Monday, January 29, 2007

New Literary Series

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Literary Series curated by Achy Obejas with

*David Driscoll
*Bayo Ojikutu
*Coya Paz
* Srikanth Reddy

7 p.m. $5 suggested donation (18 & Over)
@ the Hothouse. Event details.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Call for submissions: Full length stage plays

National Playwriting Competition 2007

Deadline: Friday, June 1, 2007.

For submission guidelines.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Luis Urrea keynote @ Loyola conference

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus
Luis Urrea is the scheduled keynote speaker for "A Calling to Justice: An Interdisciplinary Academic Conference, exploring Social Justice in the Professions and Disciplines." The event is open to the public and hosted by Loyola University Chicago. Cost: $25. Registration deadline: Wednesday, Feb. 21. For details and registration info: Michael Maher, mmaher at luc dot edu or 312.915.7727.

Luis Alberto Urrea, member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. The Devil's Highway, his 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the 2004 Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Urrea's most recent book, The Hummingbird's Daughter, tells the story of Teresa Urrea, sometimes known as “The Saint of Cabora” and “The Mexican Joan of Arc.” Urrea is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago. For his complete bio, blog, and related information:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Have you visited Tianguis yet?

If you've never been to our store or have been meaning to swing by but haven't gotten a chance, in an effort to entice you, we're posting a picture and a great review that Diana Pando posted over at Botanas: Art, Culture and other Rants.

Yesterday, I walked through Pilsen anxious to check out Tianguis Bookstore’s new location. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The store is in a great and convenient location right across the street from the Damen pink line station, the #50 Damen bus stop and right around the corner from the National Museum of Mexican Art.

If you are addicted to books,like I am, you will ABSOLUTELY ADORE this gem of a place. The moment you walk in your eyes will feast on a variety of books all standing neatly on shelves. From Neruda to Marquez to more contemporary writers there is something for everyone. The store also has a selection of T-shirts with la Chilindrina and el Chavo del Ocho on them, sassy milagrito bracelets by Patricia Carlos and new minature paintings by artist Luis DeLaTorre.

The place oozes with creativity, good vibes and best of all books galore. It’s also the perfect place for a cup of tea. Make mine de manzanillo please. The tea bar is coming in February, hurray! I’m hoping to be spending quality time in the writing/reading nook of the store.

Click here to read complete entry.

Submission Call: Stories of Hope and Survival

Portraits: Stories of Hope and Survival

Deadline: Feb. 28, 2007

“What Will It Take? Building the Safest State for All Women and Girls” is a year-long, anti-violence initiative headed by Chicago Foundation for Women. It is an effort to bring awareness to violence against women and girls, in all its forms, including: domestic violence, sexual assault, bullying, street harassment, prostitution, elder abuse and incest, as well as women and girls who are “trafficked” for sexual or labor exploitation.

While violence against women and girls affects all of us, too few people talk about it. And too often, the stories become invisible. “Portraits: Stories of Hope and Survival” is an effort to give a voice to those stories. We want to reflect the voices of people who have survived, family and friends who have lived through violence and those who may not have been able to talk about violence until now. We will collect original essays, stories, poems and observations about violence against women and girls. Some of the stories will be put on our website, some may be used for a theatrical production and some may be put in a book, a collection outlining the yearlong effort. (We are asking writers to give us limited use rights, since any profits from these efforts will be put back into community grants.)

Click here for submission guidelines.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Texas, here they come!

"Hola to our Texas friends! Please SAVE THE DATE(S) : January 24-29th.
Teatro Luna will be in San Antonio performing S-e-x-Oh! at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center on Friday and Saturday night and showing a Probadita of our MACHOS show on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. MACHOS will be FREE and S-e-x-Oh! will be about $10 (I think). Times TBA, but PLEASE spread the word. We'd love to see you and your friends and your family and your neighbors and your coworkers there!" --Teatro Luna

For more info: or

Pilsen: Paid art internships

Spring Session 2007
Feb. 6th - Apr. 20th, 2007: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 3:30pm - 6:30pm
This is a Yollocalli Arts Reach and After School Matters Paid Arts Internship for youth ages 14-21.

For more info or to apply:

Registration and Portfolio review @ Yollocalli, Jan. 15th-19th, 3-5 p.m.
Please bring your school or photo ID, a social security card or ITIN#, and any artwork you have created (sketchbook, slides, photos, drawings in your notebook, etc.) for your portfolio review.

For more information, please write to or call 312.455.9652, ext.204.



Spring Session 2007
Feb. 6th - Apr. 20th, 2007, Tues., Wed., and Thur. 3:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
A Yollocalli Arts Reach, After School Matters, and Rauner Family YMCA Paid Arts Internship for youth ages 14-21. Continuing the work from the Fall session, you will help create four new murals for the walls of the Rauner Family YMCA.

For more info or to apply:

Registration and portfolio review from Jan 15th-19th, 3:45-6:45 p.m. @ The Rauner Family YMCA, 2700 S. Western Ave. Please bring your school or photo ID, a social security card or ITIN# and any artwork you have created (sketchbook, slides, photos, drawings in your notebook, etc.) for your portfolio review.

For more information, please write to or call 312.455.9652, ext.200.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Proyecto Latina: Featuring Diane Herrera

We are anticipating the first Proyecto Latina of 2007, our initiative will be completing its first year this month. Diane Herrera will be kicking things off for us, she is our featured performer this January 15th. Join us, its a great way to end the Martin Luther King holiday and long weekend.

If you've attended any Teatro Luna or Salsation shows you might be familiar with Diane's work. Although, I only met her recently I still recall her character Patty from a Salsation show I attended a few years back. We recently asked Diane to answer a few questions because our inquisitive (i.e. nosey) minds wanted to know more.

When did you first figure out that you wanted to be a writer and/or peformer?
I was in college studying general theatre studies--my ultimate goal was to be a professional director. One day I was told by a friend that I could join this playwriting workshop class. The catch was that even though I was only performing the playwrights' works, I had to write six line scenes for every class. I started having fun with it, and my teacher told me I should switch to a playwriting major. I ignored him for the quarter, but he wore me down and I finally took playwriting class...and that's where I fell in love with the process of creating characters and situations and seeing them onstage, and seeing how the audience reacts to them.

Performing--that's a little different. I always loved performing, but I wasn't very much encouraged by teachers or peers. So I didn't pursue it much, just took classes here and there in college. I started taking 2nd City classes after college because I went to this seminar where Jeffrey Sweet was speaking, and he said that when you have writer's block the best cure is to improvise. So I started the improv classes and I was hooked. I kept getting opportunities to perform here and thing lead to another and here I am today!

What gets your creativity going?
Sometimes it's something I'll see or read--other times it's just an idea that strikes me that I have to write out. A lot of times it's something that has happened to me or my loved ones in real life. Sometimes it's a simple as a deadline to get my creativity going! ;)

What is the one question you wished we had asked?
What is my favorite food? Right now it's ice cream. : )

Sad news from Tia Chucha

Luis J. Rodriguez, Xicano author and also co-founder and creative director of Tia Chucha Cafe and Cultural Center in California, announced via an e-mail that the bookstore, cafe, performance and cultural center is being forced to move from its current location. Shortly after the holidays Tia Chucha was served with a notice that would force them to move by the end of February. Sadly, they are scheduled to be replaced by high-tech laundrymat that is apparently investing $8 million in the strip mall, something any independent bookstore or small business would be hard pressed to compete with.

Rodriguez says, "This is a time to come together, strategize, and work to keep Tia Chucha's viable as a cultural center while we explore our options. We will not give up."

Tia Chucha has placed a call for support. To read Rodriguez' complete message and to find out how one can support visit:

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Dia de Reyes and Childhood Illusions

by Liza Ann Acosta

Ayrin had whispered to me while we knelt on the the ground and pulled grass to fill our shoeboxes--"I saw the gifts in the closet. The Three Kings are our parents. They are not real." I countered, "Yes, the are! They are in the Bible!" "Si, I know, but they don't come to our houses bringing gifts. But anyway, keep it a secret because Lyma and Javi still believe." I almost cried. I looked at the half empty shoebox wondering where the grass that the horses of the Three Kings were supposed to eat went every year. I had stopped believing in Santa Claus when I saw my mom put the gift under my bed weeks earlier. But I held on to the Three Kings, because at least there was evidence of their existence in the gospels. My dad stood nearby talking loudly to the adult neighbors watching our grass collecting about the approach of the Kings. He pointed to three bright stars and said, "They are close, look, the three stars are getting brighter tonight." I looked up and wondered if Ayrin was right. I was very sad and disappointed. Ayrin would not lie to me.

Morning came and my mom woke me up. "Lisita, the Three Kings came!" I did not rush to the tree as I usually did, my innocent belief snatched at dusk, so I was in no hurry to see gifts bought and wrapped by my parents. But I heard clanging and the voice of my father outside talking to no one about "how careless this year they were." I looked at my mom who shrugged and said, "he has been cleaning for a while now. Open your gifts! The Three Kings came!" Confused and hopeful I started unwrapping the first gift when my dad came in dramatically sweeping his brow of sweat. "Those Three Kings Horses were very messy this year. Leaving all that grass half eaten and strewn about the front. Los Reyes even forgot to close the front gates!" He gestured about putting away a broom and a dustpan. I looked under the tree and saw a few blades of grass still there. "I am going to be sweeping grass for a good month now. What carelessness!" he said and I thought he was really mad at the Kings for a moment. "So, did they bring you what you wanted?"

I don't even remember what the gifts were. All I know was that my parents gave me back the illusion of that day when the wisemen came from the East bearing the gift of faith to all of us, traveling from very far to see the baby who they believed would bring peace to a very troubled planet. I still hang on to that illusion.

Today is January 6th, the day of the Epiphany. Feliz Dia de Reyes! Or like my mom prefers to say now: JAPITRIKINDEI!

About our contributor: Liza Ann Acosta hails from Puerto Rico. She currently resides in Chicago and is a professor at North Park University. Last year was her first Christmas in the states, she was saddened that the celebrations ended so soon. So this year she has returned to ensure that she can properly observe and celebrate one of her favorite holidays: El Dia de Reyes.