Monday, June 12, 2006


Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

Jose F. Aranda, Jr. is an associate professor of Chicano/a and American Literature in the English Department of Rice University. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University. Professor Aranda has written articles on early U.S. criticism, nineteenth-century Mexican American literature, the future of Chicano/a studies, and most recently undertaken an investigation of the relationship between modernism and Mexican American literature. He has also begun work on his next book, tentatively entitled Why I Dreamed of Jeannie But Became a Chicano Instead. This book is a critical exploration of television, popular culture, the Vietnam War, and the news media and the subsequent roles they played in shaping the political and cultural identities of the first generation of Mexican American children to be hailed by the Chicano Movement. Aranda is also at work on a long term project to write the cultural biography of nineteenth-century Californio writer Marma Amparo Ruiz de Burton. He teaches courses in Chicano/a literature, Asian American fiction, and nineteenth and twentieth-century U. S. literature.

Nationally, Aranda sits on the board of Recovering the U. S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project. He has been appointed by the MLA Executive Council to the Committee on the Literatures of People of Color for a three year term. He also an active member of the MLA Chicana and Chicano Literature Division. Aranda is also an associate editor for the revised edition of Prentice Hall Anthology of American Literature and Culture, general editors, Dean Rader and Jonathan Silverman, as well as a series editor for Postwestern Horizons, a new book series in U. S. western studies for University of Nebraska Press, general editor Bill Handley. In Houston, Aranda is a board member of two literary arts organizations Inprint and Nuestra Palabra. Professor Aranda is the author of several books including When We Arrive: A New Literary History of Mexican America (University of Arizona Press), and co-editor of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage: Vol. 4 (Arte Público Press) with Silvio Torres-Saillant

THE ANNUAL TRANSCONTINENTAL POETRY AWARD: Pavement Saw Press seeks to publish at least one book of poetry and/or prose poems from manuscripts received during this competition. Selection is made anonymously through a competition that is open to anyone who has not previously published a volume of poetry or prose. The author receives $1000 and a percentage of the press run. Previous judges have included Judith Vollmer, David Bromige, Bin Ramke and Howard McCord. All poems must be original, all prose must be original, fiction or translations are not acceptable. Writers who have had volumes of poetry and/or prose under 40 pages printed or printed in limited editions of no more than 500 copies are eligible. Submissions are accepted during the months of June, July, and until August 15th. All submissions must have an August 15th, or earlier, postmark. This is an award for first books only. Visit the guidelines page for details.

NEW EPT REVIEWS: Rigoberto González says that after nearly a 15-year lapse since her last full-length publication, Lorna Dee Cervantes makes an impressive comeback with Drive (Wings Press), a five-books-in-one, 307-page poetry tome she claims is only the first quartet. Full review. Also, Ramón Renteria, book editor for the El Paso Times, reviews Meredith E. Abarca's Voices in the Kitchen (Texas A&M University Press), a string of personal narratives featuring her mother and other Mexican and Mexican-American women. Abarca conducted a series of charlas culinarias (culinary chats) with working-class women to write the book.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: María Amparo Escandón will signing Gonzalez and Daughter Trucking Co. (Three Rivers Press) at Borders Books in Pico Rivera this Wednesday, June 14, 7:00 p.m., 8852 Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera, CA 90660. Phone: 562-942-9919.

Also, Tía Chucha's Centro Cultural presents Maria Finn Dominguez on Saturday, June 17 at 4:00 p.m. She will be reading from Mexico in Mind (Vintage Books), an anthology she edited. Ranging from 1843 to present, the book offers a remarkably varied sampling of English speaking writers' impressions of the land south of the border. John Reed rides with Pancho Villa in 1914; Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs are literally intoxicated by Mexico. Ann Louise Bardach meets the mysterious Sub-comandante Marcos face-to-face. Tía Chucha's is located at 12737 Glenoaks Blvd., #22; Sylmar, CA 91342. Phone: 818-362-7060; Fax: 818-362-7102. Email: If you haven't been to Tía Chucha's yet, you must. Not only can you get your favorite Latin@ books and music (not to mention great coffee and sweets), but it's also a community center that can always use a little love and support. Here is their wish list.

URREA TELLS IT LIKE IT IS IN THE NY TIMES: In Sunday's New York Times, Luis Alberto Urrea has an op-ed that, using his words, "speaks positively of a town working the immigrant thing intelligently." I tried to get a link but it appears that I have to subscribe online and pay dinero. Anyway, if I'm wrong, feel free to put a link in the comments.

MAGICAL REALISM: MARGIN, the online journal dedicated to exploring modern magical realism, has a new issue out. The editor, Tamara Kaye Sellman, notes that in this issue, "[s]ome major Latina writers (Elena Garro, Teresa Porzecanski, Marta Traba, Luisa Valenzuela, Rima de Vallbona) get overdue credit for their magical realist literary perspectives."

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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