Friday, September 05, 2014

New Books. Su Teatro/Encuentro Latino. Sor Juana Festival. Museo de las Americas End of Summer. Cowboy Poetry. Pueblo Progressive Poetry Project. Desperado Events.

Lots happening here at the End of Summer (and later) including summer reads.  Get out there and enjoy.

New Books

Alejandro Morales
Arte Público Press/September 30, 2014

[from the publisher]

“I’m sick of you punks,” Micaela said. “And I’m warning you now. I’m going to get you for that murder!” In the title story, the Latino community in East L.A. suffers horrible gang-related violence. Children are killed in the crossfire and young people use and sell drugs. But the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl is the last straw for Micaela Clemencia, a local teacher. With the help of other women in the neighborhood, Micaela keeps her promise to punish the murderer. And much to the dismay of the police and other city officials, the women take control of the barrio, their “little nation.”

While some characters face a violent world driven by greed, others long for a sense of belonging or a place to call their own. In “Mama Concha,” a grandmother shares her ancient wisdom with her grandson, teaching him to appreciate the land and the fruits and vegetables she grows. In “The Gardens of Versailles,” a home with beautiful gardens is a local favorite, until it stands in the way of “progress” that will benefit the entire community. And in “Prickles,” an artist who is a grotesque oddity because of the thorny tumors that sprout all over his body develops a special, unusual relationship with the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Alejandro Morales returns to his native Southern California community of Montebello in four of these five stories. Originally written in Spanish, this volume includes the first-ever English translation of these thought-provoking stories, in which Morales explores the Chicano community’s marginalization and search for a space to call its own.

La Belle Créole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris
Alina García-Lapuerta

Chicago Review Press/September, 2014

[from the publisher]

Until now, little has been known about the adventurous woman nicknamed La Belle Créole --a Cuban-born public figure who was years ahead of her time as a writer, socialite, and political participant in the Cuban slavery debate and the earliest female who deserves a place in the canon of Latin American literature. Curious to know more about Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, a mysterious Cuban-born star of nineteenth-century Parisian society, García-Lapuerta searched for traces of Mercedes and transformed her research into a full-blown pursuit around the globe, rummaging in archives and libraries in the US, Cuba, Spain, France and England. The final result of her quest is this book; the first full-length English-language biography of the Condesa de Merlin, La Belle Créole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris.

Angelica’s Smile
Andrea Camilleri
Translator: Stephen Sartarelli
Penguin Books/June, 2014

One of my favorite detective heroes is Inspector Montalbano of Sicily.  I look forward to each translation so I can keep up with the adventures of one of the most intriguing, entertaining, perplexing, and intelligent cops you might ever encounter in the pages of a book. Here's the latest installment, as described by the publisher.

A rash of burglaries has got Inspector Salvo Montalbano stumped. The criminals are so brazen that their leader, the anonymous Mr. Z, starts sending the Sicilian inspector menacing letters. Among those burgled is the young and beautiful Angelica Cosulich, who reminds the inspector of the love-interest in Ludovico Ariosto’s chivalric romance, Orlando Furioso. Besotted by Angelica’s charms, Montalbano imagines himself back in the medieval world of jousts and battles. But when one of the burglars turns up dead, Montalbano must snap out of his fantasy and unmask his challenger.


Su Teatro Invited to Encuentro Latino

Denver Chicano/Latino theater Su Teatro has been chosen from a field of 80 entries throughout the country to participate in the month long Encuentro Latino: A National Latina/o Theatre Festival in Los Angeles, California.

The company will perform the award winning production Enrique's Journey based on the Pulitzer Prize winning work by Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario, and adapted for the stage by Su Teatro Artistic Director Anthony J. Garcia.

The company will perform for three weeks at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown Los Angeles. In anticipation of the Encuentro, Su Teatro will open their 2014 season with a remount of Enrique's Journey on September 18-October 4 2014.

Enrique’s Journey
Adapted by Anthony Garcia from the Pulitzer Prize winning work of Sonia Nazario
Directed by Anthony J. Garcia

Music composed and directed by Daniel Valdez.

Enrique’s Journey depicts the contemporary odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reunite with his mother in the United States. He pushes forward using his wit, courage, and hope-and the kindness of strangers. Torn from today’s headlines, it is an epic journey that thousands of immigrant children make each year to find their mothers in the United States.

Here's a summary of the festival from The Los Angeles Theatre Center's website:

2014 LATC Encuentro: A National Latina/o Theatre Festival
October 12 – November 10, 2014
The largest National Latina/o Theater Festival in over 25 years

The Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC), in association with the Latina/o Theatre Commons (LTC),is proud to announce the 2014 LATC Encuentro: A National Latina/o Theatre Festival. This groundbreaking festival will be the first national Latina/o theater festival in over 25 years, bringing together 100 artists from across the country to explore the aesthetic, thematic, and cultural diversity in the field. The overarching question the festival seeks to address through performances and discussions is – “What is the State of Latina/o Theater today?” The festival offers an exciting range of productions including Pulitzer Prize winning plays, English and Spanish language plays, devised theater, experimental work, community based plays and solo plays.

Encuentro translates to “an encounter,” a theme that is a core component of this festival as audiences and artists alike will be able to encounter, and interact with companies from coast to coast. This festival will celebrate the richness of contemporary Latina/o theatre in the U.S. through presenting over a dozen selected companies from across the country that will perform in repertory over four weeks at the historic Los Angeles Theatre Center. The Festival participants were chosen through an open application process by a selection committee made up of Latina/o Theatre Commons Steering Committee members. The selected companies provide a snapshot of national contemporary Latina/o theatre practice.

What would happen if companies could spend a month making work together, mixing aesthetics and sharing practice? What would the new work look like, and how would it impact the collective aesthetic(s) of contemporary Latina/o Theatre?

More than a Festival, the Encuentro seeks to provide this opportunity to explore aesthetics and art making for the participating companies. Beyond presenting their work to the public, artists will work together during the month-long residency sharing their creative methodologies in artistic workshops that will culminate in public performances of co-created devised works.

This unique opportunity will allow participants and audiences to take an in depth look at the range of aesthetic diversity in the field. Public conversations about the work will include post-performance discussions, roundtable conversations, symposia, and distinguished speakers.
The final weekend of the Encuentro will also serve as the second Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening, November 6-9, where over 50 influential Latina/o theater practitioners and scholars will come to Los Angeles to view the festival offerings, including the newly co-created cross-company work. The convening participants will engage in dialogue around aesthetics and art-making, and strategize the implementation of ongoing and future initiatives in support of the continued vibrancy of the field.
Encuentro Companies/Artists and Productions (full schedule forthcoming)

  • About Productions – Properties of Silence by Theresa Chavez, Alan Pulner & Rose Portillo. Directed by Theresa Chavez. (Los Angeles)
  • Aurora Theater – Mariela en el desierto (Mariela in the desert) by Karen Zacarias. Directed by Tlaloc Rivas. (Atlanta, GA)
  • Borderlands Theater – Maria’s Circular Dance by Medrano Treviño. Directed by Eva Zorrilla Tessler. (Tucson, AZ)
  • Caborca Theater – Zoetrope Part I Written and Directed by Javier Gonzalez (New York, NY)
  • INTAR Theatre / Unit 52– Patience, Fortitude and Other Antidepressants by Mariana Carreño King. Directed by Daniel Jáquez. (New York, NY)
  • The Latino Theater Company – Premeditation by Evelina Fernández. Directed by José Luis Valenzuela (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Marissa Chibas – Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary Written by Marissa Chibas. Directed by Mira Kinglsey (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Pregones Theater – Dancing in my cockroach killers by Magdalena Gomez. Directed by Rosalba Rolon (The Bronx, NY)
  • Rickerby Hinds – Dreamscape Written and Directed by Rickerby Hinds (Riverside, CA)
  • Su Teatro – Enrique’s Journey Written and Directed by Anthony Garcia (Denver, CO)
  • Tantai Teatro – Agua a cucharadas (Water by the Spoonful) by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Directed by Ismanuel Rodriguez (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
  • El Teatro Campesino – La Esquinita U.S.A. by Ruben Gonzalez. Directed by Kinan Valdez. (San Juan Bautista, CA)
  • Teatro Luna – Your Problem With Men by Emilio Williams. Directed by Alexandra Meda. (Chicago, IL)
  • Theater Mitu – Juarez: A Documentary Mythology Written and Directed by Ruben Polendo (New York/Abu Dhabi)
Staged Readings and Presentations

  • Cornerstone Theater Company – reading of Alisal by Cornerstone Theater Company and Juliette Carrillo. (Los Angeles, CA)
  • South Coast Repertory – The Long Road Today / El Camino Largo de Hoy  by José Cruz González  as part of South Coast Repertory’s Dialogue / Dialogos Project: A two-year bilingual theatre project to gather and tell the stories with and by the Santa Ana Latino/a Community.
Additional Programming held at local Latina/o Theaters

  • Casa 0101 – Julius Cesar by William Shakespeare. Directed by Robert Beltran
  • Frida Kahlo Theater – Las Mujeres de Juarez Written and Directed by Rubén Amavizca-Murúa
  • Bilingual Foundation of the Arts – Lara, el flaco de oro by Margarita Galban & Lina Montalvo. Directed by Margarita Galban

The Los Angeles Theatre Center
 514 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 489-0994


Join us for one of this year's many 
Sor Juana Festival performances!
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Sor Juana Festival, dedicated to Mexico's great Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, known as "La Decima Musa", or the Tenth Muse. A great poet and philosopher, this 17th century nun is known as the first feminist of the Americas! The Sor Juana Festival puts special emphasis on presenting women artists from both sides of the border.
This year's festival features a wide variety of performances, so there is something for everyone. Visit for more information about the performances taking place September through November.

* Sones de Mexico 20th Anniversary Concert, September 3, 7:00 pm at Millennium Park, free admission

* Mariachi de Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, September 11, 7:00 pm at National Museum of Mexican Art, tickets $50. Presented by the Mariachi Heritage Foundation. 

* Carmen Boullosa: Las Paredes Hablan film screening, Q & A, book signing, September 12, Reception: 6:00 pm Film: 7:00 pm at the National Museum of Mexican Art, free admission. Presented by Producciones Carlos and the Mexican Consulate of Chicago in celebration of Mexican Independence Day 2014.

* Soprano Alma Rocio Jimenez in Concert, September 16, 7:00 pm at the National Museum of Mexican Art, free admission. Ms. Jimenez is a special guest for Mexican Independence Day 2014 in Chicago.

* Las Cafeteras, a musical fusion with a unique East L.A. sound, September 19, Doors open at 8:30 pm, Concert is at 9:00 pm at National Museum of Mexican Art, free admission. Presented by the World Music Festival 2014.

* Guadalupe Pineda in Concert with Cuerdas Clasicas, October 30 at 7:00 pm at the Copernicus Center 5216 W. Lawrence, tickets from $35-75.

* Xochitl Bada Book Presentation November 11, 6:00 pm at National Museum of Mexican Art, free admission

* Aida Cuevas and the Mariachi Reina de Los Angeles, November 15 at 7:00 pm at the Auditorium Theater, tickets from $35-$80. Presented by the Mariachi Heritage Foundation. 

* Maruca Hernandez - Musica for Children, November 22 at 1:00 pm at National Museum of Mexican Art, free admission.

For more information about the artists and ticket information, visit our web site. 

National Museum of Mexican Art | 1852 W. 19th St | Chicago | IL | 60622


Please join us for an evening al fresco in our new outdoor space with cocktails, dinner, and entertainment to celebrate another successful year at Museo de las Americas.

Performance provided by Sabor Latino, Lorenzo Ramirez & Juan Carlos DJ Cuba

**Ticket price includes dinner & two drinks.**

Tickets may be purchased over the phone with
Guest Services (303) 571-4401


 [from the event website]

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an annual celebration of the ranching and rural West. Through poetry, music and stories, ranch people express the beauty and challenges of a life deeply connected to the earth and its bounty. Every year, thousands travel to rural Elko, Nevada, in the heart of winter, to learn and share. It's been called the most honest and open-hearted festival in America, but it is also a darned good time! At the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, you can discover cowboy cultures from around the world, learn a traditional skill, dance the two-step, plan for the West's future with ranchers and conservationists, watch home-made films of rural life, meet new friends over a Buckaroo Brew, enjoy Basque food, listen to tall tales, dispel myths, build bridges and be inspired.

The Vaqueros are coming! For the 31st Gathering, we are visiting a remote corner of Mexico and celebrating the vaquero culture of Baja California Sur, a living link between the Spanish and the American buckaroo. For nearly 300 years, ranching families have carved out an existence in the rugged, arid environment of the sierras of the Baja California peninsula. These rancheros are the direct descendants of Spanish missionary soldiers, and continue to maintain their horseback traditions, using riding equipment patterned after their Spanish ancestors. Baja California Sur vaqueros will be our guests at the Gathering, where they will share past-century and traditional acoustic music, muy rico cuisine of their ranching heritage, local art and craftwork, traditional lore and humor. Join us for a glimpse of this community's history and daily life, and look at the roots of the Californio cowboy, still alive in the sierras of Northwest Mexico.

Tickets to the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering go on sale to Western Folklife Center members September 2, 2014, and to non-members one month later. To become a Western Folklife Center member or renew your membership, click here, or call Dayleen Eiselein at 888-880-5885 ext. 222. Read more about what to expect at a Gathering, tickets, and planning your trip.

January 26 through 31, 2015 in Elko, Nevada


 Pueblo Progressive Poetry Project - ARTery

Come rediscover Downtown Pueblo as we share the power of the spoken word along the ARTery and Central Plaza. This inaugural event will feature the works of Maria Melendez, Juliana Aragon Fatula and Juan Morales. Join us for a progressive evening and experience poetry like never before.

The evening begins with a gathering at Central Plaza. At 7:00 pm the audience will walk one block to the 'Lucky the Horse' mural at 2nd and Main Street which will be the venue for the first reading. The second reading will take place at the ARTery juncture one half block away and next to the Marriott Courtyard overflow parking lot. The final stop will be Central Plaza where the third and final reading will take place.

Refreshments along with a savory and sweet treat will be offered at each stop in the traditional progressive dinner format.

Come celebrate Pueblo with three amazing poets and see how the arts are transforming the community of Pueblo at every corner.

September 19 - 7:00 PM - Central Plaza, Pueblo, CO


Finally, I'm scheduled to speak, read and sign books at various events to help promote Desperado:  A Mile High Noir, winner of the 2014 Colorado Book Award. Here's the list so far:

September 16,  Arapahoe Community College, Littleton Campus, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, with fellow writers Sheryl Luna and Denise Vega;

September 27, Rawlings Public Library, Pueblo, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Pueblo Book Festival. I will speak at 9:30 AM on Chicano Noir: It's Black and It's Brown.

October  25, Zoe's Cafe, Greeley, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, ReadCon 2014 - Books & Brews (more than 35 authors!)

I'm also hopeful that I will have a day long event in another venue in Pueblo in early November.


1 comment:

Giora said...

It's great that there is a festival to celebrate Sor Juana Ines. Not many feminists know that she was one of the first. Hopefully more Americans will learn about her. Best wishes for a great Festival.