Monday, September 07, 2009


Without Camels: A Caravan of Latino Writing

Quercus Review is putting together a special section of Latina and Latino imaginative writing—“Without Camels: A Caravan of Latino Writing”—for its 10th anniversary edition. The writer Fred Arroyo will help edit this section.

From the editor: Jorge Luis Borges once suggested a caravan of imaginative writing that existed outside or without labels like “Latino.” Borges considered that what is authentic in literature cannot be limited by cultural, ethnic, or nationalistic markers. Borges tells us, “the first thing a falsifier, a tourist, an Arab Nationalist would do [in writing and trying to emphasize an “authentic” reality] is have a surfeit of camels, caravans of camels, on every page” (“The Argentine Writer and Tradition”). Latino writing springs from a rich tradition, and in its continuity and change there is a company of writers who are traveling together. This caravan is populated by diverse visions, aesthetics, experiences, and feelings that move outside and beyond labels. We want to capture this movement, this energia. And we want to see and hear and feel it in imaginative writings “without camels.” Caravan is also evoked to echo the song of the same name, which was written by the outstanding trombonist Juan Tizol (Puerto Rico, 1900-1984). Not actually a first, however, since the composition borrows or responds to Middle Eastern traditions. Those rhythms—that borrowing, mixing, and response—are also the caravan of imaginative writings by Latinos we want to share with a larger audience.

Poetry: Send 2-3 previously unpublished poems with cover letter and SASE. We do not accept simultaneous or electronic submissions of poetry. Please include a brief bio in your cover letter. We prefer poems that do not exceed 40 lines, though we will consider longer work.

Fiction: Send previously unpublished stories with cover letter and SASE. Simultaneous submissions okay with notification upon acceptance elsewhere. Please include a brief bio in your cover letter. We consider fiction up to 7000 words. All work must be double-spaced, paginated, with your name included on each page.

Please send submissions to

Fred Arroyo
Department of English
2505 University Avenue
Drake University
Des Moines, IA 50311


Quercus Review
ATTN: Sam Pierstorff, Editor
Modesto Junior College
Department of English
435 College Ave.
Modesto, CA 95350

Please note: We will not read manuscripts that do not include an SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope). Please submit separately for each genre. Also, please include an email address and/or phone number in your cover letter. DEADLINE: November 15, 2009.

◙ UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center books receive awards: Three CSRC Press titles received awards at the 2009 International Latino Book Awards. The Art of Healing Latinos: Firsthand Accounts from Physicians and Other Health Advocates, edited by David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA professor and CSRC affiliate, and Roberto Chiprut, was awarded first place in the Nonfiction–Health Book in English category. Receiving second place in the Nonfiction–Biography in English category was Paths to Discovery: Autobiographies from Chicanas with Careers in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, edited by Norma E. Cantú. Karen Mary Davalos’s Yolanda M. López, volume 2 in the A Ver: Revisioning Art History series, was awarded honorable mention in the Nonfiction–Arts Book in English category. The awards were presented during BookExpo America on May 28. More information about these award-winning books is available on the CSRC Press webpage.

◙ WRITERS WHO BLOG: Al Martinez, ever the wordsmith and cautious optimist, offers a new installment on his blog as he contemplates his 60th wedding anniversay. And author Sergio Troncoso also is blogging away over at ChicoLingo. Last but not least, Joe Loya launched his blog on the 13th anniversary of his release from prison.

NEW YA TITLE REVIEWED: Rigoberto González, an award-winning writer living in New York City, reviews Alex Sanchez’s new young adult novel, Bait (Simon & Schuster, $16.99 hardcover), which González calls “a heart-wrenching tale about a young man coping with the trauma of sexual molestation.”


TOP Ten Signs Your Cat May Be Latina by Al Carlos Hernandez, Contributing Editor

News from the Brown Side of Town, 9.3.09 by Frankie Firme, Conributing Editor

RIP: Tierra's Isaac Avila by Manny Saucedo

Deported Veterans by Hector G. Lopez

Saving High School's Music Program Through Music

10,000 Latinos Learning to Read by 2010

A Brief History of East LA Internet Radio, Part 1 by Steven Chavez

◙ LITERARY NEWS: Jennine Capó Crucet was born to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, the Southern Review, the Northwest Review, and other magazines. She is the recipient of a Bread Loaf Scholarship and has been a finalist for the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize and the University of California, Irvine, Chicano/Latino Literary Prize. A graduate of Cornell University, she currently lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Crucet’s debut collection, How to Leave Hialeah, has just been released by the University of Iowa Press. Publishers Weekly says:

In this engrossing collection—sometimes intense, at other times darkly humorous—debut author Crucet portrays the daily challenges, heartbreak and family ties that penetrate Hialeah, a working-class Cuban-American neighborhood in Miami. In “El Destino Hauling,” a young girl pays witness to a night-long family funeral for a father who was run over by his son, perhaps by intent. “The Next Move” follows a grandfather left to struggle through the day without his wife while she's visiting family in Cuba. In “Men Who Punched Me in the Face,” a woman repeatedly drawn to abusive men convinces herself she enjoys being hit. A story set in the Cuban countryside finds a young woman struggling to make ends meet with just three prized possessions: a rooster, a bar of soap and Kotex maxi pads. Crucet details vividly the daily struggle that leads Cubans to prize their heritage above much else, but also illuminates a powerful need to escape the past.

◙ 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!

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