Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Conference Time. News 'n notes.

Michael Sedano

University Conference on Latino Culture and Science Fiction April 30.

The University of California, Riverside hosts a trailblazing academic inquiry into science fiction and speculative fiction written by raza writers in a gathering of casí all the raza writers of science fiction and speculative literature.

The April 30 conference arrives at a time of literary ferment when writers and readers come to the book market with higher expectations than publishers can understand.

The conference explores how six writers get their books to market, the role of sci-fi and speclit genres in United States letters, the nature of literary exclusion, and stories about what each writer brings to readers.

The morning panel joins almost all raza published authors of the genres into the same room at the same time. Hosted by UCR’s Professor of Science Fiction Media Studies, Sherryl Vint, the discussions will be classics among literary conferences. Mario Acevedo’s vampires and Jésus Treviño’s zombie fiction meets Rudy Ch. García’s and Treviño’s dimensional surrealism. Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita’s lunar braceros meet el padrino of Chicano sci-fi Ernest Hogan’s mexicas in outerspace. Y más.

In the afternoon, Michael Sedano and UCR graduate students join the circle to include critical perspectives and readerly responses to these sci-fi and speclit genres, and to join the audience in speculation into what directions each sees raza speculative literature and science-fiction taking.

A grand event in the late afternoon, years in the making, puts a capstone on the conference.

See Rudy Ch. Garcia’s Saturday, April 26 column for building/meeting-room specifics. Here's a link also: http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/21579

The beautiful Riverside campus is freeway convenient off the 60/215, in Susan Straight country.

Conference on Rudolfo Anaya: Tradition, Modernity, and the Literatures of the U.S. Southwest May 2-3.

La Bloga friend Roberto Cantú brings the most arrestingly interesting academic conferences to Southern California and the east side of the LA basin. May 2-3, Cantú surpasses himself with a conference dedicated to La Bloga friend Rudolfo Anaya and literature of the US Southwest.

Scholars from New Mexico to old Germany will lecture, moderate, and sit panel presentations.

Four keystone fiction writers take the lectern during the conference, Ana Castillo, Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, Reyna Grande, and Mario Acevedo, fresh from his stunning appearance UCR's raza in spec lit and sci-fi conference.

The Anaya conference on the campus of California State University Los Angeles in El Sereno is free and open to public visitors for just the cost of parking or a short walk from the bus station. There is no light rail serving this campus directly.

A word of caution: parking rules are posted so you can read them and avoid a ticket. Be assured local regulations are strictly enforced.

The conference is sponsored by Cal State L.A.'s Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Natural and Social Sciences, the Department of Chicano Studies, the Department of English, the Barry Munitz Fund, and the Emeriti Association.

See the conference website for details.

Writing Workshop With Ana Castillo

© foto: workshop at NLWC in 2011

Working with a seasoned writer to develop ideas, polish writing, glean insights from conversation often comes with the payoff of better writing, an improved attitude. This happens for beginners as well as polished authors.

The opportunity to work with one of Chicana Chicano Literature's most accomplished talents, Ana Castillo, should quickly fill the handful of seats available on May 3 through auspices of La Bloga friend Iris de Anda.

 Visit the workshop Facebook page for your invitation. There is a fee for the workshop.

Writing Workshop for Newer Writers in East Los

La Bloga friend Sam Quinones organizes a writing workshop series for those who've never published before, Tell Your True Tale.

Students from recent workshops appear Saturday April 26 at the  East L.A. Public Library at 2:30 pm. The East LA Public Library awaits your attendance at 4837 E 3rd St, LA, 323-264-0155.

Quinones' workshops revolve around insisting stories fit in limited space. Tell Your True Tale approach forces writers to hone their thoughts and imagination, eliminate unnecessary words, make the hard choices that are part of strong writing, no matter the genre.

The Saturday event showcases the students' work with, according to Quinones, stunning variety and quality of stories: A vet returning home from Vietnam; a janitor in Houston trying to find her children in Mexico; of braceros finding their way north and back home again; a man learning confidence as he woos a woman; a bus rider in Los Angeles; a mariachi singing for a heartbroken family on Christmas Eve.

Find details on the workshops here.

Free Poetry Column Follow-Up: Veterans Land.

I noted in La Bloga's coverage of the Grand Park Downtown Bookfest that one organization performs Shakespeare with kids on the grounds of the Veteran's Center and elsewhere. The observation draws a response from the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles Associate Director of Veteran Affairs Kellogg Brengel.

I receive Brengel's words with appreciation for his organization's role in the VA's efforts helping GIs. LA is the homeless GI capital of the world. It's a moral outrage that so many of these men and women are walking wounded soldiers not receiving the care we owe them. I am a Veteran of the US Army but no one needs to be a Veteran to be outraged by this crud.

For Veterans and supporters of Veterans, a critical issue simmers just at the surface of efforts like the Shakespeare Center and other companies. Many, if not all, private or non-Veteran users of the West LA Veterans home lost a federal case and will have to vacate VA land, absent some amicable resolution that benefits Veterans more than others. A commercial laundry, the UCLA baseball team, an exclusive Brentwood girls' school, a theatre, all don't want to leave low-cost Veteran land for market-rate facilities.

Mr. Brengel notes the program goes into its third year on the VA campus, he says, supported by a veteran workforce. Working with the VA's Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, SCLA has hired a total of 61 veterans over the past two summers and because of our free admission policy for  veterans, active military, their families, friends and caregivers/VA employees, SCLA has given away 5,665 tickets to our summer performances.  

The veterans we hire are recruited from the VA's Veterans Community Employment Development program which helps find supported employment opportunities for veterans enrolled in VA services who are chronically unemployed, homeless, and/or receiving psycho-social rehabilitative treatment. 

Veterans receive paid on-the-job training and work in all aspects of the production including: production and venue crews, audio engineer, wardrobe assistant, ushers, parking attendants, and site-specific marketing. The transitional work experience this program provides has been a great success and we are very much looking forward to being back in the Japanese Garden for the summer of 2014. 

A ver.

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Late-arriving News

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Anonymous said...

So. Cal kicking it with the Chicano lit cons!

Manuel Ramos said...

Here's another California book conference coming up soon:

The Inland Empire
Latino Book & Family Festival
May 3 * 10:00am to 5:00pm
Free Admission * Free Parking

The Inland Empire Latino Book & Family Festival, which includes workshops, storytelling, meeting book authors and other activities, will be held at the California State University, San Bernardino's Santos Manuel Student Union's Events Center and Lobby.

msedano said...

Thank you, Manuel. It's great having the LBFF in Berdoo.