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

Octavio Romano

Sunday, October 31, 2010

El Paso Writers Update and New Books in October 2010: Topics Cuba

El Paso Writers Update

His-Fic Chic

C.M. Mayo guest on the Hist-Fic Chick Blog giving us a haunted story, just in time for Halloween. Read it now. Also see an interview with C.M. Mayo at historicalnovels.info.

More on Mora

As we stated earlier, Pat Mora was in Brownsville. She was featured in the Brownsville Herald, Poet Pat Mora to host reading at Children's Museum of Brownsville.

Pat Mora is also featured in the Poetry and Poets in Rags Blog: READ IT NOW.

REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking recently announced that the Arthur F. Turner Branch Library in West Sacramento, CA is one of three selected to receive the 2010 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for exemplary efforts in promoting El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day). The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora, and her siblings, in honor of their parents and to promote El día de los niños/El día de los libros, also known as Día.

Paredes no para

Raymund Paredes joined other dignitaries in GenTx.org, a social media clearinghouse,
Generation TX initiative, which is expected to boost college enrollment. See full story. Paredes is currently serving on the National Assessment Governing Board 12th Grade Preparedness Commission.

More on the budget shortfall in Texas and higher education. Raymond Paredes is cited in Pundits weigh in on governor's race.

The Houston Chronicle also states, "The Texas Grants financial aid program falls far short of covering all eligible students. It also could be cut in the face of the budget shortfall - a prospect termed "catastrophic" by Texas Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes." See entire article.

Paredes is also feature in the Texas Tribune online: "The current formula funds institutions based on their enrollment on the 12th day of class, but Paredes wants schools to get money based on how many students graduate." Read Raymund Paredes Proposes New Funding Formula.

Symposium named after Tafoya

A symposium at Sul Ross State University now bears the name of fronterizo writer Jesus Tafoya.  Research by Sul Ross  students is highlighted during the annual McNair-Tafoya Symposium. The McNair-Tafoya Symposium recognizes excellence in undergraduate research. Tafoya was professor at Sul Ross and formally at UT El Paso.

New post by Martinez

Claudia Guadalupe Martinez posted a post on Teaching Tolerance

Always Running author to perform at CSUN

Luis J. Rodriguez will read Nov. 18 at California State University Northridge,
Thursday Nov 18th, 2010 - Thursday Nov 18th, 2010
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM - Oviatt Library Presentation Room 

Castillo on Rechy

Journalist, actor, playwright, and biographer Charles Castillo is interviewed in Alan Mercer's Profile Blog. Castillo who wrote Outlaw: The Lives and Careers of John Rechy comments in the interview about Rechy. Read the interview now.

Gilb in UTEP's Borderzine

 “I have written 72 short stories and all of them except for three are set either in El Paso, or L.A.,” Gilb said. Gilb is quoated in UT El Paso BorderzineREAD IT NOW.

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New Books in October 2010
Topic: Cuba
El Castillo de los Ultrajes: Memorias de un derrumbe (Spanish Edition) 
Paperback CreateSpace October 8, 2010
Language: Spanish ISBN-10: 1453829318
Paulina Fatima
 Anonimo Internet Cuba (Photographer), Paquito D' Rivera (Introduction)

Hace poco los diarios del mundo hablaron de lo que ya en el 2000 exprese y denuncie en uno de mis libros. Hoy retomo la historia con una agudeza que me dan mis recién cumplidos 50 años: "El Castillo de los Ultrajes o memorias de un derrumbe". (Novela sobre el hospital siquiátrico de Cuba). Fue por el 2000 que la novela se presento en la Feria del Libro de Miami, y en 2001 en New York, en Lectourum, allí Paquito d' Rivera leyó el fabuloso texto "No son todos los que están, ni están todos los que son" y que hoy es el prologo de esta edición firmado con la fecha exacta que fue hecha la denuncia. 

Por todos esos elementos más la sumatoria de 15 años de exilio, he decidido reescribir esta obra, muy valorada por la prensa escrita* pero invisible para algunos que tienen poder mediático en el exilio. Lo importante es que las fotos que vi en un diario y también en Internet no es más que lo que vi en el 1988 en el Hospital Siquiátrico de La Habana, cuando el hospital estaba catalogado entre los mejores de América Latina. Decir las verdades en Cuba es un peligro, decirlas en el exilio a veces es complicado pues nos acusan de excesos. Saque usted sus propias conclusiones. La primera version de esté libro fue publicada por la Editorial Betania en el 2000. 

Fortunate Steps: Havana: In the Calzada Del Diez De Octubre 
(English and Spanish Edition) Hardcover Dewi Lewis Publishing (October 1, 2010)
Language: English, Spanish ISBN-10: 1904587917
John Comino-James (Author)

'Authentic and fresh - the streets remain the preserve of those who live there - and when photographing the people he is among them, not sneaking a snap from across the street" - Photography Magazine reviewing 'A Few Streets', John Comino-James's first book about Havana. In his second book of photographs made in Havana, John Comino-James has again set out to explore a part of the city not normally visited by tourists. 

The geographical scope of the photographs is restricted to a single road, the Calzada del Diez de Octubre. The route itself predates the foundation of the Parish of Jesus del Monte in the 17th century and was formerly known as the Calzada de Jesus del Monte. 

In 1918 the road was renamed in commemoration of one of the most important events in Cuban history - the declaration of the first full-scale war of independence against Spanish colonial rule on 10th October 1868 by Carlos Manuel de Cespedes. Although its once important function as the principal route to the south has been superseded with the construction of new highways, the Calzada still remains a busy urban thoroughfare. 

Through engaged portraits and candid observation and with an eye for both architectural detail and the imposing facades that stand as testimony to the changing architectural styles of well over a century, John Comino-James creates an intimate and sympathetic record of the Calzada del Diez de Octubre which, through its long history, occupies an important place in the imagination and memory of Habaneros today.

A Far-Flung Gamble - Havana 1762 (Raid) 
Paperback Osprey Publishing October 19, 2010
ISBN-10: 1846039878
David Greentree (Author), Donato Spedaliere (Illustrator), 
Giuseppe Rava (Illustrator) 

At the height of the Seven Years' War, Great Britain made an audacious strike at the heart of Spanish colonial power in the Caribbean. Gathering troops from bases in Britain and Canada and sailing across the Atlantic in secrecy was an incredible feat. The raid on Havana took Spanish colonial forces completely by surprise and following vicious fighting, the city defenses at El Moro collapsed. 

Havana, the jewel in the Spanish colonial crown, now belonged to Britain. The success of the raid influenced British military policy for centuries as the true potential of amphibious warfare was realized. Author David Greentree tracks every aspect of the raid from its origins to the seige and assault of El Morro. Each section is accompanied by full color illustrations from Donato Spedaliere and Giuseppe Rava along with maps, photographs, and period artwork.

The Untold Story of the Cuban Five: Spies or Forbidden Heroes? 
Paperback CreateSpace October 6, 2010
ISBN-10: 1453870717
Gualdo Hidalgo (Author, Editor)

During the end of the 90s, the FBI arrested a network of Cuban intelligence officers operating in Florida and they were charged as spies. The Cuban government alleged the officers were not gathering information about United States. 

According to the Cuban government allegations, the officers were gathering information about exiled Cuban hardliners who were planning and committing terrorist attacks against civilian targets in Havana. One of those attacks was the bombing of a hotel where an Italian tourist vacationing in Cuba died. 

The sentencing of the Cuban officers and their imprisoning which ranged from many years to life in jail has created diplomatic tensions on the already deteriorated relationship between Cuba and United States. This book recounts this story and offers the opportunity to both sides to express their viewpoint on this dramatic issue. 

While Washington treats the Cuban officers as spies, they are regarded in Cuba as heroes and fighters against terrorism. This matter constitutes a very troublesome issue between both nations and has a negative impact on the diplomatic relationship between United States and Cuba. 

It affects also the image of Washington on its war against terrorism since many people around the world have the perception the the Cuban officers are anti-terrorism fighters, to the point that ten Nobel Prize winners share the Cuban position with regards to the Cuban Five and have tried unsuccessfully that United States authorities release the jailed Cubans. 

The Cuban Five are symbols of anti-terrorism fighters for thousands of people around the world who constantly rally protesting and requesting the immediate release of the Cuban Five. The current President of Cuba, General Raul Castro, has even proposed to Obama's administration the release of all Cuban political prisoners in exchange for the release of the Cuban agents to which Washington opposes. 

The Cubalogues 
University Press of Florida October 17, 2010 ISBN-10: 0813035201
Todd F. Tietchen

"As an early supporter of the original non-Communist Cuban revolution, I much appreciate this story of the involvement of American beat poets with the Fidelista cause. Dubbed the 'Cubalogues,' their interaction with Cuban editors and poets is a unique part of Cuban cultural history, and it needs to be told to an American audience."--Lawrence Ferlinghetti

"An exciting, timely, and wide-ranging intervention which reassesses the Beat Movement, the Beat canon, Cold War politics, and the Cuban Revolution. . . . A tight, lively and skillful presentation of the topic."--Sarah MacLachlan, author of The Cambridge Introduction to Chicano/a Literature and Culture

Immediately after the Cuban Revolution, Havana fostered an important transnational intellectual and cultural scene. Later, Castro would strictly impose his vision of Cuban culture on the populace and the United States would bar its citizens from traveling to the island, but for these few fleeting years the Cuban capital was steeped in many liberal and revolutionary ideologies and influences.

Some of the most prominent figures in the Beat Movement, including Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Amiri Baraka, were attracted to the new Cuba as a place where people would be racially equal, sexually free, and politically enfranchised. What they experienced had resounding and lasting literary effects both on their work and on the many writers and artists they encountered and fostered.

Todd Tietchen clearly documents the multiple ways in which the Beats engaged with the scene in Havana. He also demonstrates that even in these early years the Beat movement expounded a diverse but identifiable politics.

A Black Soldier's Story: The Narrative of Ricardo Batrell and the Cuban War of Independence  
[Paperback]Univ Of Minnesota Press (October 11, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0816650098
Ricardo Batrell (Author), Mark A. Sanders (Editor)

In 1896, an illiterate, fifteen-year-old Afro-Cuban field hand joined the rebel army fighting for Cuba's independence. Though poor and uneducated, Ricardo Batrell believed in the promise of Cuba Libre, the vision of a democratic and egalitarian nation that inspired the Cuban War of Independence. 

After the war ended in 1898, Batrell taught himself to read and write and published a memoir of his wartime experiences, Para la Historia. Originally published in 1912-the same year in which the Cuban government massacred more than 5,000 Afro-Cubans-this work of both protest and patriotism is the only autobiographical account of the war written by an Afro-Cuban soldier.
After the war, Batrell became dismayed by the Cuban Republic's rapid retreat from the revolution's democratic ideals. Government corruption, racial discrimination, and the systematic exclusion of black veterans from public service had helped to reassert the racial hierarchy of colonial Cuba. 

With his memoir, Batrell hoped to remind Cubans about the participation of Afro-Cubans in the war (as much as 80 percent of the Cuban Liberation Army may have been Afro-Cuban) and to protest their subjugation in its aftermath.

Now available for the first time in English, Batrell's powerful memoir provides profound insights into the role of race in the nation's history. Deftly rendering Batrell's forceful and energetic prose into English, Mark A. Sanders also puts forth a critical introduction that contextualizes Batrell's perspective within Cuba's colonial history and its racial politics. 

Che Guevara: A Manga Biography 
Paperback Penguin (Non-Classics); Reprint edition 
October 26, 2010 Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143118161
Kiyoshi Konno (Author), Chie Shimano 
(Illustrator), Emotional Content (Collaborator)

His name is equated with rebellion, revolution, and socialism. His face is on tee-shirts all over the world. Che Guevara's life has been explored and portrayed in numerous books and films, including The Motorcycle Diaries, and he continues to captivate the public imagination more than forty years after his death. 

Guevara became politically active in his native Argentina, but gained notoriety after he met Fidel Castro and became instrumental in Castro's efforts in Cuba. Guevara then went on to Bolivia, where he was captured and killed by the Bolivian army while trying to incite revolution. This illustrated biography tells the riveting story of Che's life and death through the popular Japanese art form manga.

Cuba In War Time: Did Randloph Hearst's Reports Get the U.S. Into the Spanish American War? 
(Timeless Classic Books) Paperback CreateSpace 
(October 1, 2010) ISBN-10: 1453845666
Richard Harding Davis (Author), Timeless Classic Books (Designer)

RICHARD HARDING DAVIS (1864-1916) provides a captivating account of his own part in the guerrilla fighting leading up to Cuba's Spanish-American War of Independence. First published in 1897.Here is a recent online summary of Cuba In War Time: "Richard "Dick" Davis, one of the most popular newspaper writers and novelists at the turn of the 20th century, may well be the source of the image of the dashing war correspondent. He represented the growing power of the press as the mass media's influence was expanding, and this controversial 1898 book is an early example of the manipulative power of the press. 

Dispatched by William Randolph Hearst to cover the guerrilla war in Cuba for Hearst's newspaper the New York Journal, Davis filed vibrant, dramatic reports that may have brought the United States into the conflict, launching the Spanish-American War. Gathered in this book, and illustrated by Frederic Remington, is Davis's account of war-torn Cuba: muscular, adventurous prose about a dangerous time and place filled with a passion that infected his readers and may have changed the course of international affairs." Although the illustrations are only black and white pen and ink drawings and are not top notch quality, we have chosen to include them in this book as they were done by the famous artist Frederic Remington. 

The Havana Habit 
Hardcover- Yale University Press (October 26, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0300141327
Gustavo Perez Firmat

Cuba, an island 750 miles long, with a population of about 11 million, lies less than 100 miles off the U.S. coast. Yet the island’s influences on America’s cultural imagination are extensive and deeply ingrained.

In the engaging and wide-ranging Havana Habit, writer and scholar Gustavo Pérez Firmat probes the importance of Havana, and of greater Cuba, in the cultural history of the United States. Through books, advertisements, travel guides, films, and music, he demonstrates the influence of the island on almost two centuries of American life. 

From John Quincy Adams’s comparison of Cuba to an apple ready to drop into America’s lap, to the latest episodes in the lives of the “comic comandantes and exotic exiles,” and to such notable Cuban exports as the rumba and the mambo, cigars and mojitos, the Cuba that emerges from these pages is a locale that Cubans and Americans have jointly imagined and inhabited. The Havana Habit deftly illustrates what makes Cuba, as Pérez Firmat writes, “so near and yet so foreign.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Books in October 2010: Topics - Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua

Not much today folks. I'm working on another Chicano Ergonomics entry, but I did not finish. So only a few more days before October ends and we are trying to give you all out remaining books that we know come out in October. Here are some Mexico and Central American topics book that are new this month. 

New Books In October 2010: Topics: Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua

Mexico: Rumbo Al Estado Fallido? / Going for Failed State? 
Spanish Edition Paperback
ISBN-10: 6070705262
Jose Antonio Ortega Sanchez

Description Unavailable.
Amores mexicanos / Mexican Lovers (Spanish Edition)
Paperback Language: Spanish ISBN-10: 6070705289
Jose Manuel Villalpando 

Un libro encantador, son varias historias de amor de personajes que mucho tuvieron que ver con el México de hoy. Algo meloso en algunas ocasiones, lo que habla de un escritor enamorado, de un escritor que mucho ha amado en su vida, de un hombre que ve a la mujer con respeto, lo cual se refleja a la hora de escribir estas historias encantadoras. El autor nos muestra algo del lado humano de estos personajes historicos, lo cual los humaniza ante los ojos de sus lectores. Si estas enamamorado, si alguna vez haz amado, la lectura de este libro seguramante te llevará a el reenamoramiento o quizas a enamorate por primera vez. Recomiendo am,pliamante la lectura de este libro. - María Teresa Lazzeri. 

Library Binding - Chelsea House Publications; 2 edition 
October 2010Language: English
ISBN-10: 1604138467
Jamie Pietras 

Description Unavailable

Paperback - Planeta Publishing (October 19, 2010)
Language: Spanish ISBN-10: 6070705246
Francisco Cruz Jimenez

Francisco Cruz Jiménez (México, 1956), merecedor de la presea Estado de México “José María Coss” en 1997 y autor de El Cártel de Juárez (2008) y coautor de Negocios de familia. Biografía no autorizada de Enrique Peña Nieto y el Grupo Atlacomulco (2009) presenta este año una investigación periodística para dejar en claro los pormenores de la expansión del crimen organizado en el estado mexiquense, en el que se ubican quince de los municipios más peligrosos del país.

Tierra narca es así, una revelación sobre las zonas de alta rentabilidad para los cárteles de la droga, como Luvianos, Coacalco, Huixquilucan, Ixtapan de la Sal y Metepec; este último, centro de planeación y  uno de los diez ayuntamientos más ricos del país gracias a la llegada de las familias de los capos encarcelados en Almoloya. Cruz jiménez ha puesto en evidencia un secreto a voces: el Estado de México es la economía más poderosa del país también, desde el 2005, es un “paraíso del delito, patrocinado y protegido por las propias autoridades.”

Hardcover - University of Utah Press; 1st Edition edition (October 31, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1607810077
Matthew R Des Lauriers

Located off the west coast of the Mexican state of Baja California, Isla Cedros — Island of Fogs — is site to some of the most extensive and remarkable archeological discoveries on the continent. Two sites dated to before 12,000 cal BP have been excavated, as well as portions of two large village sites dated to the last one thousand years. Among the artifacts discovered are the earliest fishhooks found on the continent.

Drawing on ten years of his own historical, ethnographic, and archaeological research, Matthew Des Lauriers uses Isla Cedros to form hypotheses regarding the ecological, economic, and social nature of island societies. Des Lauriers uses a comparative framework in order to examine both the development and evolution of social structures among Pacific coast maritime hunter-gatherers as well as to track patterns of change.

Because it examines the issue of whether human populations can intensively harvest natural resources without causing ecological collapse, Island of Fogs provides a relevant historical counterpart to modern discussions of ecological change and alternative models for sustainable development." 



(Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality Series) 
Hardcover Berghahn Books (October 10, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1845457528
Nicole S. Berry (Editor)

Since 1987, when the global community first recognized the high frequency of women in developing countries dying from pregnancy-related causes, little progress has been made to combat this problem. This study follows the global policies that have been implemented in Solola, Guatemala in order to decrease high rates of maternal mortality among indigenous Mayan women. 

The author examines the diverse meanings and understandings of motherhood, pregnancy, birth and birth-related death among the biomedical personnel, village women, their families, and midwives. These incongruous perspectives, in conjunction with the implementation of such policies, threaten to disenfranchise clients from their own cultural understandings of self. The author investigates how these policies need to meld with the everyday lives of these women, and the failure to do so leads to a failure to decrease maternal deaths globally.

Paperback - University of New Mexico Press (October 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0826346081
Nell Farrell

When Nell Farrell traveled to Nicaragua in the fall of 2005 the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) had recently been passed in the U.S. Congress and was still being debated by the Nicaraguan Asamblea Nacional. 

Farrell spent three months photographing and interviewing young working people who would be affected by the agreement and whose lives were already shaped by the low-wage global economy. Focusing on workers in four regions--young women in the factories of Managua's Free Trade Zone, dairy farmers and cattlemen in the interior state of Matagalpa, laborers in the sugarcane fields of Chinandega, and indigenous lobster divers on the Miskito Coast--this project investigates how globalization, with all of its economic and cultural implications, comes to bear on the young generation of Nicaraguans who share a birthday with the revolution that attracted such intense foreign attention from the late 1970s to 1990.

Aiming to show the impact of foreign trade policy on distant countries, Farrell weaves together interviews, intimate photographs, and her own observations to illustrate the relationship between Nicaraguan laborers, international politics, and global markets.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Remembering Luis Omar Salinas: Angel on My Shoulder by Felipe Ortego y Gasca and New Books South American Topics

Luis Omar Salinas, Woodward Park, Fresno, CA.
 By Karen J. McClintock

By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

I don’t remember the details exactly — how I came by the poetry of Luis Omar Salinas, suffice to say that in 1970 I negotiated with Washington Square Press to produce for them an anthology of Mexican American literature, and in the process I came across the publication of Crazy Gypsy which had been published that year. In that collection the poem that stood out for me is “Aztec Angel” rather than “Crazy Gypsy.” I wrote to Salinas and asked him for permission to include both poems in We Are Chicanos: Anthology of Mexican American Literature, to which he agreed.

Over the years, I’ve used “Aztec Angel” in my Chicano literature classes stressing it as a poem of self affirmation, though it has been described as a poem of alienation. What resonated for me in “Aztec Angel” are the last lines of the poem: “I am an Aztec angel / offspring / of a woman / who was beautiful,” a powerful statement of self-affirmation. 

Perhaps that resonance was actuated by the fact that in 1970, I had completed an investigative piece on “Montezuma’s Children” detailing the dismal education Mexican Americans were receiving in the American schools of the Hispanic Southwest. The piece was published by The Center Magazine of the Robert Maynard Hutchins Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions as a cover story, read into the Congressional Record by Senator Ralph Yarborough, and recommended for a Pulitzer.

For too long, the most fair of us were heralded as “Coronado’s Children” when in fact we were “Malintzin’s Children,” (consort to Hernan Cortez, conquistador of Mexico) “off-spring of a woman who was beautiful.” So beautiful that in a letter in the Spanish archives, Cortez wrote that "After God we owe this conquest of New Spain to Doña Marina," as Malintzin came to be known. Though she died young, her two children with Cortez (the first mestizos, offsprings of the Spanish conquest of Mexico) outlived her — her daughter lived on toward the end of the 16th century.

In 1970, Salinas was 33, his stature as a poet still ahead of him. Long regarded as one of the founding fathers of Chicano poetry, Gary Soto who edited Salinas’ The Sadness of Days in 1987, said of Salinas in the Fresno Bee obituary “He was certainly a pioneering poet in the Mexican American literary scene. He was one of the first to put his stamp on Mexican American literature.” Along with Gary Soto, Ernesto Trejo, and Leonard Adame, Salinas is identified with the "Fresno School" of poets where all four studied with Philip Levine, Robert Mezey, and Peter Everwine. In 1965, Salinas studied with the poet Henri Coulette at Cal State Los Angeles who recommended him to Fresno State College.

Though born in Robstown, Texas, in 1937, his poetic roots throve in the soil of Fresno, California. The poem “Crazy Gypsy” first appeared in Down in the Santa Fe Depot: Twenty Fresno Poets, 1970, then reprinted in Speaking for Ourselves: American Ethnic Writing edited by Lillian Faderman and Barbara Bradshaw and published by Scott-Foresman. His academic studies are checkered with a stint here and a stint there, though it was at Fresno State College where he broke through in poetry.

In all, like St John’s “Dark Night of the Soul,” Salinas thought of his poetry as an expression of the “dark side of the soul.” We talked about that aspect of his poetry when he came on November 5th of 2002 to the campus of Texas A and M at Kingsville where I was Visiting Scholar and Lecturer in English. The progress of his illness was already evident. But his presentation drew a great gathering, including his kin from Robstown and Corpus Christi. 

Though frail on that visit, his presentation projected strength. Afterward, we gathered for dinner and continued our recollections of the past. We talked about Neruda and I shared with Omar my passion for Neruda and that years earlier I had translated a fair number of Neruda’s poems; I also mentioned my translations of Lorca and St John’s poem “Dark Night of the Soul.” And we spoke about our fathers. Omar apotheosized his father in the poem “A Simple Man.” Though the “sadness of days” hovered over us that evening, there was nevertheless a joie in the cadence of our conversation, the joys of memory.

On that visit, I wrote a poem for Luis Omar Salinas:

Y Los Sueños Sueños Son
How high this tide of dreams we surfed
Searching for the perfect storm of words
That would ignite the passion and the power
Of smoldered hopes strewn brutally
Across a stubborn landscape of visions
Where spires of golden cities loomed

We meet once more on the high plain of our ambitions
Expecting who we were not who we are
Or have become

No loaf of bread nor jug of wine assuage
The lapse of years that lay behind us
Dangling over chasms of the heart worked by time
Into canyons deeper than the course of streams
Over eons of perdurance

We meet once more on this darkling plain
To tell the stories of our ancient past
And how close we came to reigniting
Las luminarias del sendero luminoso
We trod with pens in hand like lances
At the ready, hechando madres a los pinches
Who thought their deeds beyond reproach.
But we, crazy gypsies, Aztec angels,
Montezuma’s children, Joaquins,
have forced the reckoning long due
And now await the footfalls of el sexto sol
And the return of Quietzalcoatl.

Un toque del tande a Luis Omar Salinas!

Copyright © 2008 by the author. All rights reserved.

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South American Topics


Hardcover - University of New Mexico Press October 15, 2010
ISBN-10: 082634867X
 Justin Jennings (Author, Editor) 

During the Middle Horizon (600-1000), the Wari civilization swept across the central Andes. The nature and importance of this civilization has long been debated by archaeologists. For many, Wari was an empire governed by people living at the site of Huari in the central highlands of Peru. 

Some scholars, however, have long argued that the spread of Wari artifacts, architecture, and influence can be explained by other kinds of interregional interactions. The scholars whose work is assembled here attempt to better understand the nature of Wari by examining its impact beyond Wari walls. 

By studying Wari from a village in Cuzco, a water shrine in Huamachuco, or a compound on the Central Coast, these authors provide us with information that cannot be gleaned from either digs around the city of Huari or work at the major Wari installations in the periphery. 

This book provides no definitive answers to the Wari phenomena, but it contributes to broader debates about interregional influences and interaction during the emergence of early cities and states throughout the world. 

The contributors include Ulrike Matthies Green and Paul Goldstein (UC San Diego), Bruce Owen (Sonoma State University), Veronique Belisle (University of Michigan), R. Alan Covey (Southern Methodist University), Christina Conlee (Texas State University), Giancarlo Marcone (University of Pittsburgh), Rafael Segura Llanos and Izumi Shimada (Southern Illinois University), Frank Meddens (University of London), Nicholas Branch (University of Reading), Kit Nelson (Tulane University), Nathan Craig (Pennsylvania State University), Manuel Perales (Proyecto Arqueologico Norte Chico), Theresa Lange Topic (Brescia University College), John Topic (Trent University), Claude Chapdelaine (Universite de Montreal), William Isbell (SUNY Binghamton), and the editor. 

Paperback - LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing October 12, 2010
ISBN-10: 384335815X
Mahia Saracostti

Poverty reduction remains as one of the main challenges globally. New measurements indicate that poverty has been declining in most Latin American countries since 2002. Some countries have pioneered the implementation of new poverty policies and programs, including components of social capital. This is the case of the Chile Solidario System (CSS), a national program created in 2002 based on the assumption that extreme poverty can be reduced by linking families to public social services. 

This research attempts to examine whether poverty reduction can be achieved through a social capital strategy and more specifically, by relating the poorest Chilean families to formal public social service organizations. The general objective of this research is to evaluate the early impact of the CSS on social networking and economic well being indicators of Chilean families living in extreme poverty. A Data-Mining Evaluation is the methodology chosen for this study. The primary data source is the CASEN survey, the National Socio-Economic characterization Survey carried out by the Chilean department of Social Planning.

Hardcover  - Palgrave Macmillan; Second Edition edition 
October 12, 2010 ISBN-10: 0230577385
Ricardo Ffrench-Davis

This book provides an depth analysis of neo-liberal and of progressive economic reforms in Chile since the Pinochet dictatorship.

Hardcover Palgrave Macmillan October 26, 2010
ISBN-10: 0230104347
Brenda Werth

In Argentine theatre spanning from the democratic transition to the early twenty-first century, the expression of human fragility has taken diverse forms, revealing the transformative engagement of performance with memory politics and human rights over the course of the postdictatorial period. 

This book examines the intervention of theatre and performance in the memory politics surrounding Argentina’s return to democracy and in the context of the growing influence of global economic, legal, and cultural systems in the nineties onward. Though staged locally, the plays and performances analyzed in this book invite spectators to imagine global communities, to rethink shifting definitions of solidarity and justice, and to reflect on the relationship between the politics of memory, identity, and place.

Spanish Edition Paperback
Xlibris, Corp. October 12, 2010
Language: Spanish ISBN-10: 145357915X
Carlos Abadie 

Carlos Alberto Abadie nació en la Capital Federal de Argentina en 1940. Se graduó de Ingeniero Agrónomo en la Universidad de Buenos Aires y desde 1963 se radicó en la Patagonia, donde ejerció su profesión hasta ahora. Ha sido profesor e investigador universitario, consultor de instituciones oficiales y privadas y productor agropecuario. Su incursión en la literatura es reciente, aunque algunos de sus cuentos ya han sido premiados en concursos regionales de narrativa breve.
Hardcover Mark Batty Publisher October 26, 2010
ISBN-10: 1935613030
Guilherme Zauith (Author), Matt Fox-Tucker (Author)

Buenos Aires is the second largest city in South America. It should come as no surprise then that it boasts a sprawling and distinctive street art scene that reflects the civic pride of the porteños - the word used to refer to the city's citizens - as well as the influences of global graffiti, street art and visual cultures.  

Textura Dos: Buenos Aires Street Art breaks the city down into neighborhoods, or barrios, providing a stunning visual tour of the city. The authors recount their experiences exploring the featured barrios, meeting the artists and photographing their work. In revealing these visual aspects of Buenos Aires the authors also share their views of Buenos Aires, one of the world's great cities. From the murals of Palermo and San Telmo to the tags, burners and politically charged work of La Boca, the richness of the city's urban art takes shape between the covers of this book.

Like the original Textura,Textura Dos also makes available to readers via download files of high-resolution graffiti patterns and textures that can be used for any number of design applications.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Retro Review: Afternoon of the Unreal by Luis Omar Salinas and New Chicano(a) and Puerto Rican Titles/Editions

As if you did not get enough of Fresno last week with Medrano, here are two days of Luis Omar Salinas, as we continue our look back at "zero" years with 1980 and the publication of Afternoon of the Unreal. It's such a good book, we are adding icing on the cake with Felipe Ortego's remenbranza de Salinas tomorrow. Plus, new books and stuff we missed.

Ten Years After Crazy Gypsy, Poet Triumphs with Poetry Collection
Review of Afternoon of the Unreal
by Raymundo Eli Rojas


Afternoon of the Unreal (Abramas Publications) was a 1980 collection of poetry by master Chicano wordsmith Luis Omar Salinas. It came ten years after his first collection, Crazy Gypsy. The Texas native turned Fresno son, was one of Chicano poetry's best poets.

Last week, listening to Fresno poet Michael Luis Medrano read, he mentioned how the titles of Salinas' books themselves were like a poem, and so it is with Afternoon of the Unreal.

Afternoon of the Unreal was a triumphant return by Salinas, a book showing ten years of maturity and sophistication. 

Now, Salinas was not doing nothing from 1970-80, to use the double negative. In 1973, he edited with Lilian Federman, From the Barrio: A Chicano Anthology. In 1975 (or 76), gave us a quadrupole Fresnonazo with Entrance: Four Chicano Poets (Greenfield Review Press) by Leonardo Adame, Salinas, Gary Soto, and the late Ernesto Trejo. 

Charcoal drawing of Salinas around 1968 (the time he was at Fresno State College) by Karen J. McClintock
In 1979, he published I Go Dreaming Serenades (Mango Chicano Chapbook Series #2) on Mango Publications.

the poem “Magnificent Little Gift,” is as if Salinas was writing a therapeutic poem for his traumatized friend:

I collapse
into the awareness
that life has
been fighting
The question is:
from what corner
of the room shall I slash
its grim victorious smile?

My feet ache from walking.
I rebel, slowly turning
into corridors of the mind
believing I'm an angel.

Afternoon contains some travel poems, with Salinas in such places as Flint, Michigan and St. Paul, MN...(“Norwegian Eyes”):

Passing Through

I compose a Chicano song
and my fists are mirrors
of forgetfulness and apology.
I feel the universe
move in like love.
The cars linger on the street
like cocktail drinks
and there's a silence
like a drummer on the way,
that won't be discussed

In open movie houses
the mind seeks flesh
and the city is overrun
by bureaucrats.
I can't find my scarf in
the clouds.
My mother is in Tenochtitlan
and my girlfriend
she's suppose to be knitting
destiny a sweater or perhaps
me a life.

Many of the poems in this collection are dark. They are an inner searching of unlit places of the soul, which only Salinas can illuminate for the reader. In the poem “Drunk Cemeteries,” like other poems in this collection, Salinas dwells on death and afterlife: “There are drunk cemeteries/in my heart/walking on dark roads in the evening....”  

Afternoon of The Unreal is filled with references to “darkness” and references to the afterlife (“fatal Aztec ghost,” “Ghosts chase the rose/and I smell death/turning/like a shoulder,” “cows that have become/pregnant overnight/and in the shape of death/the poem eats at her belly...”).

Salinas is stuck in motel rooms writing verse in loneliness as his travels keep him in lodging where poetry comes alive (“And my Nonsense,” “Passing Through”). Afternoon of the Unreal has poems of love unreached and “eye candy” fantasies, which amount to nothing but a good poem.

Containing close to 46 poems, the cover of Afternoon of The Unreal has a sketch of Salinas' likeness. Winner of the Stanley Kunitz Poetry Award, 1980, Afternoon of the Unreal is bounded in chapbook form. 

The collection's poems seem scrunched into the book, with some poems beginning at the bottom of another on the left side of the open book; the poem continuing to the top of the next page. This scrunched look takes away from the aesthetics of the layout, but Salinas' verse more than makes up for that.

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New Books and Editions in 
OCTOBER 2010 and 
Some Titles We Missed
Chicano titles

Paperback - NoPassport Press February 3, 2010
ISBN-10: 0578048817
Octavio Solis

This volume collects three of US Latino playwright Octavio Solis' most exciting plays about US-Mexico border relations. With a preface by Douglas Langworthy, this is an essential volume to deepen understanding of not only US Latino and Chicano theatre but American theatre as a whole.

A Glass of Water
Paperback - Grove Press; Reprint edition (September 14, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0802145108
Jimmy Santiago Baca (Author)

A Glass of Water is a gripping tale of family, loyalty, ambition, and revenge that offers an intimate look into the tragedies unfurling at our country’s borders. The first novel from award-winning memoirist, poet, and activist, Jimmy Santiago Baca, it is a passionate and galvanizing addition to Chicano literature.

The promise of a new beginning brings Casimiro and Nopal together when they are young immigrants, having made the nearly deadly journey across the border from Mexico. They settle into a life of long days in the chili fields, and in a few years their happy union yields two sons, Lorenzo and Vito. But when Nopal is brutally murdered, the boys are left to navigate life in this brave but capricious new world without her.

A Glass of Water is a searing, heartfelt tribute to brotherhood, and an arresting portrait of the twisted paths people take to claim their piece of the ever-elusive American dream.

Stories from the Edge
Paperback Heinemann March 26, 2010
ISBN-10: 0325029482
Jimmy Santiago Baca

"I paced my cell with a book in one hand and a knife under my mattress. I knew I could have a long and happy life with a book in my hand or I could have a miserable short life with the shank that was in the mattress." -Jimmy Santiago Baca
Stories from the Edge enriches and extends Jimmy Santiago Baca's critically acclaimed memoir, A Place to Stand. Early stories elaborate on his travails as an abandoned child in an orphanage.

Later stories draw on Baca's post-prison life as a writer and his ongoing work with struggling adolescents, prisoners, and society's dispossessed. Centered around conflicts and life-altering choices, Baca's gripping personal narratives will resonate with adolescents and adults alike.

David Taylor: Working the Line
Hardcover Radius Books  May 30, 2010 
ISBN-10: 1934435244
Luis Alberto Urrea (Author), Hannah Frieser (Author), David Taylor (Photographer) 

David Taylor's photographic examination of the contentious territory that is the U.S./Mexico border is organized around a series of approximately 260 obelisks that demarcate this boundary, and which were installed in the late 1880s. I

n the course of pursuing this project, Taylor earned a remarkable degree of access to U.S. Border Patrol, the agents of which often refer to their job in the field as "line work"-a term that is also an apt description of the time Taylor has spent documenting these obelisks.

He has acquired a privileged insight into the intertwined issues of border security, human and drug smuggling, the construction of the border fence and its impact on the land, and has portrayed immigration issues in a way that humanizes a difficult and sensitive social and political issue. Taylor's compelling images capture the deep complexity of the politics and people of this terrain.

Puerto Rico

Outlaw: The Collected Works of Miguel Pinero
Paperback - Arte Publico Press September 30, 2010
ISBN-10: 1558856064
Miguel Pinero, Nicolas Kanellos (Editor)

"A thief, a junkie I've been / committed every known sin," Miguel Pinero sings in "A Lower East Side Poem." Part observer, part participant in the turbulent goings-on in his Nuyorican barrio, Miguel Pinero blasted onto the literary scene and made waves in the artistic current with his dramatic interpretations of the world around him through experimental poetry, prose, and plays.

Portrayed by actor Benjamin Bratt in the 2001 feature film Pinero, the poet's works are as rough and gritty as the New York City underworld he wrote about and loved. "So here I am, look at me / I stand proud as you can see / pleased to be from the Lower East / a street fighting man / a problem of this land / I am the Philosopher of the Criminal Mind / a dweller of prison time / a cancer of Rockefeller's ghettocide / this concrete tomb is my home."

His depictions of pimp bars, drug addiction, petty crime, prison culture and outlaw life all drawn from first-hand experience astound the faint-hearted, as Pinero poetizes an outlaw vernacular meant to shock proper, bourgeois culture.
This long-awaited collection includes previously published and never-before-published poems; ten plays, including Short Eyes, which was later made into a film and won the 1973-1974 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play, "The Sun Always Shines for the Cool," and "Eulogy for a Small Time Thief."
A co-founder of the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, Pinero died at the age of 41, leaving behind a compelling legacy of poetry and plays that reveal the harsh, impoverished lives of his urban Puerto Rican community.

Puerto Rico in the American Century: A History since 1898
Large Print- ReadHowYouWant October 21, 2010
ISBN-10: 1442961856
Csar J. Ayala (Author)

This is Volume 1 of the Book. Other volume can be found at Amazon Search using the ISBN 9781442962040.In 1941, publisher Henry Luce announced the coming of the American Century from the pages of Life magazine.

The moment symbolically marked the rise of the United States as a global power. It has been pointed out many times that American influence as proclaimed by Luce in 1941 and as built by U.S. strategists after 1945 did not imply the construction of a new colonial empire following the British or other European models.

This is undoubtedly so, but it should not lead us to forget that there were exceptions. For some, the American Century had begun much earlier, on the eve of the twentieth century, when the SpanishAmerican War of 1898 led to the installation of U.S. colonial governments in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

While the Philippines became independent in 1946, Puerto Rico and Guam remain under U.S. sovereignty to this day. Puerto Rico thus became an anomaly: a colony of a fundamentally noncolonial imperialism.... The objective of this book is to acquaint the reader with the history of Puerto Rico since 1898.

Such a project is never a neutral or valuefree operation. We bring to it a particular perspective and set of interests. While we relay many findings of past contributions in this field, we also depart from some prevalent views regarding many of the events, processes, and historical figures discussed here.

But before we go into these, it is appropriate to begin with some facts and a brief overview of the terrain we will coverThere are many good reasons to embark on a project such as the writing of this book. In our case, it has been the most direct of motivations: we are Puerto Rican, and the object of this work concerns us dearly. But we have done our best to keep our affections from dimming our critical faculties. It is for the readers to judge to what extent we succeeded or failed.

Paperback - Markus Wiener Publishers; 1st edition October 1, 2010
ISBN-10: 1558765182
Manuel R. Rodriguez
In the 1930s, Puerto Rico was economically and culturally a nineteenth-century agrarian state dominated by sugar and coffee plantations. Then came the New Deal, and the island changed forever. Puerto Rico entered the twentieth century in every respect, including its economy, culture, and infrastructure. This transformation was neither easy nor without resistance. The author leads the reader through this upheaval with all its ups and downs. Manuel R. Rodriguez is a professor of history at the University of Puerto Rico.

Power at the Roots: Gentrification, Community Gardens, and the Puerto Ricans of the Lower East Side
Hardcover - Lexington Books October 16, 2010
ISBN-10: 0739146246
Miranda J. Martinez 

Through direct engagement with gardeners, activists, and residents, Miranda Martinez shows the breadth and diversity of the community gardening movement and how these groups inserted themselves into local politics and development to create change. She demonstrates how real people are effective as social forces amid large scale urban change and looks at the complexities and contradictions involved in transformations of urban neighborhoods.

One of the most important contributions of this study is its focus on the Puerto Ricans of the Lower East Side and their struggle to sustain its Latinidad. It goes deeply into the ethnic and cultural significance at the neighborhood and personal level to show the contradictory meanings of gentrification to Puerto Ricans and others, and more importantly, the ways that the history and culture of Puerto Ricans are ignored, devalued, and erased.

By going to the grassroots, this book vividly demonstrates how Puerto Ricans interact with the global and local trends involved in gentrification and how the struggles against displacement can alter the boundaries of the process.

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