Monday, June 23, 2008

Spotlight on Aurora Anaya-Cerda and La Casa Azúl Bookstore

Aurora Anaya-Cerda is an active member of the East Harlem community as a participant and supporter of cultural and educational events. A graduate of UCLA, Anaya-Cerda has a double Bachelor's degree in History and Chicana/o Studies and a minor in Education. She was awarded the Juanita Centeno Leadership Award and the UCLA Women for Change Leadership Award, both for outstanding dedication and service to her community. Anaya-Cerda recently received a scholarship from the New Start Fund, awarded to women entrepreneurs in New York City.

Anaya-Cerda is also the founder of La Casa Azúl Bookstore which will be an independent bookstore/café offering books in English and Spanish. The bookstore will offer a wide range of books and music from the United States, México, Latin America and the Caribbean. The store's mission is to provide the community with contemporary bilingual literature, featuring works by Latino authors. Anaya-Cerda currently sells books on-line; the storefront will open later this year. Visit the website to sign up for the monthly newsletter. You may also visit the bookstore’s MySpace page to learn more.

The idea to open a bookstore/café came from Anaya-Cerda's passion for literature, art, and community activism. One of the goals of La Casa Azúl Bookstore is to bring community awareness and political consciousness on issues that affect East Harlem residents. Anaya-Cerda sees La Casa Azúl Bookstore as a place where she can combine all three passions and provide a great space to read and sip on delicious hot chocolate.

Some of Anaya-Cerda's favorite books are: The Alchemist, Rain of Gold, The House on Mango Street and Bless Me, Ultima. She's a collector of bilingual children's books and “is an avid reader of all things Frida!”

◙ Poet Lizz Huerta is blogging again here. Aside from being a poet, Lizz considers herself “smart-ass, reader, observer of ridiculous and fascinating things.” Here’s one of Lizz’s poems which she kindly agreed to share with La Bloga’s readers:

musings with stella

observe the confused raspberry of your skin, darker than most,
not so long ago you were erupting islands of fire, burning cities

of sugar and gold, mouth of another paladin perched
over your raucous fruit, pages ready to slip away into another’s.

when the rest of the world believed the world was flat, we knew,
you and I, that this old ball was as sloped as a pear,

we’ve been there, from floating Ixchel seas and primordial
monoliths of stone to our own personal altars of fossil and a little

of some man’s sea, though our voodoo didn’t work as well,
did it mama? we’d best leave the sacred to the sacred

and get back to ours as usual; keep your thing fresh, I’ll swoop in
from behind for the sacrifice while his mouth is busy with you.

◙ Announcing the inaugural issue of the ACENTOS REVIEW, a new journal of writing by Latino and Latina authors. It is online here. Seven poets and one visual artist grace the June 2008 issue: Ray Gonzalez, Rachel McKibbens, Sheila Maldonado, Christina Olivares, Jose Olivarez, Mundo Rivera and Griselda Suarez. I note that ACENTOS REVIEW is accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, reviews, interviews, and translation for the Latino Heritage Month issue (September 2008). See the submission guidelines for further details. ACENTOS REVIEW welcomes your comments andqueries:

◙ La Bloga recently reported on the demise of Tu Ciudad magazine. For me, the news is still sinking in…It is such a shame that this beautiful, exciting and vibrant publication did not survive the marketplace. Agustin Gurza offers this background in his Saturday Los Angeles Times column.

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


Lizz Huerta said...

Thanks for sharing my blog, Daniel!

Anonymous said...

you once told me to read a phrase, it said "In Lak Ech". that gift has been with me. i haved share it with many. some peaple understand & feel it, some dont know what to do with. its made me rich with emoions . i say this with a warm smile im so proud of you!