Friday, February 10, 2006

New Mexico to New York

Manuel Ramos

Lots of good news from Rudolfo Anaya. On February 26, The Tricentennial Matanza celebration honors Anaya at the Wine Festival Grounds in Bernalillo, New Mexico. The agenda for the day includes a traditional matanza menu, music and dancing, a cash bar, and the general good times of a New Mexican party. All proceeds (tickets are $10) benefit the Rudolfo Anaya Scholarship Fund, which supports "an Hispanic student enrolled in the MFA Creative Writing Program" at the University of New Mexico. This will be great time for a great cause. For more information, contact Sharon Ord Warner, Director of Creative Writing at UNM, The artwork above is Matanza by New Mexican artist Ray Martin Abeyta.

The best piece of news is that a collection of Rudolfo Anaya's short stories, representing thirty years of his writing, will be published by the University of Oklahoma Press in March. The title of the collection is The Man Who Could Fly And Other Stories. The press says: "Unlike his novels, which range broadly over the American tapestry, Anaya's short stories focus on character and ethical questions in a regional setting - from the harsh deserts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico to the lush tropical forests of Uxmal in the Yucatán. These tales demonstrate Anaya's singular attitude toward fiction: that stories create myths to live and love by." This sounds like one of those "must have" books. I note that this book is Volume 5 in the Chicana & Chicano Visions of the Américas series from University of Oklahoma Press. Now I have to find the other four volumes.

To top it all off, the University of New Mexico Press has published a new trade paperback edition of Anaya's initial dip into Chicano crime fiction, Alburquerque.This book won the PEN Center West Award for Fiction and marked the first appearance of Chicano private eye Sonny Baca.

So far, a pretty good year for the National Medal of Arts winner.

A recent announcement from Kensington Books says: "These are exciting times for Latinos in the publishing world. To this end, Kensington, the largest independent book publisher in the United States, is seeking writers of Latino descent to publish books that resonate with us, that truly reflect our vibrancy, our struggle, and our many hued selves.

We are inviting people of Latino descent to submit fiction in the form of romance, erotica, mysteries, thrillers, paranormals, literary, and urban stories. We are also exploring non-fiction projects that engage and educate, in the spirit of Sandra Guzman's The Latina's Bible. Unfortunately, we have no plans for poetry, plays, screenplays, or children's books at this time. We are concentrating primarily on English and Spanglish writing, but we are open to works in Spanish for translation.

Previously published, self-published, never been published and un-agented writers are all encouraged to submit full-length novels (80 to 100,000 words) or novellas (20 to 30,000 words) Please snail mail with a letter of introduction, synopsis, and a SASE if you'd like the work returned.

Sulay Hernandez
Kensington Publishing
850 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022

And to prove that Kensington means what it says, Jerry A. Rodriguez, Nuyorican playwright, writer, director, producer, and filmmaker, sends word that he recently signed a three book deal with Kensington for his Nicholas Esperanza crime thriller series. Jerry has a nifty website where you can read excerpts from his upcoming series. The first book should show up around April, 2007.

Arte Público continues its strong presence in the Latino publishing field with several intriguing fiction titles for Spring, 2006. Included are: We Happy Few, Rolando Hinojosa ("a slyly humorous novel"); a Spanish translation of Graciela Limon's outstanding Song of the Hummingbird (La canción del colibrí); and The Throw-Away Piece by Jo Ann Yolanda Hernández (winner of the University of California Irvine's Chicano/Latino Literary Prize).


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