Friday, March 24, 2006


Manuel Ramos

June 2-4, 2006 - Ana Castillo has committed herself to walk the full 39.3 miles. To donate a pledge in her name, please click here to visit her personal walk page . You can use a credit card or debit card, donate a one time gift or make a pledge over time. You can also send a check to:
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, P.O. Box 408680, Chicago, IL 60640

Castillo currently (March 23 - 25) is participating in the International Writers Conference at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, as part of El Otro Lado: A Celebration of Work by Contemporary Latina and Chicana Writers. Other writers in this program include Alvina Quintana, Helena Viramontes, and Loida Maritza Perez.

What does a poet/blogger do when she's not writing poetry/blogging? Read other poetic bloggers, of course. Lorna Dee Cervantes recently compiled her List of Top 30 Excellent Po' Bloggers Discovered This Year. Here's a fix for you poetry junkies - thirty times over. Lorna Dee explains that her list does not include "old po' pals", poets whose work she is already familiar with, or former students. Gracias, Lorna Dee.

Some time back I posted about an initiative in the Mexican town of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl ("Neza") that required the city's cops to read at least one book a month. Angel Gurria-Quintana in an article posted at the Financial Times website, Words On The Street, gives more detail about this project.

Here are some quotes from the article:
"To begin with, a list of 'suggested books' was circulated. It included Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century classic, Don Quixote de la Mancha, as well as 20th-century Mexican novels such as Juan Rulfo’s unsurpassable Pedro Paramo and Carlos Fuentes’ gothic novella, Aura; it listed such highbrow texts as Nobel laureate Octavio Paz’s essay on Mexican culture, The Labyrinth of Solitude, alongside modern classics including One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Among other 'recommended authors' were Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle and Mexican detective fiction writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II.

In April, Neza’s municipal government published a volume of short stories to be distributed for free among its police officers. The stories, selected by Neza-born writer Juan Hernandez Luna, revolve around the topic of justice. They include two American authors, Howard Fast and Raymond Carver; Brazilian ex-policeman Ruben Fonseca; Germany’s Bertolt Brecht; and three Mexican writers - Edmundo Valades, Juan Villoro and Eduardo Antonio Parra.

The volume is the first of six to be published specifically for Neza’s police force (the next will be a short novel by pulp author Jim Thompson). To complement their readings, officers are encouraged to join fortnightly workshops where they discuss the stories with a specialist. Attendance is not compulsory, but is taken into account when considering promotions. So far, the program has met with apparent success."

That's quite a reading list. If we had a similar project in the U.S., which books and authors would you suggest for a "must-read" list for policemen?

I just got my copy of The Man Who Could Fly (University of Oklahoma Press), the collected short stories of Rudolfo Anaya. I've whipped through the first two stories and should finish this book this weekend. So far, great. The two stories I have read, The Road to Platero and Children of the Desert, are quirky, very close to supernatural. As always, the landscape and place are crucial to the stories but, above all, the wounded humanity of the characters is striking.

With the success and hype of The Da Vinci Code, it comes as no surprise that a Spanish author, Javier Sierra, has written an "historical thriller" with Leonardo Da Vinci as a main character. The Secret Supper (Atria) was published in the U.S. in March.

I just received this message, which I will pass on verbatim.

Denver SCORES, a literacy through poetry program for kids in urban neighborhoods will be hosting a really exciting event on April 27th at the Paramount Theatre in Denver.

After a three year absence, The Rock Bottom Remainders will be returning to Denver. This entertaining and amusing event features a group of famous authors including Dave Barry, Scott Turow, Amy Tan and many others making a go at being "Rock-Stars". Their tour stops in only three cities this spring and Denver is one of them; it's sure to be a fun-filled evening! Mayor Hickenlooper will even be playing a few numbers with the band.

VIP tickets are available for $200 which includes a reception with the band and there are also general admission tickets available for $29.00 which includes parking. Tickets can be purchased through our office 303-832-5879, on our website, through ticketmaster or the Paramount box office.


Ice And Snow, Molly French photographer



Anonymous said...

Javier Sierra's book looks interesting. And it is very good that I read this post today. Last night I was musing while trying to sleep of what topic I should start writting. Then popped in my head 'any topic is worth starting.' My mind must have continued working while I slept for when I awoke that statement was now stronger: 'you can write whatever you want.' And that means there are no bounds.

msedano said...

required reading for police?

List 1, the snide.
Paul Zindel's The Pigman.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies.

List 2, the short.
George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant".
Edgar A. Poe, "The Tell Tale Heart".

List 3, the noble & gritty.
Joseph Wambaugh, The New Centurions.
Thomas Utts, Korea Blue.

List 4, the chicano.
Martin Limon, The Door to Bitterness.
Limon, Slickie Boys.
Manuel Ramos, Moony's Road to Hell.
Ramos, Brown on Brown.
Rolando Hinojosa, Ask a Policeman.

List 5, television.
Car 54, Where Are You?

Manuel Ramos said...

Latino Pundit:
Write whatever you want - words to live by. Go for it.

Hey, man,what a list! I never would have thought of Lord of the Flies, for example. Excellent. As for TV - The Shield?