Friday, May 29, 2009

Mariachis, Museo, M&Ms, and More

The following book summaries are taken from the UNM Press website -

Santa Fe Nativa: A Collection of Nuevomexicano Writing

Rosalie C. Otero, A. Gabriel Melendez, Enrique R. Lamadrid
University of New Mexico Press, November, 2009

The belief that land is sacred, embodying the memory and inheritance of those who sacrificed to settle it, is common among New Mexican Hispanos, or Nuevomexicanos, and Santa Fe serves as their unique geographic and symbolic center. The city will celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of its founding in 2010 and this anthology honors its role as the foundation of New Mexican Hispanic culture.

Divided into nine parts, this collection reflects the displacement that many Hispanos feel having watched their hometown transform into a tourist and art Mecca. Parts I and II pay homage to Santa Fe through the sentiment that Hispano writers express for the city. Parts III and IV provide historical maps for places that have been reconstructed or obliterated by development, while Part V is dedicated to Santa Fe's distinctive neighborhoods. Parts VI and VII express nostalgia for traditional lifeways. Part VIII illustrates the spirit of Santa Fe and Part IX reflects on traditions that stand the test of time.

Rosalie C. Otero is the director of the University Honors Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and the associate dean of University College. She has written several book chapters, articles, and short fiction.

A. Gabriel Meléndez is professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Enrique R. Lamadrid is a literary folklorist and cultural historian in the University of New Mexico's Department of Spanish and Portuguese. In 2005, he was awarded the Americo Paredes Prize by the American Folklore Society in recognition of his work as a cultural activist.

Juan and the Jackalope: A Children's Book in Verse

Rudolfo Anaya
Amy Cordova , Illustrator

University of New Mexico Press, November, 2009

When Rosita, the loveliest gal in the Pecos River Valley, offers her delicious rhubarb pie as first prize for the Great Grasshopper Race, a thousand love-struck vaqueros line up for the competition. Of course everyone believes that the legendary cowboy Pecos Bill, riding his giant grasshopper, Hoppy, is a shoo-in for the grand prize. Sure enough, Bill and Hoppy give an impressive performance, crisscrossing the Southwest in a raucous ride. But young Juan, who is hopelessly in love with Rosita, astonishes them all when he and Jack the Jackalope take a miraculous ride around the world and across the Milky Way. The daring pair return, covered in stardust, to claim the beautiful Rosita and her delicious pie.

Set in New Mexico, Anaya's fanciful story, coupled with Amy Córdova's vivid illustrations, brings the tradition of Southwestern tall tales to a new generation of young readers.

Ages 6 and up

Rudolfo Anaya, widely acclaimed as one of the founders of modern Chicano literature, is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico. Anaya was presented with the National Medal of Arts for literature in 2001 and his novel Alburquerque (the city's original Spanish spelling) won the PEN Center West Award for Fiction. He has also received the Premio Quinto Sol, the national Chicano literary award, the American Book Award from The Before Columbus Foundation, the Mexican Medal of Friendship from the Mexican Consulate, and the Western Literature Association's Distinguished Achievement Award. He is best known for the classic Bless Me Ultima.

Amy Cordova lives in Taos, New Mexico, where she is co-owner of her own gallery, Enger-Cordova Fine Art. She has illustrated many children's books and teaches art to elementary school children at the Yaxche Learning Center.

The Museo de las Américas (Museo) Board of Trustees announced that Maruca Salazar has been selected as the new executive director. Additionally, David Dadone, former director of operations for the Museo, has been promoted to deputy director. Salazar will assume the position in July.

We are delighted that Maruca Salazar will be leading the Museo de las Américas as the new Executive Director, stated George Martinez, Board president. She comes to us with a wealth of artistic, administrative, and curatorial experience. Furthermore, Maruca's relationships with teachers and artists throughout the region will greatly assist us in increasing the scope and reach of our education programs, while expanding our artistic vision.

Prior to joining the Museo, Salazar served as the arts coordinator and arts staff developer for Denver Public Schools. During her tenure, Salazar developed an integrated arts education program, and was responsible for the development and stewardship of the $6.5 million arts budget. She holds a Master's of Arts in Multicultural Education from the University of Colorado, Denver; and a Bachelor's of Arts in Multicultural Education from the University of Veracruz, Mexico.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime and a true honor, stated Salazar. As an artist and educator, as well as a long time supporter and participant of the Museo de las Américas, I am committed to advancing Museo's legacy of learning and sharing.

A longtime advocate for the arts, Salazar is a founding member and supporter of the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, XicanIndie Film Festival, Pirate Gallery, and the Museo de las Américas. As a Visual Artist she has exhibited at local museums and galleries, including the Museo and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.

This is an exciting time for the Museo, stated Martinez. The Board and staff are confident that Maruca will lead the Museo to new and exciting places, and cement our place as a cornerstone of Denver and the West's cultural community.

About the Museo de las Américas
Museo de las Américas (Museo) is the Rocky Mountain region's foremost museum dedicated to educating its community about the diversity of Latino Americano art and culture from ancient to contemporary. The Museo presents exhibitions and education programs that offer new views on Latin American art, advancing the role of Latino artists in the global cultural dialogue, and becoming a cultural hub for the local, national, and global community. The museum is centrally located in the historic Santa Fe Arts District - one of Denver's oldest Latino neighborhoods - at 861 Santa Fe Drive. For more information, please visit:

Congratulations to Maruca! She's a great fit for the Museo.

On May 21, Mario Acevedo and I read and signed Hit List at the Tattered Cover here in Denver. We promoted the event as the M&M show and free M&M cookies were given to all who attended. I know that Mario and I had a good time and we think our audience did too. We sold a good number of books and read from our stories in the collection. Mario also read from Shortcut to the Moon by Alicia Gaspar de Alba, a prime example of the terrific writing that can be found in this book. Here's a bit from Alicia's story:

When you're from El Paso, you get used to the rough grain of the wind. The leaves turn piss yellow or brittle brown in the fall, not every shade of red and gold and purple, and the winter wind doesn't frostbite your thighs or turn your tears to icicles. In Iowa City, you learn the meaning of seasons. At the Black Angel Cemetery, where I spent untold hours practicing Iowa Writing Workshop techniques that felt like they were making me change from being left-handed to right-handed, the colored leaves of oaks and maples stood out among the headstones like fiery panes of stained glass. What I loved most about that year in Iowa, other than the cornfields and the blizzards and the daffodils blooming under the snow and the juicy double cheeseburgers at George's Bar, was getting blitzed on Cuervo and Colombian with my cousin Ivon in all-night, heart-to-heart sessions that we called "shortcuts to the moon."

I read from A.E. Roman' s Under the Bridge, a story that introduces Chico Santana, the private investigator that plays a lead role in Roman's debut novel, Chinatown Angel. You may recall that I interviewed Roman for La Bloga just before his book came out this past March. The book is great and you should pick it up if you are any kind of reader who appreciates exciting fiction, crime or otherwise. Here's part of what I read to the Tattered Cover audience:

My name is Chico Santana. I'm a private investigator. First off, I'm a nice guy, My wife Ramona says so, and she's part Haitian and part Dominican, so it must be true.

If you look closely at my nose, you can tell it's been broken twice. And if you pay attention to word on th
e street, you'll come to understand that the men who broke my nose are no longer eating anything that won't flow up a straw. I'm not a tough guy. A lot of tough guys are six feet under. I'm just lucky.

And I'm also not one of those PIs that sit at a desk with his feet up
, waiting for his bosses ... to throw him a bone. Nor am I one of those types who are always bragging how close they can come to your chin without hitting you. I have no .38, but I do have a license to bust your ass, and if I have to, I will bust your ass and maybe even the ass of somebody you love.

Mario's story leads off the collection. Oh, Yeah is a short piece but it has plenty of humor, surprises, and tension to whet your appetite for the rest of the stories. My story, The Skull of Pancho Villa, features Gus Corral, a character I've grown fond of and who is starring in the novel I've just started. Here are a couple of photos from the event.

Manuel Ramos and Mario Acevedo at the Tattered Cover, May 21, 2009

Mario and Manuel sign copies of Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery


Buy The Lineup on Lulu.

Edited by Gerald So with Patrick Shawn Bagley, R. Narvaez, and Anthony Rainone

ISSN 1945-7510 6" x 9", 36 pages, saddle-stitched $6.00

Available from and fine independent bookstores

Help promote The Lineup

The Lineup: Poems on Crime, Issue 02, has arrived. What does poetry have to do with crime? As Patrick Shawn Bagley says in his introduction to the latest issue of this chapbook, Poets do not ask that question. People for whom poetry is a vital part of their reading life do not ask that question. ... So why do we write crime fiction, let alone crime poetry? One may as well ask why we write -- or read -- anything at all. We do it in an attempt to understand. We do it to find some kind of meaning in events that all too often leave victims, perpetrators and everyone around them damaged or destroyed. ... Here you will find proof beyond any reasonable doubt of poetry's relevance to modern life.

Get your hands on this book and dig deep into serious, provocative images. I'm honored that my poem, The Smell of Onions, is included. The Lineup has quite a lineup of contributors: Amy MacLennan, Jennifer L. Knox, Deshant Paul, Stephen D. Rogers, Sophie Hannah, Christopher Watkins, Carol Novack, John Harvey, reed Farrel Coleman, Patrick Carrington, Karen Petersen, Janis Butler Holm. I hear that issue 03 will have Sarah Cortez as one of the editors. Sarah is the co-editor of Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery.


Mariachi Classics: Mariachi Real de San Diego
Review by Flo, host of Cancion Mexicana, KUVO 89.3 fm, Denver

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but music is worth a thousand pictures. This is aptly illustrated by Mariachi Classics, a 2009 CD released by Mariachi Real of San Diego on the Mardi Gras Records label.

The CD has sixteen covers of songs that should be in the repertoire of any mariachi worth its salt. Many of the tunes evoke visions of girls in bright yellow, red, and blue swirling skirts with colorful satin ribbons in their hair. Others conjure up a snorting, prancing horse that rears up on its hind legs straddled by a charro waving his sombrero just as the Mariachi comes to a crescendo.

The table is set by the opening song, Las Mañanitas, signaling that what is coming is indeed a taste of old Mexico. In Mexico where most people follow the Catholic calendar, Las Mañanitas is traditionally sung to those celebrating the feast day of the Saint whose name they bear. In the United States, for people of Mexican heritage, no matter by how many generations or by how many miles they are distanced from Mexico, Las Mañanitas has become the “birthday” song.

All of the canciones on the CD are standards and the Mariachi Real de San Diego gives exciting renditions. A song becomes a standard by being played over and over again and in this case for decades. The songs have survived wars, crossed borders and been passed from generation to generation. Yet each time they are sung they sound as exciting as the first time but familiar enough that we know every word.

No matter how you translate it, the Mariachi Real de San Diego lives up to its name. In Spanish “real” means royal. This Mariachi’s vocal and instrumental mastery blend together seamlessly to create solid, soul-stirring renditions of these Mexican standards. If you only speak English, you’re also right - this is truly a REAL mariachi.
Thanks, Flo - here's a video of Mariachi Real de San Diego


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

National Latino Writers Conference- Videos

Thanks to Jose B Gonzalez and for sharing these videos with La Bloga readers.

Malin Alegria
Estrella Alvarez is turning fifteen, and she's not happy about it. For as long as she can remember, her mother has been planning an elaborate quinceañera, complete with a mariachi band, cheesy decorations, and a hideous dress. Estrella is so over it.

Reyna Grande
Dancing with Butterflies is about four women who share a love of Folklorico dancing. It was inspired by Grande's own love of Folklorico, and her desire to bring it to Latino Literature.

René Colato Laínez
Together a little boy and his grandma discover a world of language and realize that loved ones have special ways of understanding each other.

Josefina Lopez
A journalist and activist, Canela believes passion is essential to life; but lately passion seems to be in short supply. It has disappeared from her relationship with her fiancé, who is more interested in controlling her than encouraging her. It's absent from her work, where censorship and politics keep important stories from being published. And while her family is full of outspoken individuals, the only one Canela can truly call passionate is her cousin and best friend Luna, who just took her own life.

Fred Arroyo
Remember that the dream of one is the dream of everyone. Ernest is searching for a place where he can live beyond his past.

Patricia Santana
Premio Aztlan at NHCC Latino Writers Conference
Having left her much-loved San Diego barrio, Yolanda Sahagún is now living in the university dorms when a series of events—her mother dies and her father sells their home—forces her to re-examine her life.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Review: Into the Beautiful North

Luis Alberto Urrea. Into the Beautiful North. NY: Little Brown, 2009.
ISBN-10: 0316025275
ISBN-13: 978-0316025270

Michael Sedano

Don't say anything negative when I ask this question: Into the Beautiful North is one of those novels a reader will not put aside until its conclusion, ¿No?

Absolutely yes.

But then the reader will ask if Urrea's current novel is worthy of the praise heaped upon the author's notably wonderful novel, The Hummingbird's Daughter?

No. It's not.

On the other hand, Hummingbird's Daughter is an impossible work to follow; that is one superb novel. Whatever you are reading next, stop that. Go to your library or bookseller and take delivery of The   Hummingbird's Daughter. Read it. You're welcome de adelantado.

Into the Beautiful North, is not Hummingbird's Daughter. How could it be? A buddy novel, Urrea wisely sets out not to build on Hummingbird but to do something completely different. And quite well, ese, if you get what I mean, y si no, pues, no. But Into the Beautiful North is one of those funny pieces that comes along only every once in a while, so, finishing the dramatic Hummingbird, read this next one; you owe it to yourself.

Would any film fanatic compare "The Wizard of Oz", let's say, to "El Norte," or, maybe "Spanglish"? As an intellectual romp, one might. Howzabout comparing Into the Beautiful North to "The Magnificent Seven?" Now there's the delightful parallel; not mine, but Urrea's. His crew of colorful characters venture out from backwater Sinaloa to the mercilless frontera of San Diego / Tijuana, perhaps the two worst cities in the world, on a "mission from God" like los hermanos azul. 

How refreshing to discover a border crossing story that is a comedy. Not that Into the Beautiful North, is not a deadly serious border crossing story; it is. But the crossing ain't the tale, it's the cultural gaps that define the limits of these characters' experience, and infuse the plot with a sense of dread that, thankfully, Urrea holds in abeyance.

On their first crossing, they get caught. Not in a calamitous tragedy for the three teenage girls, but for their friend, Tacho, a gay vato who's assumed the role of protector and adult. Tacho gets an asskicking by assholes from the ICE. La migra, the regular tipos, are just regular good people doing a job, but these newly appointed jerks have no sense of honor. But then, Urrea sets up the beating long in advance of the mid-novel crossing.

Tacho has a lot of smarts that, owing to Mexico's extreme poverty, never had the benefit of a classroom. He's not ashamed of his sexuality, nor do his fellow villagers shun him for being himself. Outsiders, like the corrupt cops who come through selling mota to tourist surfers, could make life a misery. Tacho laughs at their hatred by taking the stereotypically gay limp-wristed posture as the name of his bar, La Mano Caida. As Tacho and the three luscious teenage girls are being processed back to TJ at the San Ysidro lock-up, he calls out the name of his business. The mensos from ICE hear Tacho wrong; they hear a terrorist organization, "Al Kaeda." It's a funny phonetic trick but also a satiric gut punch. As a literary device, it strikes me as a contrivance. The one weak element in an otherwise brilliant novel. I wonder if Urrea came up with the joke first, then forced the plot to arrive at that moment?

Ni modo. Pretend you've never read Urrea's earlier work and take Into the Beautiful North for itself. You'll laugh, breathe sighs of relief, nod your head knowingly at the deadly serious facts that rest just beneath the surface of this wonderfully comedic satire of manners, love, lust, and immigration.

Memorial Day, 2009.

Every year I struggle to defeat my sentimental nature that tends to the maudlin. This year, I lost, and sank into a green funk, staring into the faces of some soldiers I trained with back in 1969. A friend asked if I know where these vatos are today, if they lived through that year? I do not know, and I do not want to know.

The storms start out there, on Monterey Bay. Grey blue haze obscures the horizon between sea and sky. Eyes front, but the vista compels our eyes to dart left, to take in the wondrous mottled light beyond the red roofs and yellow barracks, past the sparkling white sand of the firing range. On the water, bright patches where sunlight penetrates the morning dank define the luminous swell and ebb of the tide. Darker greys wash down from the ether shouting rain! Wetness swooshes across the water, heading directly toward us. “The Daily Dozen.” Windmill stretches. Jumping jacks. Jump thrust. “United States Army Drill Number One, Exercise Number Five, everyone’s favorite, the Push Up.” We drop to the front leaning rest position and begin the four count exertion. “One, two, three, ONE, Drill Sergeant, one two three TWO, Drill Sergeant…” Peripheral vision of breathtaking beauty counterweights a boot shouting in your ear, “keep your butt down, Trainee!”

We smell the rain coming, pushing the air before it, enveloping us in cool humidity that smells wet, that raises gooseflesh. Now we hear its relentless arrival. Below us, Ft. Ord has surrendered to its drenching. Visibility zero down there in forbidden territory. We are maggots, confined to The Hill.

The first heavy drops of water strike us, a few more, more. At the order we pull our waterproof poncho from our gear, hunker down under the protective sheet. We are forty green tipi spaced dress right dress across the platoon’s PT field. The rain noise drowns out any other sound but the swirling wind pushing up from the bay. An unrelenting volume of water strikes our heads and backs. We savor these moments of privacy, alone with our own thoughts and memories, for now the Army only this dull green light and the sound of the passing squall. We feel rivulets form, tingle, and stream the length of our spine as the water courses down to the ground. We are blind; we can see only our boot toes and the corona of daylight that glows at the periphery of our waterproof poncho. Mud splashes against our now scuffed, once spit-shined combat boots. Run-off forms around our toes, puddling fashions the outlines of our leather as erosion sculpts a memory of our presence on the land.

The noise abates. The rain passes. We obey. Ponchos off. Stand tall. Monterey Bay sparkles with magical light, whales, porpoises, salmon, sardines, Steinbeck…"U.S. Army Drill Number One, Exercise Number Five. The Push Up…”

We bitched and moaned. We laughed. I hope we all lived.

So here we are, the last Tuesday of May, a Tuesday like any other Tuesday, except you are here. See you in June.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Debut poetry collection: William Archila

The Art of Exile (Bilingual Press) by William Archila

William Archila was born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, in 1968. When he was twelve, he and his family immigrated to the United States to escape the civil war that was tearing his country apart. Archila eventually became an English teacher and earned his MFA in poetry from the University of Oregon where he received the Fighting Fund Fellow Award. The award-winning poet's work has been published in many literary journals including AGNI, Blue Mesa Review, Los Angeles Review, Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe, Crab Orchard Review, and The Georgia Review. Archila also appears in the anthologies New to North America: Writing by Immigrants (Burning Bush Publishing, 2007), and Another City: Writing from Los Angeles (City Lights, 2001).

From the publisher:

In The Art of Exile, William Archila asks readers to engage with a subject seldom explored in American poetry: the unrest in El Salvador in the 1980s and its impact on Central American immigrants who now claim this country as home. In language that is poignant and often harrowing, the poet takes us on a journey from Santa Ana, El Salvador, to Los Angeles, California. Archila bridges race, class, metaphor, and reality with astuteness, mingling humor and pain with a skill that denigrates neither.

"A poet of the heart and head, of the personal and public, at times William Archila's poignant poems make me hear and feel an echo of Pablo Neruda and Cesar Vallejo." --From the introduction by Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize winner

Here is a poem from The Art of Exile:

"Self-Portrait with Crow"

As I punch the time-clock, I know
men will be gunned down at dawn
in a distant continent, someone
will dart into a café with a bomb nestled

in the belly, by the roadside a woman
will moan over the body of a man,
shrunken, stretched on the earth, that God
will finger the forehead of a dying country,

all of it funneled through the news on TV.
But tonight, instead of tuning in, I’m going to kneel
beside the window, recognize myself
in the croak of the crow, high above the black tree

of winter, claws hooked and rough, wings swept
back and hunched, face masked with exhaust.
I’m going to try, even if I fail, to see myself whole,
complete in the cry, in the beak of the crow.

◙ My review of Stephen Gutierrez’s new collection, Live from Fresno y Los (Bear Star Press), appeared this weekend in the El Paso Times. In part, I say of the collection:

Stephen D. Gutierrez's new book of short fiction, "Live from Fresno y Los: Stories" (Bear Star Press, $16 paperback), bears witness to the excitement and pain, exhilaration and disappointments, of growing up Chicano in Fresno and Los Angeles during the 1970s.

He renders his world in honest, eloquent brush strokes, creating stories that are simultaneously grounded in a particular culture while remaining universal in their message. He does this without sacrificing his trademark sense of humor.

You may read the entire review here. The Live from Fresno y Los may be ordered through your favorite bookstore, or online from Bear Star Press, or from Small Press Distribution. You should also take a peek at the other fine books published by Bear Star Press such as Death of a Mexican and Other Poems by Manuel Paul López.

◙ I had a wonderful time last week visiting UC Irvine to speak about Latino in Lotusland (Bilingual Press) along with two of the anthology's 34 contributors, Lisa Alvarez and Richard Mora (who contributed to the anthology under his pen name, Victorio Barragán, in honor of his grandfather). Our host was Alejandro Morales (who is also in Latinos in Lotusland), professor of Spanish and Portuguese in the School of Humanities. Many thanks to UC Irvine (students, faculty and staff) for making us feel at home.

◙ Last year, I told you about Arizona's Hispanic Flyboys 1941-1945 (Writers Club Press, 2002) by Rudolph C. Villarreal. On this Memorial Day, you might want to revisit (or visit for the first time) that post on this remarkable book that documents the heroism of our people that is too often overlooked. Click here to read the post.

◙ That’s all for now. So, in the meantime, enjoy the intervening posts from mis compadres y comadres here on La Bloga. And remember: ¡Lea un libro!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Home of the Brave

I brought my son to the Stowe Library before vacation so he could pick out some reading material. As he was looking through some books on drawing, I glanced through the young adult section. Since that is turning out to be the age group I most enjoy writing for, I read a lot of YA titles, and the library often gives a different selection than the local book store. When Carlos had finished choosing he came over to find me. There were some of the newer YA releases placed on easels on the top of the wooden cases and he reached up and pulled one down and handed it to me.

“Mom, this is great book. You have to read it.”

I glanced at the illustration of the young black boy in the cover’s bleak, snowy setting, his head leaning on a large-eyed gray cow and was intrigued. I opened it, flipped through its pages and gasped dramatically (as is usually my fashion…subtle I ain’t).

“Carlos! It’s written in verse! You know how I feel about poetry…”

“Mom, you won’t even notice it, I promise!”

Yes, we reverse roles sometimes and no, I’m not proud of my poetryphobia, but at least I listened to him and checked the book out.

I was very glad I did.

Katherine Appelgate’s touching novel, Home of the Brave is indeed written in poetic free verse, and as Carlos promised I did indeed forget that within the first few pages. It is the story of Kek, a refugee who has escaped the political unrest that plagued his native Sudan. He lost his father and his brother in the fighting and though he was separated from his mother, he has never lost hope that he will see her again. He is placed with his aunt and cousin in Minnesota (in the winter no less) and has to adapt to a different climate and culture as he mourns the loss of his immediate family and country. It is his happenchance encounter with a sad old cow—whose name just happens to translate to ‘family” in his language— that helps him deal with his intense feelings.

There is humor, such as when Kek, while trying to be helpful to his aunt, washes the dishes in the clothes washing machine. Sadness when he recounts the horror of the “night of men in the sky with guns/the night the earth opened up like a black pit/and swallowed my old life whole” (21). And touching when…well, I won’t give away the ending. It sounds cliché to say that I laughed and cried but…I laughed and cried.

More importantly, however, the book captures challenges that face all immigrant children who have to adjust their entire lives to a new home. Home of the Brave is ultimately a universal story, one that many will relate to. But as is their nature, children usually adapt better than adults. This is true for Kek who brings his open heart to this new, cold place and ultimately bonds with Lou, the old woman who owns the farm and the cow who provides the comfort and brings a piece of Kek’s home.

After I finished reading it, I grasped the book to my chest and had to admit to my son he was right. The only thing that reminded me it was poetry was the incredibly beautiful and evocative language, as I got lost in Kek’s story so easily. I’m glad I have my son and characters such as Kek who can teach me about poetry and maintaining open hearts, who teach me that even if you’re afraid there is always something to learn, beauty to be had.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

National Latino Writers Conference Day 3

Michael Sedano

Among the most valuable experiences available to writers attending the conference are one-on-one meetings with agents, publishers, and authors. Here are a few shots from the 9:00 set of meetings.

By the way, technology is a wondrous way to pass a lay over. Like in Las Vegas, where the airport provides free wi-fi throughout the building, along with dedicated stations with AC plugs to keep the Mac running and charging while the camera uploads to the drive, and Adobe Fireworks does its magic shrinking the files to acceptable size. Tan cool, que no? Que si!

National Latino Writers Conference Day 2

Michael Sedano

An exhausting day of workshops, open mic readings, banquet, awards. Superb presentations by readers. Again, I apologize for not making the effort to name each individual, but promise to exert some diligence within the next few days to correct these shortcomings.

On another hand, the fotos today came out superbly. But then, several of these were shot by Michelle Adam, who has an excellent eye for a shot.

Herein find Valerie Martínez' poetry workshop, "On the Brink: Writing the Unpredictable Poem"; Salomé Martínez-Lutz' "Things to Consider When You Want to Write a Play"; Open Mic; Agents Panel; Children's Literature Panel; Publisher & Editor's Panel; Banquet.

Banquet photos include Premio Aztlán honoree Patricia Santana, reading from her beautiful novel, Ghosts of El Grullo, and Keynote speaker Josefina López, reading from her stimulating novel, "Hungry Woman in Paris."