Monday, March 19, 2007


Please join Sandra Ramos O'Briant, Janie Fried, Julia Gibson, Penelope Moffet, Nancy Ellis Taylor and Marie Unini who will read from their work in the new anthology, What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest (University of Texas Press).

Dutton's Brentwood Books, 11975 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049; March 24, 2007, 2:00 p.m.

What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest celebrates women’s experiences in the landscapes of the Southwest. This collection demonstrates and illuminates the rich diversity of environments of the Southwest, as well as the extraordinary range of women's voices and women's experiences of the land. Included among the nearly one hundred contributors to the anthology are widely-recognized writers such as Terry Tempest Williams, Barbara Kingsolver, Joy Harjo, and Leslie Marmon Silko, as well as several important new voices.

“The nearly 100 poems and essays chronicle a variety of encounters with the Southwest, from hiking, camping, and eating to, in a sharp departure, Nancy Mairs' eloquent report on the unforgiving landscape's difficulties for the wheelchair-bound. Accounts of inner discovery take precedence over the beauty of natural vistas, but all the pieces share a feeling of awe and a sense of female empowerment.” –Booklist

◙ Poet, novelist, memoirist and book critic Rigoberto González is interviewed over at the Progressive. He discusses his memoir, Butterfly Boy (University of Wisconsin Press).

◙ Last week I noted that the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press released its first book of its new A Ver series, Gronk by Max Benavidez, which is available in both paperback and hardcover. I’ve had a chance to read the book and my formal review will appear soon in the El Paso Times. I note that Benavidez offers a riveting, clear-eyed and contextualized mid-career examination of Gronk’s development not only as an artist, but as a person. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in arguably one of the most important figures in contemporary art.

Reyna Grande, author of the novel Across a Hundred Mountains (Atria Books), is the 2007 winner of the Premio Aztlán Literary Award. The Premio Aztlán Literary Award is a national literary award, established to encourage and reward emerging Chicana and Chicano authors. Renowned author, Rudolfo Anaya and his wife, Patricia, founded Premio Aztlán in 1993. The prize was reestablished in their honor in 2004 by the University of New Mexico Libraries. Grande's novel was released last year in hardcover and will be released in paperback this May. As Publishers Weekly opined: "Grande's deft portraiture endows even the smallest characters with grace, and the two stories cross and re-cross in unexpected ways, driving toward a powerful conclusion."

◙ AN EVENING WITH CULTURE CLASH: Presented by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, the Library’s Center for Oral History Research, and the Department of Chicana/o Studies, Dr. David G. García will begin the program with an overview of Culture Clash’s almost 23-year history, based on his doctoral dissertation research. He created the Chicana/o Studies Winter 2007 course “Social History in Performance Art: A Seminar Featuring Culture Clash” to put this research into practice. The course challenges students to recover and recount community memory by engaging in Culture Clash’s writing and performance methodology. Students will present a Readers’ Theater of monologues based on oral history interviews they conducted under the guidance of Culture Clash, as part of García’s course. Culture Clash will also present a Readers’ Theater of selected excerpts from their various ethnographic plays.

WHERE: UCLA’S Fowler Museum, A103B
WHEN: Friday, March 23, 2007
TIME: Reception 5:30 p.m. followed by Real Stories, Real People at 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Parking at UCLA is $8. Please go to parking structure #4. Click for parking map and driving directions.

◙ BOOK NEWS: On April 26, the University of Arizona Press will publish The Desert Remembers My Name: On Family and Writing by Kathleen Alcalá as part of Camino del Sol: A Latina/Latino Literary Series. Alcalá’s work takes readers to “a world where one would like to stay forever” (Ursula K. LeGuin). Her words “convincingly move the reader from one reality to the other” (Rudolfo Anaya) and attest to “the power of storytelling as testimony” (The Utne Reader). And now, in her first nonfiction collection The Desert Remembers My Name, Alcalá demonstrates that reflecting upon and sharing one’s own history is as intellectually and spiritually rewarding as using fiction to chronicle the past. In this lyrical collection of personal essays, esteemed Chicana writer Kathleen Alcalá explores the many meanings of “family.” Having unearthed her family’s history and secrets in three award-winning novels, Alcalá now presents a memoir that reflects upon that past. In it, she ultimately uncovers the forces that shaped her as writer and shows how the act of writing can free a person from cultural and personal restraints. This is a calendar of her book tour:

April 10 – University Books, Seattle, 7 p.m.

April 28 – Keynote, Rainbow Bookfest, Seattle

May 6 – Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, 3 p.m.

May 22 – Park Place Books, Kirkland, 7 p.m.

May 30 – University Books, Seattle – 7 p.m. reading with Advanced Fiction Students from UW Extension, final class

June 13th – Seattle Public Library

July 10th, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, at The Tattered Cover, Colfax Store, Denver

For more information, visit Alcalá’s events page.

◙ The 2007 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize is now accepting manuscripts in the genre of novel. Manuscript must be an unpublished full-length novel (225 typed pages minimum). Due date is June 1, 2007. Please click on Rules for the full list of requirements.

◙ Don't forget to take Tu Ciudad's Best of Latino L.A. readers poll. Make your voice heard!

◙ All done. So, until next Monday, enjoy the intervening posts from mis compadres y comadres at La Bloga. ¡Lea un libro! --Daniel Olivas


Lisa Alvarado said...

Counselor -- there's got to be charges I can bring against you! These snips of great books are so compelling, they're criminal.

I want 'Wild' and Kathleen Alcala's books so badly now, my teeth hurt!

Shame, for shame, I say!

daniel olivas said...

Lisa, get thee to a book store or library! And gracias for the kind comment.