Monday, November 21, 2005


Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

Luis J. Rodriguez has emerged as one of the leading Chicano writers in the country with ten nationally published books in memoir, fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature, and poetry. Luis’ poetry has won a Poetry Center Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, and “Foreword” magazine’s Silver Book Award, among others. His two children’s books have won a Patterson Young Adult Book Award, two “Skipping Stones” Honor Award, and a Parent’s Choice Book Award, among others. A novel, Music of the Mill, was published in the spring of 2005 by Rayo/HarperCollins; a poetry collection, My Nature is Hunger: New & Selected Poems, 1989-2004, came out in the fall of 2005 from Curbstone Press/Rattle Edition.

Luis is best known for the 1993 memoir of gang life, Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. An international best seller—with more than 20 printings, around 250,000 copies sold—the memoir also garnered a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Book Award, and was designated a New York Times Notable Book. Written as a cautionary tale for Luis’ then 15-year-old son Ramiro—who had joined a Chicago gang—the memoir is popular among youth and teachers. Despite this, the American Library Association in 1999 called Always Running one of the 100 most censored books in the United States. Efforts to remove his books from public school libraries and reading lists have occurred in Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and more recently in California, where the battles were quite heated.

Luis has received many other awards including a Sundance Institute Art Writers Fellowship, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Lannan Fellowship for Poetry, an Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature, a National Association for Poetry Therapy Public Service Award, a California Arts Council Fellowship, an Illinois Author of the Year Award, several Illinois Arts Council fellowships, the 2001Premio Fronterizo, and “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” Award, presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

NUEVO LIBRO: Rigoberto González reviews Demetria Martínez’s new book of essays, Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana (University of Oklahoma Press). He says that “as a pacifist, environmentalist, feminist and cultural activist in an increasingly hostile world, she has much ground to cover, balancing ‘official stories’ with her charged collection of communiqués…” and that this book “shows a concerned and proactive citizen of the world….” González is an award-winning writer and associate professor of English and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (If you're in L.A. tonight, you can see González in the flesh...see immediately below).

THE QUETZAL QUILL: Monday, November 21, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Imix Bookstore will sponsor an evening of entertainment and literature by hosting The Quetzal Quill, a national collective of poets and writers on a mission to promote and share their literary works.

The guest writers are:

Gabrielle Calvocoressi, author of "The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart," is a former Jones Lecturer at Stanford. She has received the Rona Jaffe Women Writers' Award and the Bernard F. Cooper Prize from The Paris Review.

Reyna Grande is the author of the forthcoming novel, "Across A Hundred Mountains." She was born in Mexico, educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and currently lives in LA, working on her second novel.

Miguel Murphy, author of "A Book Called Rats," winner of the Blue Lynx Prize, is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received the Swarthout Award and the University Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

Daniel A. Olivas is the author of four books, most recently the story collection "Devil Talk" and the children's book "Benjamin and the Word." He is a Los Angeles based attorney with the California Department of Justice.

Your Host: Rigoberto González. González, founder and curator of The Quetzal Quill, is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and professor of English and Latina/o Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of four books, most recently the bilingual children's book, "Antonio's Card."

The authors' books will be available for sale.

Venue: Imix Bookstore
Address: 5052 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, 90041
Ages: All ages
Admission: Free!
For more information call: 323-257-2512
Or visit:

ARTE: Year End Art Sale! Saturday, November 26, 11/26 - 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Join La Mano Press as it says goodbye to another year and to L.A. for the month of December with an event that features the work of local artists as well as the published works that have been produced at the studio.

Artists include: Artemio Rodriguez, Dolores Carlos, Silvia Capistran, Jose Lozano, Emilia Garcia, Robert Palacios, Marianne Sadowski, John Miner, Zeroxed, Imix Books and others.

Venue: La Mano Press
Address: 1749 N. Main St., Los Angeles, 90031
Ages: All
Admission: Free
For more information call: 323 227-0650
Or visit:

IT’S MAGIC: The new issue of Margin is out. Margin is an online journal dedicated to exploring magical realism. The fall issue includes works by:

Kathleen Alcalá • Sherman Alexie • Naomi Ayala • Joe Benevento • Jorge Luis Borges • Kamau Brathwaite • Joseph Bruchac • Michelle Cliff • Paola Corso • Maureen Tolman Flannery • Gabriel García Márquez • Édouard Glissant • Joy Harjo • Adrianne Harun • Linda Hogan • Steve Martin • Gina Ochsner • Nnedimma Okorafor • Daniel Olivas • Simon Ortiz • Gregory Rabassa • Dee Rimbaud • Garrett Rowlan • Bruce Taylor • Mark Twain and others

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

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