Showing posts with label Books in Spanish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books in Spanish. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stanford reads Chacon. Gluten-free papas con chorizo. Charnega Poeta.

Review: Daniel Chacón. Hotel Juarez : stories, rooms and loops. Houston, TX : Arte Publico Press, 2013. ISBN: 9781558857681  1558857680

Michael Sedano

If Daniel Chacon ever decides to quit his day job to go into radio, Benjamin Alire Saenz will have to do the same because they make a fabulous duo on the internet radio program Words on a Wire from KTEP. Their recent effort airing on February 23, their poetry show, is an example that deserves a listen, a beautiful on-air floricanto.

Chacon, of course, already has a day job to go with his day job, writer. Take Chacon’s 2013 collection, Hotel Juarez: stories, rooms and loops. Please do. You’ll be happy about it with a tempered joy.

That’s the estimation of a recent assembly of the Stanford Latina Latino Alumni Book Group, whose February selection spotlights Hotel Juarez. Stanford alums in the Los Angeles area who want to join the regular meetings click here.

Stanford Latina Latino Chicana Chicano Book Group
Roberto Garcia, Margie Hernandez, M. Urrutia, Concepción Valadez, Angelique Flores,
 Michael Sedano, Dierdre Reyes, Mario Vasquez 
As a collection of stories, readers find connections between characters and incidents threaded, or looped, in and out of disparate stories. Chacon has a subtle touch and some readers delight when another reader points out unseen connections, a character reappears, a consequence of some inconspicuous act strikes.

Because the book proffers a collection of stories, some readers allow themselves to temper their joy wishing for what they don’t have. Hotel Juárez is a collection, not a novel. Those loops and connections, however, narrow the gaps between the short and long forms of fiction, increasing some readers’ impatience with the start-stop-next of short fiction.

Chacon divides Hotel Juárez into five rooms. Within each room the author sublets space for series of stories developing a character or incident. Part I, The Purple Crayon, is a sketch book. Like the basket of goodies found in the hotel bathroom, each serves its own end but it belongs in the basket.

The title section, the fifth, most whets one’s appetite to see what Chacon can do with the longer form.  Before that is Mujeres Matadas, an intoxicatingly unnerving journey into underground clubs on the Juárez side, intimations of danger always lurking, knowledge of “death metal” music semi-essential. Close readers will wonder why she needed the ride in the first place, since her guitar and bandmates were already set up in the old maquiladora, and what were those red pills?

Chacon anticipates the television-influenced continuity doubters on the copyright page where he places his dedication, “For those who still believe.” The author next provides two instructions on how to read his book. On the dedication page, “The Order of Things”, and a Borges quotation, “esas visiones son minuciosas”. In other words, the author advises, read the book front to back, don’t skip around. The Borges echoes the dedicatory phrase, reality is what you make it.

Those words of advice, however, may be a magnificent author’s joke. The final section, Hotel Juárez, features a character, the professor, who attracts dogs and street kids. Maybe. The dogs are real enough—feed them tacos and they’ll follow you anywhere—but the kids and the implied danger may be hallucinations of a brain-fried pendejo.

Chacon has us on the professor’s side through the ten stories of this title section. “Believe” he’s told us. We believe, in The Best Tortas , Ever!, the professor is duped by the rock cocaine dealer. We believe the boys pick him up, trail him, box him in. We smile at his futility in buying an inkpen to use as a sword against an attack. We believe, maybe would welcome a fight scene. But when he pulls out of his sock a glass pipe we didn’t know was there and fires up those rocks, one's vision of the professor's world crumbles into the unreliability of a drugged-out narrator who really had us fooled. This is what you get for believing.

The Stanford women object that Chacon’s women are flat and deserve stronger, longer, more minuciosas visiones. La mujer matada is a fascinating character in her eponymous piece, but she’s ultimately only window dressing on the narrator’s set. In Tasty Chicken the narrator is a woman with a quirky fear that glittery makeup on her cleavage will infiltrate her bloodstream, grow and multiply to explode her body like a critter from an outer space movie. Pobrecita, and las mujeres have a point there.

The beauties of using books, especially one as rich in detail, loops, connections, predicaments as Hotel Juárez, include the ability to take your time, set the book down then come back to it, repeat and reread, and see the same words every time. That’s also a beauty of internet radio. Click on this link to Words on a Wire Poetry Show and listen to a beautiful example of aural floricanto. Like a book and other interposed media, you can return to time and again and repeat the experience, just as some of Hotel Juárez' stories, loops and rooms merit several visits before noticing you finally feel comfortable in that world.


The Gluten-free Chicano Cooks
Papas con Chorizo y Blanquillos

"Boys have huevos," my Grandmother explained, "gallinas hacen blanquillos." I was acquiring speech and language and that lesson stays with me since I was four years old.

Gramma probably taught me that as we gathered blanquillos from the jaula the gallinas shared with the goats and rabbits, at the back of the yard, past the excusado, by the nopales.

I imagine we went inside where she stoked the wood-burning stove and made me a breakfast of papas con chorizo y blanquillos. The dish has been a staple of The Gluten-free Chicano's diet for as long as he remembers.


My grandmother would roll out a perfect tortilla de harina, toast it on the stovetop, and drop it steaming onto my plate. We didn't use forks.

Nowadays I have to be gluten free, and, served with tortillas de maíz, here is a gluten-free breakfast of champions.

Dice the papas into uniform cubes and drop into a thin layer of cooking oil in a hot sartén. Stir the papas and turn so they begin to brown on all sides.

Add ⅓ of an onion, chopped, and a couple of sliced dientes de ajo and continue cooking until you can pierce the papas with a fork. Set the papas aside.


I buy a chub of pork chorizo and slice off a third of it to serve two. Spray the pan with nonstick coating and over medium flame, soften the chorizo five minutes, stirring and scraping.


Add the cooked papas to the chorizo and stir together.


I plan on one blanquillo per person, though this dish is almost infinitely expandable with more of everything.


Stir the eggs into the mixture and cook until the eggs have the texture you enjoy, wet and shiny or dry and hard. Serve with sliced fresh tomatoes from the garden when available, tortillas de maíz, and a hot salsa chile.

This is a fifteen minute refrigerator to plate gluten-free meal. Be sure to read all ingredients on the chorizo and tortillas to ensure absence of wheat, barley, or rye products.


A Foto Minus a Thousand Curses Plus a Million Tears


Charnega Chicana Poeta Publishes

La Bloga friend Raquel Delgado, poet and performance artist la Pocha Catalana, debuts her collection, El centro de la llama from Barcelona’s Excodra Editorial.

Charnegas Charnegos are Catalunya’s chicanada. Beset by social exigencies, charnegas charnegos employ code-switching dialects, a sense of Peoplehood, and poetry to claim their place among their peers.

Here's Raquel Delgado's bio from her publisher's website:

Charnega, nació en Barcelona en 1979. Es licenciada en Filología Hispánica. En 2001 inició un estudio lingüístico sobre Spanglish que le llevó a centrar su investigación sobre el pueblo chicano. En 2006 colaboró en la organización de las primeras Jornadas Chicanas en Casa Amèrica de Catalunya en las que presentó su lectura En Busca de un Aztlán, donde realiza un análisis tanto lingüístico como cultural del pueblo chicano comparándolo con los catalanes de primera generación. Dos años después se celebraron las segundas Jornadas Chicanas donde presentó la lectura La conciencia fronteriza en el nuevo arte chicano. Allí conoció a los artistas Guillermo Gómez-Peña y Roberto Sifuentes, miembros fundadores del colectivo La Pocha Nostra. El mismo año realizó un taller de performance con ellos en Evora, Portugal.

En 2009 presentó su performance Post-Colonial Malinches: Tongues of Fire en El Mundo Zurdo: The First International Conference on Gloria Anzaldúa en la University of Texas at San Antonio, y en La Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival en Chicago.

En 2010 presentó su trabajo Entrails' Wail en La Cova de les Cultures, en Barcelona y en el Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival en Chicago. También ha participado como poeta en el Festival de Flor y Canto en San Francisco, en el Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow en Los Angeles, siendo la primera española que participa en este festival chicano desde que se inició en 1973. También participó en Mujerismo en la Avenue 50th Studio.

Es conocida como La Pocha Catalana, que es una reinvención del término charnega, y que expresa el gran paralelismo que existe entre charnegos y chicanos.


Community College Writers Anthology Call

La Bloga friend Chella Courington, faculty adviser of Santa Barbara City College's literary publication, Painted Cave sends the following.

Painted Cave Literary Magazine is accepting submissions from community college student writers nationwide for its inaugural issue May 2014.  Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

Painted Cave is the online student-run, faculty-guided literary journal of Santa Barbara City College. We publish the work of community college student writers in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction.

Painted Cave reserves First North American Serial Rights. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Paste your submission in the body of the email to paintedcavesubmissions@gmail.com.

Include the genre of the submission, title(s) and your name in the subject line (Fiction, “Born Too Late,” Mary Mullins).

We accept the following genres:
Flash Fiction: 1-3 pieces, no more than 750 words each.
Fiction: 1 piece, no more than 5000 words.
Poetry: 3-5 poems, no more then 50 lines each.
Creative Nonfiction: 1 piece, no more than 5000 words.
Flash Creative Nonfiction: 1-3 pieces, no more than 750 words each.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review: Hanigan's Tumba. Birthday Floricanto.


Review: Tom Miller. La Tumba de Hanigan. Translated by Federico Patán, Sandra Engoron-March, and Christina Guerrero Harmon. Madrid: eCícero, 2013.
ISBN 978-84-941700-3-4

“Hanigan’s Grave” is collected in Miller’s On the border : portraits of America's southwestern frontier, NY: Harper & Row, 1981. ISBN 9780060130398


Michael Sedano

A trio of young men find themselves held at gunpoint somewhere on el otro lado.
The estadunidense holding the gun speaks their language, but in English with his two henchmen. The gringos strip the three Mexicanos naked, burn their clothes, torture their flesh, and send them scurrying into the desert while the laughing kidnapers cap off rounds at their fleeing backs.

The assault is how Tom Miller begins La Tumba de Hanigan, his report on the aftermath of those events near Douglas, Arizona, chronicled in Miller’s 1981 “Hanigan’s Grave”. Newly-translated by a team led by Federico Patán, Sandra Engoron-March, and Christina Guerrero Harmon, Miller’s account appears in ebook format from Spain’s eCícero. 

The release of this gem of southwestern nonfiction comes as the world learns of the Jacksonville FL jury who refuses to endorse charges of murder against the man who murdered 17-year old Jordan Davis over music. La Tumba de Hanigan shows how that kind of justice is a regular occurrence in some US courts.

The grave in the title belongs to paterfamilas George Hanigan, who, with his two sons, are set to stand trial for the torture and assault on the three Mexicans. Some say the pressure got to him, the charges evidence of his ilk's deteriorating stature. Ni modo why, it was his time so Dad dies before he goes to trial, and doesn't get to see the boys set free by a local Jury. He would have celebrated a second time when, after the Feds file obscure charges, one walks. It's Arizona.

The way Miller tells the facts, all three Hanigans deserved extreme unction but La Tumba de Hanigan isn’t fiction, it’s journalism. They get off for all the reasons "it's Arizona" is a self-fulfilling prophecy guaranteeing perverted democracy.

Local sentiment justifies killing a few Mexicans because all Mexicans who sneak across the border are here to rob and steal. Hunting them down and doing just-us passes as reasonable doubt in 1980s Arizona. Jimmy Carter was president when the Hanigan case hit the headlines. In Obama's presidency, migrants crossing into Arizona traverse Hanigan’s grave, so what sense did anything make?

Miller’s account covers less than a hundred pages, filling the narrative with facts and views derived from observation, conversation, and reading. Miller’s shoe leather research helps add details providing historical context, local color, and illuminating character. George Hanigan, for example, was known as “Mr. Republican of Cochise County,” back when Barry Goldwater was running for president.

The Hanigans were among the first anglo immigrants to the region, setting claim on lands at the turn of the 20th century. George grows up thinking Mexicans are thieves when as a boy he witnesses gente scavenging scrap from Phelps Dodge foundry. Reading between Miller's lines, this finite heritage on the land explains the Hanigan infinite sense of entitlement that motivates their violence.

The Mexicans have names and histories, but this isn't their story. Manuel, Eleazar y Bernabé's lives converge, intersect, diverge from the rape in the desert, three lives turned desmadres told in part--there are lots. It's Arizona.

The Spanish translation reads smoothly with a succinct and sharp-eyed style that sounds like Miller when he writes in English. That’s a good thing. Miller’s distinct voice comes with a keen ear and an attitude that suggests a good phrase is as good as a sharp stick in the eye. Recounting what locals used to think about George Hanigan, Miller’s narrator observes:
–Si Adolfo Hitler viviera todavía –dijo el
decano de los estudiantes en Douglas High
School, amigo de los Hanigan durante 20
años–, George sería su sombra.
Another good thing is students of ambos idiomas can pick up a copy of Tumba for Apple or Amazon devices for €2.99 or $4.10 via the book's publisher web site. US libraries across the continent shelve Miller’s On the Border anthology, and Worldcat lists an ePub.

I hope Spanish teachers and students zero in on this golden opportunity to read a simultaneously translated work, especially one with such cultural impact. An added benefit of a bilingual reading is the rest of Miller's On the Border anthology, like "Rosa's Cantina," his visit to the site of the Marty Robbins song, "El Paso."

Some diplomats might wonder if releasing this story right now in Europe, or anywhere gente read Spanish, is a good thing? Is it good to illustrate how wildly US justice miscarries for los de abajo, because, according to local custom, those Mexicans had it coming? Then again, it’s Arizona. And it's Florida, and Florida again. It's we, the people whose communities work out of a mindset like los Hanigan's apologists, finding acts unsavory but understandable. Así es.

Miller doesn’t say that. Miller’s narrator keeps a professional distance from the emotions that inhere in the experiences. The writer seems to know readers will come to the sickening realization that the communities who freed the Hanigans haven't changed much.

La Tumba de Hanigan would be banned in Arizona. That the facts are inflammatory is a function of the events. You can look up the Hanigan torture case on the internet and get the Joe Friday effect. La Tumba de Hanigan is a lot more fun than a million and a half Google hits, and the best hour you’ve spent in a long time.


La Bloga On-line Floricanto
Dual Happy Birthday For Francisco X. Alarcon
2011 National Latino Writers Conference friends include Tim Z. Hernandez,
Francisco X. Alarcón, Michael Sedano. iPhone foto Monica Brown.

La Bloga friend Francisco X. Alarcón and his mother share a birthdate this month. Son celebrates his 60th birthday and mother counts her 90th birthday. 

This year Francisco's mother welcomes Francisco and friends to her Long Beach home where friends and familia, and friends of friends and familia, and assorted random poets and friends of random poets, feast on delectables and enjoy a taste of poetry.

La Bloga's On-line Floricanto is pleased to share Francisco's poem on his mother's 90th birthday, which the poet posts on his Facebook page

Francisco X. Alarcón and Michael Sedano originated the idea of an On-line Floricanto during the months leading to the 2010 Festival de Flor y Canto • Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow held at USC commemorating and reuniting poets and writers from the original 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto. 

Francisco founded the Facebook group Poets Responding to SB 1070, Poetry of Resistance, whose moderators nominate a handful of poems for a monthly on-line celebration of current poetry of resistance.

It's a pleasure wishing il miglior fabbro and his wonderful mother the happiest felices dias yesterday, today, tomorrow.


90 AÑOS DE MAMÁ
por Francisco X. Alarcón

mi madre cumple
noventa años alerta
e igual de sabia
junto a su gran familia
este mes de febrero

mi madre y yo
nacimos unos pocos
días aparte —
compartimos no solo
el mismo signo zodiáco

querida mamá
nada nos pudo hundir
tú fuiste ejemplo —
anduviste sobre aguas
turbias del mar de la vida

desembocado
como caballo galopo
para renacer
sesenta años después
este nuevo año lunar

© Francisco X. Alarcón
February 6, 2014

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

90 YEARS OF MAMÁ
by Francisco X. Alarcón

Mamá celebrates
her ninetieth birthday
witty and wise as ever
together with her big family
on this February month

Mamá and I were
born few days apart
on the same month
and we share more
than a zodiacal sign

oh dearest Mamá
nothing could get us down
you’re a role model —
you walked over turbid waters
on the stormy sea of life

wild and free
as a horse, I gallop
to be born again
sixty years later
on this new lunar year

©Francisco X. Alarcón
February6, 2014



*********** UPDATE ***********

Dear Em, Thank you for posting this wonderful photo and the poem. I gad a great time at my mom's 90th birthday celebration in Long Beach and also at the Luis Rodriguez Poetry Locomotive earlier in the day in Los Angeles. I felt so blessed that I wrote a poem:

BLESSED DAY
by Francisco X. Alarcón

what a luminous
special and blessed day
in Los Angeles

first joining a train
ride with fellow poets
activists, dreamers

with children, youth
adults and elders reading
poems, sharing dreams

putting into action
poetics and politics
at their best

boarding a poetry
locomotive whose real
final destination

is to change our state
our nation, the world
for the better

yes, the New Era is
upon us, the Flower Sun
is blooming in our hearts

“monarch butterflies
would vote for El Poeta
as the people’s governor”

what a luminous
special and blessed day
in Los Angeles

listening to poets,
inspired by them and
by the poet candidate

at Quetzal Boutique
in East Los Angeles —
moved by Quetzalcoatl

invoking the ancient
call “Tahui” to the four
winds, the four directions

calling the ancestors
and all present to bless
our brother poet candidate

what a luminous
special and blessed day
in Los Angeles

being part of another
special occasion, my mom’s
90th birthday celebration

now in Long Beach
in company of brothers,
sisters, relatives, friends

and being able to recite
a poem dedicated to her
as a big ceiba mother tree

and also being able to call
the four directions
the four winds

feeing blessed by all present
blessed by the ancestors
blessed by mi madre

o what a luminous
special and blessed day
in Los Angeles!

© Francisco X. Alarcón
February 16, 2014

This was written after participating in the LUIS J. RODRIGUEZ POETRY LOCOMOTIVE organized by poets Abel Salas and Iris de Anda in Los Angeles on February 16. Other poets who participated: Gloria Enedina Álvarez, Leon Arellano, Jessica Ceballos, Bus Stop Prophet Francisco Escamilla, Janet González, Peter J. Harris, John Martinez. Luivette Resto, David Romero, Matt Sedillo, Mario Angel Escobar’s daughters, award-winning high school poetry students and the poet candidate for Governor of California Luis J. Rodríguez,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Books From Raven Tree Press

THE RAIN FOREST PARTY
FIESTA EN EL BOSQUE TROPICAL
Written and Illustrated by Lorraine Dey


Full–Color • 9 x 11 • 32 pages
Jacketed Hardcover; Bilingual
Publication Date: May 2012

Hector–Armando was a little Armadillo who wanted to find his special talent that he could share with his friends at the big rain forest party. As he walked into the forest he noticed his friends were all busy collecting things and practicing their own talents to get ready for the big party. As he came upon his many friends, he would try to do the same things they were doing, but he just wasn’t fast enough, or his legs were too short, or he wasn’t tall enough. He tried again and again, but became sad to realize he may not have any special talents.

He curled up to hide and suddenly became aware of a hidden talent that was there all along. Something mother nature gave him but he forgot about. He would share a very special talent with friends at The Rain Forest Party.

 PEDRO THE PIRATE
Written by Tim Hoppey
Illustrated by Dianna Bonder


Full–Color • 9 x 11 • 32 pages
Jacketed Hardcover; English (with Spanish clues)
Publication Date: May 2012

Pedro yearns for the pirate’s life. Though he is only the cabin boy on Captain Crossbones’ ship, he daydreams about becoming a real pirate. When that chance finally comes, Pedro steals a mermaid’s gold locket. The mermaid chastises Pedro, but he laughs and boasts, “It’s what we pirates do!” That initial boast, however, soon gives way to regret as Pedro contemplates his actions. He resolves to return the locket and to free the mermaid that Captain Crossbones holds captive. The outcome is a happy one as Pedro expresses his contrition to the mermaid, and assures her that the pirate’s life is not for him.

 MR. BIGGS AT THE CIRCUS
EL SR. GRANDE EN EL CIRCO
Written and Illustrated by Kevin Bloomfield

Full–Color • 9 x 11 • 32 pages
Jacketed Hardcover; English and Bilingual
Publication Date: May 2012

Mr. Biggs is a very curious Sasquatch who has huge feet and an even bigger heart. One day, as he hikes next to a creek, he finds a bright and colorful circus poster. He has never been to the circus before and it looks like fun. He sets off to discover all of the exiting adventures the circus has to offer.
Come along with Mr. Biggs on his journey as he flips on the trapeze, dances with huge bear, stomps with elephants and much, much more. Will the giant Mr. Biggs find out he fits in a circus…or is he just too big? One thing is for sure… he’ll have tons of fun along the way!

Mr. Biggs at the Circus is a hilarious and heart–warming story for both the young and young–at–heart, with vividly wacky illustrations which will make you laugh out loud with every turn of the page.


THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO FLAMINGO IN THE CAVE
LAS AVENTURAS DE MARCO FLAMENCO EN LA CUEVA
Written and Illustrated by Sheila Jarkins


Full–Color • 9 x 11 • 32 pages
Jacketed Hardcover; Bilingual
Publication Date: May 2012

Marco Flamingo is off on a cave adventure in this fourth book in the Marco series. But this time, Marco’s friends—Coral, Shelly and Webb—join him. When Marco spots caves, he is eager to discover what he will find inside. Marco’s flamingo friends are timid and make excuses for staying safely outside the cave. But when they are scared by the sight of a leopard, a snake and a vulture will they take their chances inside the cave? And what has happened to Marco, the friends wonder. Why hasn’t he come out? Come join Marco’s friends as they explore the cave in search of Marco and discover what Marco finds inside the cave. You are in for a big surprise.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Feria del Libro de Los Angeles; On-Line Floricanto

Feria Focuses on Spanish Language Books

Excitement builds for the USC era of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Thousands of people will traipse across USC’s blissfully flat terrain and enjoy the campus’ easy access via rapid transit (one train and a bus).

There will be no Spanish language forums and authors in the Times’ spotlight, but likely some titles on sale. However, just up Figueroa from USC (USC is on the corner of Figueroa and Jefferson), LéaLA is staging a major literary event at the Convention Center. LéaLA, Feria del Libro en Español de Los Ángeles, runs three days, Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1.

LéaLA, a creation of Foundation of the University of Guadalajara in the United States, promises a fabulous event. Even gente not in LA will want to browse the event’s website for its trove of intriguing discussions. Here’s a link to LéaLA for detailed datos.

Los Angeles was invited to centerpiece Guadalajara’s Feria Internaciónal del Libro in 2009, spurring the UDG Foundation folks to a visionary plan to grow this year’s event to become a northern counterpart to Guadalajara's FIL. In a strong signal of support for the effort, El Gobierno de Jalisco is this year's Invitado de Honor

Beyond the commercial vision, the organizer sees the event as a cultural watershed, a point featured in Spanish-language newsmedia. Both Azteca Noticias and El Informador picked up LéaLA’s PR lede:

Concebida como una alternativa cultural para que los hispanos redescubran sus raíces a través de la literatura, la Primera Feria del Libro en Español 'LéaLA' reunirá en un mismo espacio a escritores como Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Carmen Boullosa, Xavier Velasco, Sandra Lorenzano e Isabel Allende, entre otros.

USC charges ten dollars to park in its lots. The nearby shopping center se usa grua mercilessly, far preferable to a sign I saw on a residence in Guadalajara, “ponchamos llantas gratis," so plan to pay to park or take your "extracar" (in a former RTD vernacular).

For a couple of dollars the region's Red, Purple, and Blue lines get visitors to the 7th Street Metro Center. At the NW corner of Flower and 7th Street, take the $0.35 DASH F line to the Convention Center. These crosstown buses run to USC, circle the campus, and retrace the route past the Feria del Libro and the hoopla of the Staples arena (if the Lakers are still playing), thence to 7th Street Metro Center.




On-Line Floricanto April 26, 2011
©Magu. Used as theme graphic for Festival de Flor y Canto. Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow.
It's a pleasure welcoming seven poets today as On-Line Floricanto nears its first anniversary of poets contesting racism with alma. We're ahead, 50 weeks to zero. This week: Elena Díaz Bjorkquist, Daniel Sosa and Christopher Perez, Tara Evonne Trudell, Abel Salas, Carlos Parada Ayala, Jesus Cortez.

As always, the poets welcome your comments and remarks on their work. Click the Comments counter below to share your experience.


1. "Guns in Arizona" by Elena Díaz Bjorkquist

2. "Ill Eagle... Cries in the Sky" by Daniel Sosa and Christopher Perez

3. "Borders" by Tara Evonne Trudell

4. "I Am" by Abel Salas

5. "Viper" by Carlos Parada Ayala

6 ."The Hummingbird" by Jesus Cortez



Guns in Arizona

by Elena Díaz Bjorkquist


Don’t feel safe in restaurants
People carrying guns
Claiming it’s their right
Their Constitutional right
To defend themselves if need be

What’s my right?
To sit in fear?
To plan my escape
If the gun toter goes postal?
Will the table stop bullets?

Guns in holsters
Aren’t as scary
As hidden guns
In Arizona you can
Carry them either way

Not knowing
If someone is carrying
Knowing I look like a target
Makes me think
Best to stay home

Elena Díaz Bjorkquist ©2011



Ill Eagle... Cries in the Sky

by Daniel Sosa and Christopher Perez


With a predator's hunger,
a writ of wrath in its beak.
A malnourished eagle searches to seal the fate
of fathers providing, mothers working, students.
Descending swiftly to capture, arrest
and deport an unprotected people.

Rising over our nation crying..illegal ...illegal...illegal

Dropping the olive branch
to clamp this talon claw law on the humble.
Gripping, lifting them from family.
Off their feet to a far journey.
Turning a blind eye to injury,
torment and pain firmly held.

Illegal ..illegal..illegal....the screeching echoes

O proud law makers,
flock of the high and mighty
soaring high on that ill wind
which brought an ill conceived law.
Keen eyes could not see
the crime in discrimination?

Gathering slander sticks
twisted truth twigs
splintering our nation
to build your lofty perch.
Look down at the true, quick
and violent criminal.
So easily detected from above.
showing himself a more fitting prey.

What made you sick ? ill eagle...
A malaise in your morals?
Tainted raw patriotism?
Stop this pursuit of a humble
more peaceful people.
Stop this sickening screech.

Illegal..illegal..illegal
Preen the stain, this dirty business.
Search for justice again.
Sate yourself on fairness,
Release the immigrant
to a path of citizenship.
With arrows in hand,
target the true criminal.
Pick up the lost olive branch.

And we will look up, seeing
the majestic symbol of our nation.
Soaring peacefully above
the banner in its beak
gently flapping.

Where it is written

Out of many....One

By Daniel Sosa
& Christopher Perez
2010





Borders

by Tara Evonne Trudell


borders
everywhere
lines drawn
telling us
where to stand
to serve
to exist
to call ourselves
to die
borders
with guards
trigger happy
shoot to kill
don't cross back
to the motherland
don't know your roots
confused by the terms
building borders in your mind
it's not Hispanic
it's not Spanish
it's not Latino
it's the Mexican blood
the Indian blood
that has been drained
into the land
the home
of my heart
my ancestors
my roots
my soul that knows
no borders

Tara Trudell April 14, 2011

*thanks for the inspiration Odilia... your pictures hit home in my heart




I Am

by Abel Salas


I am Emma Tenayuca AKA Lil Red organizing pecan sheller
Women in San Antonio for worker rights and maternity leave
I am Corky and Joaquin no longer lost because we represent
a generation of proud pochos who know how it is.
I am Abelardo Delgado and the poem Stupid America
I read in sixth grade. See that Chicanito shouting curses
In the street? He is a poet without pen and paper
Who will explode because I am also Ruben Salazar
Behind an Olivetti typewriter in an LA Times newsroom
Still blind to my existence and undying resistance
I am Cherrie Moraga and Josefina Lopez working as
Mothers and playwrights to right the wrongs
We as men have committed and keep committing
I am my mother Juliana Vela Zepeda who picked
Cotton and taught her sons it was okay to cry
I am Xicanindio poet Raul Salinas in a prison
With Leonard Peltier and Rafael Cancel Miranda
Where the truest Americans and boricuas shared
A revolutionary dream fueled by Xicano warriors
And pinto poets in cell block conversations
I am Francisco Alarcon and queer Xicano Pride
I am Reies Tijerina and Cesar on opposite ends
Of the struggle for dignity and peace and life
That we could celebrate with forever floricantos
I am Dolores and the Mujeres de Maiz who
Bridge the song and the word for those who
Come after in the name of all our ancestors
And I am Xicano in every tongue and every
Memory of like the blossom of fire and blood
That made murals and altars as if to say
In the words of one maestro, I respect your
Having been my Maravilla, Boyle Heights,
Segundo Barrio in El Chuco, Barelas of
Burque and all the Xicano barrios that
Once existed, somewhere someone remembers
And we remember you, ese, we remember you.




VIPER

Border weighs upon me
Slowly bending down my back
At thirteen I’m an old man hunching down towards the future
Slowly bending down towards the shadows
My voice becomes a hissing
And my body is a limbless spine
I slither through the dessert
Venom fills my head
Day by day
I shake my rattle
In celebration
After the fact

©Carlos Parada Ayala





The Hummingbird

by Jesus Cortez


Calloused hands remind
me of the past, present
and future of laborious
hours under a scorching
Sun who looks at my
forehead drenched in
sweat from my brow
that flows into my eyes,
burning as memories of
childhood under a different
sun—she appears with
her wings defying the
pain in my eyes with
her loveliness, refreshing
the air itself among the
flowers; she flows with
the wind with the melody
of hope in freedom that
I’ve yet to feel.

© 2011 Jesus Cortez






BIOS

1. "Guns in Arizona" by Elena Díaz Bjorkquist

2. "Ill Eagle... Cries in the Sky" by Daniel Sosa and Christopher Perez

3. "Borders" by Tara Evonne Trudell

4. "I Am" by Abel Salas

5. "Viper" by Carlos Parada Ayala

6. "The Hummingbird" by Jesus Cortez


Elena Díaz BjörkquistElena Díaz Björkquist, a writer, historian, and artist from Tucson, writes about Morenci, Arizona where she was born. She is the author of two books, Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon. Elena has been on the Arizona Humanities Council (AHC) Speakers Bureau for ten years performing as Teresa Urrea in a Chautauqua living history presentation, and doing presentations about Morenci, Arizona and also the 1880’s Schoolhouse in Tubac.
Elena is co-editor of Sowing the Seeds, una cosecha de recuerdos, an anthology written by her writers group. The project was funded by AHC. She is nearing completion of another collection of Morenci stories entitled Albóndiga Soup and has co-edited a new anthology entitled Our Spirit, Our Reality; celebrating our stories by the Comadres of Sowing the Seeds.
A SIROW Scholar at the University of Arizona, Elena conducted an oral history project funded by AHC; “In the Shadow of the Smokestack.” A website that she created contains the oral history interviews and photographs of Chicano elders living in Morenci during the Depression and World War II. Another project funded by AHC and the Stocker Foundation is “Tubac 1880’s Schoolhouse Living History Program.” Her website is www.elenadiazbjorkquist.net/.


Elena is one of the poet moderators for the Facebook page “Poets Responding to SB1070.




Daniel SosaAs a boy, I was raised in the eucalyptus tree lined streets and farms of Oxnard Calif. Moving to the Los Angeles in the 1960s where the majority of my family lived. The next 48 years were spent living and working in central and southern Calif. A newly blossomed poet, inspired by the call from Poets Responding to SB1070 and the 40th anniversary of Ruben Salazar’s death. Only a few poems have had the pleasure of leaving my computer.


Tara TrudellTara Trudell lives in Northern New Mexico. She is raising her four children, rebuilding her life as a single mother and has returned to college to seek her BFA in Media Arts with an emphasis in Film/Audio combined with Visual Communications. She feels she can learn the tools necessary to document life and capture the stories and awareness that is vital in creating art on a social awareness level.
She has rediscovered her passion in life and in writing poetry she has allowed the courage of self-expression to flow and heal the inner parts of pain, that many times exist forgotten, in a world that cares only to divide and conquer. Tara is very proud of her Mexican roots and the more society says it’s wrong to be here, the louder her voice shall rise and that of her children. No longer will there be shame to claim the Mexican part of her /our history. It is of vital importance that Tara passes this on to her own children and future generations.


Carlos Parada Ayala
(San Juan Opico, El Salvador, 1956)A recipient of Washington, DC’s, Commission on the Arts Larry Neal Poetry Award in 2005, Carlos Parada Ayala co-edited the anthology Al pie de la Casa Blanca: Poetas hispanos de Washington, DC published by the North American Academy of the Spanish Language in New York in July 2010. Co-edited with Argentinean poet Luis Alberto Ambroggio, the US Library of Congress selected this anthology to celebrate 400 years of Hispanic poetry in the United States in September of 2010. Parada Ayala graduated from Amherst College, Massachusetts, with a degree in Spanish, Latin American and Brazilian literature. He is a member of the Salvadoran poetry collective Late Night Hour, and is a founding member of ParaEsoLaPalabra, a collective of writers, artists and activists whose goal is to promote the arts, music and literature in the Spanish speaking communities of the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Ganador del premio de poesía Larry Neal de la Comisión de las Artes de Washington, DC, Carlos Parada Ayala es co-editor de la antología Al pie de la Casa Blanca: Poetas hispanos de Washington, DC publicada por la Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (Nueva York, julio de 2010). Esta obra, co-editada con el poeta argentino Luis Alberto Ambroggio, fue seleccionada en septiembre de 2010 por la Biblioteca del Congreso de Estados Unidos para celebrar 400 años de poesía hispana en Estados Unidos. Parada Ayala tiene una licenciatura en literatura española, latinoamericana, y brasileña de Amherst College, Massachusetts. Es miembro del grupo de poetas salvadoreños Alta hora de la noche y es uno de los fundadores de ParaEsoLaPalabra, un colectivo de escritores, artistas y activistas cuyo objetivo es promover las artes, la música y la literatura en las comunidades de habla hispana de la zona metropolitana de Washington, DC.


Jesus CortezJesus Cortez is a poet from West Anaheim, California. He uses poetry to communicate with the community the issues that he finds within the communities he is a part of. His Poetry has strong Hip Hop influences, but is also influenced by life as a son of a single mother, and from the various experiences found in the urban landscape. The poetry of Jesus Cortez explores the ways immigrants react to humilliation, frustration, condemnation, segregation, and persecution. This poem, "The Hummingbird" was inspired by his grandmother who passed away when he was only four years old, because he feels that is how She communicates with him in his times of sadness and hopelessness.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Books from BrickHouse Education

BrickHouse Education is an educational publisher designed to meet the needs of teachers seeking high-quality, creative, and affordable materials. BrickHouse Education titles are available in English and Spanish and each is specifically designed to meet multiple curriculum standards. Students deserve the best education, and BrickHouse Education can help you provide it.

For more information visit http://www.brickhouseeducation.com


When Times Are Tough (En tiempos difíciles)
Grades K-4
32 pages; 11.5" x 9"
ISBN: 9781598351033

Why can't I buy new toys? Why do we eat at home more often? Why aren't we going on vacation this year?

When times are tough, it is difficult for children to understand why things change. This book follows a fictional family that faces very real economic challenges, and shows how they are able to overcome each one together. A timeless and reassuring tale with an optimistic ending.

Main Subject: Language Arts
Additional Subject: Social Studies

Key Concepts
    •    Express emotions
    •    Build self-esteem
    •    Family and teamwork
    •    Responsibility and generosity
    •    Identify problems and solutions

ABeCedario salvaje
Grades K-4
40 pages; 10.25" x 9"
ISBN: 9781598351170


From “ardilla” to “zorro,” this book is an adventurous way to learn the letters and their sounds as well as fascinating facts about animals. With rhyming text and captivating photographs, this is the wildest alphabet you’ve ever read! Includes a glossary and four pages of fun facts about the animals mentioned in the text.
Collection: ABeCedarios


Main subject: Language Arts
Additional subject: Science

Key Concepts
    •    The alphabet
    •    Letter sounds
    •    Animal habitats
    •    Scientific vocabulary
    •    Climates in geographical regions
    •    Uppercase and lowercase letters
    •    Animal traits and behavior
    •    Describing words
    •    Rhyming words


I Can Be President, Too! (Yo también puedo ser presidente)

Grades K-2
32 pages; 11.5" x 9"
ISBN: 9781598351019

What do Chris Mendoza, Jessica Woo, and Becky Cohen have in common? They all want to be President of the United States! The 14 children in this book have the characteristics it takes to be worthy candidates... Do you?

Main Subject: Social Studies
Additional Subject: Language Arts

Key Concepts
    •    The role of citizens
    •    Family and community
    •    Fairness and tolerance
    •    Hobbies and self esteem
    •    Leadership and responsibility


About the author: Yanitzia Canetti is an author, writer, editor, and translator with a Bachelor's in Journalism, a Master's in Linguistics, and a Ph.D. in Literature. She has published over 30 books in various genres, including novels, poetry, short stories, theatre and children's literature. She has written fiction and nonfiction series, teachers' guides, student editions, ancillaries and other educational materials for the bilingual educational system. She has also written over 2,000 specialized articles, catalogues, and literary reviews for newspapers and magazines in the United States, Cuba, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and other countries. Fluent in Spanish, Italian and English, she has translated over 100 books, principally for young readers. Her translations include several English literature classics.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Latinos & Books!, the Perfect Xmas gift for that pocha in your life, & Obama & Peace(?)

The L.A. Latino Book & Family Festival begins today and goes through tomorrow. You can't do better than go to their website, yesterday's coverage by Ramos, Colato's on Thursday or Olivas's on Monday to learn details.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The PERFECT Xmas gift for younger señoritas AND for that favorite
pocha trying to reclaim her language


By: Myrtha Trujillo

Publisher: Cursack Books
Softcover: $17.95


Publisher's blurb: Misión Mujer is the portrait of eighteen extraordinary women, from Sappho and Joan of Arc to Rosa Parks and Sally Ride, who stood out in their respective fields and whose stories represent the struggles and achievements of women throughout history. Only available in Spanish.

Book blurb
(which I like better): "Las historias de esta magnifica obra no son biografías académicas, aunque están muy bien documentadas: son unos textos viscerales, donde la pasión de cada una de estas mujeres encuentra el espejo donde reflejarse."


My own take:
While I don't know anything else about the author nor her other books, I highly recommend this one, and not only because it's appropriate for and would inspire young women (as young as some pre-teens?).


A taste of Misión Mujer: "Mujeres mitológias o reales; algunas rebeldes, de vanguardia o disciplinadas; todas estuvieron dedicadas por completo a su tarea. Las que sufren por amor y las que sufren por esencia. Todas, con gran voluntad y entereza, luchando contra lo establecido; contribuyendo, sin planearlo, al reconocimiento pleno de su lugar en la sociedad y de su ejemplo para generaciones futuras.

"Admiradas, amadas, respetadas, reconocidas o no, temidas, odiadas y, algunas de ellas, tildadas de locas, estas mujeres no pasaron desapercibidas. Con espíritu sensible, con afán de lucha, con entrega y sacrificio, se dedicaron por completo a su tarea, a su misión, conociendo el martirio, la soledad, el fracaso y la victoria." Read aloud, this stuff gives me the chills.

One more, this from the chapter on Marie Curie: "Como persona, como mujer, Marie Curie se destacó en una sociedad típicamente machista logrando triunfos que nadie, ni mujer ni hombre, pudo lograr."


While your favorite pocha (FP) might need a dictionary to get through these wonderfully poetic essays of eighteen historical figures, there's sufficient flowing prose and beautiful portrayals to make it seem not so much of a task. At only 150pp., and with many chapters in the range of two to four pages, your FP could pick and choose, further simplifying a read.

Fluent Spanish female readers who've already read the book repeatedly used the term passionate, as best describing the book.

Befitting the overall tone of the prose, the book covers a rainbow of women's history, with Andrómeda and Penélope ("mujer inteligente, esposa fiel"), Safo, María Magdelena, Hipatia de Alejandria (a discovery, for me), Jeanne D'Arc, Teresa de Avila (as a literary figure), Pocahontas (never one of my favorites), Cuban writer and intellectual Gertrudis Gómez, Argentinian poetess Alfonsina Storni, Ann Frank and on through astronauts Christa McAuliffe and Sally Ride.


I'd like to have seen chapters about La Pasionaria and Aleida March (who fought alongside Che) but maybe they'll appear in another Trujillo installment.


Buy this book and give it away! But if your bilingualism permits, first, read it yourself.

About the author:
Myrtha Trujillo was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, on May 4, 1937. She earned her Ph.D. in physical and chemical sciences from the University of Havana, and was a professor of chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico for 30 years. Now retired, the author currently resides in Miami, Florida. She has published several books, as well as numerous articles and essays in literary magazines and newspapers. At present, she is enjoying the beaches of Miami and working on her fifth book.

_ _ _ _ _ _

Obama's Nobel Peace(?) Prize


As the U.S. President said Friday, "To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize." You can read the Nobel Committee's
press release here.

While I know the Rush-to-rage Limbaughists are already all over this, many of us who did vote for Obama might have to agree with his assessment of whether he deserved receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.


The Iraq War's been expanded into nearby countries and isn't on any schedule to end. The War in Afghanistan may be about to expand with additional troops. Palestine remains subjugated, with nothing on the horizon bringing anything but more razed homes, expanded Israeli settlements and no end to the instability of the region. Guantanamo hasn't been shut down. On the other hand, Obama has pulled us back some from the brink of conflict with Korea, Iran and other nations. He's not Bush, but hardly qualifies as the Anti-Bush, either.


Awarding Obama the Peace Prize might make many question its significance and integrity.


At the moment, about the only Peace initiatives I can think of that make him worthy are that 1. he as a black man managed to win the Presidency without the country falling into a civil war of racial overtones. Then too, the fact that 2. he's managed to stay unassassinated is the other feat engendering peace. The last thing we need is riots reminiscent of the days after MLK's assassination.


Those on the left who say we need to give him more time before rendering judgment might ask why the Nobel Committee didn't do the same.


RudyChG

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Guest Columnist: Lydia Gil. Críticas reviews are back!

Lydia Gil

In February of this year, Reed Business Information decided to stop publishing Críticas magazine, which for eight years offered some of the most complete coverage of the U.S. Spanish-language book market.

As essential as this tool proved for librarians, teachers, booksellers and, of course, readers, the publishers based their decision to shut it down not on a decreasing readership, but on (surprise!) decreased ad support.

Shortly after the announcement, writer Adriana V. López asked readers to respond to the publishers and to let them know why Críticas was important to them. Apparently, enough readers took the time to write, since Críticas is back... Or at least their book reviews.

Yesterday, Library Journal sent an email announcing that reviews of Spanish-language books for adults and children can now be found on the LJ website [http://www.libraryjournal.com]. According to the message, reviews of Spanish-language fiction for adults will continue to appear monthly "by the same expert reviewers who have been covering these books for Críticas for years." Reviews of children's books, however, will appear every other month.

This is mixed news, however, because Críticas offered a lot more than just book reviews. They also reported on industry news and literary trends and published a monthly Spanish-language best-sellers list. While some of these topics can be found at the America Reads Spanish website [http://www.americareadsspanish.org], what gets placed under "Industry News" is rather miscellaneous, to put it nicely...

Estoy leyendo... TENGO UNA TIA QUE NO ES MONJITA (Ediciones Patlatonalli).

This adorable children's book by Melissa Cardoza Calderón is about a young girl named Meli (¡ajá!) and her wonderfully eccentric aunt, who is single, doesn't have kids, and is not a nun. She does have a lot of fabulous amigas, and one day Meli catches her kissing one of them... ¡en la boca! It's amazingly beautiful how Cardoza can tell so much in such few words. Great illustrations too!

La Bloga welcomes back for her second guest column, Lydia Gil. La Bloga, and Lydia, appreciate your comments. Click on the Comments counter below. La Bloga welcomes guest columnists. If you'd like to be our guest, click here to send us your idea.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

2009 Américas Award - Winners

I am so glad that we have many awards that celebrate and honor Latino literature. In the children's area, we have the amazing Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. To learn more about the award visit Américas Award website.


The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. By combining both and linking the Americas, the award reaches beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere. The award is sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP).

2009 Américas Award Winners














Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book
by Yuyi Morales. Roaring Brook Press (A Neal Porter Book), 2008. 32 pgs. ISBN 978-1-59643-329-8

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle. Holt, 2008. 169 pgs. ISBN 978-0-8050-8674-4


Américas Award Honorable Mentions

The Best Gift of All: The Legend of La Vieja Belén / El Mejor Regalo del Mundo: La Leyenda de la Vieja Belén by Julia Alvarez. Illustrated by Ruddy Nuñez. Alfaguara/Santillana, 2008. 32 pgs. ISBN 978-1-60396-325-1

Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos. Atheneum, 2008. 440 pgs. 978-1-4169-4804-9

The Storyteller's Candle / La velita de los cuentos by Lucía González. Illustrated by Lulu Delacre. Children's Book Press, 2008. 32 pgs. ISBN 978-0-89239-222-3

Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú by Francisco X. Alarcón. Illustrated by Maya Christina González. Children's Book Press, 2008. 32 pgs. ISBN 978-0-89239-225-4

Arco Iris de Poesía: Poemas de las Américas y España selected by Sergio Andricaín. Illustrated by Olga Cuellar. Lectorum, 2008. 40pgs. ISBN 978-1-930332- 59-1

Baila, Nana, Baila / Dance, Nana, Dance: Cuban Folktales in English and Spanish retold by Joe Hayes. Illustrated by Mauricio Trenard Sayago. Cinco Puntos, 2008. 128 pgs. ISBN 978-1-933693-17-0

Cesar Chavez: Crusader for Social Change by Brenda Haugen. Compass Point, 2008. 112 pgs. 978-0-7565-3321-2

The Disappeared by Gloria Whelan. Dial / Penguin, 2008. 136 pgs. 978-0- 8037-3275-9

Divali Rose by Vashanti Rahaman. Illustrated by Jamel Akib. Boyds Mills, 2008. 32 pgs.

Dolores Huerta: Labor Leader and Civil Rights Activist by Robin S. Doak. Compass Point, 2008. 112 pgs. 978-0-7565-3477-6

Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole. HarperCollins, 2008. 351 pgs. 978-0-06-084311-3

Facts of Life by Gary Soto. Harcourt, 2008. 174 pgs. 978-0-15-206181-4

He Forgot to Say Goodbye by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Simon & Schuster, 2008. 321 pgs. 978-1-4169-4963-3

Kitchen Dance by Maurie J. Manning. Clarion. 2008. 32 pgs. ISBN 978-0-618- 99110-5

Pablo (Cuando los Grandes Eran Pequeños) by Georgina Lázaro. Illustrated by Marcela Donoso. Lectorum, 2008. 32 pgs. ISBN 978-1-930332-09-2

Peace Jam: A Billion Simple Acts of Peace by Ivan Suvanjieff and Dawn Gifford Engle. Puffin/Penguin, 2008. 197 pgs. ISBN 978-0-14-241234-3

A Perfect Season for Dreaming / Un tiempo perfecto para soñar by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Illustrated by Esau Andrade Valencia. Cinco Puntos, 2008. 36 pgs. ISBN 978-1-933693-01-9

Reaching Out by Francisco Jiménez. Houghton Mifflin, 2008. 194 pgs. 978-0-618-03851-0

The Secret Legacy by Rigoberta Menchú. Illustrated by Domi. Groundwood, 2008. 64 pgs. ISBN 978-0-88899-896-5

The Smell of Old Lady Perfume by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez. Cinco Puntos, 2008. 249 pgs. 978-1-933693-18-7

Voices in First Person: Reflections on Latino Identity by Lori Marie Carlson. Photographs by Manuel Rivera-Ortiz. Illustrated by Flavio Morais. Atheneum, 2008. 84 pgs. ISBN 978-1-4169-0635-3

The Walls of Cartagena by Julia Durango. Illustrated by Tom Pohrt. Simon & Schuster, 2008. 150 pgs. 978-1-4169-4102-6

What Can You Do With a Rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla. Illustrated by Amy Córdova. Tricycle Press, 2008. 28 pgs. ISBN 978-1-58246-220-2

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tejas Star Book Award 2008-2009 Winner


The Tejas Star Book Award was created by the Region One ESC Library Advisory Committee to promote reading in general and for readers to discover the cognitive and economic benefits of bilingualism and multilingualism. All the children of Texas have the opportunity to select their favorite book from the Tejas Star list during the 2008-2009 school year.



Congratulations to Xavier Garza! His bilingual book Lucha Libre, The Man in the Silver Mask: a bilingual cuento (Cinco Puntos Press) won the 2008-2009 Tejas Star Book award.


This is the description of the book:

THEY'RE NO LONGER SOMEONE NAMED ALEJANDRO LOPEZ OR HORACIO BALDERA. THEY BECOME CHICANO POWER, THEY BECOME THE RED DEVIL.

Do you know what lucha libre is? Have you ever been to a lucha libre match and seen los technicos and los rudos—the good guys and the bad guys—dressed up in their wild costumes and crazy masks? How would you feel if the most famous luchador of all time actually stopped and smiled at you? Find out what happens to Carlitos when The Man in the Silver Mask—a man he’s never seen before in his whole life—turns and does that very thing to him.

Kids—of all ages—are drawn to the allure of lucha libre and its masked men and women. In Lucha Libre, young fans will see this fascinating world come alive: favorite heroes and much-feared villains, dressed in dazzling and outrageous costumes, strut and prance across the mat and bounce against the ropes, daring anyone to take them to the floor!


The 2008-2009 Tejas Star Book Award finalists are:

-Andricaín, Sergio (Comp). (2008). Arco Iris de Poesía: Poemas de las Américas y España. New York: Lectorum [Scholastic]. Olga Cuellar (Illus.) ISBN: 1930332599

-Argueta, Jorge. (2006). La fiesta de las tortillas/The Fiesta of the Tortillas. Miami: Alfaguara [Santillana]. María Jesús Álvarez (Illus.) ISBN: 1598200941

-Brown, Mónica. (2007). Butterflies on Carmen Street/Mariposas en la calle Carmen. Houston: Piñata Books [Arte Público]. April Ward (Illus.) ISBN: 9781558854840

-Colato Laínez, René. (2005). I am René, the Boy/Soy René, el Niño. Houston: Piñata Books [Arte Público]. Fabiola Graullera Ramírez (Illus). ISBN: 1558853782

-Cuenca, Héctor. (2008). La cucarachita Martina. New York: Lectorum [Scholastic]. ISBN: 1933032367

-Lázaro, Georgina. (2007). Juana Inés. Cuando los grandes eran pequeños. New York: Lectorum [Scholastic]. Bruno González Preza (Illus.) ISBN: 1930332572

-Pérez, Amada Irma. (2007). Nana’s Big Surprise/Nana, ¡Qué Sorpresa! San Francisco, Calfornia: Children’s Book Press. Maya Christina González (Illus.) ISBN 0892391901

-Romeu, Emma. (2007). El rey de las octavas. New York: Lectorum [Scholastic]. Enrique S. Moreiro (Illus.) ISBN: 193303226X

-Ruiz-Flores, Lupe. (2007). The Woodcutter’s Gift/El regalo del leñador. Houston: Piñata Books [Arte Público]. Elaine Jerome (Illus.) ISBN: 9781558854895

-Tafolla, Carmen and Sharyll Teneyuca. (2008). That’s Not Fair! Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice/¡No es Justo! La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia. San Antonio, Texas: Wings Press. Terry Ybañez (Illus.) ISBN: 9780916727338

-Zepeda, Gwendolyn. (2008). Growing up with Tamales/Los Tamales de Ana. Houston: Piñata Books [Arte Público]. April Ward (Illus.) ISBN: 9781558854932


....And the nominees for the 2009-2010 Tejas Star Book Award are:

-Alire Sáenz, Benjamin. (2008). A Perfect Season for Dreaming/Un tiempo perfecto para soñar. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos. Esau Andrade Valencia (illus.). Lluis Humberto Crosthwaite (trans.). ISBN: 978-1-933693-01-9. Gr. 1-5.

-Anaya, Rudolfo. (2007). The First Tortilla: A Bilingual Story. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Amy Córdova (illus.). Enrique R. Lamadrid (trans.) ISBN: 978-0-8263-4214-0. Gr. 3+.

-Brown, Monica. (2007). My Name is Gabito/Me llamo Gabito. Flagstaff, AZ: Luna Rising. Raúl Colón (illus.). ISBN: 978-0-87358-908-6. Gr. K-3.

-Costales, Amy. (2007). Abuelita Full of Life/Abuelita llena de vida. Flagstaff, AZ: Luna Rising. Martha Avilés (illus.) ISBN: 978-0-87358-914-7. Gr. K-2.

-Garza, Xavier. (2008). Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos. ISBN: 978-1-933693-24-8. Gr. 2-5.

-Gonzalez Bertrand, Diane. (2007). We Are Cousins/Somos primos. Houston: Piñata Books. Christina E. Rodriguez (illus.). ISBN: 978-1-55885-486-4. Gr. K-3.

-González, Lucía. (2007). The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press. Lulu Delacre (illus.). ISBN: 978-0-89239-222-3. Gr. 3-6.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adiós Corín Tellado


The queen of the romance novel, “la novela rosa” passed away this Saturday, April 11. She published more than 4,000 novels and sold more than 400-million books which have been translated into several languages. She is listed in the 1994 Guinness World Records as having sold the most books written in Spanish. She published her first novel, Atrevida, in 1946 and finished her last novel this Wednesday.

Her novels were best sellers in Spain and Latin America. Many radionovelas, fotonovelas and telenovelas were based on her works. Our abuelas and mothers fell in love reading Corín Tellado.

Her real name was María del Socorro Tellado López. She was born on April 25, 1927 at Viavélez, Asturias, Spain. At the age of 81, Corín Tellado passed away and left us many stories that we will share for many years to come.

Descanse en paz



For more information about Corín Tellado, visit her website www.corintellado.com