Monday, October 12, 2009


On Saturday, October 3, we had wonderful experience at Tía Chucha's Café Cultural doing a group reading of Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature (Bilingual Press). I moderated a panel of seven of the thirty-four contributors to the anthology: Estella González, Álvaro Huerta, Melinda Palacio, Alejandro Morales, Victorio Barragán (aka Richard Mora), Conrad Romo and Luis Rodríguez. One of the people in attendance was Emily Roque,GATE Coordinator & English Chair at Vaughn Middle School in San Fernando. She wrote me a very touching email after the reading and then followed up with some great photographs of the event. Emily gave me permission to share them with La Bloga’s readers. The top photo shows (from left to right) Álvaro, Alejandro, Victorio (i.e., Richard), Estella, Conrad and Luis. In the photo below, we see Luis and Melinda. Thank you Emily for sharing these photos with us and for all of the great work you do for the community! Again, if you missed our reading, you may pick up a copy of Latinos in Lotusland at Tía Chucha's Café Cultural, 13197-A Gladstone Ave., Sylmar, CA 91342 (phone: 818-528-4511). And a special thanks to Stacy Valdez who set up the reading and did a fantastic job getting the word out.

Ah, but there's more: After the reading, several of us sat down to some delicious tamales (served Tía Chucha style) to discuss the state of Chicano literature, film and other weighty matters. Melinda Palacio captured the moment:

◙ Some truly wonderful news about Daniel Alarcón…First, his novel, Lost City Radio, was awarded the House of World Cultures Literature Prize in Germany for best novel in translation. As a result, he'll be headed back to Germany in November for more readings. For more information on the prize, go here. Second, Alarcón’s story "The Idiot President" is out now the in 2009 edition of Best American Short Stories. Third, his essay on traveling through Syria, Jordan, and Palestine called "You Do Not Represent the Government of the United States of America" is in the 2009 Best American Travel Writing, also out now. And Alarcón has all kinds of upcoming events which you may learn about by going to his website.

◙ Javier O. Huerta, a native of Nuevo Laredo, Tamualipas, became a legal resident under the amnesty of 1986 and became a U.S. citizen in January of 2000. His book, Some Clarifications y otros poemas (Arte Público Press, 2007), received the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize from UC Irvine. He studies in the English PhD Program at UC Berkeley. He is currently at work on his second poetry manuscript, American Copia, a book-length poem "about" going to the grocery store. Huerta recently published an online pdf chapbook titled Almost as Beautiful as an Immigrant Rights March down International on the Deep Oakland website.

◙ The new issue of Somos Primos is now live online. Edited by Mimi Lozano, Somos Primos is "Dedicated to Hispanic Heritage and Diversity Issues" and is published by the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research. Check out book news in the new issue.

Rigoberto González, an award-winning writer living in New York City, reviews Paul Martínez Pompa 's debut collection, My Kill Adore Him (University of Notre Dame Press), for the El Paso Times. González observes, in part, that the “collection engages the urban landscape and how its cultural and historical legacies extend south into the border and Mexico itself.” Read the entire review here.

◙ Oh, that Rigoberto González is just everywhere: Over at Critical Mass (the official blog of the National Book Critics Circle), González interviews C.M. Mayo about her new novel, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire (Unbridled Books). Check it out here.

◙ That’s all for now. I hope to have a report soon on the wonderful Latino Book & Family Festival held this weekend at Cal State L.A. It was a tremendous success. In any event, in the meantime, enjoy the intervening posts from mis compadres y comadres here on La Bloga. And remember: ¡Lea un libro!


C.M. Mayo said...

Thanks for the mention, Daniel. Very fun to see the Tia Chucha pix. Blog on!

Rebel Girl said...

Great post. Great pics!