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

Octavio Romano

Monday, October 30, 2006

Adopt a Brown Baby - New Books on Sexual ineqality, Transracial Adoption, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Reading in Minneapolis

Sexual Inequlities and Social Justice

UC Press has released Sexual Inequalities and Social Justice (978-0-520-24614-0, cloth $55.00/978-0-520-24615-7, paper $21.95), edited by Niels Teunis and Gilbert Herdt. This pioneering collection of ten ethnographically rich essays signals the emergence of a new paradigm of social analysis committed to understanding and analyzing social oppression in the context of sexuality . . .

Beyond the Madonna and Angelina Jolie Adoptions: Brown Babies

Carlos Morton just put out a play about transracial adoption called “Brown Baby.”

Below is a recently released book on South End Press called, Beyond Celebrity Adoptions

Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption

The Publishers Press Release:

Cambridge, MA - October 26, 2006
In Madonna's internationally broadcast "chance to set the record straight"--provided gratis by none other than Oprah--Madonna said: "Children don't ask questions."
Perhaps this is why transracial and international adoption happens at all. The children have no voice. But then they grow up.

And whatever the applause from an Oprah audience, they don't all think the only solution to their abandonment (if they were abandoned) or poverty (if they were indeed poor) was to uproot them from land and home, from familiar sounds, food, smells, faces, from any reflection of themselves.

If you don't believe that, listen to them yourselves.

In Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, the voice you hear is not the adoptive parent, celebrity or otherwise, not the applauding onlooker happy someone is doing something to rescue those poor children, not the social worker or the adoption lawyer.

It is the adopted adult, far from the perpetual child the adoptee is imagined to be. And this adult has a strong, powerful voice that explores the contradictions and unasked questions surrounding international and transracial adoption without ever suggesting that the answers are simple.

Questions like:

  • why are babies available for adoption in the first place?
  • what happens when they grow up?
  • what does adoption have to do with war and imperialism?
  • how do we come up with solutions that are humane and just?

Outsiders Within asks these questions and more. Hear about transracial adoption from the adults who have lived it, explored here in this explosive and complex collection through personal narrative, critical essays, poetry, and art.

"Experts on their own experience, the writers of Outsiders Within offer an illuminating and provocative glimpse into the world of transracial adoption that will make many of us uncomfortable. All the more reason to read it."
--Beth Hall, adoptive parent, director of Pact, an adoption alliance, and co-author of Inside Transracial Adoption

Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption
Jane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah, and Sun Yung Shin, editors
(South End Press, 2006)

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month and November 18th is National Adoption Day. Shannon Gibney, Sun Yung Shin, Julia Chinyere Oparah (contributors to Outsiders Within and transracial adoptees) and Asha Tall (publisher at South End Press and a transracial adoptee) are all available for comments and interviews.

Reading Event in Minneapolis, MN

Join authors of Outsiders Within who will be reading from their work on November 18th from 7 to 9 pm at the Barbara Barker Center for Dance, 500 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. more info

About South End Press

South End Press is a nonprofit, collectively run book publisher with more than 250 titles in print. Since our founding in 1977, we have tried to meet the needs of readers who are exploring, or are already committed to, the politics of radical social change.

Website: http://www.southendpress.org

The Website About the Book

For more information about Outsiders Within, the authors, and transracial adoption visit www.outsiderswithin.com.

Harvard Journal of “Hispanic” Policy

As communities honor the history and future promise of Latinos during Hispanic Heritage month, we invite you to become a part of the very special group of subscribers that enjoy the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.

HJHP released its 18th volume this year! Order a copy of the journal today and save 20% off the regular price! Simply complete the order form at the close of this message.

The HJHP is a unique publication dedicated to furthering the economic, social, and political empowerment of Latinos. Today, it remains one of the few policy journals dedicated to publishing interdisciplinary work on policy making and politics affecting the Latino community in the United States.

So, why should you subscribe to HJHP? The journal offers readers relevant and timely information. The journal:

  • Showcases the lives of key Latino leaders. Volume 18 features interviews with United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; Dolores Huerta, Cofounder of United Farm Workers of America; and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

  • Presents careful analysis of a range of policy areas. Nearly all policy areas have implications for the lives of Latinos. The journal publishes articles on education, health, economic, and immigration policies, and other important topics, like voter turnout.

  • Highlights new and important books on Latinos. More often than not, scholars doing research on Latinos go unnoticed by critics and corporate bookstores. The journal helps readers stay informed, reviewing new and upcoming books.

Don’t miss this opportunity to become a part of the HJHP family! Act now to order your copy and join the community leaders, politicians, and academics who enjoy the exciting articles, book reviews, and exclusive interviews every year.

New book by Paco Ignacio Taibo II

Cinco Puntos Press has just released THE SHADOW OF THE SHADOW (1-933693-00-2) by Paco Ignacio Taibo II

The Shadow of the Shadow follows four men who meet to play dominos in a hotel bar in Mexico City in 1922. They are a motley group—a gun-toting poet who makes a living writing advertisements for patent medicine, a radical Chinese-Mexican union organizer, a lawyer who represents prostitutes, and a newspaper crime reporter who churns out pages of copy “like links of sausage in a chorizo factory.”

Left to their own devices, the group would have waited out Carranza’s presidency in their own quietly besotted fashion, ignoring the betrayal of the Mexican Revolution. But they witness a series of strangely related murders and begin to suspect a conspiracy involving the oil-rich lands of the Gulf Coast, greedy army officers, and American industrialists.

Critics have hailed The Shadow of the Shadow as the best of Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s historical novels. Issues of oil, American imperialism, extortion, and government corruption give the novel a distinctly contemporary ring.

School Library Journal
Mexico's foremost crime novelist masterfully evokes a bygone era. His quirky characters are as endearing as they are well-drawn."

Kirkus Reviews
"A high-spirited historical fantasy...Every new revelation seems to give Taibo's madly spinning top another lash."


Federal Police Attack Demonstrators in Oaxaca

Outrageous Violation of Democracy & Human Rights

On Sunday, October 29 Mexican Federal Preventative Police (PFP) occupied the zocalo in the center of Oaxaca pushing out the encampment of the Peoples Assemply (APPO). Federal police in full riot gear, backed by water cannons, helicopters, and heavily armed soldiers retook the city from protestors street by street.

Demonstrators, clutching rocks and sticks resisted. APPO denounced the death allegedly at the hands of the police of a fifteen year old boy. The PFP also occupied Radio Universidad, shutting down the only remaining media voice of APPO.

The violent repression of a non-violent, democratic movement which began in May as a teachers’ strike and involved tens of thousands of citizens who raised broader demands for democracy, an end to corruption by the government and the resignation of Oaxaca State Governor Ulises Ruiz is a tragic event for Mexico and for human rights. While we are certain that the resistance will continue as will the long struggle of the Mexican people, CJM deplores this final action of the administration of President Vicente Fox in turning his back on the will of the people.

We remind our members that the election of Fox in 2000 was heralded by the backers of NAFTA and neoliberalism as concrete evidence of Mexico’s democratization. Fox’s failure, however, to turn around the growing economic injustices caused by globalization, so-called free trade, and corruption could only lead to the kind of heroic resistance we’ve witnessed over the past few months by the workers and citizens of Oaxaca. It’s shameful that Fox’s only response to the cries of the people for justice is violence and repression.

The deaths of teachers and citizens at the hands of police and paramilitaries, the murder on Friday of an American reporter, and the police violence of today can leave no doubt that there is an accelerating current against human and worker rights.

CJM calls on all its members and friends to protest in the most vehement terms the repression in Oaxaca and demand respect for the rights of the teachers union and the citizens and support for their demand for the resignation of Governor Ulises Ruiz.

Please do the following:

o Send letters of protest of President Vicente Fox at vicente.fox.quesada@presidencia.gob.mx

Send copies to:

o Lic. Carlos Abascal Carranza, Secretario de Gobernación, cabascal@segob.gov.mx

o Dr. Jose Luis Soberanes, Presidente de la Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos, correo@cndh.gob.mx

o Send letters to your member of Congress and Senators, or Member of Parliament demanding that the U.S. or Canada condemn the repression by the Fox Administration

o Send letters to U.S. President Bush at comments@whitehouse.gov or Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at pm@pm.gc.ca

o Organize a protest at Mexican consulates in your area. For a list of US and Canadian Consulates, go to http://elenemigocomun.net/128

o Spread the word

o Send copies of your letters to cjm_mojeda@igc.org

Monday, October 23, 2006

El Paso’s Chicana Writers’ Spotlight: Sheryl Luna

El Paso’s Chicana Writers’ Spotlight: Sheryl Luna

It looks like we just left this series of articles flat.

So, it’s about time we get back to it. Who better to restart this tour than with the latest award-heavy poet: Sheryl Luna.

I first met Sheryl when she first came to UTEP. I remember my friend Diana Moran telling me that this poet was someone to watch. Boy were those words true.

For most of those outside of UTEP, Luna first came to your ears when she won the Andrés Montoya Prize in 2004 (which was judged by Robert Vazquez by the way) for her poetry collection Pity the Drowned Horses.

But many of you don’t know is that she was already winning awards long before that with her poetry.

She was well published with poems in The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Puerto de Sol and more. She had been a finalist for the National Poetry Series book awards and for the Perugia Press Intro Award for women poets.

Also to her name are: Semi-finalist for the 2003 Brittingham Prize from the University of Wisconsin Press, 2003 Cleveland State Poetry Prize, and 2002 Crab Orchard First Book Prize.

I read somewhere that she will be coming out with an anthology of more of her work on the University of Arizona Press. She is currently at Metropolitan State College in Colorado. What better poet to take up the reins there since

Abelardo Delgado, who taught there, walked on. I guess they needed another El Pasoen.

Sheryl’s blog “Chicana Poetics” is regularly updated, so it nice to see what is running through a poets mind. Check it out at: http://sherylluna.blogspot.com/

She grew up in EPT. She tells us her high school experience is a “long story,” but, like Carolina Monsivias, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Jeanette Monsivias, Jack Handy (Deep Thoughts) and I, she ended up graduating from Eastwood High School. We are all spread out at Eastwood, but most likely Mrs. Sherwood was still teaching there.

I read somewhere Luna ran track or cross country and went to college on a track or cross country scholarship. She graduated from Texas Tech University and later got her master’s degrees from Texas Woman's University and the University of Texas, El Paso. She also has a doctorate from the University of North Texas.

"Sheryl carves out of the El Paso landscape the music of the borderlands where loss and acceptance converge," said poet Robert Vasquez, the final judge for the prize. "She exquisitely captures, like no other poet before her, the unsung positive capability of the desert."

You can see some pics of a reading Luna gave in June 2005 in the HOMETOWN at the Women Writers Collective website.

Just a note, the second Andres Montoya Prize was also won by a Paseño, Gabriel Gomez.

Raúl Niño releases Book of Mornings on March/Abrazo

Here’s the news release below. I’m not sure it came out on time, but worth checking out. Check out March Abrazo’s website.

New Release from March Abrazo, Raúl Niño's exquisite chapbook Book Of Mornings is nearly ready and will be available by mail order on Oct. 1. The press says: “Niño has taken time to meditate over and perfect these gems, and has also designed the portada cover. (Image will appear in a few weeks). If you can't make his readings where the chapbook will be available, send a money order for $12.00 to March Abrazo Press, Post Office Box 2890, Chicago, Illinois 60690.

Niño will autograph and dedicate your chapbook, if the buyer includes instructions. Niño's first poetry collection Breathing Light was published by March Abrazo in 1991, ISBN 1-877636-10-X. Copies are extremely rare, also available by mail order for $20.”

3rd Annual A River of Voices Rising

If you are in El Paso, make sure to attend the 3rd Annual A River of Voices Rising reading, October 24 (That’s tomorrow), 2006 at the Center Against Family Violence. Stay tuned to http://www.womenwriterscollective.org/calendar.html since time and details are TBA.

Carlos Morton and Jorge Huerta and others in Poland

Carlos Morton told me that he was headed off to Poland for a Fullbright and I think Jorge Huerta was going along. We’ll get a report to see how it went.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Chicana Literature: Another Win for El Paso - Granados Wins Alfredo Cisneros Del Mora Foundation 2006 Award

Another El Paso Win: Granados wins the Alfredo Cisneros Del Mora Foundation 2006 Award

From the press release:

Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation
2006 Award Winner

The Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of the 2006 Award.
Texas fiction writer Christine Granados was awarded a grant for $11,091.

Christine Granados was born and raised in
El Paso, Texas. She is a stay-at-home mother of two sons, a freelance journalist, and an author. Her collection of short stories, Brides and Sinners in El Chuco, was published by the University of Arizona Press in the spring of 2006. She is a graduate of UT El Paso's School of Communications and the MFA creative writing program at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Granados lives in Rockdale, Texas, and writes a column for The Rockdale Reporter.

The Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation was created in 2000 to honor the memory of Sandra Cisneros' father, an upholsterer. "My father lived his life as an example of generosity and honest labor," Cisneros has written, "Even as he warned us to save our centavitos, he was always giving away his own. A meticulous craftsman, he would sooner rip the seams of a cushion apart and do it over, than put his name on an item that wasn't up to his high standards. I especially wanted to honor his memory by an award showcasing writers who are equally proud of their own craft."

The Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation invites a panel of nominators to recommend writers from across the writing disciplines. This is the second year that Award expanded to include writers throughout the state of
Texas. The 2006 judges were writer Edwidge Danticat, poet Linda Hogan, and historian Dr. Antonia Castañeda. Past judges have included journalists, memoirists, anthropologists, poets, historians, essayists, and novelists--John Phillip Santos, Dagoberto Gilb, Elva Treviño Hart, Dr. Ruth Behar, Dr. Arturo Madrid, Dr. Norma Elia Cantú, Dr. Carmen Tafolla, Bryce Milligan, Carla Trujillo, Gilberto Quesada, and Rubén Martínez. [The Foundation does not accept individual solicitations.]

Sandra Cisneros has written: "In my own experience, grants not only allowed me time to write, but, more importantly, confirmed I was indeed a writer at precarious moments when my own faith in my art wobbled." It is her hope this award will strengthen the resolve of the award winners and further them along in their careers.

Legendary Chicana artist Judith Baca to visit EPT

The El Paso Musem of Art and Public Art Program invite you to a breakfast discussion with Keynote: Judith Francisa Baca, Director and Founder of Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), Venice, CA.

Panel Discusion with: Brain Campbell, Special Asst to the Director Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP); Timothy Drescher, Berekley, CA; Melissa Nelson, Community Outreach Manager, Dallas Museum of Art.

Wed, Oct. 25, 2006, 8:30-11am, RSVP by Oct. 21, 2006 at 915-532-1707

Chicana author Michelle Otero to read in Austin

Red Salmon Arts presents a reading and book signing by the author of Malinche’s Daughter, Chicana writer Michelle Otero

7:00 pm

Monday, October 30,

Resistencia Bookstore

casa de Red Salmon Arts

1801-A South First St.

Austin, Tejas 512-8885

Michelle Otero was raised along the U.S.-Mexico border in Deming, New Mexico. As a Fulbright Fellow, she taught creative writing workshops for women survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Oaxaca, Mexico. She is a founding member of The Women Writers’ Collective, an El

Paso based group that showcases the talents of women writers and artists while raising awareness of women’s is sues. A graduate of Harvard University and Vermont College, she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

For reading and workshop information, or to contact Michelle Otero, visit: www.womenwriterscollective.org/

Raza Art: Going to Chicago, sorry but I can't take you: Will you be in the Windy City

Group Show for 18th Street Pilsen Open Studios
October 20-
December 20, 2006
Opening reception: Friday, October 20 from
5 - 10 p.m.

Prospectus Gallery
1210 W. 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608

Tel: (312) 733-6132

From Centerstage: In a neighborhood of artist studios, Prospectus stands out as one of the few traditional galleries on the west side of Pilsen. Though there is nothing predictable about this space as it has featured emerging Mexican artists as well as established Chicago greats such as Roger Brown and Ed Paschke. Without a permanent collection, this space is all about the curated exhibition. Caveat: call ahead before a visit! Gallery hours vary.

For more information about 18th Street Pilsen Open Studios weekend October 21 & 22, please visit: http://www.subaltern.org/pilsen.html

UC Press releases new book on colonial Califas

Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants: The Legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontiers by Kent G. Lightfoot

"A groundbreaking work that will be welcomed by both scholars and the general reader who wishes to understand the role of California's past in shaping its future."—Robert L. Hoover, Professor Emeritus, California Polytechnic State University

California's earliest European colonists—Russian merchants and Spanish missionaries—depended heavily on Native Americans for labor to build and maintain their colonies, but they did so in very different ways . . .


978-0-520-24998-1, new paperback edition $24.95

New Literature Journal at Texas State

The Texas State MFA Program is starting an online literary journal -- http://www.frontporchjournal.com/

They are accepting submissions in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction essays. Tom Grimes, the MFA Director of Texas State Creative Writing Programis the executive editor of Front Porch Journal.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Legendary Carmen Tafolla visits Kansas City this weekend

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

Hey folks and folkquenas,

One of Chicano Lits legendary performers will be in KC this week end. Don't miss. Also a chance to help MANA of Kansas City.

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.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Chicano Literature - New book Latina Mistress takes place in El Paso

Floricanto Press Book takes place in EPT

Latina Mistress by R.F. Sánchez (978-0-915745-91-3. 332 pgs. $24.95)

This story is about young and pretty illegal alien women in El Paso, Texas, who unknowingly fall or conveniently acquiesce to the sexual demands of their male employers, who most happen to be Anglo Americans.

Much what has been written about El Paso and the southwest is about its history, its settlers, its movers and its heroes.

Latina Mistress, however, is about ordinary people, illegal aliens, their loves, hates, beliefs, and more importantly their circumstances. The events which take place in the novel intersect the Hispanic and Anglo worlds, with their own good and evil characters.

This novel follows the long tradition of historical fiction in the sense that all the anecdotes told here are actually true, although the names have been changed to protect the guilty. The author gathered these very human stories through years of observation as well as personal experience and much research.

The author and his wife, Helen, actually knew personally Berta, one of the tragic heroines of this novel. He also interviewed scores of males and females of both cultures attesting to the accuracy of the story.

What is a young and beautiful illegal alien to do to survive two alien worlds, the Hispanic and Anglo worlds, with their own good and evil characters? The answer is shivering in its clarity: whatever is required. This novel depicts the dramatic lives of two beautiful sisters, both illegal aliens, and how some people take advantage of their weakness and their sex.

In this sense this novel is a classic tale of what has always occurred with the disadvantaged all along; the powerful taking advantage of the weaker and more disadvantaged members of society.

Although the novel starts with the arrival of the two pretty young women in the United States, dramatic events unleashed, which change the lives of these women.

Some of these circumstances are simply traumatic, others are downright heart-breaking, and some others are happy events, which they must undergo before setting roots in this country.

As in real life, not every immigrant coming to the United States makes it, in this novel; Rosario did, but not her sister, Berta. Some characters in this novel are truly lovable, others quite detestable; all nevertheless are quite human.

The reader weeps at times, is angry at times, rejoices at times, but at the close you will find a new meaning for what is meant for a Latina Mistress.


MultiRacial Justice’s Shades of Power

From Elizabeth (Betita) Martinez, editor

For 5 years, the Institute for MultiRacial Justice in San Francisco published a newsletter called SHADES OF POWER.

With the goal of helping to build alliances between communities of color, every issue of SHADES OF POWER contained articles, poems, raps, photos, drawings, etc. about alliance-building.

It was a unique newsletter, used by teachers, youth activists, anti--racist organizations and others to advance discussion, debate, and new efforts related to alliance-building and combating the divisiveness that holds back social justice work so often today.

The collection will appeal to the eye as well as the mind, with a beautiful cover, an Introduction about how to use it, a Table of Contents, all the issues, and an Index.

You can order it from the Institute for $10.00 plus $2.00 for shipping. Call or email the Institute now: i4mrj@aol.com or (415)701-9502 to order your copy.

Thank you, and venceremos!
Elizabeth (Betita)
Martinez, editor

Sabbaticals for Long-Time Activists of Color

Fellowship Award Raised to $25,000

Beginning in 2007, Alston/Bannerman Fellows will receive an award of $25,000 to support sabbaticals of three months or more.
Deadline for Applications is December 15

For the 2007 Fellowships, applications must be postmarked by
December 15, 2006.

Information: http://www.alstonbannerman.org/index.html

2006 Fellows: http://www.alstonbannerman.org/2006fellows.html

Corruption in Cuba

The University of Texas Press and Diaz-Briquets and Perez-Lopez have published CORRUPTION IN CUBA: Castro and Beyond. This is a comprehensive analysis of corruption in Cuba, and prescriptions for

minimizing it in the post-Castro era.


Al Soto to give Tumblewords Workshop in EPT


Memorial Park Public Library 3200 Copper Avenue (915) 566-1034


All events are Saturday afternoons from 12:45 to 2:45


Free, but donations accepted


Donna J. Snyder (915) 328-5484 tumblewordsproject@yahoo.com or Ken Kenyon kenktx@aolcom (915) 490-6672

Oct 28 Al Soto From the Visionary Poets to the Beats

Soto manages several Chicano/Latino/Mexicano cultural and political electronic bulletin boards. He recently was a panelist in the Epiphany Events Literary Festival, and presented several creative writing workshops in the Tumblewords Project. Soto’s work has been published in Chrysalis 2004, Muse II and Muse III, and others poems are forthcoming. Professionally he works as a business consultant and teaches entrepreneurship.

By avocation, he strives to facilitate the development of developing writers, artists, and film makers. As such, he is active in Tumblewords Project, Meta4, and various other literary groups, as well as slams and open mikes in the area. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Soto’s hobbies include flying light and ultralight airplanes, Aztlan history and myths from around the world, as well as rejuvenating at local area hot springs.

Joe Olvera and Onate’s Left Foot

Check out this wonderful article by Joe Olvera on The Newspaper Tree. Click HERE to read.

Granados on Freddy Fender

I guess I missed this in the EP Times, but CLICA sent it over to us: Author Christine Granados, whose most recent book is titled "Brides and Sinners in El Chuco," sent her thoughts on the death of Freddy Fender:


Monday, October 16, 2006

El Paso theatrical troup to bring Josefina Lopez play to stage

Los Actores, El Paso’s Spanish bilingual theater company will present Confessions of Women from East L.A. from November 2-4, 2006 at the El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana.

Performances of this play by L.A. native Josefina Lopez and directed by company member and first-time director Joanne Lopez are Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

This play is related as a series of monologues in English by nine Latinas from Los Angeles. They represent a cross-section of contemporary Hispanic women and tackle a wide range of issues. In the words of the playwright: “Latina women have always been categorized and portrayed as virgins, mothers and whores in plays, movies and television. I don’t like that because I am none of them. I am a combination of all of them…Latinas are complex, diverse and powerful.”

Tickets are $8.00 for adults; $6.00 for seniors 65 and older, full-time students, and active duty military. They will be available at the door starting at 7:00 p.m. For groups of 15 or more to take advantage of the special $5.00 rate, tickets must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance.

For more information, call 474-4275 or 240-7693, or call the El Paso Playhouse at


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Latino Literature - Daisy Zamora named 2006 Nicaraguan Writer of the Year

Daisy Zamora Named 2006 Nicaraguan Writer of the Year

Daisy Zamora was named 2006 Nicaraguan Writer of the Year (Escitora del Año) by the National Assembly of Nicaragua (Asamblea Nacional) in Managua.

Daisy Zamora is one of the most prominent figures in contemporary Central American poetry. Her work is known for its uncompromising voice and a broad ranging subject matter that often dwells on the details of daily life while encompassing human rights, politics, revolution, feminist issues, art, history, and culture. She is the author of three widely read books of poetry in Spanish, and the editor of a popular anthology of Nicaraguan women poets.

Zamora became immersed in revolutionary activities during the 1970s when the decades-long struggle against the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua became intense and widespread. She was a combatant for the FSLN (National Sandinista Liberation Front), which she joined in 1973, and became the voice and program director for clandestine Radio Sandino during the final 1979 Sandinista offensive. During the revolution she experienced exile in Honduras, Panama, and Costa Rica. After the triumph of the revolution in July 1979, she became Vice Minister of Culture, working with the poet Ernesto Cardenal who served as Minister of Culture.

One we missed on Julio Cortazar

MOTHERS, LOVERS, AND OTHERS: The Short Stories of Julio Cortázar (SUNY Jan 2006 ISBN 0-7914-5956-X), CYNTHIA SCHMIDT-CRUZ. Description is as follows: “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.”

"Oh My God, It's Full of Stars" - Coming in 07: Rene Saldana, Jr.

Okay movies buffs, where's that above quote from?

Rene Saldana, Jr. will released The Whole Sky Full of Stars on Wendy Lamb Books in March 2007. The description is as follows: “Barry can punch anyone hard enough to make them see a whole sky full of stars, though that's not really his style. Barry and Alby have been friends since the first grade. They've always protected one another. When Barry's pop dies, times are tough and the only thing Barry has of value is his dad's 1964 Ford Galaxie. Meanwhile Alby's got himself into big trouble with a cardshark. So he hatches a plan to make money. To help out Barry, but also to help himself. The problem is, Barry could get hurt, and it just might cost Alby their friendship. How much can you ask of a friend?”

For those of you into law

Carlos R. Soltero released Latinos and American Law: Landmark Supreme Court Cases on the University of Texas Press in September (ISBN: 0292714114). Description is as follows: “ “Achieve justice and equal protection under the law, Latinos have turned to the U.S. court system to assert and defend their rights. Some of these cases have reached the United States Supreme Court, whose rulings over more than a century have both expanded and restricted the legal rights of Latinos, creating a complex terrain of power relations between the U.S. government and the country's now-largest ethnic minority.”

To map this legal landscape, Latinos and American Law examines fourteen landmark Supreme Court cases that have significantly affected Latino rights, from Botiller v. Dominguez in 1889 to Alexander v. Sandoval in 2001. Carlos Soltero organizes his study chronologically, looking at one or more decisions handed down by the Fuller Court (1888-1910), the Taft Court (1921-1930), the Warren Court (1953-1969), the Burger Court (1969-1986), and the Rehnquist Court (1986-2005).

“For each case, he opens with historical and legal background on the issues involved and then thoroughly discusses the opinion(s) rendered by the justices. He also offers an analysis of each decision's significance, as well as subsequent developments that have affected its impact. Through these case studies, Soltero demonstrates that in dealing with Latinos over issues such as education, the administration of criminal justice, voting rights, employment, and immigration, the Supreme Court has more often mirrored, rather than led, the attitudes and politics of the larger U.S. society.”

Rayo puts out another Allende book

Rayo, yet, puts out another Allende book: Ines del Alma Mia: Una Novela by Isabel Allende. Description is as follows: “Nacida en España, y proveniente de una familia pobre, Inés Suárez sobrevive a diario trabajando como costurera. Es el siglo dieciséis, y la conquista de América está apenas comenzando. Cuando un día el esposo de Inés desaparece rumbo al Nuevo Mundo, ella aprovecha para partir en busca de él y escapar de la vida claustrofóbica que lleva en su tierra natal. Tras el accidentado viaje que la lleva hasta Perú, Inés se entera de que su esposo ha muerto en una batalla. Sin embargo, muy pronto da inicio a una apasionada relación amorosa con el hombre que cambiará su vida por completo: Pedro de Validivia, el valiente héroe de guerra y mariscal de Francisco Pizarro.

Valdivia sueña con triunfar donde otros españoles han fracasado, llevando a cabo la conquista de Chile. Aunque se dice que en aquellas tierras no hay oro y que los guerreros son feroces, esto inspira a Valdivia aun más ya que lo que busca es el honor y la gloria. Juntos, los dos amantes fundarán la ciudad de Santiago y librarán una guerra sangrienta contra los indígenas chilenos en una lucha que cambiará sus vidas para siempre.

Basada en una investigación meticulosa, y contada con la pasión y el extraordinario talento narrativo de Isabel Allende, Inés del Alma Mía es una obra de impresionante magnitud.”

Javier Valdez and people like us

Javier Valdes has released People Like Us: Short Stories on Atria. “Darkly comic and highly entertaining, Javier Valdés's stories insinuate themselves in the unsuspecting reader like a heady brew with a strange kick. From the exploits of an urban vigilante to the erotic pleasures exacted from an unrequited love, from a menacing treasure to a family that brings a whole new twist to the meaning of neighbors, People Like Us is seasoned with irreverent takes on Valdés's favorite writers and directors -- such as Stephen King and Martin Scorsese -- as he delivers a unique array of fascinating and hapless urban creatures.

Annecy Baez Wins 2007 Mármol Prize

Annecy Baez is the winner of the 2007 Miguel Mårmol Prize for her collection of short stories, My Daughter's Eyes and Other Stories. The contest awards a first book-length work of fiction in English by a Latina/o writer that reflects a respect for intercultural understanding and fosters an appreciation for human rights and civil liberties. The judge for this year's Mármol Prize was poet and novelist Benjamin A. Saenz, who has written 10 books of poetry and prose, most recently In Perfect Light (Harper Collins). He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Texas, El Paso.

My Daughter's Eyes and Other Stories is a collection of fourteen interrelated stories about young Dominican women living in the Bronx as they deal with the choices they make in their every day lives. Baez's daring treatment of taboo-themes such as sexual child abuse and the struggle of the individual against restrictive traditional values make this book unique among Dominican fiction.

Annecy Baez was born in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States when she was three years old. She was raised in the Bronx in New York City and currently lives in Westchester County, NY. A poet and fiction writer, her literary work has appeared in Caudal, a Dominican journal, Tertuliando/Hanging Out, a bilingual anthology, and Callaloo. A psychotherapist by training, she holds a doctoral degree in clinical social work. Presently, she is the Director of the Counseling Center at Lehman College.

My Daughter's Eyes and Other Stories will be published in July 2007.

Rigo reviews

Check out Rigoberto Gonzalez’ review of Come Together, Fall Apart" by Cristina Henríquez (Riverhead Books). The El Paso Times doesn’t keep their archives on as long as they use too and their website is not as good as it use to be, so catch it while you can.