Friday, April 30, 2010

Murals, poets, books, honors, new theater - and SB1070

Mural Unveiling
Stevon Lucero
has a new mural that will be unveiled on May 1 up in Laramie, Wyo. Stevon's mural is a "depiction of Latinos in Wyoming." He calls it Paredes Hablando: Walls that Speak. Stevon's work is full of energy, color and spirit, so this mural should be something. Plus, there's also a film, 2501 Migrants by Yolanda Cruz. An excellent trailer for the film can be found here. All of this is in support of Laramie's Radio Montañesa: Voz de la Gente, 93.5 FM.

A poetry reading by Juan Manuel Patraca at 2:00 p.m., May 8, at the Boulder Public Library at Broadway Street and Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder. At the free public event, Mr. Patraca will read in English and Spanish from his new book of poems titled 32 Biographies of Humble People. The Mexican-born Patraca mops and vacuums Denver area offices by night and jots down ideas for his poems while riding the bus to and from work. His poetry tells the stories of those who have contributed to the struggle for social and immigrant justice as well as his own reflections on his experiences with injustice.


Breathing, In Dust
Tim Z. Hernandez

Texas Tech University Press
[publisher's text]

Deep within California’s golden agricultural heartland lies a rotten core: the fictional farming community of Catela, where the desperate realities of poverty, drug abuse, violence, and bigotry play out in the lives of cucarachas and coyotes, tweekers and strippers, wetbacks and white trash. Seventeen-year-old Tlaloc, namesake of the Aztec god of fertility and destruction, has grown up among the migrant-worker communities that follow the seasons from Wyoming’s beet fields to the vineyards and packinghouses of the Central Valley. Bearing witness to a gritty landscape of wrenching contrasts, Loc narrates the bitter desires and crushed hopes of his friends and family: his father’s absence and his grandparents’ deaths, Zeta’s reckless abandon, Arturín’s path to prison, Norma’s tragic alienation, the farmworkers’ final tributes to Cesar Chavez, Talina’s choices and compromises. Even so he dares to dream, sensing that somewhere within the cruel beauty that surrounds him may lie his own redemption. Tim Z. Hernandez’s land of pain and plenty, his Catela, evokes the essence of the migrant underclass experience. But more, his stories take us there, into the streets and into the groves, into the back rooms of the carnicerias and the panaderias, onto the tracks, onto the thirsty highways, in scenes that unfold with graphic, breathtaking honesty.

Tim Z. Hernandez is a writer and performer originally from Central California’s San Joaquin Valley. His performances have been featured at Los Angeles’ Getty Center Museum, the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts, Stanford University, and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. He is the recipient of several notable awards, including the American Book Award for his debut collection of poetry, Skin Tax, the Zora Neale Hurston Award, and the James Duval Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation.


634 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014 Office: 213-629-2512



April 29, 2010


Laura Rodriguez: 310-956-2425

Estuardo Rodriguez: 202-631-2892

Maria Archuleta, ACLU: 212-519-7808 or 549-2666;

Lindsay Nordstrom, ACLU of Arizona, 602-773-6005

Adela de la Torre, NILC: 213-674-2832


Civil rights leaders Dolores Huerta and Richard Chavez joined by famed musician and Arizona native, Linda Ronstadt, to condemn new law

PHOENIX, AZ – Today, MALDEF, ACLU, ACLU of Arizona, and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) held a news conference on the House of Representatives Lawn of the Arizona State Capitol Building in Phoenix, Arizona to announce their upcoming legal challenge to Governor Jan Brewer’s recently signed SB1070. In addition, the organizations sought to address misinformation and fears that have been spreading throughout the Latino community across Arizona. Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, ACLU, ACLU of Arizona and NILC leaders were joined by civil rights leaders Dolores Huerta, Richard Chavez and multi-Grammy winning artist and human rights advocate, Linda Ronstadt.

“Today, the three most experienced immigrants' and civil rights legal organizations nationwide -- MALDEF, ACLU, and NILC -- announce their partnership, together with local Arizona-based counsel, to challenge SB 1070 in court,” stated MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz. “The Arizona community can be assured that a vigorous and sophisticated legal challenge will be mounted, in advance of SB 1070's implementation, seeking to prevent this unconstitutional and discriminatory law from ever taking effect."

"This law will only make the rampant racial profiling of Latinos that is already going on in Arizona much worse," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona. "If this law were implemented, citizens would effectively have to carry ‘their papers’ at all times to avoid arrest. It is a low point in modern America when a state law requires police to demand documents from people on the street."

Linton Joaquin, General Counsel of NILC, added, “This unconstitutional law sends a strong message to all immigrants to have no contact with any law enforcement officer. The inevitable result is not only to make immigrants more vulnerable to crime and exploitation, but also to make the entire community less safe, by aggressively discouraging witnesses and victims from reporting crimes.”

There are a number of serious constitutional problems with the law, the groups say. It violates the supremacy clause by interfering with federal immigration power and authority. The law also unlawfully invites racial profiling against Latinos and other people of color.

“What we are witnessing today is the blatant targeting of an entire American population, Latinos,” stated civil rights leader, Dolores Huerta. “We must not give in one inch to Arizona’s effort to blame our community for all the ills of the state or their efforts to run us out. We have worked this land, built and maintain these buildings, and sacrificed as much as any other. We must put an end to SB1070.”

"My family, of both German and Mexican heritage, has a long history in Arizona. It has been our diverse and shared history in this state that unites us and makes us stronger," stated Linda Ronstadt. "What Governor Brewer signed into law last week is a piece of legislation that threatens the very heart of this great state. We must come together and stop SB1070 from pitting neighbor against neighbor to the detriment of us all."

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:


RIVERSIDE — Two faculty members at the University of California, Riverside — Norman Ellstrand and Juan Felipe Herrera — have been awarded 2010 Guggenheim Fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of achievement and exceptional promise. Ellstrand, a professor of genetics, received the fellowship for genetics, genomics, and the many faces of hybridization. Herrera, a professor of creative writing, received the fellowship for poetry.


“The Guggenheim Fellowship is a supreme honor for me,” Herrera said. “Most of all, it is for my wife, Margarita Robles, my familia, my students, my department, UCR, our Inlandia communities, our schools, teachers, librarians and libraries, my mentors, my dear friends who wrote letters in my behalf, my editors and publishers, and it is for all those whose voice has been cut short and those whose voice is beginning to blossom.

“I am here to tell you that you have a beautiful voice. Live the promise that you are, cross the borders of silence into your hard-earned freedom. I also dedicate this award to my father, Felipe, who arrived in Colorado in the late 1800s in search of new horizons, and my mother, Lucha, a natural poet, who migrated to El Norte during the Mexican Revolution.”

Herrera, who holds the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair in the Department of Creative Writing, has won numerous awards for his poetry, novels and children’s stories. Among those awards are the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award for his poetry collection Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, which also was one of the New York Times Book Review’s “100 Notable Books of 2008.”

Tom Lutz, chair of the Department of Creative Writing, noted that Herrera is the third creative writing faculty member in four years to receive a Guggenheim fellowship. Last year’s National Book Critics Circle Award and now the Guggenheim “are simply the latest honors in an incredibly productive and significant life as writer.”

“I always say that Juan Felipe is a 24-hour poet, that I have rarely heard him speak in prose, something he does only under duress,” Lutz said. “But the fact is that he writes not just poetry but fiction, children’s books, musicals, plays and other performance pieces, and unclassifiable things as well. He is a very important teacher for us, too, one who epitomizes the best of what makes UCR what it is, an energetic and empathetic educator in this home of incredible diversity and challenge.”

The son of migrant farm workers, Herrera has written 24 books ranging from children’s literature to poetry, produced plays and promoted the literature of other Chicano writers. He has more than 100 articles, poems, reviews and essays in print. Among his award-winning books are 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border, Downtown Boy, Calling the Doves, Crashboomlove and Featherless/Desplumado.

More about the fellowships

This year the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded 180 fellowships to artists, scientists, and scholars. The successful candidates were chosen from a group of some 3,000 applicants. In all, 59 disciplines and 65 different academic institutions are represented by this year’s fellows. Since its establishment in 1925 the foundation has granted more than $281 million in fellowships to more than 16,900 individuals.


This just in - Luis Alberto Urrea wins the Edgar Award for best mystery short story. The Mystery Writers of America announced the Edgar winners at the annual MWA banquet on April 29 in New York City. Urrea's story, Amapola, appeared in the anthology Phoenix Noir (Akashic). Congratulations to Luis!

Su Teatro at The Denver Civic Theater
DATE: Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: 721 Santa Fe Dr. - Denver, CO 80204

TWO NIGHTS ONLY! An incendiary performance by Bay Area theater troupe headRush. Raw-Dios: Behind the Pigpen in the Morning is an insightful and scathing commentary on the impact of US foreign policy and corporate greed on the vitality of public life. The play examines what happens to a Bay Area DJ when he begins to speak out against the war in Iraq. The chain of events that occurs affects many people and reveals a complicated web of relationships that crossover between the public and the personal. Based on a true story.

2 for 1 discount for both performances ($9) - Must purchase in advance and must ask for discount. 303-296-0219 - Regular pricing: $18 gen. - $15 stu/seniors


1 comment:

msedano said...

two wonderful honors. juan felipe's guggenheim and luis' edgar. some parts of our world are as they should be. then there's arizona.