Author and poet Lucha Corpi will present a reading on Thursday, March 5, 4:15–5:30 p.m., in the Chicano Studies Research Center Library (UCLA campus, Room: 144 Haines).
Corpi is the author of five novels written in English, four of which are mysteries featuring Brown Angel Investigations and Gloria Damasco, the first Chicana detective in American literature. Her novels include Delia's Song (1984), Eulogy for a Brown Angel (1992, 2002), which received the 1992 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award and the Multicultural Publisher's Exchange award for best fiction in 1992, Cactus Blood (1995), Black Widow's Wardrobe (1999) and Crimson Moon (2004).
Her poetry is collected in Variaciones sobre una tempestad / Variations on a Storm (1990) and Palabras de mediodia / Noon Words (2001), with English translations by Catherine Rodríguez Nieto. She also wrote the children's book Where Fireflies Dance / Ahí, donde bailan las luciérnagas (1997). The Triple Banana Split Boy / El nino goloso, her second children's book, will be published this month by Arte Publico Press. Corpi lives in Oakland, California, where she was a tenured teacher in the Oakland Public Schools Neighborhood Centers Program for thirty years.
Corpi will sign books after the reading, and books will be available for purchase. This event is co-sponsored by the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, the “Bilingual Creative Writing: Mysteries with a Mission” class, and the CSRC. Parking is available in structure 2 and can be purchased for $9.00 at the kiosk located at Westholme Ave. and Hilgard Ave. For more information, visit the CSRC's website.
◙ Each week, members of the ForeWord staff choose a book to read and discuss. For the week of February 25, ForeWord featured the new anthology, Pow-Wow: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience - Short Fiction from Then to Now (De Capo Press) edited by Ishmael Reed with Carla Blank. Specifically, ForeWord focused on Danny Romero’s short story "Mice" from Pow-Wow. As ForeWord notes, Romero’s story:
…examines the life of "mister longhair," a middle-aged, part-time library page, full-time wino, and eavesdropper. By "examines" I mean that Romero puts our eyes on him, doesn’t let him out of our sight---but in no way does he pass judgment. "Mister longhair’s" life, well, it is what it is. His life is slightly more interesting now that the old lady who owned the building died and her relatives started moving in, the latest being a woman "with a hole in her face where her missing teeth should have been" and her three kids. Kids are kids: they start fires, swing cats, and break bottles on the driveway. "Mister longhair" watches them, yells at them, listens to them when they plot his demise in the garage. To tell the truth, "mister longhair" gets a charge out of it.
Danny Romero was born in 1961 and raised in Los Angeles, where he attended Catholic schools. He has degrees from University of California, Berkeley (undergraduate) and Temple University (graduate) in Philadelphia, where he taught writing (part-time) for many years. He currently teaches at Sacramento City College. Romero’s poetry and short fiction have been published in literary journals and anthologies, including West of the West: Imagining California (1989), Pieces of the Heart: New Chicano Fiction (1993), Under the Fifth Sun: Latino Literature from California (2003), and Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature (2008). He is the author of the novel Calle 10 (1996) and two chapbooks of poetry. A bilingual poetry collection is forthcoming from Bilingual Review Press. He lives with his wife and son in Sacramento, California.
[Photo: Danny Romero stands center stage (holding cup) with several other contributors to Latinos in Lotusland at a Cal State L.A. reading. Also featured in photo: Reyna Grande and Helena María Viramontes (sitting), me, Lisa Alvárez, and Melinda Palacio (from left to right, standing).]
◘ As La Bloga readers know, I had a wonderful time in Chicago last month attending the annual AWP conference. I saw old friends and made new ones. I was repeatedly impressed by the accomplishments of those who were in attendance. One such person is Richard T. Rodríguez. Richard is an Associate Professor of English and Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received his B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Richard's research, teaching, and writing are grounded in U.S. Latino/a cultural studies, with particular interests in literary and film studies, the visual arts, popular culture, critical theory, and gender/sexuality studies.
Richard’s publications include articles and reviews in American Quarterly, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Theatre Journal, Velvet Barrios: Popular Culture and Chicana/o Sexualities (Palgrave MacMillan), and Gangs and Society: Alternative Perspectives (Columbia University Press). His newest book will be published this summer by Duke University Press and is entitled, Next of Kin: The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics. At Illinois he was recently awarded the Latina/o Congratulatory Ceremony Faculty Award and the LGBT Resources/Office of the Dean of Students Faculty Leadership Award.
◙ That’s all for now. So, in the meantime, enjoy the intervening posts from mis compadres y comadres here on La Bloga. And remember: ¡Lea un libro!