The opening event of the 6th Annual National Latino Writers Conference featured music, readings, and carnalismo. Here are highlights of the events at the Alburquerque Country Inns hotel.
Organizer Carlos Vasquez and staff arranged a satisfying selection of hors d'oeuvres, as well providing a warm welcome. Staff member Greta Pullen handles most of the introduction duties in the panels I attend, as well as being one heck of an outstanding organizer.
Musical entertainers Los Trinos, Chuy Martinez on guitar and Otilio Ruiz on harp, offered American songs from Chile and New Mexico. The duo played during the pre- and post-meeting gathering as well as their short concert preceding the readings.
Helen Viramontes shared an important essay on the role of literature in personal development, including developing a theme that we live our lives as rough drafts, and arts like fiction help us revise, extend, and sharpen our identities. Following the essay, she read an amusing segment from her recent novel, Their Dogs Came With Them, recounting a trio of teenagers wreaking vengeance on a predator jerk.Martin Espada shared a rich selection of poems, principally from his collection Alabanza: New and Selected Poems, 1982-2002, as well as selections from The Republic of Poetry.
Following the readings, while Los Trinos performed, the authors, including surprise guest Alurista, signed their work for enthusiastic readers.
Thursday's activites begin bright and early at 730, continuing throughout the day.