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

Octavio Romano

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Small Press Spotllight: Wings Press AND "Libros, Libros" issue download AND EL PASO WRITER'S UPDATE

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Just a reminder. Many of the books we post here are already on our Libros, Libros: New in Chicano(a) and Latino(a) Letters which you can download for free. Just look to the left of your browser on our blog where it says: "Stay Up-to-Date with RAZA BOOKS -- THE NEW ISSUE OF "LIBROS, LIBROS" IS OUT" and click on it. This will take you to a Sendspace page where you can download Libros, Libros on PDF. When you are on Sendspace's website, choose "Regular download." You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you download for free of the web (just Google it) to read the PDF.

Libros, Libros is the most up-to-date list of new books in Chicano(a) and Latino(a) letters. This last issues has new books in 2010 only. Did we miss a book? Please let us know.

Also on the left side of your browser on our blog, you can subscribe to our feed and/or become a "follower"  and listen to speeches by our leader Falsa Doom. You may also join our Facebook group, although we mostly post El Paso writer news and photo of Nico Lico on it's Wall.


I can't remember how it has been, maybe a decade or it is over decade, but whatever the time span, it's been a pleasure reviewing for the El Paso Times books published by Wings Press.

Wings Press was founded in 1975 in San Antonio by  Joseph F. Lomax (Editor and Publisher) and Joanie Whitebird (Editor). When Lomax passed away, Whitebird took over as publisher and served in that role until 1995 when she sold to the press to Bryce Milligan. Wings has been one of the major small presses publishing works by Chicano(a) and Latino(a) authors and poets.

In fact, a Chicana holds their bestselling book. We are talking about Carmen Tafolla's Sonnets and Salsa. It was expanded and revised in 2004 and has since sold more th 4,000 copies. Wings also ran the Premio Poesia Tejana contest and series and introduced poets like Carolina Monsivais (see my review Monsivais' Somewhere Between Houston and El Paso), Frances Marie Trevino, Celeste Guzman, Mary Grace Rodriguez, Nicole Pollentier, and Greta de Leon.

Ramon Renteria, book editor of the El Paso Times said "Without publishers like Wings, Latino and Chicano literature would remain in a deep well in America."

Wings also runs the Whitebird Chapbook Series which publishes the winner of an open competition.  It has recently published a special edition series of "limited and signed" books in which, at least the titles I've seen are hand-sewn bounded. These include books by Ana Castillo, Lorna Dee Certantes, Angel Gonzalez, and Alma Luz Villanueva. These are just the titles by Chicana and Latino(a) authors, so check out the rest: Special Editions.

Some of their Latest Releases by Chicano(a) and Latino(a) writers and poets:

Bocaditos: Flash Fictions


hand sewn , 40 pages 

Bocaditos: Flash Fictions is Ana Castillo's first chapbook in many years. Limited to 300 numbered and signed copies, this 40-page chapbook is printed on non-acidic, 80% post-consumer waste recycled paper, with a hand-sewn spine. A die-cut window in the cover reveals a self portrait painted by Ana.
As Ana writes in her Preface: "These are independent stories or excerpts from much longer ones that developed from my solitary life and my singular desire to write. They came to me in my condo in Chicago and in my desert home in New Mexico. When I lived in those places. Or, hoped that I was living."

Dying Unfinished

9780916727451 Cost: $16.95

María Espinosa 

Dying Unfinished is the story of Eleanor's troubled relationship with her daughter, Rosa. At the core of their tension is the illicit affair she has had with her daughter's husband, Antonio. The affair itself is the surface manifestation of deeper turbulence The novel is narrated through both women's voices and covers a span of nearly seventy years, during which the world around them undergoes enormous change.

While it stands alone as a novel, it is connected to Longing (American Book Award). Each novel might be considered as parts of a Rashomon-like sequence in which events are perceived through different characters.


The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans

9780916727499 Cost: $16.00
Trade Paperback , 136 pages
Carmen Tafolla

 Winner of the 2009 Tomás Rivera Book Award for Mexican American Young Adult Literature 

Called a "world-class writer" by Alex Haley, Carmen Tafolla is the author of numerous works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction for both adults and children. Her work has appeared in over 200 anthologies, and she has performed her one-woman show, "My Heart Speaks a Different Language," all over the world.Known mainly as a poet — hers was an important voice in the Chicano Movement — Tafolla's fiction appears here for the first time in book form. As the title indicates, The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans is a literary feast. Tafolla skillfully combines the spiritual mission of a magical tortilla with that of a heart-transplant patient's bedside marriage, and the blessing of a handful of dirt with that of a cross-dressing streetperson.Spiced with the specific flavors of bilingual/bicultural South Texas, The Holy Tortilla takes on hypocrisy, prejudice, institutional pomposity, and other modern myopias with a fresh humor and a deep understanding of the human spirit. This is the human comedy. Welcome to the feast!

King of the Chicanos

978-0-916727-64-2 Cost: $16.95
Paperback , 192 pages 

Both heroic and tragic, King of the Chicanos, captures the spirit, energy, and imagination of the 1960s' Chicano movement -- a massive and intense struggle across a broad spectrum of political and cultural issues -- through the passionate story of the "King of the Chicanos," Ramón Hidalgo. From his very humble beginnings through the tumultuous decades of being a migrant farm worker, door-to-door salesman,prison inmate, political hack, and radical activist, the novel relates Hidalgo's personal failures and self-destructive personality amid the political turmoil of the times. With a gradual acceptance of his destiny as a leader and hero of the people, this impassioned novel relates the maturation of one man while encapsulating the fever of the Chicano movement.



A Tuesday Like Today

9780916727475 Cost: $17.95
Paperback , 160 pages

Cecilia Urbina

Mexico's Premio Coatlicue

Nominated for the IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award for works making "a lasting contribution to excellence in world literature."

During an almost accidental vacation in the Cambodian jungle, two sisters, Camila and Márgara, meet another wanderer, David Masters-Iturbe. They discover that they all have something in common – their Mexican heritage. Like benighted travelers from other times and places, the three proceed to tell stories in order to alleviate the boredom of long nights in their jungle hotel. Employing a twist of magical realism and a dash of cowboy-movie bravado, they end up constructing an imagined past for the sisters' ancestors that may be more than a metaphor for their own reality. With the horrors of Pol Pot's legacy outside their windows and a suave young man full of his own mysteries at the piano, Camila and Márgara must determine whether they are in the hands of random chance or destiny.


Among the Angels of Memory

0-916727-13-0  Hardback , 200 pages

Marjorie Agosín

2006 Latino Book Awards: Best Poetry Book in Spanish  

The first edition of Sonnets and Salsa, published in 2001, was Carmen Tafolla's first new collection of poetry in almost a decade. Now a new edition is available, revised and expanded. Old favorites are here, such as the well known sequence, "Sonnets to Human Beings," which was awarded the poetry prize in the 1989 National Chicano Literature Contest (University of California at Irvine).





Baby Coyote and the Old Woman / El Coyotito y la viejita

0-930324-48-X Cost: $17.95

In this bilingual story by award-winning poet, children's author, performer and educational consultant Carmen Tafolla, Baby Coyote teaches an old woman the value of preserving the beauty of the desert.

Cecile Pineda, the first Latina author to break into the major New York houses. Beginning in 2001, Wings began a project to republish Pineda's well-known novels, Face, The Love Queen of the Amazon, and Frieze, as well as three new works, her memoir of childhood, Fishlight, and two Òmononovels,Ó Bardo99, and Redoubt

to radical journalists (Roberto Rodriguez) to human rights activists (Marjorie Agosín) 

2006 saw the publication of three award-winning hardback books by Marjorie Agos’n, Lorna Dee Cervantes

DRIVE: The First Quartet (hardback edition)

0-930324-54-4 Cost: $24.95
Hardback , 313 pages

Lorna Dee Cervantes

 Lorna Dee Cervantes first book in 14 years, DRIVE: The First Quartet, also came out in 2006. LATINO BOOK AWARDS – BEST POETRY BOOK IN ENGLISH, 2nd Place. Winner, Balcones Poetry Prize

Indio Trails: A Xicano Odyssey Through Indian Country

by Raúl R. Salinas

0-916727-18-1 Cost: $16.00
Trade Paperback , 84 pages







Psst! . . . …I Have Something To Tell You, Mi Amor

Trade Paperback , 74 pages

Ana Castillo

Sister Dianna Ortiz travelled as a missionary in the early 1980s to the highlands of Guatemala, where she taught Mayan children to read and write. On November 2, 1989, Sister Dianna was sitting in the garden of her convent when she heard a man behind her say, in Spanish, "Hello, my love. We have some things to discuss."

She was abducted by this man, who together with others transported her to a jail where she was brutally tortured. One of her torturers –their boss, in fact – was a North American, probably associated with the US government in some capacity. Miraculously, Sister Dianna escaped by leaping from a car in which she was being transported.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported in its findings that: "Sister Ortiz was placed under surveillance and threatened, then kidnapped and tortured, and that agents of the government of Guatemala were responsible for these crimes. . . ."
Ana Castillo, moved beyond grief and anger, wrote these plays to document Sister Dianna's story.




0-930324-90-0 Cost: $16.00
Trade Paperback , 198 pages

by Cecile Pineda


by José Martí

0-916727-42-4 Cost: $19.95
Hardback , 126 pages

The first complete bi-lingual edition of the Cuban revolutionary's landmark collection of poetry, with a critical introduction, notes and an English translation by Tyler Fisher, Magdalen College, University of Oxford; Foreword by Virgil Súarez, Florida State University, prolific author and editor
blue ribbonNamed a "Top Pick for Hispanic Heritage Month" by the editors of Críticas, 8/15/2008

Mi'ja, Never Lend Your Mop …and other poems

by Brigid Milligan

9780930324643 Cost: $12.00
Trade Paperback Tomás Rivera Award Finalist; The first collection of poetry by a recipient of the Hispanic Heritage awards Foundation's 1999-2000 literature/journalism prize.

Cande, te estoy llamando

0-930324-44-7 Cost: $12.00
Trade Paperback , 48 pages

Celeste Guzmán



Casí Toda La Música y otros poemas

0-916727-29-7 Cost: $16.00
Trade Paperback , 96 pages

Ángel González




Get Butterflies with Ben Saenz

The Butterfly Scar blog posted a mini-review of Ben Saenz' THE BOOK OF WHAT REMAINS (Copper Canyon Press). Check it out here: Link.

Mr. Mendoza

Sign On San Diego has a small burp on Cinco Punto's Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush off of Cinco Puntos Press by Luis Urrea (El Paso). READ MORE.

Book Trailer for C.M. Mayo's Book

Blog Updates
And believe it or not, that's the only new post than ours. 
Monday: Lunes con Lalo Delgado

The link we share with you today is: Justice for Columbia.

Your calo juarense for today is: mangonear - Manejar a personas dea acuerdo los intereses de quien lo raliza - To hande people according to someone's personal intersts.

                                           -- Glosario del Calo de Cd. Juarez, Ricardo Aguilar Melantzon

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