Monday, March 26, 2007

Con Tinta Report from AWP Conference

Previously on La Bloga, I reported on Con Tinta’s participation at this year’s AWP Conference in Atlanta and I promised a full report would be forthcoming. Richard Yañez very kindly offered to pen such report which is presented here in its entirety (thanks Rich!):

Con Tinta held its annual Celebration at Mitra Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia on March 2, 2007. Coinciding with the AWP Conference, Con Tinta took this occasion to honor Judith Ortiz Cofer with an achievement award. Along with previous winners, Rolando Hinojosa-Smith and raúlrsalinas, Ortiz Cofer is an influential voice and respected elder in our Latino literary community.

Con Tinta Advisory Circle members were on hand to host the special evening. Current members include Kathleen Alcalá, Brenda Cárdenas, Lisa D. Chávez, Rigoberto González, Lorraine M. López, Daniel A. Olivas, and Richard Yañez. Con Tinta’s mission is to create awareness of the Chicano/Latino literary community through the cultivation of emerging talent, through the promotion and presentation of artistic expression, and through the collective voice of support to our members, our communities, and our allies.

The evening also featured a special reading by poets from The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry—a new Camino del Sol title from the University of Arizona Press—edited by Francisco Aragón. Those poets who shared their work were Rosa Alcalá, Naomi Ayala, Richard Blanco, Brenda Cárdenas, Albino Carrillo, Steven Cordova, John Olivares Espinoza, Gina Franco, Carolina Monsiváis, and Urayoan Noel. Blas Falconer also read a poem from his new book, A Question of Gravity and Light. Patti Hartmann, University of Arizona press editor, was also present at the unveiling of this exciting anthology.

As with last year's Celebration in Austin, Tejas, Con Tinta was joined by some very special guests: Rane Arroyo, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Diana Delgado, Reyna Grande, Juan Morales, Manuel Muñoz, Emily Pérez, Carmen Seda, and Melanie Viramontes.

Generous donors for this year's events included BorderSenses, La Bloga, Los Norteños, Momotombo Press, and PaPaGaYo Literary Center. Other contributors included José A. Rodriguez, Emmy Pérez, and Monica Robinson.

Con Tinta sends a big abrazo to everyone at Letras Latinas for its continued support. Letras Latinas is the literary program of the Institute of Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Con Tinta thanks Gina Franco for documenting our Celebration with her photography. Click here for a slideshow of the March 2, 2007 event.

Con Tinta Advisory Circle members also participated in a panel discussion earlier that day. During this event, the group presented its vision for the coming year and received enthusiastic feedback from the audience. Con Tinta further claimed its presence with a busy (and colorful) display table at the AWP Bookfair. Sharing space with our friends from Kundiman, we greeted familiar faces from and made new allies with members of the following groups/organizations: Louder Arts/Acentos, California State University-Fresno MFA Program, Chrysalis, Escritores del Nuevo Sol, Tameme, and the University of Texas-Pan American MFA Program.

Con Tinta is currently planning events for next year's Celebration at the AWP Conference in New York City (Jan. 30-Feb.2, 2008). For more information on participating in the conference, click here for the AWP website. Deadline for proposals is May 1, 2007.

If you would like more information on Con Tinta, please email us at or leave a phone message at 915-831-2630. Our mailing address is Con Tinta, Attn. Richard Yañez, PO Box 1025, Santa Teresa, NM 88008.

[Photographs by Gina Franco. Photograph #1: Brenda Cardenas introduces poets featured in The Wind Shifts (University of Arizona Press); Photograph #2: Lorna Dee Cervantes and Judith Ortiz Cofer; Photograph #3: Richard Yañez and Judith Ortiz Cofer.]

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