Monday, January 28, 2008

Mexico in the Heartland

New Madrid, the official journal of the low-residency Master of Fine Arts program at Murray State University, announces the publication of its Winter 2008 issue, dedicated to the theme of “Mexico in the Heartland.”

The issue features artwork by Mexican muralist José Luis Soto González and includes literary works by nationally and internationally recognized writers such as Philip Garrison, Socorro Venegas and Daniel Olivas. Through an interview with Fred de Rosset, it also highlights the contributions of the Kentucky Institute of International Studies (KIIS) in fostering relationships between Kentuckians and Mexican nationals.

The issue also features “The Mexican Mural Project,” a series of oral histories inspired by the growing Mexican population in western Kentucky.

Copies of the “Mexico in the Heartland” issue are $8.00. They may be purchased from Pamela Miller, Secretary, MFA Program, Department of English and Philosophy, Murray State University, 7C Faculty Hall, Murray, KY 42071-3341. For further information, e-mail Pamela Miller. Annual subscriptions to New Madrid are $15.00.

New Madrid is edited by Ann Neelon. Advisory and Contributing Editors are Squire Babcock, Brian Barker, Dale Ray Phillips and Holly Goddard Jones. The next issue will appear in July, 2008, with Nicky Beer as Guest Editor. New Madrid accepts on-line submissions only. Check the New Madrid website for submission guidelines and announcements of future issues.

[New Madrid front and back cover art by José Luis Soto González.]

◙ Kathleen Alcalá’s The Desert Remembers My Name: On Family and Writing (University of Arizona Press) was recently selected as one of Margaret Guerrero's "Top Picks" in the 2007 Southwest Books of the Year competition. Southwest Books of the Year is a prestigious award in Southern Arizona sponsored by the Pima County Public Library, Friends of the Pima County Public Library, Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, and the Arizona Historical Society.

◙ PALABRA ISSUE 3 RELEASED: Just released and ready for the reading, the new issue of PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano & Latino Literary Art, is filled with a diverse assortment of fiction, poetry and drama that is wistful, intense, contemplative, searing, fresh-eyed, muscular, surprising and funny.

The latest issue features new poetry by Margarita Engle, Carolina Monsiváis, María Luis Arroyo, Alfaro, Damacio García and Marielena O. Gómez. Also included are a novel excerpt by Richard Yañez, a new play by Caridad Svich and short fiction from Marisela Norte, Louis Reyna, Nick Padron and Daniel Chacón.

With the release of its third issue, PALABRA continues its quest to showcase an eclectic array of new and established Chicano and Latino literary voices speaking in a wide range of styles—writing as distinct and varied as the experiences that created them.

PALABRA is available through its website and at:

Imix Bookstore - Los Angeles, CA

Tianguis - Chicago, IL

Trópico de Nopal Gallery - Los Angeles, CA

REDCAT - Los Angeles, CA

Over at the Letras Latinas blog, you can read an enlightening interview with elena minor, the editor and founder of PALABRA.

◙ We received this call for assistance from Thania Muñoz concerning her project on the late Mexican novelist, Jorge Ibargüengoitia (pictured below):

My name is Thania Muñoz and I’m a master student of Latin American literature at Cal State Los Angeles. I’m doing a research paper that I will be presenting at the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies conference in November, 2008. I’m interested in Mexican detective fiction and my research will focus on Jorge Ibargüengoitia’s novels, The Dead Girls (1977) and Two Crimes (1979). I intend to analyze how Ibargüengoitia utilizes detective fiction to expose, through his portrait of provincial Mexico, the reality of a nation. Below is a short summary of what I’m focusing on; if any La Bloga readers have done research on Mexican detective fiction, the hard-boiled genre or is just interested in knowing more about these genres and helping me out, I would love to hear from you. My email is: Thanks.

Here is Muñoz's formal abstract of her project: “In Jorge Ibargüengoitia’s novels, The Dead Girls (1977), and Two Crimes (1979) the settings are not the enormous and dark cities, such as the D.F., but the little provincial towns of the Mexican republic. The intuitive and cool detective is Don Pepe, an old pharmacist. Prostitution is legal, until the authorities stop accepting briberies and as a result many prostitutes are found dead. In these two novels, the author ventures, in a literary way, out of Mexico’s urban centers, not to show the variety of nuances in Mexican culture, but to show that its vices are the same. As in the cities, the police are corrupt, families are greedy and their greed for power even greater. Jorge Ibargüengoitia transforms the genre of detective fiction and adjusts it to the Mexican reality. This not only proves the genre’s adaptability to other realities, but it also turns it into the writer’s criticism tool. His criticism, in the two aforementioned novels, unravels Mexico’s imperfections and its pursuit for the idealized modernity.”

◙ Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed, tells us of an interview/Podcast with the leading scholar on Américo Paredes, Ramón Saldívar, a professor of English and comparative literature at Stanford University. You may access the piece here. Last month, the Modern Language Association gave its Prize in United States Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies to Saldívar for his monograph on the work of Américo Paredes, The Borderlands of Culture (University of Duke Press). The article, by Scott McLemee, notes that the “podcast offers a good introduction to Paredes’s own life and work, and expresses some of Saldívar’s deep engagement with them. It could be time for others to start sharing that interest: a local ballad from the Tex-Mex borderland might yet be on the soundtrack of 21st century American politics.”

◙ Don’t forget to visit The Mark on the Wall, the blog created by Lisa Alvarez (aka Rebel Girl). She has a recent post on many interesting items including Cheech Marin’s book signing to launch the Chicano Art and Soul Exhibition at the MUZEO. Alvarez is the co-author of Writer's Workshop in a Book: The Squaw Valley Community of Writers on the Art of Fiction (Chronicle Books), and a contributor to the forthcoming Latinos in Lotusland : An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature (Bilingual Press).

◙ Rigoberto González reviews in the El Paso Times Juan Felipe Herrera's 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971 - 2007 (City Lights Books) observing that “Herrera has combed through no fewer than nine of his previously published books and chapbooks to map out nearly 40 years of political writings and to celebrate a lifelong commitment to literary activism.” González states that this book “is a momentous achievement for this activist writer…”

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


Anonymous said...

Another great collection of news from Aztlan. De dejas cae!

Un Vato C/S/R

Anonymous said...

Mexican pharmacy serves your medical needs like no other!

Ever since the era of online pharmacies has started, there has been gradual improvement in the comparison between the best and the worst. The quality of products, customer service and security has never been better. But this doesn’t mean that the need for a safe shopping pharmacy, has been met.

The Mexican Pharmacy is the benchmark of best services in the Greater Americas when getting medicines. The human need to be healthy cannot be complete without the right set of medications to ward off everyday illnesses. The Mexican pharmacy makes this easier for you.

The state regulated price of drugs has been the apex reason of it being phenomenally successful. If this was not cheap enough, there are special offers and giveaways to get your first aid box filled at throw away prices. Don’t be startled, the medicines are not junk!

The drugs available have confirmed to the rigorous testing of its manufacturers, and have been found authentic. The Mexican pharmacy deals with health, not giving it a blow!

You can find more info at:


John Scherber said...

Here's another link to a series of mysteries set in Mexico–––Murder in Mexico is my series of eleven mysteries set in and around the upscale expat colony of San Miguel de Allende. Artist Paul Zacher is drawn into crime investigation because ‘he might see things differently.’ Maybe it’s time for the rich humanity of Mexico to show through all the narco headlines! Ready for the real Mexico, beyond the phony news reports? Take a look at this suspenseful and often funny series, available in Print, Kindle, Nook, & Kobo. Start with ‘Twenty Centavos’ by trying a sample on my website.