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

Octavio Romano

Friday, June 03, 2011

El Paso Writers Update for Week of May 29, Part II

El Paso Writers Update for Week of May 29, Part II 
News on Javier Sicilia, Luis J. Rodriguez, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Benjamin A. Saenz, Octavio Solis, Raymund Paredes and more
Javier Sicilia

Poet Javier Sicilia to visit El Paso and Cd. Juarez

On Saturday June 11th, 2011, Mexican activist and poet Javier Sicilia will be coming to El Paso around 11am at San Jancinto Plaza (Plaza de los Lagartos) in downtown El Paso.

Javier Sicilia is known as a leading symbol that has currently set forth a national and international mobilization and movement (known as "Marcha Nacional por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad") against the current crisis of the so-called "drug war" in Mexico.  His movement along with members from his caravan, are hoping to reach a national agreement (or pact) with vast organizations and mobilizations across the Mexican nation.  He will visit Ciudad Juarez on Friday June 10th.  

"Cloudlands" to be stated by South Coast
The Southcoast Reportory Company has issued out their season plays. Octavio Solis' musical "Cloudlands" will be playing. Here's the description they posted: 

"Cloudlands by Octavio Solis and Adam Gwon, a world premiere chamber musical, April 15-May 6, 2012, on the Julianne Argyros Stage
"Monica takes photos of clouds and pastes them in a book, like a girl in love who secretly captures things before they're gone. Hidden from other eyes, her cloud book is filled with unsolved mysteries, some as ephemeral as the clouds themselves. Unable to resist their lure, and urged on by an inquiring friend, Monica uncovers a labyrinth of secrets about her mother, her father and the stranger who connects them all. Stunningly beautiful songs fill this powerful drama that examines the many faces of love — from innocent to forbidden — by two brilliant artists, working together for the first time."

If you have not seen it, Southcoast is also staging Jitney by August Wilson. This is a wonderful play.


May 11-June 10, 2012, Segerstrom Stage
"The August Wilson drama is set in the 1970s, when urban renewal threatens a storefront gypsy cab station, where the drivers share their funny stories about the day's fares and meddle in each other's lives. Cronies drop in, fights break out, a son faces his father after 20 years in prison, lovers make up, and just as we get to know them, Wilson asks us to look again."

HarperCollins Interview Benjamin A. Saenz

HarperCollins has posted an interview with Benjamin Alire Saenz. Check out Benjamin Alire Saenz on In Perfect Light. Saenz says, "You can't compare writing poems and writing a novel, really. Well, perhaps you can say that you work with words in very different ways in those different literary genres. I'm most autobiographical and political when I'm writing a poem. I think concisely. I think in a rhythm. I think in lines. I think in images that work on both a literal, metaphorical and emotional plane. I'm often haunted by the iambic nature of the English language when I write poems, and it isn't surprising that I'm more and more interested in working with blank verse. Poetry is about control. Poetry is about immediacy—it must be intimate and produce some kind of emotional or intellectual response, and it must do so concisely. Poetry forces me to think about words in ways that novels don't." READ MORE.

Communication and the Environment Conference at UT El Paso

The University of Texas Department of Communication will host the Conference on Communication and the Environment, June 25-28 at the Tomas Rivera Conference Center. Richard Pineda will present on "An Atomic Tourist in New Mexico: Place, Space, and the Rhetorical Environment at Trinity Site." Communication Deptment Chair Frank Perez will present on "Spanish-Language Pride Campaigns in México, Argentina, and Watershed Areas in the Andes." Anthony M. Jimenez will present on "Campaigning for Environmental Conservation: An Ethnographic Investigation of Indonesia’s." Other local and UTEP presenters include:

  • Environmental Campaigns in Indonesia: The Use of Visual Elements in Local Campaigns - Sara Sánchez, University of Texas at El Paso
  • “Dangdut is the Music of My Country”: A Look at the Use of Traditional and -Popular Music in Environmental Campaigns in Indonesia and Malaysia- Crystal Segura, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Nuclear Radiation is Good for You: The Poetics of Radioactive Mutation in Hollywood - Eduardo Barrera, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Environmental Discourse in Popular Music - Roberto Avant-Mier, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Drowning in the Depths of Climate Change: An Exploration of Polar Bear Rhetoric - Gloria Bebber, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Under Pressure: The Mounting Criticism for Healthier Foods - Tanya Flores, University of Texas at El Paso
  • You are What You Eat: The Struggle Between Economic Circumstances and Food Choice - Arthur A. Aguirre, University of Texas at El Pas

Ricardo Sanchez mentioned in John Phillip Santos article

An article on John Phillip Santos mentions Ricardo Sanchez, but it is also an interesting article in it own right taking a look at the literary scene in San Tony in the 1980s. Read "Current 25: John Phillip Santos on how the SA arts scene prepared the way for the Current."

Raymundo Paredes and Higher Education Funding

Texas commissioner for higher education, Raymund Paredes in mentined in several articles of late:

"Budget deal would give 41,000 fewer Texas students aid for college" (Dallas Morning News)

"Fewer grants, higher tuition: College education funding cuts mean more struggles." (MY SA)

"About 30,000 fewer students would get Texas Grants under proposed budget compromise" (Houston Chronicle)

Luis J. Rodriguez to speak in Grand Rapids in Fall

Rodriguez will speak at Aquinas College as part of their Contemporary Writers Series October 27, 2011. Read more.
Left, Selfa Chew
Selfa Chew Protests

Writer Selfa Chew is quoted in a story on protests and Cd. Juarez. Check out "Protests For Action In Juarez."
Pat Mora video clip

 An interview with Pat Mora is posted on Veoh..  Check it out.


Review of With Her Machete in Her Hand: Reading Chicana Lesbians

There's a review of With Her Machete in Her Hand: Reading Chicana Lesbians posted on Project Muse. It mentions the work of Alicia Gaspar de Alba. It's published in the Journal of the History of Sexuality. Check it out on Project Muse.

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