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

Octavio Romano

Sunday, January 23, 2011

El Paso Writer's Update: Jan. 23 News on Carlos Morton, Luis J. Rodriguez, Ramon Arroyos, and more

El Paso Writers Update

UT El Paso Cancels Cesar Chavez Holiday
Ironic in being one of the top universities for "Hispanics" and top awarder of diplomas to "Hispanic" students that the Faculty Senate should vote to cancel the Cesar Chavez holiday on campus. READ MORE.

Morton and Stavans take Zeta Acosta to the Stage

Oscar Zeta Acosta

Carlos Morton let us know he and Ilan Stavans are co-authoring a play about the life of Oscar "Zeta" Acosta entitled ZETA which will have it's first staged reading Feb. 19 at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Cape Cod, MA. If I remember, it is a one-man show. 

Also, Morton has been invited by the U.S. Embassy to a two week residency at the University of Malta in March 2011.

Poet Assassinated in Chihuahua

Susana Chavez, "(t)he activist and poet who inspired the slogan "ni una mas" was murdered in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua. Susana Chavez, 36, was killed Jan. 5. Her body was found on Three Kings Day (Jan. 6) at 12:30 a.m.  READ MORE.

Ramon Arroyos to release book

Sangre de Indio (Floricanto Press) is written by El Paso Writer Ramon Ixtlixolotl Arroyos. Sangre de Indio: a Chicano Odyssey towards Mexica Spirituality details Arroyos personal account of growing up in the El Paso Lower Valley and his involvement in the Chicano Movement and his discovery and exploration of his native heritage. Sangre de Indio is currently being edited for publication.

He will read from his forthcoming book at the Friends of the El Paso Public Library Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, January 27th from 7-9 PM at the El Paso Public Library (Main) in Downtown El Paso.

Ramon Arroyos is an official/minister of the Native American Church Teokalli Ketzalkoatl and retired director/coordinator of various nonprofit community organizations. He was the coordinator of the Semillas Youth Project, the Director of Teen Pregnancy and HIV Prevention programs. He was involved in the Chicano Movement, produced various TV and Radio Programs and was an editor of El Mestizo Chicano Newspaper.

Texas needs money and more graduates

Raymund Paredes
With Texas' ever growing budget crisis, higher education may take a hit and Commissioner for Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Raymund Paredes has been in the news a lot Check out this story "Pressure building on faculty to boost graduation rates." Also see "New Rules will improve Texas grants."

"Pastures of Heaven" play to be read at festival

The Area State in Washington, D.C. is the venue for Octavio Solis "Pastures of Heaven" based on the novel by John Steinbeck. Developed by California Shakespeare Theater in collaboration with Word for Word Performing Arts Company, this is a new play celebrates the art of storytelling as it depicts comic and heartbreaking characters in search of happiness in the seemingly idyllic landscape of Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley.It will be staged Jan. 29 at 2pm. MORE INFO AND TICKET INFO.

Pat Mora at School Visits

Check out photos and other media from Pat Mora's visit to Jones Elementary. SEE THEM NOW.

Benjamin A. Saenz Recommends

Check out Ben Saenz read his poetry on youtube.com on a posting by the American Library Association. Ben makes recommendations to libraries. 

Luis J. Rodriguez Photo: Kansas City Public Library

Luis J. Rodriguez readings, tomorrow in Highland Park, and Chicago in March

Again, Luis J. Rodriguez will be in Chicago for a Poetry Foundation event on March 16 at 5:30pm. The reading will be at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Residents’ Dining Hall at 800 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL Google Map.

Rodriguez writes about other hatreds in Arizona in The Progressive. Check out Arizona contains other hatred: "The shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., occurred against a backdrop of hatred against brown-skinned people that we must address." READ NOW.

Also, if you read this by tomorrow morning:

Poetry Behind the Fence: Poets Prison Panel: Luivette Resto will host an evening of readings by Robert Juarez, Rolando Ortiz, Hugo Machuca, Melinda Palacio and Luis J. Rodriguez. The Avenue 50 Studio, 131 N. Avenue 50, Highland Park. 3 p.m. Free. (323) 258-1435.

Existence of Ray Gonzalez and Mayo's List

Blogger Both Both has questioned Ray Gonzalez' existence in one recent post. READ IT NOW.

Check out C.M. Mayo's list of Top Ten Books Read in 2010.

UTEP Professor Receives Award from Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts

Carol Brochín Ceballos will be named Outstanding University English Language Arts Educator by the Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts at its annual conference  to be held this weekend in Galveston, Texas. Carol Brochín Ceballos will be recognized by the council as the "Outstanding University English Language Arts Educator" She is a member of the English Department at UT El Paso.

From the conference program: 
"Dr. Carol Brochin Ceballosis described by her students as one who “epitomizes excellence in teacher education.” Having taught middle school in Laredo, Dr. Ceballos understands the need for quality educators who reflect the demographics of their schools, and, therefore, she encourages minority students at the university level to pursue degrees in teacher education. She was recently chosen as one of six Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award recipients to participate in intense leadership training by NCTE. Hispanic literature for young adults is Dr. Ceballos’s expertise, and as she embraces the tenets of literacy in her own classroom, Dr. Ceballos encourages her students to read a wide variety of literature before entering their own classrooms.

Possessing a strong literacy knowledge base, pointing minority students toward teacher education, and continuing her own learning through leadership initiatives are qualities that make Dr. Carol Brochin Ceballos an example of what an English language arts educator should be at any level."

El Pasoens at AWP Conference

The AWP is around the corner, so take out your wine and cheese. Here are some panels of interest that we listed last August. Sergio Troncoso, Rich Yanez, Carolina Monsivias,  will be partaking in panels. So if you attend, beside taking your warmest coat, check these out:

AWP Panels

Below are several panels of interest featuring Chicano(a) and Latino(a) writers at the next AWP conference in Washington, D.C.:

Meta-Fiction Latino: Beyond Magical Realism
Daniel Olivas, Kathleen Alcalá, Xánath Caraza, Susana Chávez-Silverman, Salvador Plascencia
Meta-Fiction Latino: Beyond Magical Realism. The novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, is the seminal work of magical realism that has cast a long -- and sometimes constraining -- shadow over Latino writers. Yet meta-fiction, (which acknowledges the reader’s role in literature and often breaks the wall between fiction and memoir) has emerged from this shadow to stand on its own. The panelists will share their own works of meta-fiction and discuss its role in contemporary Latino literature.

Memoir and Latinidad
Joy Castro, Esmeralda Santiago, Luis Rodriguez, Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Rigoberto González
U.S. Latina/o memoir has developed a rich contemporary tradition that spans the political and stylistic spectrum from Richard Rodriguez to Gloria Anzaldúa. But what makes a memoir Latina/o? Does latinidad influence aesthetics and craft as well as content? Do Latina/o memoirists see themselves as inheriting the life-writing techniques and traditions of the U.S., Latin America, or both? How do writers navigate mainstream expectations that their memoirs will represent whole cultures and nations?

A Broken Thing: Poets on the Line
Emily Rosko, Raza Ali Hasan, Evie Shockley, John Gallaher, Emmy Perez, Cynthia Hogue
So much in poetry depends upon the line--one of the most contested and central topics in 20th-century poetics. This panel extends the discussion of this poetic fixture into the 21st-century. The concept of the line so often emerges as a kind of poetic and critical blank check--an aesthetic, socio-political, and metaphysical variable. Embracing this variability, the panelists will discuss how the line remains a crucial and generative force in their poetic work and thought.

CantoMundo: Building a Community of Latina/o Poets
Pablo Miguel Martinez, Carmen Tafolla, Deborah Paredez, Emmy Perez, Cynthia Cruz, Eduardo C. Corral
CantoMundo, a master workshop and retreat, strives to cultivate a community of Latina/o poets by providing a culturally-grounded space for the creation, documentation, and critical analysis of Latina/o poetry. In this session, founders and fellows will reflect on launching the retreat-workshop and will discuss the significance of CantoMundo's efforts to connect training in craft with a focus on Latina/o aesthetic and social concerns. The session will also feature a reading by panelists-fellows.

From the Home Front: Civilian Poets Writing on War
Juan J. Morales, Raza Ali Hasan, Laren McClung, Khaled Mattawa, Maria Melendez, Faisal Siddiqui
Six poets from different walks of life will read and discuss how warfare enters their daily lives and how they navigate their roles as writers, witnesses, the relatives of veterans, and as civilians. They will discuss the complications of taking a stance, the daily life of combat zones, the plight of the refugee, PTSD, the longing for peace all while reflecting on how poems depicting recent and past wars help them better scrutinize present representations of warfare composed on the home front.

Race in the Creative Writing Workshop
Cynthia Cruz, Michelle Valladares, J. Michael Martinez, Suzanne Gardinier, Thomas Sayers Ellis
Teaching in writing workshops, what allowances ought to be made for the artists, individually, and where do we draw the line? At what point do stereotypes of race get addressed? How does it feel to be the lone writer of color in a college writing workshop? What balance and/or added perspective can a teacher bring to the workshop experience? When does ‘teaching teaching ones race’ begin to interfere with one’s own opportunity to discuss craft?

Behind the Brown Wall: Chicana and Chicano Voices Rise Up
Richard Yañez, Kathleen Alcalá, Eduardo C. Corral, Carolina Monsiváis, Paul Pedroza
A reading by authors who declare the U.S.-México Border a part of their creative identity. The poetry, stories, novels, and essays of these respected Chicana and Chicano voices are rooted on both sides of the international boundary. In their publications, the borderlands symbolize a more complex portrait of America’s boundaries than sensationalized headlines of drug smuggling and illegal immigration. Come witness these talented writers and poets who celebrate people more than mere politics.

Camino del Sol: 15 Years of Latina and Latino Writing
Rigoberto Gonzalez, Marjorie Agosin, Kathleen Alcala, David Dominguez, Gina Franco, Sergio Troncoso
This reading panel is a celebration of the recently-released anthology that gathers the best selections from fifteen years of the University of Arizona Press' Latino literary series, Camino del Sol. During its tenure, the press published 100 titles, shaping the Latino literary landscape and becoming the most important Latino literary series in the country.

Caribbean Diaspora and Diegesis: Cristina Garcia and Irene Vilar
Fred Arroyo, Cristina Garcia, Irene Vilar
Cristina Garcia, prize-winning Cuban American novelist and editor of two Vintage Latino literature anthologies, and Irene Vilar, controversial non-fiction writer from Puerto Rico and editor of The Americas book series, combine brief readings from their works and discuss the Latino Caribbean Diaspora as it continues to find expression in new literary narratives. Moderated by Douglas Unger, co-founder of the UNLV Creative Writing International program.

A Reading by Junot Diaz
Junot Diaz
Junot Díaz was born in 1968 in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize; the National Book Critics Circle Award; the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. Díaz has been awarded the Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Reader's Digest Award, the 2002 PEN/Malamud Award, the 2003 U.S./Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the fiction editor at the Boston Review and the Rudge (1948), and Nancy Allen Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

We Wanted to be Writers: Lessons from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
Eric Olsen, Glenn Schaeffer, Sandra Cisneros
A reading from We Wanted to be Writers, edited by Olsen and Schaeffer. This is a collection of interviews with 27 of the editors’ classmates and teachers from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the mid-70s. The interviews are arranged into conversations on topics including the creative process, our years in the Workshop, and survival strategies after. Those interviewed include TC Boyle, Jane Smiley, Jayne Anne Phillips, Sandra Cisneros, Allan Gurganus, John Irving, Marvin Bell, and Jack Leggett.

LaChiPo and the New Latino Poetics/Politics
John-Michael Rivera, Rodrigo Toscano, Valerie Martinez, Roberto Tejada, Danielle Cadena Deulen, Carmen Giménez Smith
LaChiPo, an online forum for the Latino Diaspora, is the Latino’s 21st century answer to ‘new’ movements like Flarf and Conceptual poetics. Devoted to developing Latino letters, LaChiPo invites AWP attendees to resituate how they read, to relearn how identity is spoken, expanding their articulation of history, art and modernity. LaChiPo presents writers discussing Latino conceptions of internet community, identity and the avant-garde, reading individual and their collective poetry works.

Poetry of Resistance: Poets Take on Reasonable Suspicion (Arizona SB 1070)
Francisco X. Alarcón, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Odilia Galván-Rodríguez, Scott Maurer, Abel Salas, Meg Withers
On April 2010, in response to a controversial law in Arizona, a Facebook page, Poets Responding to SB 1070, was created. It is now literally a public forum for lively mixing of poetics & politics. Its poet moderators will discuss the political imagination of multicultural poetic expressions in support of a resurgent Civil Right Movement for comprehensive Immigration Reform. Come & see accomplished poets read some cutting edge poems posted on the FB page as well as from their acclaimed works.

Walt Whitman Award: Readings and discussion by past and present recipients
Eric Pankey, J. Michael Martinez, Nicole Cooley, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Ben Doller
The Academy of American Poets presents the Walt Whitman Award each year to a poet’s first collection of poems. Five poets at varying stages of their writing lives will read from their work and discuss the impact of the award, which publishes the book, distributes it nationally, and provides a prize of $5,000 cash and a month-long residency. The poets will examine the significance each element has had on their subsequent trajectory as writers and will address concerns of unpublished poets.

We(a)ve: Inter-Indigenous Sovereign Poetics
Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, James Thomas Stevens, Lisa Suhair Majaj, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, Elaine Chukan Brown, ku'ualoha ho'omanawanui
Sovereignty is both inherent, internally asserted by Native Nations, and inter-nationally recognized and affirmed by other Indigenous peoples. It is not only a political process, but also a continual act of Indigenous re-creation. A collective of womanist and queer Indigenous poets have been writing to each other, sharing writing prompts and assignments, engaging in experiments. The collective will share the poems that emerged, and discuss the collaborative process that wove them together.

Spanish American Poetry in Translation: from Post-Avant-garde to Postmodernism
Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, Forrest Gander, Katherine Hedeen, Gary Racz, Michelle Gil-Montero
In Spanish America, the terms Avant-garde and Modernism connote approaches to poetry remarkably distinct from what those terms generally mean to North Americans. And yet these approaches define the major literary works of a continent. This panel highlights the shift from Post-Avant-garde to Postmodernism, celebrating the last 60 years of Spanish American poetry and introducing some of the region’s best poets, read and commented on by their translators.

Trading Stories with the Enemy: Navigating the Cuban/American Literary Landscape
Patricia Ann McNair, Ruth Behar, Kristin Dykstra, Achy Obejas
The relationship between the US and Cuba is complex and ever-evolving, and this evolution is reflected in the stories and publications of Cubans and Cuban-Americans. While the two governments grapple with politics and policies, writers and editors continue to cross borders and boundaries in order to collect and share these stories. Our panelists have been actively engaged in this process for years, and will speak about the challenges and rewards of this work.

One Poem Festival Celebrating Rane Arroyo
Francisco X. Alarcón
A diverse selection of friends, fellow writers, and former students each perform a poem by poet, playwright and professor, Rane Arroyo, to celebrate his life and work. The session will open with an invocation by Chicano poet and educator Francisco X. Alarcón.

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