Monday, June 27, 2005


Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

Michael Jaime-Becerra (aka Michael Jayme) is a native of El Monte, California. A graduate of UC Irvine's Creative Writing department, his early work was first collected in 1996 as Look Back and Laugh for the Chicano Chapbook Series, edited by Gary Soto. The following year he began publishing under the surname “Jaime-Becerra” and shortly thereafter, a limited-edition collection of prose poems, entitled The Estrellistas Off Peck Road , was released locally by Temporary Vandalism. He studied in the University of California, Irvine 's Master of Fine Arts in Fiction program, completing work toward his degree in 2001. Last year, HarperCollins/Rayo published his debut collection of inter-related short stories, Every Night Is Ladies' Night: Stories, released in paperback this March. Susan Straight, author of The Gettin Place and I've Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots, said of his collection: "If you think southern California is a landscape you already know, think again, and then read Michael Jaime-Becerra. His stories are the ones people need to know, and his craftsmanship is impeccable."

PALABRAS: Every Friday at 7:30 p.m., Tía Chucha’s hosts an open mic/spoken word night of current and aspiring writers, singers, poets, rappers & musicians perform their art for the public. Hosted by Victor E. of Xicano Records and films, and Aztlan Underground. Bring your best verses. Free to the public. Tía Chucha's Café Cultural, 12737 Glenoaks Blvd., Sylmar, (818) 362-7060.

BRINGING LIBROS TO LIFE: Calaca Press is a Chicano family-owned small publishing house dedicated to publishing and producing unknown, emerging, and established progressive Chicano and Latino voices. With a commitment to social justice and human rights Calaca Press strives to bring about change through the literary arts. From poetry and the spoken word to fiction and creative non-fiction Calaca Press is determined to showcase authors from a community that has been marginalized and pushed to the side in literary circles, and in the real world, for far too long. Recognizing the need for more publishers of Chicano and Latino literature Calaca Press also actively encourages and assists individuals to self publish and/or start their own presses. Understanding the need for historical continuation Calaca Press is committed to continuing the tradition of the Chicano and Latino presses and publishing houses of the 1960's and 1970's that flourished due to community support and the need to have our stories told. Calaca Press, P.O. Box 2309, National City, CA 91951.

REVIEW: In the El Paso Times, Rigoberto González gives a wonderful review Virgil Suárez’s new book, 90 Miles: Selected and New Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press).

FINALMENTE: I had a wonderful time signing my first children’s book, Benjamin and the Word / Benjamin y La Palabra (Arte Público Press), this Saturday at B. Dalton's Booksellers in the Topanga Plaza. The hardest part about publishing books is getting out there and selling (at least for me). But the dividends are great when I meet wonderful gente who appreciate that Chicanos are out there writing books.

All done. Until next Monday, enjoy the intervening posts from my compadres at La Bloga. ¡Lea un libro!


msedano said...

What I like best about Calaca Press is their commitment to spoken word art. The Raza Spoken Here series, that features the work of Taco Shop Poets and friends, and When Skin Peels. Suberb and breath-takingly so. Some of this work is sublime.

Calaca lent a hand a few years back when I was working with some high school kids. Sold me The Calaca Review / La Revista Calaca at just around cost, so I could give each of the kids and teachers a copy.

Sadly, Calaca hasn't had a big splashy LA event of late. Here are a couple reviews I did of RSH and WSP, the latter with a couple of fotos of the poets:

There may be one or two copies of these CDs remaining. Calaca's site lets you listen to some fine samples if you cannot get your hands on the full CDs


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Anonymous said...

You've got it wrong, he graduated from UCI's MFA program. He's teaching at UCRiverside.