative Writing Department, UTEP. 7 p.m. Café Mayapán, 2000 Texas Ave. Sponsored by Chicano Studies, the Department of English, and the Creative Writing Department. 747-5462.

TBA. Reading by John Rechy. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Department. 747-5713.

Check out the rest of the calendar, HERE.

Bueno, I got some new book in the mail from University of New Mexico Press that I need to tell you about. So stay tuned.