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

Octavio Romano

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chicano(a) Writer and Book News

Chicano Writing and Book News
(EGPnews.com photo by Valerie Mia Juarez)
East LA Student Write Plays

Check out this article "Students Learn Chicano History By Writing Plays" about high school students writing plays at a East Los Angeles High School: "Students at Monterey High School, a continuation school in East Los Angeles, wrote the plays during a semester-long playwriting class. Seven students, handpicked by their principal, wrote “2011 Meets 1968,” a series of one-act plays based on interviews with participants in the 1968 Walk Outs. For many of them, the experience was eye-opening if not cathartic." READ MORE.

Brando Skyhorse

Brando Skyhorse win Hemingway/PEN Award for The Madonnas of Echo Park

The LA Times reported that writer Brando Skyhorse's The Madonnas of Echo Park won the Hemingway/PEN Award for first fiction. This is a big award folks. I haven't kept up, but this is the award Dagoberto Gilb won for The Magic of Blood (UNM Press) (I think). "The book is a short-story collection with intersecting tales of Echo Park, a neighborhood northwest of downtown Los Angeles." READ MORE. The Hemingway/PEN Award for first fiction will be presented at a free event at the JFK Library in Boston, with author Marilynne Robinson as keynote speaker, on March 27.

Victor Martinez
Remembering Victor Martinez
The Mission Blog has posted a post Remembering Victor Martinez: "
In 1996, Victor Martinez, a local poet, reached a personal low when he read his poetry at Intersection for the Arts and exactly six people showed up. Three were friends. A week later, he discovered that he was nominated for the National Book Award."
(Tucson Weekly)
Oedipus Raza
We mentioned a few weeks ago that Luis Alfaro had won an award for his new rendition of Oedipus Rex.
Check out this article in the Tucson Weekly, "Chicano 'Oedipus':Borderlands Theater transports ancient Greek tragedy to the barrio": "The play begins in a jail, with a chorus of orange-jumpsuit-wearing convicts...The Greek play explored what happens when man fights against the will of the gods. Alfaro's jailbirds consider whether it's fate or choice that sends an ex-con back to his cell.Speaking in interwoven, chanted phrases, the four-man chorus (Bardo Padilla, Jason Chavez, Julian Martinez and Guillermo Francisco Raphael Jones) evokes Sophocles' poetry while sounding contemporary and colloquial...After the choral opening, Alfaro depicts background events that are only talked about in the ancient play. A seer tells King Laius (Jones) that he will be killed by his own son. To avoid this fate, as soon as his wife, Jocasta (Alida Holguin Gunn), has given birth, Laius gives the child to Tiresias, a composite character that merges the servant and blind prophet in Sophocles' play. Tiresias (Robert Ybanez) disobeys the king's orders to kill the child, and instead raises Oedipus with no knowledge of his past."
Adrian Arrancibia (Voice of San Diego Photo by Sam Hodgson)
Arandcibia and the Taco Shop

Check out this story/interview ("Poems, Aging and the Search for the Best Carne Asada") on Adrián Arancibia and the Taco Shop Poets on Voice of San Diego: "So they began reading poems they'd written at taco shops, incorporating music, drawing crowds. Born in Chile, Aranciba's life from age 5 in San Diego put him in contact with friends of many different backgrounds. The group, Taco Shop Poets, formed officially in 1994. They traveled the country, were featured in a few documentaries about Latino life in the United States and put out books and recordings." READ MORE
Maria Elenna Fernandez (Pasadena Weekly)
Maria Elena Fernandez Connects Communities

Pasadena Weekly has an article by Maria Elena Fernandez called "Connecting communities with the times of our lives." Maria Elena Fernandez is a writer and performer and teaches in the Chicana/o Studies Department at Cal State Northridge: "Perhaps less dramatic, but always gratifying, is when my students who sometimes describe themselves as “just white” are reconnected with their European heritage. Three or more generations removed from their immigrant ancestors, their families have also experienced the flipside of the US’s brutal history of racism. The category “white” was created to give Europeans social and economic privileges but also served to whittle away pride and connection to their ancestral roots." READ MORE.

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