Friday, February 22, 2008

Old and New

The Chicano / Latino Literary Prize:
An Anthology of Prize-Winning Fiction, Poetry and Drama
Stephanie Fetta, editor
Arte Público Press, May, 2008

Arte Público has announced the upcoming publication of an anthology based on the first twenty-five years of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize from the University of California, Irvine.

From the first winner, Ron Arias' short story The Wetback in 1974, through almost all the winners, several second- and third-place winners as well as honorable mentions, the collection has 320 pages of fiction, poetry, and drama covering a key period in the development and expansion of what has become known as Latino Literature.

Now entering its thirty-fourth year, the award has recognized a wide variety of writers. Many of the names are familiar to La Bloga's readers: Juan Felipe Herrera, Michael Nava, Helena María Viramontes, Lucha Corpi, Demetria Martínez, Gary Soto, Cherrie Moraga, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Graciela Limón and, as the press publicity says, several "pieces in this anthology are considered to be foundational texts of Chicana/o and Latina/o literature, and those that are not as widely recognized deserve more serious study and attention."

Stephanie Fetta is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Irvine. She has taught in the Chicano Studies, Women’s Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese departments at UC-Irvine and studied at Bryn Mawr College, Stanford, and Cornell. She is the translator of a book-length study by Spanish Anthropologist Francisco Checa entitled Spain and Its Immigrants: Images and Stereotypes of Social Exclusion and has published several articles in the United States and abroad. She lives in Southern California.

(Text from Arte Público)
The Case Runner
Carlos Cisneros
March, 2008

Alejandro “Alex” del Fuerte, fresh out of law school, is returning home to South Texas, ready to open his solo practice, humble as it may be. He’s got dreams of making his mark in the world and in the courtroom. But when he meets Porfirio “Pilo” Medina, who just crossed the border in search of his wife and son, Alex is suddenly dragged into a world of wrongdoings and political pay-offs rarely covered in law school.

Rampant corruption and big-money politics are set against the rich backdrop of border culture, with its distinctive way of life and unique perspective. And Alex, something between saint and sinner, is an apt guide to both the light and dark sides of the region. This is Cisneros' first novel.

Tomás Rivera: The Complete Works
Edited by Julián Olivares
March, 2008
trade paperback

Julián Olivares brings together the late author’s entire literary production: Rivera’s classic novel, ... y no se lo tragó la tierra, translated by poet Evangelina Vigil-Piñón; his short fiction collection, The Harvest / La cosecha; and his poetry collection, The Searchers: Collected Poetry. In addition to his creative work, this volume collects Rivera’s influential critical essays, including Into the Labyrinth: The Chicano in Literature, Chicano Literature: Fiesta of the Living, The Great Plains as Refuge in Chicano Literature, and the previously unpublished Critical Approaches to Chicano Literature and its Dynamic Intimacy.

Under the Bridge: Stories from the Border
Rosario Sanmiguel, translation by John Pluecker
March, 2008

Mexican writer Rosario Sanmiguel crafts intriguing narratives about solitary women in search of their place, caught between the past and the present. Set in the border region, this collection follows these women—some from privileged backgrounds and others from more desperate circumstances—through seedy bars, hotel rooms, and city streets. A woman who has escaped the night life, dancing on platforms in front of thousands of eyes; Francis, who finally finds the strength to leave her married lover; young Fátima, whose mother abandons her, leaving her to take her place as a maid in a wealthy El Paso family’s mansion; Nicole, who has risen from dismal poverty to become an accomplished immigration attorney.

Originally published in Mexico as Callejón Sucre y otros relatos (Ediciones del Azar, 1994), this edition contains a profound English translation by John Pluecker. The seven stories included in this collection interweave the opposing themes of solitude and connectedness, longing and privilege, fear and audacity, all of which are juxtaposed on the boundary of self-awareness.

El Lab is a center for the Latino literary arts presented by The Lab at Belmar. El Laboratorio is proud to host some of Colorado's most acclaimed Latino writers, artist and scholars for literary workshops, public readings and conversations. El Laboratorio aims to be a true laboratory, where all audiences can experiment and gain insight into the ways Latino culture is changing the landscape of the United States.

March 15: Aaron Abeyta and Mario Acevedo; 6 PM reception, 6:30 PM program. Aaron Abeyta will read from his book of poetry As Orion Falls and his novel, Rise, Do Not Be Afraid. Mario Acevedo will read from The Undead Kama Sutra, third in the Felix Gomez vampire detective series. Now that's diversity.

$10 - $5 members. The Lab is in Belmar, 404 S. Upham, Lakewood, CO; 303-934-1777.

The Comedy of Errors
by William Shakespeare
February 28–March 1
March 6–8
King Center Rawls Courtyard Theatre, Auraria Campus, Denver
Tickets: $12 General Admission
$5 UC Denver students
Sponsored by: Theatre, Film and Video Production Department

José Mercado, new Assistant Professor of the Theatre, Film & Video Production Department, directs this comedy "as if it were set in the world of Tim Burton, with bustling, haunting, and mystical action" according to a publicity release. The Comedy of Errors is a story of mistaken identity and family reunion. Confusion, mischief and familial squabbling abound…all in a single day.

Prior to joining the UC Denver faculty, Mercado led the theater program at North High School, directing Zoot Suit Riots, the first high school production to play DCPA’s Buell Theater. He worked as an actor in LA after earning his MFA in Theater from UCLA where he won the Jack Nicholson Prize in Acting. He is the founder of Labyrinth Arts Academy and member of the Denver Commission of Cultural Affairs (an advisory board to the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs).



Corina Carrasco said...

What a wealth of information you've provided us with. I will be out looking for these. So far, I haven't found anywhere to get any Chicano titles anywhere near me.

I'll have to hunt for a place. Or end up getting them online. We need to make our literature more accessible to all of us, not just those that are in the hub of the scene.

Manuel Ramos said...

Thanks - don't know where you are so I can't suggest any book stores; check out the links in the post, they will take you to a few sources for orders.

Rebel Girl said...

Dopn't know where you are either but, if you're anywhere near me (so Cal) Liberia Martinez in Santa Ana, CA (and Lynwood, CA) offers so much - I think you can order from them online. They could use the support - check them out at: