Friday, November 13, 2009

New Limón - Julian Samora - Westside Oratorio - New Fresquez - Travel Bits

G.I. Bones
Martin Limón
Soho (November, 2009)

It's always good news that a new Martin Limón novel is out. Limón's latest is G.I. Bones and the reviews are lavish. Booklist calls this book the best in the Sueño and Bascom series, which is high praise since Limón's previous books have been top-notch, especially The Wandering Ghost, reviewed here and here on La Bloga. But you don't have to take my word for it -- check out the quotes below, then get your copy and see what the fuss is all about.

"This is Limón’s sixth Sueño and Bascom adventure, and fans will be rewarded with what is arguably the best novel in the series. It’s an action-packed, convoluted tale of altruism, tragedy, revenge, and miscalculation, enriched by insights into Korean politics, culture, and society, as well as into the equally foreign culture of the U.S. Army. The relentless action and the vivid portrait of a little-known country drive the appeal of this outstanding crime novel."—Booklist

"In this sixth series entry (after The Wandering Ghost), the author demonstrates his knowledge of military politics and South Korea in the 1970s. The only question is why Limón has not received more recognition. Mystery fans, especially male readers and those who enjoy gritty police procedurals in exotic locations, will want this solid crime novel. "—Library Journal

"Sueño’s sixth mystery combines a brash, righteous hero with gritty local color for a crackling good read."—Kirkus Reviews

"Throughout the twists and turns of this story, Limón paints incredible word pictures of the sights, sounds, and smells of Seoul and the culture that inhabits it…G.I. Bones is a truly gripping story that will keep you entertained and guessing until the very end."—Publishers Weekly

"The plot is crisp, the characters are fully portrayed, and the dialogue is convincing…in Limón’s gritty, always entertaining novel."—School Library Journal

Sounds like it might be gritty.

Moving Beyond Borders - Julian Samora and the Establishment of Latino Studies
Edited by Alberto López Pulido, Barbara Driscoll de Alvarado, and Carmen Samora
(University of Illinois Press, 2009)

Saturday, November 14, 2009
2 pm Salón Ortega, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Free Admission
An exploration of the life and career of Julian Samora, the first Mexican-American sociologist in the United States. His establishment of the Mexican American Graduate Studies program at Notre Dame and his teaching career paved the way for the evolution of such disciplines as Latino Studies and Border Studies. For more information call 505/246-2261 ext. 148.

Each and every holiday season, Su Teatro returns to Denver's old Westside neighborhood to commemorate the residents who were removed from their homes (through eminent domain) for the building of the Auraria campus.

This December, Su Teatro presents a classic piece that honors those residents and the generations that came before and after.
The Westside Oratorio is a beautiful musical tribute created by Su Teatro Executive Artistic Director Anthony J. Garcia and world-renowned composer Daniel Valdez (to the left) in 2004. Valdez will once again act as musical director, and will begin a Su Teatro residency next week.

Su Teatro's production of The Westside Oratorio signals the company's move to the Denver's Westside this spring. It is a celebration of past roots, present commitments, and future promises. This is one production you don't want to miss.

Su Teatro presents
The Westside Oratorio
written by Anthony J. Garcia and Daniel Valdez
directed by Anthony J. Garcia
musical direction by Daniel Valdez

December 12 - 20, 2009
Saturday 12/12 at 7:30pm
Sunday 12/13 at 3pm
Friday 12/18 at 7:30pm
Saturday 12/19 at 3pm and 7:30pm
Sunday 12/20 at 3pm

at the King Center Concert Hall
855 Lawrence Way (on the Auraria campus)

Tickets are $18, $15 students/seniors, with great group discounts available.

For King Center info and directions, click here.
For more info about Su Teatro and The Westside Oratorio, visit our website.

I hope some of you made it to the dedication of the new public art piece by Carlos Fresquez, today (November 13) at 3:00 p.m. Carlos is a Denver treasure and we are all very proud of the great work he has produced for decades. Note - Carlos' art graces the Westside Oratorio poster above - the guy is everywhere.

Here's the official city announcement, just in case --I plan to visit the installation as soon as I get back to Denver.

The Denver Office of Cultural Affairs’ Public Art Program is pleased to announce the dedication of Un Corrido Para La Gente (A Ballad For The People) by Denver artist Carlos Fresquez (to the left) at Morrison Rd. and Sheridan Blvd. The event will take place on Friday, November 13, 2009 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This dedication is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

WHAT: Dedication of sculptures Un Corrido Para La Gente
WHO: Artist Carlos Fresquez, City Councilman Paul Lopez, Denver Office of Cultural Affairs Staff & Commissioners Community Members
WHEN: Friday, November 13, 2009, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Morrison Rd. & Sheridan Blvd. (new gateway)

Carlos Fresquez’s Un Corrido Para La Gente is an assemblage of sculptural forms inspired by items you might find in the surrounding neighborhood shops, or Mercado district. An oversized guitar, hand-painted with a representation of an eagle, is topped by a wheel and a crown. These sculptural forms connect to a sculpture of a shovel through a colorful, kinetic papel picado swinging in the breeze. The artwork creates a new playful and vibrant gateway to the Morrison Rd. and Sheridan Blvd. streetscape. An interview with the artist on his inspiration for the piece will be available soon by calling 1-800-DEN-ARTS.

Carlos Fresquez was born June 19, 1956 in Denver, Colorado where he still resides. He received a B.A. from Metropolitan State College of Denver in 1980 and an M.F.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1995. Fresquez has exhibited his drawings, prints, paintings and installations in at least 25 U.S. states and in eight countries. He has lectured about Chicano art history and his own artwork at many colleges, universities, galleries and art centers, including Las Bellas Artes in Mexico City, The Albuquerque Museum and The National Museum of American Art. Fresquez is currently an Assistant Professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver. For more information on the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs’ Public Art Program, please call 720-865-4313 or visit


My month-long California sojourn is about over, it's been quite a trip. Flo and I have had memorable experiences and we can't say we are looking forward to the much cooler temps in Denver. But home is where the P.O. box key fits, and that isn't Long Beach.

I spent a bit of time with Daniel Olivas and Michael Sedano, two of La Bloga's regulars; always nice to see the guys and talk about the cultural scene (group photo on my post last week, here.) Flo and I plan to make Daniel's book launch for Anywhere But L.A. at the Beverly Hills public library our last California event (tonight, November 13) - look at Daniel's post this week for details.

I also visited with Mario Acevedo, Lucha Corpi, and Alfredo Véa, Jr.

Here's a photo of Mario (and fellow writer Bonnie Biafore) taken at the Farmer's Market in Hollywood. Mario was out here for the Jesús Treviño tribute, and he says it was a blast. More about the star-studded tribute on Mario's blog, at this link (scroll down to November 8 for photos and details.)

Lucha, Flo and I had a nice brunch in an Oakland eatery where we talked at length about writing, writers, and the writing business. And a bit about psychics and fortune telling. Lucha is mysteriously connected to this other world and she spins a good occult story. Flo snapped Lucha and me inside a bookstore (where else?) - that's Lucha's newest book, Death at Solstice, in her hands.

Alfredo Véa is quite the inspiration: highly regarded novelist, ace criminal defense attorney, expert gardener, tile handyman, jazz aficionado, community watchdog, new (and very proud) Daddy, and much more. Flo and I were treated to a party celebrating the 21st birthday of the son of one of Alfredo's good friends -- muy simpático -- the company, food, and wine were all excellent. Unfortunately, our photos of Alfredo are jammed up in our computer -- anyone know what the problem is if we can see the picture in our thumbnail list but when we try to use it we get only some of the image and the rest is just a blank gray area?

The really good news is that Alfredo has completed one book (more than a 1000 pages so it may be published only in Europe, he says) and he is hard at work on another one. The little I learned about the work in progress grabbed me already; can't wait.

That's it for now. Read and lead, gente.



msedano said...

glad to see you're still having a blast. when you went to san francisco did you make sure to wear flowers in your hair?

the pix: try uploading the card into the camera again. get a new card in the meantime and test a new foto, see if it uploads fully.

Daniel A. Olivas said...

Great post! I feel like I've been on a literary tour! Hasta.