Friday, November 30, 2007


Manuel Ramos

Several bits and pieces this week: a pair of grand old maestros are still stirring the pot; an opportunity for maestros-to-be; readings and performances that will stir your soul; appearances by Our Lady of Guadalupe; y más.

Rudolfo Anaya's latest children's book The First Tortilla (University of New Mexico Press, 2007) has been chosen for the Land of Enchantment Book Award. Taos artist Amy Cordova is the illustrator for this popular book - check out her website.

The Land of Enchantment Award is a children's book award designed to encourage New Mexico youth to read books of high literary quality. The award is sponsored by the New Mexico Library Association and the New Mexico International Reading Association and includes master reading lists for children and young adults. Information about the award is available at

The First Tortilla is the story of a young Mexican girl who saves her village by making the first tortilla with the help of the Mountain Spirit.

Congratulations to Rudolfo Anaya on this award. There's more: Bless Me, Ultima is now being read nationwide as part of the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read program; and the Albuquerque Museum Foundation named Anaya as its Notable New Mexican.

Another of the writing legends, Rolando Hinojosa, was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree from Texas A & M University in August. Hinojosa's recent publications include: The Forgotten War, So-Called, published by Veterans for Peace; Klail City Redux published by Puentes (Núm 5, Otoño 2007); Lone Star Sleuths (University of Texas Press, 2007) included Chapter One of Partners in Crime; and Texas Tech Press published his short story Death and Obedience in Nasario García's anthology Brujerías. As I recently mentioned here on La Bloga, Hinojosa also was presented the Bookend Award (with Dagoberto Gilb) at this year's Texas Book Festival.


November 30, 7:30 PM
Tattered Cover Book Store Historic LoDo
Denver's Deputy Mayor Guillermo Vidal will read from and sign his book Boxing for Cuba: An Immigrant's Story of Despair, Endurance & Redemption (Ghost Road Press, 2007). The book is described as "a poignant story of struggle, forgiveness, and the joy of returning home."

December 1, 6:00 PM (reception) 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (main event)
The Laboratory of Art and Ideas
El Laboratorio continues its exciting series of writers reading and performing at the Lab in Belmar. Up next, Sheryl Luna will read from her award-winning book Pity the Drowned Horses (Notre Dame Press, 2005), followed by a performance by the always entertaining and enlightening storyteller Angel Vigil. $10 ($5 members). For more information call 303-934-1777.

December 8, 2:00 PM
Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue
Colorado author Lydia Gil, and local illustrator Hernán Sosa, will present their bilingual picture book Mimís Parranda/La Parranda de Mimí (Piñata Books, 2007). "Rich with Puerto Rican cultural traditions and complemented by vibrant illustrations, this beautiful story will have children ages 3-7 eagerly anticipating their own holiday traditions."

December 13, 2007 7:30 PM
Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue
John Nichols will read from and sign his new novel The Empanada Brotherhood (Chronicle, 2007). The publisher says, "It's Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, when expatriates, artists, and colorful bums are kings. A tiny stand selling empanadas near the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal streets is the center of the action for the shy narrator, an aspiring writer just out of college. Charming and insightful, this deceptively simple novel is a tale told by a master. It is a wise coming-of-age story, full of joy and touched by heartbreak, that captures a special time and place with extraordinary empathy and humor."


The Crested Butte Writers announced the return of their writing contest for unpublished authors, The Sandy.

Categories & Final Round Judges
Romance --- Selina McLemore, Associate Editor, Grand Central (formerly Warner)
Mainstream Adult Fiction-Mollie Glick, Agent, Jean Naggar Literary Agency
Suspense/Thriller- Katie Gilligan, Associate Editor Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin's Press
Fantasy/Science Fiction-Melissa Ann Singer, Sr. Editor, Tor
Children's & YA-Jennifer Rees, - Editor, Scholastic Books

Eligibility--All authors unpublished in novel length fiction.
Enter-- The first 20 pages and up to a 2 page synopsis, for a total page count of 22 pages.
Receipt date-February 17, 2008.
Fee--$30; Friends of Library members, fee= $20

Awards-- Winners announced at the awards luncheon, held Friday June 20, 2008.
1st place will receive $50 and a certificate, 2nd place will receive $25 and a certificate, and third place will receive a certificate.
More info here.


El Centro Su Teatro will present the original production, Á Colorado en una Noche de Navidad, To Colorado on a Christmas Night, featuring the music of Tish Hinojosa and written and directed by Anthony J. Garcia, December 13 – 23. Á Colorado is a theatrical celebration of the music of renowned singer/songwriter Tish Hinojosa. Su Teatro company actors will sing and reinterpret her songs, and Tish will join the cast for a one night only special performance on December 21.

Su Teatro developed Á Colorado as a part of its annual St. Cajetan’s Reunification Project. What is now known as the Auraria Higher Education Center was once a thriving Westside barrio, and the still standing but desanctified St. Cajetan’s church was the spiritual center of the neighborhood. Every holiday season, Su Teatro travels to Auraria to present a community based folk drama and symbolically return the neighborhood to the families it was taken from. Eugenia Rawls theater at the King Center, 877 Lawrence Way, December 13 – 23. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM with Saturday and Sunday 3:00 PM matinees.

Tickets are $18 general and $15 students/seniors. Special comadre group rates are available. For tickets and information call El Centro Su Teatro at (303) 296-0219 and visit and


The Denver Art Museum opens its door for free from December 12 through January 6, and invites everyone to check out the pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial art galleries in the Museum's North Building, fourth level. Bilingual and family activities are promised. The event is billed as Our Lady of Guadalupe at the DAM, so expect a vision.

December 13 - Vino y Chocolate hosted by the Board of Directors of Adelante Mujer, Inc., 5:00 - 8:00 PM, Centro San Juan Diego, 2830 Lawrence St., Denver, CO. Support the Immigrant and Migrant Project of Bienestar Family Services of Centro San Juan Diego by bringing a gift of toys for children age's birth to 10 years. Indicate age and gender on children's gifts. RSVP - 303-297-8696.


Al fin -- I got the pleasant news that my short story, If We Had Been Dancing, has been selected by Stories on Stage to be performed by the Buntport Theatre for the Tales of Mystery and Suspense program (January 4 and 5, 2008). Other authors for that night include Edgar Allen Poe, Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, and Jack Ritchie. Heavy company.

The Stories on Stage annual holiday program is set for December 16 at the Stage Theater in the DCPA. Featured authors for Making Merry are Dylan Thomas, John Cheever, Truman Capote, and Ellis Parker Butler. Sounds good.

Whew -- it's late. Time for a cool one.



Lisa Alvarado said...

Manuel -- another great round robin of what's happening, who's appearing, and it makes me wish AGAIN that I were at least visiting your neck of the woods.

(BTW --Tish has an amazing angel's voice, no?)


Manuel Ramos said...

Thanks Lisa -- always kind words from you. I am glad to know that someone reads this stuff and gets something out of it.

Tish is amazing, absolutely. She's a fave around here.