Monday, November 28, 2005


Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

Reyna Grande was born in Guerrero, Mexico in 1975. When she was five years old her father and mother left for the U.S. and left her and her siblings in care of her grandmother. She entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant in 1985. She attended Pasadena City College for two years before transferring to the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she obtained her B.A. in Creative Writing and Film & Video in 1999. Her short-stories and poems were published in the student-run publication "Las Girlfriends." She also self-published a collection of short-stories entitled Under the Guamuchil Tree with a grant from the university. In 2003, she was selected as one of the eight fellows in the Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellowship offered by Pen Center USA. She was mentored by María Amparo Escandón, author of Esperanza's Box of Saints and Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking Co. Across a Hundred Mountains is Reyna’s first novel which will be published by Simon & Schuster/Atria Books in spring 2006.

Reyna is working on a second novel, where she explores the world of folklorico, Mexican folk dancing. The novel centers around four folklorico dancers: Elena, Adriana, Yesenia, and Soledad. Reyna believes that "folklorico is an integral part of the Mexican culture, yet it is not often written about." Reyna has also been working on a collection of short-stories set in East Los Angeles about different characters who use shopping carts. Reyna thinks that “the shopping cart is one of the inventions that has greatly benefitted la Raza!” You may read one of her shopping cart stories, Chona Pichona.

THE TOMAS RIVERA AWARD IN CRITICAL WRITING: CRATE seeks essays that explore or examine emerging writers, Latino/a contemporary works, American landscapes, migrant issues that reflect global transformation, power and the arts.

Total prizes in $1000.00:

1st prize - $500 and publication in CRATE Journal and CRATE website

2nd prize - $250 and publication in CRATE Journal and CRATE website

Honorable Mentions - $125 and possible publication on CRATE website

Please limit your submissions to 3,000 words. All submissions must be postmarked by Dec. 15, 2005 to be considered.

CRATE only reads between Sept. 15 through Dec. 15. Winners to be announced Winter 2005. Visit CRATE’s guidelines for complete details and mailing address.

The deadline for submissions considered for this special issue of IR will be the postmark date of December 31, 2005.

Submission Guidelines: Indiana Review is proud to announce a call for work by Latino & Latina writers. We are seeking Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction by Latino & Latina writers that that is well-crafted and lively, has an intelligent sense of form and language, assumes a degree of risk, and has consequence beyond the world of its speakers or narrators. We also welcome interviews with established writers. Content that addresses political, social, and cultural aspects of the Latino and Latina identity and community are welcome but not a pre-requisite for consideration. Our intent with this issue is to showcase the vibrant and diverse voices of new and established Latino and Latina Writers.

Stories: Send only one story per submission, up to 40 double-spaced pages. Translations are welcome.

Poems: Send up to four poems, no more than ten pages, per submission. Do not fold poems individually or staple poems together. Translations are welcome.

Nonfiction: Send only one essay per submission, up to 30 double-spaced pages.

Book Reviews: Reviews should be of recent fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and literary criticism (publication date within two years). Small press titles are preferred. Reviews must be 1,000 to 1,500 words, double-spaced, and include complete publication information (press, ISBN, price). Send a maximum of two reviews per submission.

Graphic Arts: Paintings, photographs, comics, and drawings are welcome. In lieu of originals, please send digital images of work. Slides cannot be accepted. DO NOT send only copy of work. Indiana artists are preferred. Send up to five pieces that are up to 6" x 9" in dimensions or may be later reduced to this size. Visual works must also be publishable in black and white, but, when funding allows, may be published in full color.

How to submit: There is no need to query editors about submitting work. Submission status may be queried by mail or email, but please allow 4 months before querying.

All submissions and correspondence MUST include a self-addressed stamped envelope. We cannot respond to submissions otherwise. Include additional postage if work is to be returned.

Simultaneous submissions are okay, but we must be promptly notified of acceptance elsewhere.

Clearly mark envelope to the appropriate genre editor's attention (e.g. "Fiction Editor").

Include cover letter listing work titles, previous publications and awards, and a brief bio. For receipt confirmation, please include email address. Explanations of manuscript's meaning, theme, or technique are not necessary.

No handwritten, faxed, emailed, or poorly copied/printed manuscripts will be considered. Further, IR cannot consider work (other than book reviews) from anyone currently or recently affiliated with Indiana University.

Contact Info: Send all correspondence to address below. Again, please note that we cannot accept email submissions.

Send manuscripts to:
Latino/Latina Writers Issue
Indiana Review
Ballantine Hall 465
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: Forging a New Path: Contemporary Latino Authors

WHAT: The Queens Library New Americans Program presents a screening of Writing a Life, a one-hour documentary about Esmeralda Santiago and the power of words to transform lives. Esmeralda's family life, work ethic, and creative process are revealed in this intimate film portrait. After the screening there will be a Q&A with Esmeralda moderated by Marcela Landres.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 29, 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Queens Library, Jackson Heights branch, 35-51 81 Street, Queens, NY

WHO: Esmeralda Santiago is the author of The Turkish Lover, When I was Puerto Rican, America's Dream, and Almost a Woman, which was made into a Peabody Award-winning film for Masterpiece Theatre. She is married to the filmmaker Frank Cantor and is the mother of two adult children, jazz guitarists Lucas and Ila.

Marcela Landres is an Editorial Consultant and was formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster where she published the bestselling authors Karen Rauch Carter and Dora Levy Mossanen. She speaks frequently for organizations such as the Learning Annex and is often quoted by the media as a publishing expert.

REGISTER: No registration is required. Admission is free. For more information, call 718-990-0891.


Applying to Graduate School: A CSRC Workshop

An in-depth guide for undergraduate students thinking of applying to graduate programs. Led by Professors Ray Rocco, Political Science, and Daniel Solorzano, Education; and Graduate Student Dolores Calderon, Education.

Wednesday, November 30
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Haines Hall Room 179
Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by e-mailing event cosponsor Hispanic Scholarship Fund or the CSRC.

THE QUETZAL QUILL: Last Monday, I had the pleasure of being one of several writers who read at Imix Bookstore hosted The Quetzal Quill, a national collective of poets and writers on a mission to promote and share their literary works. Many thanks to Imix and to the host for the evening, Rigoberto González. The other guest authors were:

Gabrielle Calvocoressi, author of "The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart," is a former Jones Lecturer at Stanford. She has received the Rona Jaffe Women Writers' Award and the Bernard F. Cooper Prize from The Paris Review.

Reyna Grande (profiled above) is the author of the forthcoming novel, "Across A Hundred Mountains." She was born in Mexico, educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and currently lives in LA, working on her second novel.

Miguel Murphy, author of "A Book Called Rats," winner of the Blue Lynx Prize, is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received the Swarthout Award and the University Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

And many thanks to friends who showed up including La Bloga’s very own Michael Sedano.

TU CIUDAD: The new issue of Tu Ciudad is out (Dec./Jan.) and it includes yours truly as a guest columnist. There's also an excellent profile of L.A. Times writer, Al Martinez, not to mention a fine overview of Latino L.A. arts, politics, and comida, comida, comida. Check it out.

35TH ANNIVERSARY: Sylvia Vasquez discusses the 35th anniversary edition of her late father Richard Vasquez's landmark novel, Chicano (HarperCollins/Rayo), at Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, Friday, December 2, 7:00 p.m.

HONORING HIZZONER: This Thursday, December 1, the Mexican Cultural Institute Los Angeles will honor Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, the musical group Los Lobos and artist Patssi Valdez at their 9th Annual Dinner Gala at the Omni Hotel. It begins at 6 p.m. Tickets for the gala dinner are $250. For sponsorship opportunities, topurchase tickets or for information about the 9th Annual Gala Dinner, call Cozette Munatones, at (213) 624-3660. For information about the Mexican Cultural Institute's free programs and community events, contact Lawrence Garcia, Executive Director or visit

FINALMENTE: I had the amazing luck of having my collection, Devil Talk (Bilingual Press), reviewed on KQED's California Report last Friday. The book critic is Jordan Rosenfeld. The review appears about halfway through the half-hour program so get jiggy with the the playback gizmo if you want to find it pronto. If you liked Ms. Rosenfeld's work, send an e-mail to KQED and tell them! That's the only way KQED will know that their listeners appreciate coverage of Chicano arts and literature!

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


msedano said...

heaing reyna grande read from her upcoming novel was a pleasure. enjoyed your reading of the cuenta tambien. all around, that was a grand evening of literary stimulation. and just as important, perhaps more, that was my first visit to IMIX books. from now on, IMIX will order all my purchases for me. my local indie, Pasadena's Vroman's, is lukewarm to chicana chicano writers, so they've failed to keep my business. (although Vroman's will host a signing of Chicano soon, and a few years ago, had Julia Alvarez and more recently Urrea with Hummingbird's Daughter.) IMIX it is!


daniel olivas said...

yes, it was a special night. and i did note the upcoming signing of "chicano" at vroman's.

Anonymous said...

Small world or six degrees of separation? Drove across town to hear my friend Daniel and meet other writers, not knowing Reyna would be there. Yesterday, my friend Candy was telling me about a writing class she's taking at UCLA extension and the fabulous writer in her class: Reyna Grande.
Can't wait to read the book.