Rich Yañez, author of Cross Over Water, Community Activist, and College Professor (photo by Michael Sedano during Wednesday's Librotraficante event).
Earlier this month at AWP in Chicago, I had the pleasure of joining fellow bloguero, Daniel Olivas, Lucrecia Guerrero, Daniel Chacon in !Wáchale! Chicano Debut Novelists. The panel was the brainchild of Rich Yañez. With over 10, 000 poets and writers in attendance, it's a demi miracle that Rich's panel was accepted. However, he makes a point of going each year and has learned the AWP ropes, serving on panels and committees over the past seven years. He and his wife, poet Carolina Monsivais, have made their participation in the conference for Associated Writers and Writers Program a priority in order to lead a good example for their three-year old son, Pablo. He may have physically missed this year, but he was certainly there in spirit and on the smiles and well wishes of everyone who knows how hard Rich works por la causa. The panel wasn't the same without him, but we marched on and had the pleasure of seeing many familiar faces in the audience including Javier Huerta, Richard Vargas, Rigoberto Gonzalez, and Cindy and Luis Urrea, and many more (the room was filled with La Bloga friends). Rich missed this year's AWP because he was busy training at UC Berkeley for Puente, an academic preparation program that helps ensure the success of new college students. Rich completed training to bring the program to El Paso Community College (EPCC).
Thanks to Rich Yañez, in less than two weeks, I have the pleasure of speaking to his students at EPCC and participating as the visiting author for this year's 35th Annual Spring Arts Festival. I will visit a creative writing class and a Chicana/Chicano Literature class and give a featured reading Thursday, March 29 at 7pm in the Auditorium, Building A, at the college's Administrative Services Center (9050 Viscount). Rosa Alcalá will also be reading from her poetry collection, Undocumentaries, during the celebration.
Professor Cristina Herrera from CSU Fresno has invited me to read from Ocotillo Dreams and discuss immigration policies in Arizona borderlands, next week Friday, March 23 at 4pm in Engineering East 191. I'm looking forward to seeing Alex Espinoza who reviewed Ocotillo Dreams and who has a new book out coming out next year, The Five Acts of Diego Léon, Random House, March 2013. The reading next week is open to the public.
La Bloga friend, Reyna Grande, author of the new memoir, The Distance Between Us, and two award-winning novels, has space in her upcoming writing workshop.
A preview of Reyna Grande's new memoir, Atria Books Fall 2012. Be amongst the lucky few to take a writing workshop with Reyna Grande.
Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore Celebrates 11 years of service to the communities of the NorthEast San Fernando Valley and beyond.
Saturday, March 17 from 1pm to 6pm, Celebrate Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore's 11th Anniversary. The free event includes a day filled with Live Art, a Womyn's Art Exhbit, Cultural Tianguis, Food Vendors, Community Fandago & many more surprises. Tia Chucha's, 13197-A Gladstone Avenue, Sylmar, CA 91342.