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

Octavio Romano

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chicano(a) Art; Arte Publico Press book wins award; First book on Chicano artist Gronk; Cubans beyond Miami; Call for stories

El Paso Community College Spring Art Festival Gala Reception & Awards Ceremony

Make sure to attend the Spring Art Festival Gala Reception & Awards Ceremony, Thursday, April 26, 2007, 5:30 p.m. at the ASC Auditorium,

9050 Viscount, El Paso, Texas.

Don’t miss the fun – music, refreshments, art exhibit, student awards, poetry and literary readings, fashion show, and distribution of the new CHRYSALIS edition!

As a special highlight to the evening, Amado M. Peña, Jr. and his wife, J.B., will be joining us and will be selling his latest art work in all price ranges in the ASC Board Room from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. Amado will sign each purchase for you!

Artist Vania Soto to have art show

Latina Artist Vania Soto with connection of Kansas City, Cd. Juárez, and El Paso will be having at art show tomorrow, April 26 at 119 N Bridge St. Smithville, Missouri 64089 just north of Kansas City. 6-8:30pm. Check out this Kansas City artist.

News from Arte Público Press: Jose Angel Gutierrez and Victor Villasenor

Arte Público Press has informed Pluma that their The Making of a Civil Rights Leader (Pinata Books, 2005), by Chicano political legend Jose Angel Gutierrez has been selected for inclusion in the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age 2007 annual listing. Also, Victor Villasenor’s bilingual picture book, Little Crow to the Rescue/El Cuervito al Rescate (Piñata Books) was named the inaugural winner of the Lacapa Spirit Prize, which is sponsored by the Northern Arizona Book Festival and Northland Publishing. www.artepublicopress.com.

The first major book devoted to the influential Chicano artist.

The University of Minnesota Press has released GRONK by Max Benavidez
(95 color photos ISBN: 978-0-89551-105-8 | hardcover (comes with DVD about the artist)(also in paperback), A Ver Series.

This is the first major book devoted to the influential Chicano artist.

Gronk was born in 1954 in
East Los Angeles. He began his career as an urban muralist and has grown into an international figure who has created sets for operas and computerized animation for panoramic screens. In this sweeping examination of Gronk’s oeuvre, Max Benavidez elucidates how the artist can cross genres, sexual categories, and ethnic barriers, yet still remain true to himself. From street murals to mail art, from large-scale action painting to performance art and operatic set design, Gronk has made a lasting mark on the Chicano art movement, the punk scene, gay art, and the cultural world stage.

“There is no question that underrepresented artists like Gronk are a vital part of 21st century art history.” —
Los Angeles Times

“Benavidez offers a riveting, clear-eyed and contextualized midcareer examination of Gronk’s development not only as an artist but also as a person.” —
El Paso Times

For more information, including the table of contents, visit the book’s webpage:

For more information on the A Ver Series:

A pioneering look at the influence of Cuban-American culture—beyond Miami

U of Minnesota Press has also put out CULTURAL EROTICS IN CUBAN AMERICA by Ricardo L. Ortíz (2006 ISBN 978-0-8166-4795-8)(also in paperback).

A pioneering look at the influence of Cuban-American culture—beyond Miami.

Looking beyond
South Florida, Ricardo L. Ortíz addresses the question of Cuban-American Diaspora and cultural identity by exploring the practices of smaller communities in such U.S. cities as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Highlighting various forms of cultural expression, Cultural Erotics in Cuban America traces underrepresented communities' responses to the threat of cultural disappearance in a hegemonic U.S. culture. Focusing on artists who have had an ambivalent, indirect, or nonexistent connection to Miami, he presents close readings of such novelists as Reinaldo Arenas, Roberto G. Fernández, Achy Obejas, and Cristina García, the playwright Eduardo Machado, the poet Rafael Campo, and musical performers Albita Rodríguez and Celia Cruz.

For more information, including the table of contents, visit the book’s webpage:

Plan Ahead to attend C.M. Mayo Events this Summer

July 21, 2007 Queretaro, Mexico
Mundo al Mundo / World to World Translation Workshop. C.M. Mayo to present Tameme (www.tameme.org), Mexico: Traveler's Literary Companion (www.cmmayo.com/mexico.html), and offer a talk about publishing literary translations. More information about this event at www.cmmayo.com/events.html.

September 12, 2007 New York City
King Juan Carlos I of
Spain Center, New York University and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York. C.M. Mayo to present her anthology of Mexican fiction and literary prose, Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion, with Mexican writer Monica Lavin and others. More information at www.cmmayo.com/events.html.

New book on Human Rights and Guatemala

The University of California Press has just released To Save Her Life: Disappearance, Deliverance, and the United States in Guatemala (ISBN 978-0-520-24597-6) by Dan Saxon. Eric Stover, author of The Witnesses: War Crimes and the Promise of Justice in The Hague says “"Dan Saxon has written a compelling and provocative book about the checkered history of United States involvement in Guatemala and the politics of human rights activism. Read this book and you will understand why the way in which we respond to human rights crimes often says more about our humanity than the abuses themselves.”

Part human rights drama, part political thriller, part love story, this riveting narrative chronicles the disappearance of one woman as it tells the larger story of the past fifty years . . .

For more information, click on To Save Her Life

Monica Gomez and David Williamson to give next Tumblewords Workshops in El Paso

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

Cost: Free, but donations accepted for the presenter

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

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

Tumblewords meets Saturdays 12:45 to 2:45 at the Memorial Park Library. This group has met regularly for over 11 years, providing a supportive, non-threatening environment for writing and reading aloud of work in any format written by the participants on that day.

On 5 de Mayo Monica Gomez will present "Dust Mote or Goddess?" Gomez, Songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, humorist, arts educator, motivational speaker, martial artist, broadcast professional, and poet, believes "Poetry is the ultimate introspective exercise. It turns us inside out so we can see how beautiful we are...especially the parts we thought were too dark to share. "

On May 12, David Williamson will present "Semantic Relativity." Wiliamson is a local writer, musician, and scholar making a return appearance as Tumblewords presenter.

Non-Profit seeks immigrant stories for anthology

A non-profit group is seeking to create an anthology of first-person personal histories of undocumented workers in the U.S. They have special need of Mexican and Central American accounts and can provide interpreters to work with willing participants.

The author of this series is looking for individuals who would be willing to tell their stories and will honor any need for confidentiality (especially from attorneys and clients) and will be scrupulous in respecting that need.

Below is their press release about the project. You can contact Peter Orner, editor at peterorner@aol.com.


book series


By allowing the victims to speak for themselves, the Voice of Witness series seeks to empower those people most closely affected by human-rights crises. Each book in the series is:

• A ground’s-eye view of crucial social-justice issues.

• Designed to appeal to everyone from students to policy-makers.

• Filled with enthralling narratives that will grip any reader.

• Exhaustively fact-checked and confirmed with both the narrators

and primary source documents.

• Carefully edited to maintain the narrators’ unique voices, and the

integrity of their stories.

Voice of Witness is a non-profit organization. All sales proceeds go toward funding future books.

Coming in 2007:



Immigrants who come to America illegally often find themselves subjected to dehumanizing conditions. What’s more, if their employer wrongs them, they have no legal recourse. Should being an undocumented worker preclude a person from being provided their basic rights?

The third book in the Voice of Witness series will feature the stories of men and women who have come to America seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Their struggles to fit into a society that refuses to recognize their existence are often tragic, and sometimes shocking. They are people working in the most dangerous and demeaning jobs, without the benefit of medical coverage or a living wage. Still, undocumented workers come from every corner of the globe and occupy positions in myriad industries. The American economy depends greatly on immigrant labor, yet the government does not provide for their safety or well being. It is a growing disparity and one that constitutes a genuine human-rights crisis.

Peter Orner—acclaimed author of The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo—will guest-edit Undocumented Workers (working title), and his San Francisco State University graduate students will help conduct the interviews.

The book will be produced with the utmost respect for the privacy requirements of the narrators, and as with all VoW books, our staff will work closely with the interviewees to maintain the factual accuracy of the stories.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about the book or the series.

Undocumented Workers: The Plight of Illegal Immigrants in the U.S.

Edited by Peter Orner Contact: peterorner@aol.com

Coming in Fall 2007

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