Monday, June 18, 2007


Fernando D. Castro was born in Ibagué, Colombia. He was barely fifteen when he immigrated with his family to the New York City neighborhood of Jackson Heights – the heart of NYC’s Colombian community. He notes that he "grew up in the bosom of an immigrant working class family that wanted to embrace the American dream and yet was painfully aware of its contradictions."

Castro holds a B.A. in Architecture from Columbia University in New York City and a Masters in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. A writing vocation called late but loudly after he relocated to Los Angeles in 1984. Castro branched out from the rigors of architectural practice to poetry, playwriting, journalism, teaching poetry and cultural activism. His publications include Fernando’s Café, from the Inevitable Press (1998), and contributions to more than a dozen anthologies.

Castro is also responsible for twenty-five anthologies of creative writing by youth and adults. For more than a decade, he has been an artist-in-residence in programs sponsored by such agencies as the California Arts Council, the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division. He is a co-founder of TA’YER Multicultural Performance Collective, a non-profit organization that works with youth-at-risk, recent immigrants and the LGBT community. Castro notes that he "lives in Pasadena in a home that, like rewriting a poem, he continues to rework every couple of years."

His newest book is The Nightlife of Saints, published by TA’YER Books, which you can find at these locations:

Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 660-1175

Dutton Books
11975 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 456-9961

Small World Books
Attn. Staff
1407 Ocean Front Walk
Venice, CA 90291-3605
(310) 399-2360

For more information on The Nightlife of Saints, you may contact Castro via e-mail.

◙ If you missed Rudy’s brilliant post from Sunday, visit now or else I will visit your home and spank you silly. Glad to have Rudy back.

◙ The new issue of Palabra is now out. Palabra is a magazine of Chicano and Latino literary art edited by elena minor. I am honored to have a little story included in this issue along side the beautiful words of Peter Alvarez, William Achila, Mariana Dietl, Mayra L. Dole, Melissa Garcia, Rick Kearns-Morales, María Meléndez, Monica Teresa Ortiz, Andrés Rodríguez, Caridad Svich and Harold Terezón. To subscribe, drop an e-mail to the editor at (website is coming soon).

◙ My review of The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (Camino Del Sol) (University of Arizona Press), edited by Francisco Aragón, appeared in yesterday’s El Paso Times. This is a must-own volume of poetry by the freshest Latino/a voices.

◙ I’m just digging into a new book, Writer's Workshop in a Book: The Squaw Valley Community of Writers on the Art of Fiction, edited by Alan Cheuse and Lisa Alvarez. Alvarez, who works over at one of the best literary reviews around, the Santa Monica Review, also has a story in the upcoming Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, edited by yours truly and forthcoming from Bilingual Press (more on that later).

◙ Well, who says you can’t fight city hall (or in this case, a large metropolitan newspaper)? We get word that Al Martinez will be coming back to the L.A. Times! We thank the Times for listening to the over 300 e-mails from Martinez’s fans. As Howard Junker is found of saying, onward!

◙ Gustavo Arellano’s book, ¡Ask a Mexican! (Scribner) is number 9 on the Los Times Bestseller’s List. ¡Ajua! If you missed La Bloga's interview with Arellano, click here.

◙ The Chicano Studies Research Center Press is pleased to announce that article submissions can now be made online! Not only can you read Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies online, but you can also submit your article to Aztlan electronically. This means that you no longer have to print three copies and mail the whole package to the CSRC in a postage envelope, but rather you can submit articles to the journal in the comfort of your own home. Save time, trees, and money! Just visit the submission site and follow the directions. If you have any problems, email

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


Anonymous said...

Alvarez-edited book sounds interesting. But, what, no other Chicana/os or Latina/os are included? Hope I'm wrong...
Un Vato c/s

Rebel Girl said...

un vato --

I wish you were wrong but you're right. Not all the past staff members who were asked chose to contibute.

I do have high hopes for a volume two though - check out of the staff for this year's conference - it includes Dago Gilb, Alex Espinoza and Michael Jayme Becerra.

Thanks for the notice, Daniel - and yes, good news about Al Martinez.