Tuesday, April 24, 2012

News&Notes, On-Line Floricanto Wraps April

Michael Sedano

National Latino Writers Conference Nears 

2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the National Latino Writers Conference in Alburquerque. The National Hispanic Cultural Center hosts the event this year from May 16 through 19. Per the NHCC’s website, the Conference:

Now accepting fiction and nonfiction writers.  Genres include novel, poetry, anthology, playwriting, memoir/biography and popular culture.  Registration fee covers all workshops, interviews, conference activities, refreshments and evening banquet. 
For more information call (505) 724-4747.

In addition to workshops and immersion in writinglandia, the the NLWC invites the general public to the announcement of this year’s Premio Aztlán.

NHCC is the nation’s cultural secret, something Clara Apodaca and her staff at the institution’s volunteer Foundation are correcting through tireless and creative fundraising. The galleries, el Torreón, the NHCC itself, deserve to become an international cultural tourism destination. Attendees at this year’s NLWC will see for themselves.

Summer Internship Pays $350 a Week

Summer of my college sophomore year I labored at Kaiser Steel in Fontana California. Shoveling slag fallen off glowing ingots the size of a VW beetle, for eight, often sixteen hours at a time was wonderful, incredibly physical labor. 

Earning $3.00 an hour, I pulled down $3300 that paid for the following year of UCSB. In those days, $3300 went a long way; in Isla Vista, for example, my share of rent on a two-bedroom apartment was $115.00 a month.

I was reflecting on tight budgets and lean times after seeing UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center’s May 6 deadline to apply to be their Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern.

Getty describes the opportunity as Kaiser Steel-like, full-time (40 hours/week) positions, each with a salary of $3,500, for a consecutive ten-week work period between June and August, 2012.” Sadly, I’m sure a two-bedroom apartment two blocks from the beach rents for heartbreaking monthlies, so this paid internship won’t support anyone's mind and body.

Still, what a golden opportunity for someone with the middle-class ganas to spend the summer feeding their mind with experiences: typing metadata into computer files, filing books, cleaning and gluing ceramics manufactured in some Sicilian sweat shop nineteen hundred years ago, policing cigarette butts from the VIP lounge. Quién sabe, right?

UCLA is looking for one, the Getty promises up to 20 jobs.

CSULA Carlos Fuentes Conference For Town & Gown

Cristal Gonzales as Dolores Del Río
La Bloga friend Roberto Cantu has started his final checklist preparing for next weekend’s event at the El Sereno campus located on the eastside of Los Angeles.

For Gown, the provocative theme promises scintillating listening followed by informed conversation: Ancient Mexico, Modernity, and the Literary Avant-Garde. Scholars and gente interested in more depth may read the Conference Abstracts at the foot of the conference site.

For Town, the Conference presents an infrequent staging of Carlos Fuentes’ “Orquídeas a la luz de la luna.”
Alejandra Flores as María Félix

The Spanish-speaking cast includes Alejandra Flores as María Félix, Cristal González as Dolores Del Río and Ricardo Salcido as the Fan.

The campus welcomes visitors to the Golden Eagle Ballroom who pay an $8.00 parking fee on May 5 for a 4:15 curtain.

Maria Félix (laughing):  If in my life I have slept in one hundred beds, I assure you I've only chosen ten of them.
Dolores Del Río:  And the other ninety?
María (Directly): They were called hunger, ambition or violence.

Ricardo Salcido as The Fan
Dolores:  We came looking for Hollywood, remember?
María: Yes, like two elephants in search of their cemetery. When nobody offered us any films in Mexico, we decided to come to die in Hollywood, to bury ourselves in the fresh cement of the Chinese Theater. (Pause.) They didn't want us, not even here.  Old Chicanas, old movie stars? To the trash can.  Everything here is a trash can. Nothing should be useful for more than ten days. 
Dolores (Dizzily.) Orchids in the moonlight...

Translation by Carlos Fuentes, courtesy Dr. Cantú

Conjunto fest

This year’s 31st jam occupies a pair of San Antonio sites. The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center hosts events between May 18  and 20 while nearby Rosedale Park fêtes conjunto May 15 – 17. Over 35 bands perform, along with sessions for student recitals and booths.

Ticket buyers and fence listeners expect to hear star-studded performances by an array of players from celebrated hall of famers to debut artists. At as much as $40 three days, the Conjunto Festival brings the recession’s biggest music bargain.

Organizers host a free Seniors Conjunto Dance, “New Directions” concert, and the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame Dinner & Baile.  Locals and gente planning a San Antonio visit benefit from close inspection of datos linked at centro’s website.

Bless Me, Ultima Week at La Bloga

UC Berkeley recently celebrated the 45th anniversary of the founding of Tonatiuh Quinto Sol Publishers. The company, led by Octavio Romano and Herminio Rios, published the world’s first “Chicano Literature” when it titled its revised edition of El Espejo The Mirror "Selected CHICANO Literature".

As is the case with any live event, the only way to share Cal's celebration was to be in the right place at the right time and pay attention.

Next week, gente all across the Internet can join in anytime as La Bloga celebrates the 40th anniversary of TQS’ publishing Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima.

Visit La Bloga daily to share each bloguera’s bloguero’s observations reflecting on Rudolfo Anaya’s career, influence, and writing. Join the appreciation by leaving Comments for Don Rudy.

Epiphyllum Opens – Chicano Photography

 “What is Chicano Photography?” The founders of La Bloga vowed to avoid  the foregoing construction as one of those statements that resemble grammatical construction but is meaningless.

It is what it is. Like my fundamental belief that by my putting some mayo and a slice of baloney on a tortilla de maíz and folding it for lunch, I am making a Chicano baloney sandwich. What’s Chicano about baloney?, purists object.

Epiphyllums have been in my family for as long as I can remember. My grandmother owned specimens she took from family members, and wherever we vacationed my mother visited nurseries and public gardens collecting cuttings or plants. So, if a contrarian objects that my baloney isn’t Chicano, pobrecito. Epiphyllums are the Chicano National Flower as far as I’m concerned. Watch this one open:

Banned Books Update

Arizona’s depravity calls to mind Martin Niemöller’s meditation:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

First, Arizona came for the Mexicans with SB1070 and a few United Statesians tsk-tsked and laughed and filed a lawsuit.

Then, the Tucson Unified School District came for the Mexicans’ books and few people spoke out because… the news is managed and gente do not realize what Arizona and TUSD are doing to books and ideas.

Now Arizona is coming for the professors who write the books and teach the teachers who teach the books that educate the students. But the books, in the fascist’s Mexican-hating perception, are designed for members of a particular ethnic group, or make students want to overthrow the U.S. government, or resent another ethnic group, or believe membership in an ethnic group has more value than being an individual.

In La Bloga's latest banned books overview, La Bloga reports that, on the eve of oral argument in D.C. about SB 1070, only Tucson’s school administrators enforce A.R.S. § 15-112, the section of Arizona law about these purported teachings. The law continues in force throughout the state.

Tucson continues to single out Chicana Chicano authors in social science and literature. Bans on works by, among others, Sherman Alexie, William Shakespeare, bel hooks, Howard Zinn, Henry David Thoreau, remain in effect. Administrators have not yet announced plans to bury or burn the volumes currently stored in school repositories but freely available via Librotraficante clandestine libraries.

Then the tipos from The State came for the universities that taught the professors who wrote the books…

La Voz Del Pueblo: Your Feet, Tucsonians

Crummy as Arizona and Tucson remain, gente have one guaranteed-to-be-effective weapon when properly wielded: shoe leather.

The People, yes, the people recalled SB 1070 author Russell Pierce. I'm sure it hurt Pierce to be dragged from the public trough and sent home to find honest work.

In Tucson, gente are mobilizing an effort to recall an official making the United States a belly-wrenching laughingstock all over the world. O brave new world to have such creatures in it indeed!

TUSD school board member Michael Hicks calls attention to his ilk’s set of beliefs in numerous published and broadcast statements. Hicks’ tea party obtuseness displays itself in a hilariously self-satirizing interview generously shared by the Recall Hicks campaign.

Michael Hicks proves himself a genius of politcal satire. A twenty-first century equivalent to The Art of Political Lying
The only people in the world with power to change TUSD school board members are certain voters in Arizona. Only Tucson voters, in fact, have authority--freely given by the State--to print, circulate and sign petitions to recall inadvertent political satirist Michael Hicks.

Signature gathering and submission must follow printed instructions precisely. Any exceptions, hire a lawyer.

Then they came for the sympathizers and there was no one left to keep them from burning my books, too.

Latinopia Update & New Look

There’s a new site design in store for La Bloga, with our software provider’s upgrade that's become necessary. La Bloga will feature a new look, including buttons to Like La Bloga on Facebook and other social media. Leave a Comment with ideas to make La Bloga meet your expectations.

Latinopia has a new look this week. The site’s guiding light, Jesus Treviño, plans ongoing improvement to the look feel and functionality of the site, so regular visitors will find the changes useful.

In the past two weeks, Latinopia’s continuing coverage of los Librotraficantes has brought visitors the caravan’s visit to Casa Anaya and readings from the NHCC floricanto organized by Richard Vargas and sponsored by Carlos Vásquez and the NHCC’s dynamic History and Literary Arts division.

Arnie and Porfi Are Back

Con Safos, one of el movimiento’s leading magazines, introduced numerous writers and artists to public appreciation. Among them, Sergio Hernandez sketched the popular comic strip Arnie and Porfi. The one, an  agringado guy looking for answers, the other a good friend gently inculcating a clueless Chicano to his own chicanidad.

Latinopia brings Serge out of retirement to time warp Arnie and Porfi all grown up back to their youth.

Casa Anaya:
Rudolfo Anaya accepting the Los Angeles Times Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement:

NHCC floricanto:

Pacific Northwest News: eSe Teatro Turns Two

Celebrate, eSe! combines theatre and celebration in honor of eSe Teatro's 2 year anniversary. Entertainment includes snippets from works in progress, dance, and corporate business teatro-style, a theatrical Mission Statement. The plays include Oedipus el Reyand zapateo performance by Peru’s master dancer and choreographer Lucho Sandoval.

The staged performances will be followed by a reception and a moderated talk-back session

Celebrate, eSe! Comes to Seattle’s ACT produced by Nilki Benitez and Colette Cosner on
May 5.

La Bloga On-Line Floricanto

Manuel Lozano, John Martinez, Iris de Anda, Elena Díaz Bjorkquist, José Díaz Hernández

"Left & a Right/Ballot Box Burns" by Manuel Lozano
" I am Speaking of the Girls of Juárez" by John Martinez
"Nowhere Girls" by Iris de Anda
"Over the Border, Under the Radar" by Elena Díaz Bjorkquist
"Ode to Poets Responding to SB 1070" by José Díaz Hernández

Left and a Right/ Ballot Box Burns

by Manuel Lozano

Everyone is being given a choice
Between all those that will eventually harm you,
The same ones that censor your voice
As they go on to disarm you.
A crooked center with a left and a right
Ascends from the bowels of the darkest night
With plans of false peace that set off a storm.
With smiling faces and the power of speech,
They will try to take everything they reach
With your children in the army they form.

Many will rise up to put in their word,
Fooled into thinking that their phrasing is gold,
The song deep inside them will be one caged up bird,
Silenced with no fight as it’s bought and sold.
The dead advocates are still doing their thing,
Rewarding the beauty of being able to sing
To spread a poison absorbed through the senses,
And deep in the pocket the faces are burning,
While outside yourself the body is yearning
For nutritional value with no deadly consequences.

Others will insist that its all just a story,
A theory conspired by rebellious thought,
While many are set up to fight for false glory
In a move that will strip you of all you have got.
The terror is plotting from inside the system—
Domestic betrayers killing all the old wisdom
That holds on to its true righteous roots.
They try to sever the link to all that is sacred,
And plant the seeds of anger and hatred
Through all the false dreams of material pursuits.

Few are the ones that will honor the ancestors,
Able to hold on to their true spirit of resistance,
While the world is sold to a group of investors
Who plot every move of your very existence,
And away from the shadows the people will stand,
In their maize feet, with machete in hand,
And the song of their flower rising with each note.
The medicine of their word will be a ritual cleansing,
Running insiders out through their white picket fencing
As the true elders gather to cast their vote.

© Manuel Lozano 2012


There is a spoon
Like a question mark
On the table,
A breast, milk less,
A cloud
That will not
A song that
Across the globe,
But few are
Listening, I am speaking
Of the girls of Juarez,
Sleeping, under
The midnight
There are
Unmarked graves,
A mascara brush
Buried too,
A comb, a small
Dress, I am speaking
Of the girls of Juarez
Tell us of the dreams
You had,
The little brother
At the door,
Tell us of the half
Corn left
With your
Mother, whose tears
Can fill a wash tub,
Tell us of how
You looked
To the hills, felt the moon,
An infinite eye
On you,
You sing
With the sad
Violin of the desert floor,
You gather to pray
For all of us
Who look away,
Like your
Country, I am speaking
Of the girls of Juarez

© John Martinez 2012

Nowhere Girl

by Iris De Anda

long eternal
eyes not yet old enough to comprehend
behold impurity of men
thoughts too clouded to remind herself of then
a repressed 
a repressed 
a single blood drenched
heart breaking
mind crushing
spirit numbing
faith devouring
self rejecting
image breaking
pain inflicting
soul dividing
life dejecting
death inviting
black depressing
so forgotten
cry, cry
cleanse it all away
slash drip
tomorrow will she remember
a scar so sad
they call me Blue
a mystical
holding death in hands
felt it slip
like she could feel every grain
like sugar
like rain
through bleeding hands

and in the midst of it all she forgot...

Over the Border, Under the Radar

By Elena Díaz Bjorkquist ©2012

Transfronterizos  they call them,
Students who cross the border
Every day to attend high school,
Migrating between two cultures,
Two languages.

Transfronterizos stand in line
At the border in Tijuana
Clutching their passports
Waiting to cross into the U.S.

They look like any other teens
Waiting in line for a movie
Except they face drug sniffing dogs,
Customs and Border Patrol Officers,
And a “Welcome to the U.S.” sign.

Transfronterizos fly under the radar
Live with anxiety of having to lie,
And having an education
Taken from them.

Who knows how many
Transfronterizos there are,
Their presence reflects
The complexity of border life.

An Ode to Poets Responding to SB 1070

L'horizon colonial est tout couvert de draperies
Allons dormir sous l'arbre pareil à la pluie.
-Vicente Huidobro.

One poem at a time,
We remember their
Ancient names,

We sing of their
Broken wings—

They of solar,
Bronzed hearts,

They of stone-cleft,
Restless feet.
One stanza at a time,
We denounce all the
Sprouting laws,

We critique what
We see as greed—

Laws of fear and
A biased scheme,

Laws endorsed by
The Anglo bourgeoisie.
One word at a time,
We envision a
Blooming sun,

We profess of
A need for love—

Love of one as
A fellow man,

Love as proof of
A common ground.


"Left & a Right/Ballot Box Burns" by Manuel Lozano
" I am Speaking of the Girls of Juárez" by John Martinez
"Nowhere Girls" by Iris de Anda
"Over the Border, Under the Radar" by Elena Díaz Bjorkquist
"Ode to Poets Responding to SB 1070" by José Díaz Hernández

Manuel Lozano, self-taught writer and artist, lives in El Paso, “El Chuco,” Texas, cradle of the pachuco. Manuel writes traditional verse “to the rhythm of the Matachines.” His work has appeared in Xican@ Poetry Daily and La Bloga. Visit his blog, Manuel Lozano: Xicano Writing.

I studied Creative Writing at Fresno State University and have published poetry in El Tecolote, Red Trapeze and in The LA Weekly. Recently, I have posted poems on Poets Responding to SB1070 and this will be my sixth poem published in La Bloga. I have performed (as a musician/political activist, poet) with Teatro De La Tierra, Los Perros Del Pueblo and TROKA, a Poetry Ensemble, lead by poet Juan Felipe Herrera. I have toured with several cumbia/salsa bands throughout the Central Valley and in Los Angeles. For the last 17 years, I have worked as an Administrator for a Los Angeles law firm. I make my home in Upland, California with my beautiful wife, Rosa America and family. Lastly, I am so proud to say that on April 20, 2012, I was fortunate to share the stage with El Maestro, Francisco Alarcon, in a benefit reading for Poetic Voices; Flor y Canto C.O.R.E., Fundraiser in Sacramento, California at the Guild Theatre and will be reading this poem for Escritores por Ciudad Juarez, in Los Angeles, Ca., on September 2, 2012.

Iris De Anda is a writer, activist, practitioner of the healing arts, and co-founder of the company Las Adelitas: Moda, Cultura, Revolucion. A native of Los Angeles she believes in the power of spoken word, poetry, storytelling, and dreams.  She can be reached at evoluxion777@yahoo.com

Elena is one of the poet moderators for the Facebook page “Poets Responding to SB1070.
She recently received the 2012 Arizona Commission on the Arts Bill Desmond Writing Award for excelling nonfiction writing and the 2012 Arizona Humanities Council Dan Schilling Public Humanities Scholar Award in recognition of her work to enhance public awareness and understanding of the role that the humanities play in transforming lives and strengthening communities.

Elena is a writer, historian, and artist from Tucson who writes about Morenci, Arizona where she was born. She is the author of two books, Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon. An Arizona Humanities Council (AHC) Scholar, Elena has performed as Teresa Urrea in a Chautauqua living history presentation and done presentations about Morenci, Arizona for twelve years.

She is co-editor of Sowing the Seeds, una cosecha de recuerdos and Our Spirit, Our Reality; our life experiences in stories and poems, anthologies written by her writers collective Sowing the Seeds.

A SIROW Scholar at the University of Arizona, Elena conducted an oral history project funded by AHC: “In the Shadow of the Smokestack.” A website she created contains the oral history interviews and photographs of Chicano elders living in Morenci during the Depression and World War II. Another project funded by AHC and the Stocker Foundation is “Tubac 1880’s Schoolhouse Living History Program.” Her website is www.elenadiazbjorkquist.net/.

José Hernández Díaz is a first-generation Chicano poet with a BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley. José has been published in The Best American Nonrequired Reading Anthology 2011, La Gente Newsmagazine of UCLA, Bombay Gin Literary Journal, Kuikatl Journal, The Packinghouse Review, Revista Contratiempo, Blood Lotus Journal, among others. He has forthcoming publications in HUIZACHE Magazine, The Progressive Magazine, and in the anthologies, El Norte que Viene, and Tan cerca de EE.UU. (poesía mexicana en la frontera norte). He is currently an MFA student at Antioch University Los Angeles and he is fulfilling an internship with Floricanto Press as an Editor. In addition, he is an active moderator of the online group, ‘Poets Responding to SB1070,’ where he has contributed more than 40 of his own poems.

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