Monday, June 13, 2005


Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

C. M. Mayo was born in El Paso, Texas in 1961, raised in California and educated as an economist at the University of Chicago. A long-time resident of Mexico City, she now divides her time between Mexico City and Washington DC. Catherine’s list of literary accomplishments are too long to list here but I note that her books include Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the other Mexico (University of Utah Press, 2002), which the Los Angeles Times lauds as "luminous" and the Interamerican Studies Institute calls "the best new book about Mexico in many years." She is editing an anthology of Mexican fiction and literary prose in translation, Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion (Whereabouts Press), which is due out October 1, 2005. Catherine is the founding editor of Tameme, the bilingual (Spanish/English) literary journal now operating as a chapbook publisher. Her most recent translations of Mexican poetry appear in the anthology edited by Michael Wiegers and Mónica de la Torre, Reversable Monuments (Copper Canyon). Though of Irish descent, Catherine has the soul of a Mexican!

IN THE FLESH: We’ve got some great book appearances here in Southern California coming up this week. Here are a few:

◘ Francisco Aragón will read and sign his new poetry collection, Puerta del Sol (Bilingual Press), Thursday, June 16th, at 7:30 p.m., Village Books, 1049 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, CA. Phone: (310) 454-4063. I recently reviewed his collection. You may read Francsico’s profile on Poetry Daily.

Luis Alberto Urrea has appearances for his much-praised new novel, Hummingbird’s Daughter (Little, Brown):

Tuesday, June 14, 7 p.m., Dutton’s Brentwood, 11975 San Vicente Blvd.. Los Angeles. Phone: (310) 476-6263.

Wednesday, June 15, 7 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Phone: (626) 449-5320.

◘ Salvador Plascencia will read and sign his debut novel, The People of Paper (McSweeney’s Books), Saturday, June 18, 7:30 p.m., Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027. Phone: (323) 660-1175. Salvador is an author to watch…I had a chance to read a portion of his novel for the anthology I’m editing (see below) and I now have a copy of the novel itself. He is a remarkable talent.

◘ Rene Colato Laínez will read and sign his children’s book, I am Rene the Boy (Arte Público Press), on Thursday, June 16, 6 p.m., Tia Chucha's Cafe Cultural, 12737 Glenoaks Blvd., Sylmar. Phone: (818) 362-7060. Enjoy this bilingual picture book which follows Colato Laínez's own experiences as a child. This witty story about a young boy's odyssey to find out the meaning of his name will challenge readers aged 3 to 7 to chart cross-cultural differences by gaining an understanding about themselves and the people around them.

Release party for Ariel Robello’s My Sweet Unconditional: Poems (Tía Chucha Press, 2005), on Saturday, June 18, 7:30 p.m., 8:00 to 10:00 p.m., at Imix Bookstore, 5052 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles. Phone: (323) 257-2512. Ariel received a PEN West Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellowship in 2002. She teaches poetry in Los Angeles public high schools and English in the garment district.

BLOGGING ELSEWHERE: ◘ The Elegant Variation (run by the incomparable Mark Sarvas) republished my review of the late Mario Suárez’s Chicano Sketches (University of Arizona Press) which first appeared in Southwest BookViews. ◘ Laila Lalami’s literary blog, Moorishgirl, ran my essay, Latino Books Month: Una Bendicíon Mezclada. Keep an eye out for Laila’s first book of fiction, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (Algonquin Books, October 2005).

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: As some of you may know, I am editing an anthology of short fiction by Latinos/as in which the City of Los Angeles plays an integral role. I am interested in provocative stories on virtually any subject by both established and new writers. Stories may range from social realism to cuentos de fantasma and anything in between. Los Angeles may be a major "character" or merely lurking in the background. I'd like to see characters who represent diverse backgrounds in terms of ethnicity, profession, age, sexual orientation, etc. Preferred length: 500 to 5,000 words. Stories may be previously published (please indicate where). Chapters from novels will be considered if they can stand alone. Award-winning publisher is interested but wants to see final manuscript. Please e-mail your story, using standard submission formatting, as a Word document to In the e-mail, include your contact information, list of previous publications (if any), and the ethnicity(ies) with which you identify. DEADLINE: September 1, 2005. I’ve already received some wonderful responses…don’t be left out!

REVIEWS: AmoxCalli reviews Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Hummingbird’s Daughter (Little, Brown).

All done. Until next Monday, enjoy the intervening posts from my compadres at La Bloga. ¡Lea un libro!

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