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

Octavio Romano

Sunday, January 09, 2011

El Paso Writer News continued

El Paso Writers Update continued
Ray Gonzalez poem on Poetry Foundation

I'm not sure if this came out before, but one of Ray Gonzalez' poems "The Wall" is posted on the Poetry Foundation's website: READ IT NOW.

Collection of Lalo Delgado off Arte Publico Press

A description of a forthcoming collection of Lalo Delgado's poetry is on Amazon.com. It reads: ""Stupid America, remember that chicanito / flunking math and English / he is the Picasso / of your western states / but he will die / with one thousand masterpieces / hanging only from his mind." In his poem, "Stupid America," Chicano activist poet Abelardo "Lalo Delgado decries the lack of opportunity faced by his people: children let down by the educational system; artists and poets unable to express their creativity. "That chicano / with a big knife / he doesn t want to knife you / he wants to sit down on a bench / and carve ... / but you won t let him."

Known as the "poet laureate de Aztlan" and called "the grandfather of Chicano literature" in his 2004 obituary in The New York Times, Delgado used his words to fight for justice and equal opportunity for people of Mexican descent living in the United States. 

A twelve-year-old when he emigrated from northern Mexico to El Paso, Texas, Delgado's development as a poet and writer coincided with the Chicano Civil Rights movement, and so his poems both reflect the suffering of the oppressed and are a call to action. "We want to let america know that she / belongs to us as much as we belong in turn to her / by now we have learned to talk / and want to be in good speaking terms / with all that is america."

Available for the first time to mainstream audiences, Delgado's poems included in this landmark volume were written between 1969 and 2001, and are in Spanish, English, and a combination of both languages. While many of his poems protest mistreatment and discrimination, especially as experienced by farm workers, many others focus on love of family and for the land and traditions of his people.

Delgado wrote and self-published 14 books of poetry--none of which are available today--and five of them are included in this long-awaited volume. These poems by a pioneering Chicano poet and revolutionary are a must-read for anyone interested in the Chicano Civil Rights movement and the origins of Chicano literature." READ MORE.

Gilb's The Flowers Makes Blog List

Dagoberto Gilb's The Flowers made the Athena YA Books and Musing l2 Days List. "This is unadulturated, at times stream-of-consciousness writing with significant male testorone as the driving force and no chapters...here we have a very unique, edgy male voice with a lyrical, passionate, in-your-face tone who sees the world in colors (metaphorically) and grows up to be a better young man than the boy he is at the beginning." (sic) Check it out.

Solis to premiere play in Denver

Octavio Solis Photo by Anne Haversky

Some news on Octavio Solis and the Denver Center Theatre Company's 2011 New Play Summit, which is runs Feb. 10-12, 2011, in Denver, CO. Cecelia Marie was commission by the Denver Center Theatre Company: "A man and woman waken from a drugged-out night to find their baby missing. The pair decide to relive their history to try to set things right. From the playwright of Lydia, this haunted, poetic journey moves from darkness to a glimmer of light." READ MORE.

Blog on Visit Back Home

Sergio Troncoso recounts his visit to the hometown in his latest blog post. Visits to The Bookery and Licon Dairy. Read more.

Rafael Lopez on Mora's Dona Flor

I ran across artist Rafael Lopez blog looking for stuff on Pat Mora. He mentions Pat Mora Dona Flor. Other than that, a neat blog. Check it out.

Mario T. Garcia book on Sal Castro

See a description of Mario T. Garcia's upcoming book with Sal Castro.Blowout!: Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice by Mario T. García and Sal Castro. "

"In March 1968, thousands of Chicano students walked out of their East Los Angeles high schools and middle schools to protest decades of inferior and discriminatory education in the so-called "Mexican Schools." During these historic walkouts, or "blowouts," the students were led by Sal Castro, a courageous and charismatic Mexican American teacher who encouraged the students to make their grievances public after school administrators and school board members failed to listen to them. The resulting blowouts sparked the beginning of the urban Chicano Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the largest and most widespread civil rights protests by Mexican Americans in U.S. history. 

This fascinating testimonio, or oral history, transcribed and presented in Castro's voice by historian Mario T. García, is a compelling, highly readable narrative of a young boy growing up in Los Angeles who made history by his leadership in the blowouts and in his career as a dedicated and committed teacher. Blowout! fills a major void in the history of the civil rights and Chicano movements of the 1960s, particularly the struggle for educational justice." READ MORE.

Both Mario T. Garcia and Sal Castro will present their book at several events in March:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 7:00 PM
Mario T. García and Sal Castro
Blowout!: Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice
Vroman's Bookstore
Pasadena, CA

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 7:30 PM
Mario T. García and Sal Castro
Blowout!: Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice
Skylight Books
Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Mario T. García and Sal Castro
Blowout!: Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice
Los Angeles Festival of Books
Los Angeles, CA

 For more info, click here.

New Book by Rich Yanez out in February; Facebook Page

Rich Yanez has a Facebook page for his book Cross Over Water (Univ of Nevada Press) which comes out in February. "Raul Luis "Ruly" Cruz is a young Mexican American who lives in El Paso, just across the Rio Grande from Mexico, home of his ancestors and some of his current relatives. As he grows from awkward adolescent to manhood, he negotiates the precarious borders of family, tradition, and identity trying to find his own place in the Chicano community and in the larger world. This is an engaging and moving story of growing up in a borderland that is not only geographical but cultural and psychological as well." READ MORE

"The writing is excellent. Very sly story-telling, assured, calm, and enveloping." --Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Hummingbird s Daughter

"An intimate portrait of a young boy's coming of age in El Paso, rich with details of the body and the landscape of the border. The rollercoaster in Ascarate Park, the murals of El Segundo Barrio, the ASARCO smokestacks, Chicos Tacos, the Cristo Rey monument. I felt transported back to the games and silences of my own childhood in that place-in-between." --Alicia Gaspar de Alba, author of Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders

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