Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Review: Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina. Reading HOWL Aloud in Hollywood. On-Line Floricanto.

Review: Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina

M. Padilla. The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina. A Novel. St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books. 2010.
ISBN: 978-0-312-59308-7, ISBN10: 0-312-59308-2,


Michael Sedano

M. Padilla has boldly gone where no man has gone before. To my awareness, The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina is the first chicalit novel written by a man.

And if some vato beat Padilla to the punch, I'd like to find that novel, because Padilla's The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina offers an almost wholly successful exemplar of that wonderfully diverting genre, including silly characters, twisting but not twisted plots, Lucy and Ricky style chagrin, a modicum of cultura, unchallenging writing.

Two central characters, Julia and Ime, have been best friends since they were seven years old. Now they enjoy successful careers; Ime as an up-and-coming real estate sales star, and Julia, a capable salesperson for a security company. And there's no bones about it, both women enjoy career success and the money and comfort that come along with hard work and diligence.

There's a handful of supporting characters. The pals from that bar, Marta, Concepción, Nina, and Remedios. Julia's co-worker, boss, and heartthrob, the ethically challenged Ilario. Ilario's ex-fiancé, Lydia. Then there's Diego, moviestar on the lam from a murder rap.

A large cast offers Padilla opportunity to launch plot threads around his characters. Julia and Ilario's workplace enmity. Concepción and the movie star. Nina's wedding plans. Ime and Ilario's romantic mishmash. Concepción and the strangely convivial Remedios.

Twisting and turning plot lines build to the edge of disastrous embarrassment then Padilla hits the brakes and picks up a different plot twist. Padilla gets that action going, things turn sticky and tension builds until Padilla cleverly drops that thread to build up another plot twist. Is Ilario the big jerk Julia thinks? Will she lose that big account? What is Remedios' hidden motive behind her loud conviviality? Where did Nina get that new backbone, can this marriage thing really work? Will Diego and Concepción's unlikely hookup get the women into seriously deep caca? Can Ime and Julia get past their Ilario-centric friction, after first Julia then Ime fall on their faces acting stupidly?

The Chicana / Pocha / Mexicana divide intrudes its stresses here and there. Ultimately ethnicity is window dressing to the chica-ness, but the novel remains 98% chicas patas. The one Anglo character of any significance, the VP of Sales, falls out of a roller coaster at Magic Mountain. The title characters toss in a Spanish phrase here and there, as when Marta accuses Ime of haughtiness, "To Ime we're just nacas of the lowest sort." Or when Ime and Julia share their frustration at Lydia's seeming perfection, "she's also thoughtful and sweet, and...so fucking...Mexican. So connected to her roots, you know?" To his immense credit, Padilla doesn't translate any of the few Spanish language terms; you get it or you don't.

M. (for Mike) Padilla tosses in a small share of indirectas that speak volumes about his characters, like the profanity about Lydia, or a sex act Ime describes performing for Ilario, or Concepción beguiling a cop in TJ and spending the night with him just so the pals can keep a bonfire going. So matter-of-fact yet so significant that a reader might want to know more about these characters. But this is garden variety chicalit, situation comedy where character development takes a back seat--the rumble seat in fact--to plot and predicament.

Padilla and his The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina is not going to make anyone forget Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez' masterful execution of the genre, but Padilla's made a valiant effort here to join the club. Readers looking for a pleasant diversion in front of the fireplace on a frosty autumn afternoon will find M. Padilla a worthy companion.


Reading HOWL Aloud in Hollywood

Allen and Louis Ginsberg ©1974, Michael V. Sedano

The invitation caught my imagination immediately. Poet and poetry promoter Rafael Francisco Jose Alvarado put out an open call to attend a group read aloud of Allen Ginsberg's seminal poem, Howl. What an imaginative way to acknowledge the current motion picture starring James Franco, Howl.
Rafael Francisco Jose Alvarado

My wife and I arrived in good time, we'd supposed, only to find the crowd had beaten us to the site, the patio in front of the Laemmle movie house in Hollywood, a few blocks west of the mythical 77 Sunset Strip.

Steve Abee

Alvarado introduced me to Griffin, "this is ese" I thought he'd said. "Ese," I repeated, "what's your name?" "Ese," Alvarado repeated, "he goes by just Ese." "S. A.," Griffin clarified. "S.A. ese," I smiled, and Griffin replied in kind, "welcome ese vato." Whew. Glad we got that worked out. Griffin, I learned, is co-host organizer of this fabulous evening.
S.A. Griffin

That was the sole moment of confusion in the unrehearsed event. The rules were simple. Laurel Ann Bogen would start, then anyone could interrupt and continue. When someone interrupts, a reader stops and allows the other to continue. There would be no pauses, no resentment nor struggling to hold the floor. Reader yields to reader yields to reader.

The magic of flash and digital photography doesn't show the difficulty presented by the dimly-illuminated ambiente. Some folks brought iPods and read off those screens, many had the City Lights edition, all kept their faces close to the text. One reader, Eve Brandstein, brought her copy autographed by Ginsberg himself. Click here to see Ginsberg's sig, and to view the full set of fotos at Facebook. (All fotos are © Michael V. Sedano).
Luivette Resto

It worked. It worked beautifully. A genuine community of voices formed. Soon the crowd began a call-and-response interpretation, then from side to side people shouted reiteration of rich phrases or key terms. "Holy holy holy!" with lots of exclamation points, and genuine howwwwwllllllls spontaneously emitted because Ginsberg was kicking people in the guts. HOwwwwllll howwwwuuulllllll.
Mende Smith

Thank you Ese, Thank you Rafael. Let's do this again, eh? Howwwwwwwwlllllllll!
Ginsberg fils, Ginsberg père ©1974 Michael V. Sedano



On-Line Floricanto

1. “The Chicano People’s Sacred Hoop” by Diana Joe
2. "How John McCain Cried for Mercy though He Was Not Merciful: A Sonnet to Remember the Golden R" by Edith Morris-Vasquez
3. "They Didn’t Know I Was So Mexicano (on my application)" by Patrick Fontes
4. “Survival of the Fittest" by Andrea J. Serrano
5. “De sinónimos, eufemismosy algunos tropos” por Xánath Caraza
6. "The Fifth Sun" by Genny Lim
7. “La Ruta 81” por Rakel Delgado


1. “The Chicano People’s Sacred Hoop” by Diana Joe

IT WAS NEVER MENTIONED IN THE BOOKS

NONE OF THEM

WASN'T IN THE SCHOOLS

IT WASN'T IN THE RECRUITERS OFFICES

MAGAZINE RACKS AT THE PUBLIC CLINIC

I NEVER SAW IT

NEVER HEARD OF IT

IT WASN'T MENTIONED BY THE CHURCHES

OR THE SYNYGOGUES

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS IT?

A SACRED HOOP QUE ONDA?

IS IT LIKE THE HULA HOOP YOU KNOW LIKE IN HAWAII-JE JE

OR THE BASKETBALL HOOP YOU KNOW YA SABES-ORALES.

IS IT LIKE THE GLOBE IN THE CLASSROOM

GEOGRAPHY,MATHEMATICS,SCIENCE OR TECHNOLOGY?

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

IT IS DUALITY

IT IS A WOMAN IN A MANS BODY

AND A MAN IN A WOMANS BODY

HALF OF A WHOLE

IN EACH OF THE TWO

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

IS THE SUN AND IT IS

THE WATER

WATER REFLECTING BECAUSE OF IT

A MIRROR

SI UN ESPEJO

IT IS THE MOUNTAIN

WITH IT CHEST OPEN

WITH IT'S TREASURES

EXPOSED FOR HER CHILDREN

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

IS THE ONE NASA HAS KEPT

FORBIDDEN

IT IS THE MOON'S DUST

REFLECTING OFF OF THE SUN

THE HORIZON MADE ORANGE

IT IS THE HORIZON

IT IS THE SOUTH DOOR

THE WEST DOOR

THE NORTH AND THE EAST

IT IS THE CENTRAL FOR

INTELLIGENCE, WISDOM

THE FIRST COLLECTIVE PHILOSOPHY

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

IS THE ONE THAT HAS NOT BEEN

MALICIOUSLY

DELIVERED

TO THE MAL GOVIERNO

IT HAS TAKEN CARE OF ITSELF

THROUGH THE MILLENIUM

QUIET QUIET

DISCIPLINED

NEVER TAKEN NEVER BROKEN

SYMBOLIC EMBLEM

OF THE SERPENT

OF THE HUMMING BIRD ORDER

OF THE JAGUAR

OF THE TREE OF LIFE

THE CENTER OF CREATION

CREATION CREATION CREATION

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

A REASON FOR ENVY FROM THE GREED FED ONE

A REASON FOR WAR WAGED AGAINST US

A REASON FOR THE ONE WITHOUT REASON

A CHIMALLI

MACEHUALLI

LA TILMA

MI COPPILLI

WE'RE READY

DUALITY SISTER

MONSTER SLAYER

BROTHER

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

IT IS SPOKEN OF AS A NEW BOOK

WITH TRUE MAPS AND OLD POINTS AND MORE

POINTS

THE OLD AVENUE OF THE DEAD

COME TO LIFE

COME TO LIFE

COMING TO LIFE

IN CALIFAZTLAN

IN ARIZONAZTLAN

IN TEJAZTLAN

IN NONANZIN

SPELL IT

OR DON'T

SPELL IT

C.A.N.T

A VISION

LA FRONTERA IN UNISON

UNISON

WE HAVE NO WALL

WE SEE NO LAW

IT IS FREEDOM

FREEDOM LIKE THE

BEAT IN LEONARD PELTIERS

HEART

IMPRISONED ONLY FOR A

MOMENT

CALIFAS,ARIZONA,NUEVO MEJIKOTZIN,TEJAS

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

THROUGH THE DANZING

THROUGH THE SING IN

THROUGH THE HOOP IN

AND THROUGHOUT

ANAHUACTZILIN

HUITZILLI HUITZILLI HUITZILLINNN

OTHER INDIN NATIONS TELLUS

THEIR HOOP

IS BROKEN THAT

THEY ARE GIVEN NUMBERS

TO WAIT IN LINE

IDENTIFIED THROUGH PERCENTAGES

OF PURENESS IN THEIR BLOOD

I SEE WHERE IT'S BROKEN

SPLINTERED,FAULTED,ALTERED

THEY HAVE TO

WAIT IN LINE

WAIT IN LINE

EMBARRASSED,TIRED

CAGED

FILLED WITH GENERATIONAL

SHAME

NOT US

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

IS NOT SHAKEN

IT IS NOT BROKEN

IT IS THE SUN

COOKING SNOW

YEAR FOR YEAR

COOKING EXPERTISE

BAKING

LIFE

FLOWERS

GROWING GROWING GROWING

SINGING SING SING SINGING

CEREMONIES IN THE STREETS

OF A PLACE CALLED

THE AMERICAS

LOOKING

HUARACHES INANA HURRY

RARAMURI MEDICINE

CARRY ANCIENTNESS

RUNNING

LUNGS BLESSED

A SICK ONE IN THE DESERT NEEDS TO SEE!

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

IS EVERTHING AND EVERYBODY

NO BOUNDARIES

NO ENEMIES

NO LIES ,NO BROKEN TREATIES,NO TERROR

NO FEAR

LOOK UP TO THE CLOUDS DRESSED FOR THE DAY

CROSS THE RIVER

FEARLESSLY WITH ALL YOUR FAMILY!

WE ARE THE GHOST DANCERS

CROSSING THE CHECKPOINTS

UNSEEN AGAIN AND AGAIN

CHILDREN

MY CHILDREN

PALABRA DE LA TIERRA

CROSS THE DESERT INTO THE HOOD

PAUSE IN REVERENCE FOR AND OF

THE RESERVATION THE RESERVATION

THE RESERVATION WASHING THEM BY THE TON

NOT US

NOT US

THAT IS A PROMISE

KEPT ONLY FOR US

IN

THE HIGH MESAS

THE HIGH CLIFF HOUSES

THE MACAW'S JUNGLE COLOR

THE EAGLES CLAWS

THE CHICANO PEOPLES SACRED HOOP

STEADY STEADY STEADY

FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE SUN

THOSE LAWS ARE NOT CONNECTED

TO THE COSMOS

THEY ARE SIMPLY IGNORANT

LAWS

IMMIGRATION LAWS ARE NOT

CONNECTED THEY ARE NOT

CONNECTED

THEREFORE THEY WILL VANISH.

*WROTE THIS IN SOLIDARITY

FOR THE PEOPLES OF THE AMERICAS

THE ONES BEING PERSECUTED BY

CRIMINAL GOVERNMENTAL RACIST LAW.


2. "How John McCain Cried for Mercy though He Was Not Merciful: A Sonnet to Remember the Golden R" by Edith Morris-Vasquez

I’m John McCain after I’m dead. Ha ha!

I’m not around to suffer my shame. Dreams

of Youth? Psshaw! Gays can’t be open, or Armed!

As for Immigrants, I’ll meet you in hell.

The Angel of Affliction interrupts

this speech, “Hola, proud Juanito, recall

the words you spoke at your Fillibuster?

the Tea Party has good reason. So suck

on this Americans (Sarah Palin

in 2012!) I won’t allow Dreamers

or Hopefuls to find a Situation

that’s Less Painful. There's no justice for all!"

Then he flew him to the Desert and said:

"Now's your turn to cross it... Got Coyote?”




3. "They Didn’t Know I Was So Mexicano (on my application)" by Patrick Fontes


They didn’t know I was so Mexicano
Until walking the stone cold courts of Stanford


Brahman Lilly white faces that glare 


Behind socio-political pretensions 


Aquamarine eyes burning holes into my skin


Like a child pressing harder and harder 


On a light brown crayon building wax


Until beige becomes walnut mixed with blood
Over and over outside the lines


“See what I made Daddy, a Mexican”


Walnut becomes a dark burnt mahogany


I’m Mexicano
Look at me 


There’s a sign outside my door


“Don’t feed the greasy Chicano…but if you do,
3 lengua tacos
1 chimichanga and a Corona vato”
They didn’t know I was so Mexicano
Until I cut my finger on a page


of William Prescott’s Conquest of Mexico

Roasted pepper blood splattered cloistered walls


Tagging “Somos Latinos”
like in the barrio


Mama’s salsa gushing as I strolled


Cool like a Stacey Adams wearing pachuco


Down corridors muffled snickers crept past


An alumn who took out a razor blade and sliced


Her snowy white pretentious ass


Bleeding blue rivers that mocked and swallowed
My earthy crimson blood reeking of cilantro
They didn’t know I was so Mexicano
Until I realized strolling Romanesque paths


As a morning’s chill wind blew across campus


Past Ivy league senator’s sons cheeks flushed


The only men that looked like me 


Pablo Hernando Garcia with mustache trimming the tree


“Buenos días” we exchange


Both smelling like chorizo and eggs


4. “Survival of the Fittest" by Andrea J. Serrano

I couldn’t tell you which was first

much like the sun versus the moon

they always existed

fought for space

in my mouth

in my soul

both languages born of the same colonization

yet one feels like home and

the other feels like the other

the second choice

the unwanted visitor

the guest who never went home

the conqueror who claimed my tongue

claimed land

claimed us through generations of punishment and our only survival

came by learning to form words that made no sense

changing our names

and accepting a fate that was decided

when Manifest Destiny

made her journey west

and invaded our homes

Home

Home language that isn’t aboriginal but abnormal to this land

a colonizer’s language

learned as a means of survival by our grandmothers

who had no words

to describe bearded white men in steel helmets

who descended into their homes

into their private spaces

fools in search of God, Gold and Glory

fooled by sun shining on adobe

but when they didn’t find gold

they found women

and land

and slaves

they found expansion for a crown

that existed oceans away

they baptized in the name of

The Father

The Son and

The Holy Spirit

baptized an entire new breed of people

baptized within the thick walls built

by the very people

they intended to eliminate

be it by disease

or breeding

or language

they intended to eliminate

and yet, it’s home

through reclamation

and renewal

we baptized a new language

a cross of aboriginal and abnormal

and we created a home

I couldn’t tell you which was first

I can tell you I learned early on

which one was acceptable

and which one wasn’t

“cual quieres?” my mom asked me

when I was six years old

asking me to make a choice at the grocery store

and I pretended I couldn’t understand her

pretended I couldn’t hear her

until she asked

“which one do you want?”

I don’t know how I learned to pretend so early on

but I just knew I had to

generations of grandmothers whispered in my ear

I learned to reply in the other tongue

refused to acknowledge the mother tongue

refused to acknowledge the words that spilled

from my mother’s tongue

answered my grandmother in the other tongue

when she spoke to me

never understood that my paternal grandmother knew the other tongue so well

because it was beat into her

at the Indian School

because the mother tongue

and the original tongue

were both cause

for punishment

A baby was born

and her name was little angel

and when the Kindergarten teacher-nun asked the six year old auntie the baby's name

she said Angela

because Angelita

sounded too foreign

and she knew she had to pretend…

I couldn’t tell you which was first

but I can tell you

that the other now flows easily

and I consistently try to go home again

words and lines slip in

jarring the other

making the other irrelevant

creating a new language

altering the other

to fit my mouth

fit my soul

cual quieres?

I want this one

Which one do you want?

quiero esto

I want this one

this is me

I couldn’t tell you which was first

but I can tell you

which is last

everlasting

I can tell you there is space

in my mouth

por la ultima



5. “De sinónimos, eufemismosy algunos tropos” por Xánath Caraza


Libertad y educación son palabras sinónimas para mí.
Profesor, maestro y activista social también lo son.
Pronunciar en voz alta los idiomas ancestrales de mi sangre. Un acto de resistencia.
La voz del sol. Un eufemismo para ese mismo acto.
La ley SB 1070 de Arizona es como la vergüenza. Un símil.
Viento lleva el tiempo de libertad hasta el silencio del desierto. Una aliteración.

La base de la economía de los Estados Unidos e inmigrantes son sinónimos obvios.
Los escritores son héroes y heroínas de bronce. Una metáfora.
El estado de la vergüenza es eufemismo para la ley SB 1070 de Arizona.

Mis heroínas y héroes favoritos están en las aulas, esas heroínas y héroes favoritos. Una epanadiplosis.
Viento lleva el tiempo de libertad hasta el silencio del desierto. Una súplica.
Por espada sus libros, las letras por su escudo. Un quiasmo.

¡Oh tierra de las oportunidades que encarcelas! Una paradoja.
134 cuerpos de inmigrantes indocumentados encontrados
desde el 1 de enero al 15 de julio en el desierto. No es una exageración.
Cuántas lágrimas por los caminos del desierto, cuántas horas de lamento. Una realidad.
Los escritores son héroes y heroínas de bronce. Una metáfora.

Viento lleva el tiempo de libertad hasta el silencio del desierto. Una aliteración.
Viento lleva el tiempo de libertad hasta el silencio del desierto. Una plegaria.
Viento lleva el tiempo de libertad hasta el silencio del desierto. Una súplica.
Viento lleva el tiempo de libertad hasta el silencio del desierto. Una petición.
Viento lleva el tiempo de libertad hasta el silencio del desierto. Un ruego.
Viento lleva el tiempo de libertad hasta el silencio del desierto. Una imploración.
Viento lleva el tiempo de libertad hasta el silencio del desierto. Una oración.




6. "The Fifth Sun" by Genny Lim

A boy ran up the hill with his one o’clock kite

He glided his yellow ballerina over rooftops

across the bluest sky

Blood froze on his ruby lips at six o’clock

when the ecstatic ballerina was freed

Without purpose, time places the hour of the day

like a white glove on the pulse of memory

Without reason, the sky placed him on this earth

to burden the breeze with his smile

What will the baker do when the long night

kneads the bread of darkness?

What will the mother do when the clouds

descend over the gypsy butterflies?

You won’t find one echo following you to the afterlife

Absence wraps its gray mantle over the house of prayer

Poets turned soldiers carve the replicas of their women

with the butts of rifles in desert sand

and await letters that never come

So go memories that fill the empty shells of

imagination’s wounds

So goes the burning ring of fire amid

the muezzin’s twelve o’clock cry

under the flaming fifth sun


© 9/22/10 by genny lim



7. “La Ruta 81” por Rakel Delgado

Tomo la ruta 81,

la que se desliza por la calle Figueroa

la ruta de los estudiantes y trabajadores,

la que me lleva y me trae.

El bus se metamorfosea

en la ruta 81,

donde los usuarios organizan

batallas entre politonos funkies,

donde los rostros cansados

son siempre los mestizos.

Los pañuelos de papel eliden

el olor mugriento a dejadez

en una atmósfera cargada,

los bomberos presumen

de sirenas estridentes,

en la ruta 81

Pantallas gigantes

dan luz a la noche

y advierten:

college football

is coming

Una plaga de luciérnagas eléctricas

dan color a las ramas desnudas

de los árboles contaminados de pop posmodernista

Stop requested

recuerda

speed limit 30

en la ruta 81

Manos libres

one way

bluetooth adherido a la oreja

de un ciborg que comparte

intimidades ya públicas

Es la ruta 81

en la que estevie Wonder

aparece con garrota y auriculares

performance singular

para un público ciego y sordo

Club Galaxy 100 beautiful girls

versus

girl's super burger,

comemos o follamos?

Expand your business right here

en la ruta 81

El 90 de los Lakers

presume de trasero

mostrando sus glúteos

firmes y morenos

ain't nuthin' but a...

El escenario eclipsa

al king of the chicanos,

Athena parking

wicked fun for everyone

it's Halloween time

Burritos, tortas, sopes,

huaraches y gorditas

Aparece el rey,

sí, el de José Alfredo Jiménez

En un despiste ocular

se cruzan nuestras miradas

El rey baja de su trono

para dirigirse a la plebe,

me sugiere un ex-change:

tu palestina por mi bufanda

ante mi negativa

compartimos una sonrisa con hielo

the last exorcism?

jale el cordón para pedir parada

Chinatown-North Pasadena

please stay behind the yellow line

El rey se concentra

en el tercer ojo

Su interlocutora,

eclipsada por la profundidad de concentración,

escapa en la siguiente parada

dejándome desprotegida

 

sobre todo

evitar el contacto visual,

sobre todo

evitar el contacto visual

repito como mantra

conteniendo la risa escandalosa

que de vez en cuando me traiciona

Welcome to the route 81

Mary Poppins

es una octogenaria japonesa

que utiliza su paraguas para solicitar

la próxima parada

Menudo birria posole

esto es la Figueroa

please use rare exit

y recuerde

the don't right turn

A palabras necias, oídos sordos

piden dulces, les doy fruta

Necesitas un ride?

no, prefiero

la ruta 81

Donde los ensayos prematuros

de un rapero por la causa

alegra mi viaje,

donde los olores a dulce y a grasa

se fusionan,

ahí está la ruta 81.




BIOS


1. “The Chicano People’s Sacred Hoop” by Diana Joe
2. "How John McCain Cried for Mercy though He Was Not Merciful: A Sonnet to Remember the Golden R" by Edith Morris-Vasquez
3. "They Didn’t Know I Was So Mexicano (on my application)" by Patrick Fontes
4. “Survival of the Fittest" by Andrea J. Serrano
5. “De sinónimos, eufemismosy algunos tropos” por Xánath Caraza
6. "The Fifth Sun" by Genny Lim
7. “La Ruta 81” por Rakel Delgado





Patrick Fontes
I grew up in Fresno, in a working class Chicano home. My father was a construction worker, my mom, a waitress. My father grew up in makeshift tent communities, picking crops up and down California in the 1950s and 1960s.
During the Mexican revolution my great grandfather, Jesus Luna, crossed the border from Chihuahua into El Paso, then on to Fresno. In 1920 Jesus built a Mexican style adobe house on the outskirts of the city, it is still our family’s home and the center of our Mexican identity today. Nine decades of memories adorn the plastered walls inside. In one corner, a photo of Bobby Kennedy hangs next to an image of La Virgen de Zapopan; in another, an imposing altar to Guadalupe.
My very large Chicano family includes gang bangers, Pentecostal preachers, artists, tias who still roll tortillas at the crack of dawn, boozers, prisoners, and lots of working class men and women who wear their names on their chests. Mi familia es todo.
Currently I am a PhD candidate in history at Stanford University. My research involves border issues, Mexican religion, the Virgin Mary, immigration into the Southwest, and the criminalization of Chicano culture.



Andrea J. Serrano

Foto:Andrea J. Serrano

Albuquerque native Andrea Serrano has been writing and performing poetry for 16 years. Andrea has been published in various publications including Cantos al Sexto Sol: An Anthology of Aztlanahuac Writings (Rodriguez/Gonzales). Andrea is the youngest of six daughters and credits her family, her ties to land, language and culture and the experience of growing up in Albuquerque with influencing her writing. Andrea is a Community Educator specializing in sexual violence prevention, a student, an activist, and is a member of the band Cultura Fuerte.

Xánath Caraza

Xánath Caraza is a traveler, educator, poet, and short story writer. She has published her original work and essays in Pilgrimage Magazine, Quercus Review, Antique Children, La Bloga, Pegaso, Latino Poetry Review Blog, Present Magazine, El Cid, and Utah Foreign Language Review. Additionally, her work has been published in the following anthologies: Woman’s Work: The Short Stories (Girl Child Press, 2010), Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland (Scapegoat Press, 2009), Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland (Scapegoat Press, 2008), and Más allá de las fronteras (Ediciones Nuevo Espacio, 2004). Her most recent published work is scheduled for release in 2010 in the following anthologies and journals: Poetry Anthology in Nahuatl, English, and Spanish, Aztlan Libre Press, and 2010 Pegaso Literary Journal.




Genny Lim
Genny Lim has performed at jazz festivals from San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego to Houston and Chicago and has been a featured poet at World Poetry Festivals in Venezuela, 2005, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 2007 and Naples, Italy, 2009. Her play "Paper Angels," was performed in San Francisco Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square to packed audiences on Sept. 15-17, 2010 and won the San Francisco Fringe Festival Top Ten Award for Best Site Specific Work. Her performance piece, "Where is Tibet?" premiered at CounterPULSE, S.F., Dec. 2009 and was performed at AfroSolo Arts Festival in August, 2010.

She is author of two poetry collections, Winter Place, Child of War and co-author of Island:Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island.


Rakel Delgado

Raquel was born in Barcelona in 1979. She has a degree in Hispanic Philology. In 2001 she began linguistic research on the phenomena of Spanglish and discovered chicano poetry, since then " La Pocha Catalana" has embraced chicano culture, history, literature and art.

Her most recent work occupies the realm of performance art. This transition came after participation in the La Pocha Nostra workshop, from that moment onward she decided to pursue performative work. Her first performance "The Post-Colonial Malinches: Tongues of Fire" was performed in 2009 at the El Mundo Zurdo: The First International Conference on Gloria Anzaldúa in the University of Texas at San Antonio and in the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival in Chicago. In this work she explores her identity, reinventing it through a ritual of chicanización to become Pocha Catalana, the way she defines herself.


THE LATINO BOOK & FAMILY FESTIVAL: OCTOBER 9 & 10 ON THE CAMPUS OF CAL STATE L.A.

This weekend, on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles, come enjoy a two-day celebration of Latino and Chicano literature and culture. The Latino Book & Family Festival has become one of the Latino community’s most anticipated events of the year. It is at this festival that you can meet and interact with authors from all over the U.S. and Latin America. Please join us in recognizing and supporting the work of Latino/Chicano writers and artists who will be speaking and signing books at our event.

In addition to the author presentations, the festival also features numerous activities for the whole family to enjoy, such as arts & crafts, story-telling, music, Folklórico dancing, various exhibits, and traditional Mexican foods. This is a two-day event where we can celebrate together the richness of our culture.

For more information, visit here. For a list of panels, visit here.

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