Friday, August 24, 2012

The State of Chicano Literature 2012

Poet Laureate Alejandro MurguiaSunday SEPT 9
The State of Chicano Literature 2012

Juan Felipe Herrera
California State Poet Laureate

Alejandro Murguia
San Francisco Poet Laureate
and Lorna Dee Cervantes

reading with a discussion chaired by
Justin Desmangles Before Columbus Foundation

1:00-4:00 pm @ Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street, free

co-presented by the Before Columbus Foundation, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, and the Poetry Center, San Francisco State University

above: Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia, August 26, 2012, photo by Holly Ayala

Juan Felipe HerreraJUAN FELIPE HERRERA, the son of migrant farm workers, was educated at UCLA and Stanford University, and received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His numerous poetry collections include 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007 (2008), Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008), and Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream (1999). In addition to publishing more than a dozen collections of poetry, Herrera has written short stories, young adult novels, and children’s literature.

On March 21, 2012, Herrera was appointed California State Poet Laureate by Governor Jerry Brown. The first Latino to hold that position, Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. His creative work often crosses genres, including poetry opera, and dance theater. He has taught at California State University-Fresno and at the University of California-Riverside. More here.

Lorna Dee CervantesLORNA DEE CERVANTES, a fifth generation Californian of Mexican and Native American (Chumash) heritage, born in San Francisco in 1954, became a pivotal figure throughout the Chicano literary movement. She began publishing the literary journal Mango in the mid-1970s. Her small press, also named Mango, was widely admired for its creative designs and for the important voices it first brought into print, including Sandra Cisneros, Luis Omar Salinas, Ray Gonzalez, Jimmy Santiago Baca and Alberto Ríos among them.
“Lorna Dee Cervantes is a daredevil... We are transfixed as she juggles rage, cruelties, passion. There is no net. Seven generations uphold the trick of survival. No one is alone in this amazing act of love.” —Joy Harjo
Cervantes’ first book, Emplumada (University of Pittsburgh, 1981), a recipient of the American Book Award, was praised as “a seamless collection of poems that move back and forth between the gulf of desire and possibility.” Her second collection, From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (Arte Público, 1991) was awarded the Patterson Poetry Prize, the poetry prize of the Institute of Latin American Writers, and the Latino Literature Award. In 1995 she received a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. Her latest book, nominated this year for a Northern California Book Award, is Ciento: 100 100-Word Love Poems (Wings Press). She holds an A.B.D. in the History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz; she is an associate professor of English at the University of Colorado in Boulder where until recently she directed the creative writing program.
Visit her blog, and read more on Cervantes at The Poetry Foundation.

Alejandro MurguiaALEJANDRO MURGUIA was appointed the 6th San Francisco Poet Laureate by Mayor Ed Lee in July 2012. He was the editor of Tin-Tan magazine, the first Chicano-Latino arts and literature magazine that established an international perspective for Latino writing.

"El Tin Tan," Murguía has said, "was probably the first [Chicano-Latino] magazine that was intercontinental in scope, a combination of politics and literature and art and different trends from the Mission to Mexico City to Argentina and everywhere in between."

Vargas & MurguiaA founding member and the first director of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco’s Mission District, he has also been an editor (Volcán: Poetry from Central America), publisher (Tin-Tan) and a translator (Rosario Murillo: Angel in the Deluge). His books include Southern Front (American Book Award, 1991), Spare Poems (2001), and This War Called Love (American Book Award, 2002), City Lights Books. In non-fiction, he published The Medicine of Memory: A Mexica Clan in California, University of Texas Press. In January 2003, the New Fiction Series in Los Angeles presented his stories turned into plays. The story “The Other Barrio”—in the noir genre—appears in the anthology San Francisco Noir, Akashic Books, NY and was recently adapted to a screen play by local photographer and filmmaker, Lou Dematteis. Another story, “Boy on Wooden Horse,” appears in the anthology Pow Wow: Charting the American Experience; Short Stories from then to now, edited by Ishmael Reed and Carla Blank, Da Capo Press. He is a Professor in Raza Studies at San Francisco State University.
Photos: Alejandro Murguía, San Francisco Chronicle, August 2012; Roberto Vargas and Alejandro Murguía, San Francisco, c. 1976, protest in support of a free Nicaragua. More on Murguía and friends at East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines.

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