This week, La Bloga is happy to share late-breaking news and views from the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Alburquerque NM, site of the NLWC. Click link above for datos.
Margaret Y. Luévano
Forty thousand square feet of vibrant images gazed down upon us. We, artists of words, gathered in the torreon to witness the fresco coming into creation, eight years in the making. We craned our necks upwards to witness the story documented before us -- Arabs, Jews, missionaries, slaves, Spaniards, virgins, indigenous mothers. They looked at us, their descendants, looking at them. Overwhelmed by the beauty, with the magnitude of the work, all we could do was stare.
On the eve of the Latino Writers Conference in Albuquerque we had come together from all over the country, writers in search of community. We were there to learn and share, gain strength to move forward in our writing lives. In this world so attached to labels that divide, the fresco reminded us that we are all a mixture of history, that we are the sum of our past moving forward to create the future.
The next morning Rigoberto Gonzalez echoed this sentiment in his keynote address to open the conference. First we must pay tribute to those who have paved the way, but we must move forward as artists in a time of crisis. We must challenge ourselves to take on the mantle given to us by our antepasados and be agents of change; we must act as role models for the upcoming generations and help develop in them the tools to shape the future; and we must not be afraid to step out of our creative worlds to become literary critics, for it is through literary criticism that we grow as a community in dialogue.
Afterwards, we disperse to our workshops -- memoir, travel writing, news writing, poetry, young adult writing, playwriting, short fiction, comedy, and mystery. For the next two and half days it is our mission to pay homage to our mentors, to learn from each other, and take what we learn here and transform it into wisdom that changes the world.
About La Bloga's Guest Columnist
Margaret Luévano writes creative nonfiction about the cultural experiences of third-generation Tejanas. She holds a BA in international relations from St. Mary's University in San Antonio and an MA in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been published in Border Senses literary magazine and written a web exclusive article for Texas Monthly. In August 2010, she will graduate with an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in Baltimore. Margaret currently lives in Austin, Texas.