Monday, December 05, 2005


Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

Kathy Cano Murillo, aka the Crafty Chica, vows to live the crafty life and so far is pulling it off. She is a syndicated crafts columnist for The Arizona Republic and Gannett News Wire which is carried by 40 papers across the country. She is a local and national TV personality, a professional artist specializing in handmade Latino accessories, entertainment journalist, public speaker and author of five art/craft books, the most recent is Crafty Chica's Art de La Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life (HarperCollins/Rayo) due out February 2006. Kathy also hosts her own creativity and crafting Internet radio show "The Crafty Chica Podcast.” You can see more about her at

LOS ANGELES TIMES’ BEST FICTION LIST 2005: Luis Alberto Urrea and Salvador Plascencia are included in this yearly list which came out yesterday. This is what the Times said about each:

The People of Paper
Salvador Plascencia

Plascencia's first novel takes us to an unreal El Monte, a place where carnation pickers wage war against Saturn, people made of paper are tended by an origami surgeon and other characters rebel against the tyranny of their author. Such strategies recall Borges and García Márquez, while the book's design and typography would make Laurence Sterne proud. [My full review of Plascencia's novel appeared in The Elegant Variation.]

The Hummingbird's Daughter
Luis Alberto Urrea
Little, Brown

Urrea tells the story of his Great Aunt Teresita, who, it was said, could raise the dead with her healing powers and was acclaimed as a saint in 19th century Mexico. Although the power of curanderas has been evoked in Rudolfo Anaya's classic novel "Bless Me, Ultima," Urrea makes the magical quest to understand his wonder-working ancestor uniquely his own. [My full review of Urrea's novel appeared in The Elegant Variation; my interview with Urrea followed a couple of weeks later.]

NUEVO LIBRO: Rigoberto González reviews Pablo Medina’s new book of poems, Points of Balance / Puntos de Apoyo (Four Ways Books). González notes that because the poems move from English to Spanish and back again, “[w]hat results is a dynamic dialogue between two moods with each pairing, the mood shifting after every poem, and, true to the demand of the form, shifting within the poem itself.” He adds that “[t]his book is nothing short of linguistic mastery.” González is an award-winning writer and associate professor of English and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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 Postmark date: 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


◘ Landmark Court Case the Topic for Guest Faculty Exchange: The CSRC will host Michael A. Olivas (no relation to me) for a lecture titled “Colored Men and Hombres Aqui: Hernández v. Texas and the Emergence of Mexican American Lawyering.” Olivas, the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and the director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at the University of Houston Law Center, is recognized for his writings on higher education law, immigration law and policy, and financial aid issues. The lecture will be Friday, January 13, 2006, at 12:00 noon in 179 Haines Hall. For questions or more information please e-mail the front office.

◘ This year has been an extremely active one for the CSRC Press. In addition to publishing two issues of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, we released the first book in our new Chicano Archive series, Self-Help Graphics & Art: Art in the Heart of East Los Angeles, last month. We launched this series to preserve and disseminate information about important Latino archival collections. Two new CSRC Research Reports were published in the spring: Identifying and Preserving the History of the Latino Visual Arts, an important resource for those seeking to preserve community archives, and Press Discourse on Minority Media: A Comparative Analysis, an exploration of the independent media’s treatment of ethnic film. Community College as a Pathway to Chicana/o Doctorate Production, the latest Latino Policy & Issues Brief, received national media attention following its publication in June. Look for many more exciting publications in 2006, including new DVDs and the first volume in CSRC Press’s newest series, A Ver: Revisioning Art History.

SOMOS PRIMOS: The December issue of Somos Primos is out. Edited by Mimi Lozano, Somos Primos is dedicated to “Hispanic Heritage and Diversity Issues.”

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

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