Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Macondo Libre and Interview Links

June 5, 2008

Contact: Olivia Doerge
Macondo Foundation
210-534-0517 phone
210-396-2768 cell

Macondo Libre
World-Class Word Wrestling!

“The truth is dangerous in dangerous times.” – Sandra Cisneros

Come cheer during three thrilling and chilling nights of heroes wrestling for truth and justice. In the tradition of Mexican Lucha Libre where good conquers evil, our writers fight for political and social issues. In Macondo Libre, writers will showcase fighting moves that will take your breath away!

Don’t miss the ultimate challenge, la Palabra Peligrosa, a literary fundraising event where nationally acclaimed poets and writers wrestle the truth out of the official story and reclaim it with a night of powerful readings and music. This dramatic lucha poetry slam will include performances by the poet Ai; poet, writer and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu, Sandra Cisneros and musical performances by the father/son team George/Aaron Prado, the Krayolas and other special guests. All proceeds from the event will benefit Our Lady of the Lake University and the Macondo Foundation. At last, the word wrestlers are here. ¡Que viva Macondo Libre!

Join us for three nights of community readings and musical performances during Macondo Libre. Come dressed as your favorite luchador for justicia. Prizes for best Lucha Libre costume.

La Palabra Eléctrica
Featuring: Macondo Writers and Community Guests
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
San Antonio, Texas
Our Lady of the Lake University
Providence Hall, West Social Room [PWSR]–the Red Room–at OLLU at 7 p.m.
Admission: Free

La Palabra Tremenda
Featuring: Macondo Writers and Special Community Guests
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
San Antonio, Texas
Our Lady of the Lake University
Providence Hall, West Social Room [PWSR]–the Red Room–at OLLU at 7 p.m. Admission: Free

La Palabra Peligrosa
Featuring: the poet Ai, Andrei Codrescu and Sandra Cisneros
Friday, Aug. 1, 2008
San Antonio, Texas
Our Lady of the Lake University
OLLU at Thiry Auditorium 8:30 p.m.
Admission: $25 Donation per ticket at the door

Macondo Foundation
The Macondo Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that organizes and hosts an annual workshop for professional writers. It originally began as a writing workshop around the kitchen table of poet and writer Sandra Cisneros in 1998. Since then the workshop rapidly grew from 15 participants to more than 120 participants in less than nine years. The foundation also has a writer in residency program and continues to grow in its outreach to writers. As an association of socially-engaged writers united to advance creativity, foster generosity, and honor community, the Macondo Foundation attracts generous and compassionate writers who view their work and talents as part of a larger task of community-building and non-violent social change.

For more information about the Macondo Foundation check our web site

About the Authors

In ferocious poetry often called "terrifying," the American poet Ai rewrites history in searing monologues that explore issues of race and sex. Ai’s many awards include a National Book Award, the American Book Award, the Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. A woman of Japanese, Cheyenne, Irish, Black and German ancestory, Ai was born in Albany, Texas, raised in the Southwest. She is a Professor of English at Oklahoma State University. Her books are: Dread (W. W. Norton & Co., 2003); Vice (1999); Greed (1993); Fate (1991); Sin (1986); Killing Floor (1979); and Cruelty (1973).

“Ai is the only name by which I wish, and indeed, should be known. Since I am the child of a scandalous affair my mother had with a Japanese man she met at a streetcar stop, and I was forced to live a lie for so many years, while my mother concealed my natural father's identity from me, I feel that I should not have to be identified with a man, who was only my stepfather, for all eternity.

My writing of dramatic monologues was a happy accident, because I took so much to heart the opinion of my first poetry teacher, Richard Shelton, the fact that the first person voice was always the stronger voice to use when writing. What began as an experiment in that voice became the only voice in which I wrote for about twenty years. Lately, though, I've been writing poems and short stories using the second person, without, it seems to me, any diminution in the power of my work. Still, I feel that the dramatic monologue was the form in which I was born to write and I love it as passionately, or perhaps more passionately, than I have ever loved a man.”

Andrei Codrescu
Romanian born Andrei Codrescu is internationally known for his satiric wit and biting political perspective. A poet, novelist and popular commentator on National Public Radio, his is a distinctive perspective on American culture. “Where I grew up, jokes were the only oppositional culture… Humor is a very deep-rooted mode of survival….” He is a poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter and editor of Exquisite Corpse, a literary online journal ( His recent works include: soon to be released Jealous Witness: New Poems (2008) with a CD of Storm Songs by the New Orleans Klezmer AllStars; New Orleans, Mon Amour (2006); Wakefield (2004) and the national bestseller The Blood Countess (1996).

He has this to say about contemporary America: “The Mexican border now runs through every city …because there are so many immigrants of various kinds … There is also the paranoia fostered now by Homeland Security—everyone is very conscious of the border…If you walk out of your house, god forbid you might find terrorists outside because that’s where the border is now. That kind of thinking resembles Communist thinking actually from the days when I was growing up; everyone was paranoid even to think stuff inside themselves. This shifting of the border moves the border inside ourselves. And when that happens a lot of inner terrorists are going to be born. I want to write a poetic investigation of the idea of borders.”

Sandra Cisneros
Sandra Cisneros is the founder of the Macondo Foundation and the organizer of the Latino MacArthur Fellows, los MacArturos. For over thirty years she has published poetry, novels and short stories. Her awards are several, including two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a Texas Medal of Arts. Her House on Mango Street (1984) is required reading in schools across the nation. Her books have been published in over 20 languages.

“Poetry is the forbidden room in the house of the spirit. It’s where you write about the things you cannot speak. For me it’s about breaking taboos. It’s the place where you think the unthinkable, say the unsayable and, even worse, set it to paper. It’s the most subversive act I know.”

-To arrange interviews with the authors please contact Olivia Doerge, Macondo Foundation Coordinator, at (210)-534-0517 or (210)-396-2768.


Whereas many children in Latin America have a number of magazines catering to them, Spanish-speaking children here have only one: Iguana. Fortunately, it’s a remarkable one.


I met Rene Colato Lainez years ago in a chlidren's writing class. Sweet and kind, we all cheered when Rene sold his first book and then the next two. It is my great pleasure to interview my buddy Rene Colato Lainez.

Read more at Tales from the Rushmore Kid

1 comment:

msedano said...

Ai wrote in her introduction to a now-forgotten by me anthology something I haven't, but never learned what she means. "Time to greeze." Greeze?