Friday, October 20, 2006

The Good, Bad, and Indifferent

One Week Before the First Snow

PEN Center USA announced the winners and finalists of its 2006 Literary Awards competition honoring outstanding works published or produced in 2005 by writers who live west of the Mississippi River. The awards will be presented at PEN USA's December 12 Literary Festival gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Viola Canales won the award in the Children's Literature category for her book The Tequila Worm (Random House Children's Books/Wendy Lamb Books).

Here's the publisher's summary of this acclaimed book:

"Sofia comes from a family of storytellers. Here are her tales of growing up in the barrio in McAllen, Texas, full of the magic and mystery of family traditions: making Easter cascarones, celebrating el Día de los Muertos, preparing for quinceañera, rejoicing in the Christmas nacimiento, and curing homesickness by eating the tequila worm. When Sofia is singled out to receive a scholarship to boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio, even though it means leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids. It’s a different mundo, but one where Sofia’s traditions take on new meaning and illuminate her path. WINNER 2006 - Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List; WINNER 2006 - Pura Belpre Narrative Award; WINNER 2006 - ALA Notable Children's Book."

One Book, One Denver 2006 has selected The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols as this year's title. Mayor Hickenlooper announced the selection at the Denver Public Library, telling the crowd it's his goal "to enlarge the circle of readers in our city." Several events are planned including An Evening of Milagros with John Nichols at West High School on November 13 at 7:00 PM, a screening of the movie based on the book on November 19, and a special Stories on Stage featuring readings from the book by Tony Garcia of El Centro Su Teatro on November 20. Go here for details. Last year's selection, Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros, was considered a popular and very successful selection for this annual event.

Letter threatens immigrant voters
By The Associated Press

Santa Ana, Calif.- State investigators have linked a Republican campaign to letters sent to thousands of Orange County Hispanics warning them they could go to jail or be deported if they vote next month, a spokesman for the attorney general said.

"We have identified where we believe the mailing list was obtained," said Nathan Barankin, spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

He declined to identify the specific Republican campaign Wednesday, citing the ongoing investigation. The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register both reported today that the investigation appeared to be focused on the campaign of Tan D. Nguyen, a Republican challenger to Democratic U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

The letter, written in Spanish, tells recipients: "You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time." In fact, immigrants who are naturalized U.S. citizens can vote.

Read the entire article here.

Meanwhile ...

Voting drive fails to rally masses
By Jim Spencer

The goals were lofty. Volunteers from El Voto Latino planned to register 750 to 1,000 new Latino voters in Weld County (Colorado) before the 2006 elections. Altogether, they planned to add 5,000 Hispanics to the voting rolls before the 2008 presidential race.

The men and women of El Voto Latino dreamed of brown power.

So far, they've found ethnic indifference.

When the registration deadline for the Nov. 7 election passed last week, Voto Latino had signed up just 377 new Latino voters in a county with roughly 34,000 unregistered voting- age Hispanics.

"For every person we actually registered, we probably talked to 20 to 30 people," said Voto Latino executive director David Gutierrez.

"I wish I understood why."

Enlightenment may only lead to more disappointment. If the angry, sometimes racist, immigration debate in this country hasn't already signaled to Latinos their need to register and vote, it's hard to figure what more Gutierrez and his troops can say.

Read this article here.

Ironic, no?

The first, maybe annual, La Bloga Día de los Muertos Amoxcalli-Descansos Contest. Here's your chance to get exposure for your great piece relating to el Día de los Muertos. Through Oct. 24th we will accept prose, poetry, essay, in English or Spanish or Spanglish--just about anything concerning this indigenous/modern tradition. Fantasy, children's stories, young adult, horror, serious, or not so--anything you want to share on La Bloga. Shorter pieces are preferred (less than 500 words), since we are the editorial staff and will base decisions on quality and how little work is required of us. We will feature one prize winner each day of the week of Day of the Dead. Email your submission to lablogaATreadrazaDOTcom.


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