Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NHCC Literary Prizes; Tomás Rivera Conference; Melinda Palacio at Tia Chucha

Michael Sedano

National Hispanic Cultural Center Awards Two Literary Prizes

The National Hispanic Cultural Center and the National Latino Writers Conference is pleased to announce the winners of the NHCC’s two literary awards. The first is the Premio Aztlán awarded to an emerging author who shows promise as a writer. The second is the bi-annual NHCC Literary Award given to an established writer with an impressive body of work and who has impacted the productivity and success of other writers.

Luis Alberto Urrea has won the NHCC Literary Award for the breadth of his work in non-fiction, poetry, novel, short fiction, essay and memoir. Mr. Urrea has published fourteen books and several titles are forthcoming. He has been a past faculty member of the National Latino Writers Conference. From his presence at the NLWC we know him to be generous with his attention and knowledge in a workshop setting.

Urrea has been the recipient of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize for fiction, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for non-fiction, winner of the Lannan Foundation Literary Award for non-fiction, the Premio Fronterizo Award/Border Book Festival, the Latino Literary Hall of Fame award and the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, among others. Luis Urrea is presently a Professor of English/Creative Writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The selection committee for 2010 included: Francisco Aragón, director of Letras Latinas, the Institute for Latino Studies literary program at Notre Dame University; Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Chair and professor of the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies; Rigoberto González, Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University; E.A. Tony Mares, Professor Emeritus of English, University of New Mexico; and Demetria Martínez, author, activist, lecturer and columnist.

Other nominees included: Francisco X. Alarcón, Alurista, Gloria Anzaldúa, Norma Cantú, Ana Castillo, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Ray Gonzalez, Juan Felipe Herrera, Graciela Limón, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, John Phillip Santos, Sabine Ullibarrí, and Helena María Viramontes.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award has been given since 2002. Past award recipients include: Rudolfo Anaya, Denise Chávez, Pat Mora and Martín Espada. The award will be presented to Luis Alberto Urrea on Friday evening May 21st during the National Latino Writers Conference banquet. The NHCC Literary Prize is $2,500.00 and Mr. Urrea will be in attendance to accept the award and make remarks to the National Latino Writers Conference.

Gloria Zamora, a native New Mexican has been awarded the Premio Aztlan for her book, Sweet Nata: Growing Up in Rural New Mexico. Her book was one of the most successful titles published by the University of New Mexico press in 2009.

The Premio Aztlán was established in 1993 by famous local author Rudolfo Anaya and his wife Patricia, who passed away several months ago. Established at the University of New Mexico, the Premio Aztlán was moved to the National Hispanic Cultural Center in 2008 as part of the Center’s annual National Latino Writer’s conference. The conference will be held May 19-22, 2010 for the eighth consecutive year and draws writers from throughout the country.

Ms. Zamora will offer a short lecture at this year’s conference, where she will receive a prize of $1,000.

The selection Committee for 2010 included: Rudolfo Anaya, Professor Emeritus (creative writing), University of New Mexico; Orlando Romero, Angélico Chávez Library (retired); María Teresa Márquez, UNM Zimmerman Library (retired); Rafaela Castro, UC Davis, Shields Library (retired) and Greta Pullen, NHCC Senior Librarian.

Tomás Rivera Conference at UCR Focus on Latino Health

Click image for a magnified view. Click title, above, for additional conference details.

The University of California, Riverside is generating intense interest for Latino medical issues among Inland Empire cities including Redlands, San Bernardino, Riverside, Yucaipa, and Cucamonga; Bryn Mawr, Loma Linda, Hemet, Fontana, Banning, Beaumont, and Palm Desert, home to thousands of medical professionals and millions of patients.

Tomás Rivera is a pioneering Chicano writer and educator. Rivera became the UC system's first Chicano Chancellor in 1979, eight years following publication of Rivera's magical novel, ...y no se lo tragó la tierra with Octavio Romano and Herminio Rios' celebrated Quinto Sol Press, later re-published by Arte Publico Press. Rivera died in May 1984.

The University of California, Riverside reflects Rivera's polymathic interests with its annual Tomás Rivera Conference. Conference themes have ranged across the full spectrum of knowledge and art, from literature to law, film to medicine, activism to business. The 2010 conference, the twenty-third in the series, includes lectures, discussions, poetry readings, and an art exhibit.

The Tomás Rivera Conference is funded and coordinated by UCR Tomás Rivera Endowment/Department of Creative Writing and co-sponsored by UCR Chicano Student Programs, the Tomás Rivera Library – and Special Collections, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences F1rst, Department of Theatre, Palm Desert Graduate Center, Riverside City College-Academic Support Program and the Inlandia Institute of Riverside. Added generous support comes from Mrs. Concha Rivera, Chancellor Tim White and Dean Stephen Cullenberg.

Melinda Palacio Reads from Folsom Lockdown

Melinda Palacio's recently released chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, from Glen Ellen CA's Kulupi Press, presents 22 superbly compact poems that won Palacio the publisher's Sense of Place Chapbook Contest.

Hearing Palacio read adds to her distinctive work depth that can be enjoyed only via the spoken word. Melinda reads with precise articulation at a comfortable pace that gives every word its own space in one's ear. She reads from individual sheets rather than the book. Her distinctive vocalics and aural smile imbue the reading with the poet's joy in creativity, adding dimensions that challenge her poetry's intense emotion and often violent events.

Buy the chapbook in advance and read along for a truly involving experience with text. If Melinda Palacio reads in your neighborhood, consider attendance de rigueur for you and your friends.

You can buy Folsom Lockdown at Tia Chucha's, or directly from Kulupi Press for gente outside San Fernando. Help your friends discover Melinda Palacio with a gift of the $12 title. Perhaps your local brick and mortar bookseller would be open to stocking copies, if you place your order locally. A ver.

That's the view from this final Martes of March, a Martes like any other Martes, except You Are Here. Thank you for visiting La Bloga. See you next week as we test one poet's insight that April is the cruelest month. Shall we see lilacs blooming?

les wachamos.


Gente, La Bloga welcomes your comments and observations. We welcome, encourage, guest columnists. When someone posts a column you'd like to extend or respond to, leave a comment. If you've written something that you think fits La Bloga's emphasis on literature, arts and cultura chicana / latina, click here to let us know what you'd like to share.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Barbara included one of Melina's poems. I decided to learn more about her and i ended up at your blog. Hor book of poems sounds very interesting. Thanks for the review.