Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fotos: National Latino Writers Conference

Michael Sedano

Alburquerque New Mexico's fabulous National Hispanic Cultural Center this week hosts North America's most singularly outstanding writers conference, the National Latino Writers Conference.

Aside from the superb facility, stages, theatres, kitchen, leadership from volunteers and board members, as is the case with all organizations, it's the gente who make the event fabulous. Here Carlos Vasquez, Director of History and Literary Arts of the NHCC, reluctantly acknowledges
the richly deserved praise for putting together this 9th annual writers conference. Carlos is standing with Gary Glazner, Director of Alzheimer's Poetry Project. The Alzheimer's project helps struggling seniors using dichos in a call and response technique.

Carlos, Greta Pullen, and Katie Trujillo--the entire planning staff--bring together an outstanding faculty. The first day's sessions include Francisco X. Alarcón, "El Poder de la Poesía: Poetry for Two Languages."
Evelina Fernandez of the Los Angeles Theatre Center, conducts a workshop on "Writing Plays That Matter."
Students taking notes during Monica Brown's "Writing for Children." This scene repeats throughout the three day event as writers gather knowledge here, take it home and put it to use in their future work.
Monica Brown gives out clear, detailed standards a writer needs to adapt in submitting text for children's picture books.
Inimitable poet Alurista presents from various stages of his career, including one written in pencil on a torn strip of yellow paper, and another he improvises in response to a question.
The Open Mic sessions provide lunchtime relaxation and enjoyment as writers, randomly selected, perform for their peers. Here Karen Cordova exhibits excellent oral style as she shares her five minutes on stage.
The performances, workshops, all the good gente, staff, volunteers, writers, form aspects of most writers workshops. What sets the NLWC apart from other such events are two key elements. First, Vasquez knows the benefits of small, intimate conferences and limits enrollment to 50 writers. Second, the NHCC's commitment to professionalism for the writers provides access to agents and publishers.

Two panels feature Literary Agents and Publishers. The panels allow writers to ask about this most crucial element of writing: getting representation and first-hand hearing what publishers expect from query letters.

Even better--and what sets apart the NLWC--Vasquez schedules Saturday morning for one-on-one meetings between writers and one of the publishing professionals on the panels.
Here is moderator and bloguera Lydia Gil with Sandra Toro of the Toro Literary Agency; Adriana Dominguez from Full Circle Literary.

Joing them on the panel are Dominguez, Kathryn Conrad from the University of Arizona Press and Anisa Onofre of Aztlán Libre Press.

You'll see fuller coverage and more fotos as the conference proceeds.


Anonymous said...

este pendejo no sabe nada del centro, la fundacion, ni la politica nuevo mejicana...

Anonymous said...

I realize that this was written by a blogger and not a journalist, but it concerns me that there is so much inaccurate information. The National Hispanic Cultural Center is an agency of the State of New Mexico and part of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. The State of New Mexico (with New Mexican taxpayer dollars) support the Center with 3 million dollars each year (that is a matter of public record). The Center was constructed with state and federal public funds - not private dollars. I think the State of New Mexico is doing a great job of contributing to the NHCC.