Monday, December 22, 2008

Tianguis is moving, make sure you know how to find us

Dear Friends,

We hope this message finds you in good spirits and health. We have good and bad news...

The Bad News I want to assure you that we thought about this long and hard before deciding not to renew our lease, and so December 2008 will be the last month for our brick-and-mortar location at 2003 S. Damen Ave in Chicago.

The Good News We are still going to be around. For now we will be moving our operation fully online and we encourage you to stay connected via the following: We recently introduced our Momotombo shop and we will continue as independent booksellers on our website. We will also continue to bring you the same gift merchandise that you were able to find at our store. Look for a complete website and online store overhaul in early 2009. We will also make sure to keep you posted! is our blog and we recommend that you add us to your RSS feed. We are going to be launching a virtual bookclub in early 2009 and managing it through this blog and we really want you to join us in the conversation. This is a good way to stay up-to-date with developments from us as well as stay informed about all things that are Latino+Literary.

Proyecto Latina This open mic and reading series has just completed its third year and is embarking on its fourth. We will continue with our 3rd Monday tradition bringing you the best work by Latinas, the chisme box and good vibes. I've been honored to be part of this wonderful collaborative with Teatro Luna and Mariposa Atomica Ink. And now there's a Proyecto Latina Radio show on Sundays at 6 p.m. and that airs on Radio Arte 90.5 FM, make sure to tune in.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all the people, neighbors and organizations that supported my endeavors. The support that Tianguis receives is from a very diverse group of people that includes members of the community and people that come from far away places and make it a point to pay our humble dwellings a visit. I am also confident that in the next couple of years we will find ourselves with a new home to welcome you in. In the meantime, catch up with us online, on the radio or at Proyecto Latina readings.

Irasema Gonzalez

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tianguis virtual bookclub, kicking-off the wishlist

The bookclub at Tianguis is brewing and we are getting ready to launch it again at the beginning of 2009. I want to introduce my bookclub partner in crime, Cynthia Nambo. You will see her posting here with items pertaining to the bookclub.

Cynthia and I have been brainstorming recently on getting a virtual bookclub launched, and we will be managing that via El Literati. You will be able to read the book and participate from home as you like and as your time allows.

In the meantime we thought it would be cool to get a wish list started and throw out some ideas on our next book club pick. What book by a Latin@ do you think we should consider?

Chime in via the comment feature (look for that link below this line).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What are your thoughts on Malinche's Daughter?

Malinche's Daughter
by Michelle Otero
chapbook, 48 pages

The feast day for Guadalupe is this Friday December 12th. Michelle Otero's book, Malinche's Daughter, features lovely cover art with the image of Guadalupe. Malinche's Daughter is a powerful and reflective memoir, about survival and healing that opens with Michelle's first visit to La Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City. The book is under 50 pages but it dishes out as much intensity as a novel, and you will definitely be thinking about it for some time after you read it.

Have you read Malinche's Daughter? Share your thoughts, through the comments feature on this blog.

What are your thoughts on From here you can almost see the end of the dessert?

From here you can almost see the end of the desert
by Aaron Michael Morales
chapbook, 48 pages

Aaron's book, From here you can almost see the end of the dessert, receives praise from Luis Alberto Urrea and Helena Maria Viramontes. However, I think another valuable endorsement for Aaron's book is Lucy, the customer who returned to Tianguis after reading the book and purchased multiple copies to give to her friends because she was so excited about the three stories in this chapbook that pack a spectacular fiction punch.

Have you read From here you can almost see the end of the dessert? Share your thoughts, through the comments feature.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Load up on your stocking stuffers w/ Momotombo Press!

The Momotombo Press store @ is up!

This means that if you are not in our area,
buying Momotombo titles is only a click away.

Discover the titles at Momotombo Press,
they make great stocking stuffers.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holy Quinceañera in Acentos Review

A couple of weeks back I shared that the latest issue of Palabra Magazine had arrived and that it featured some local talent. Now, I want to let you know that my good friend and Chicago area writer Liza Ann Acosta, has published her short story, "Holy Quinceañera" in the December issue of Acentos Review. (hint: go read it and then click on the back button. ;) Liza shared part of Ines' more grown-up adventures at Proyecto Latina when she featured last June.

Acentos Review is an online literary website that publishes poetry, fiction, memoir, interviews, translations, and artwork by emerging and established Latino/a writers. The reading period for their next issue opens December 15th, you can find information and submission guidelines on their website.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Adelita, pata de perro recap

"My eyes were dazzled!"
--from the guestbook

Saturday, we go outselves to Tianguis bright and early to get the art up for the opening that evening. We tackled renegade frames, sequence garlands and added some decorative finishing touches to a statue of the virgin Mary that is part of the exhibit.

In the evening we were joined by friends and family to partake in a celebration of Jenny Priego's first public exhibit of her art work. There was her friend Grant, playing guitar, fresh flowers from Natalie, wine and cheese from mom, and most importantly lots of laughs by everyone.

It was such a great way to kick-off the holiday season. Jenny's photographs will be up through December. Swing by to check them out and share your thoughts in the guestbook.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Adelita: preview & interview

Adelita, Pata de Perro
Listen to Jenny Priego's interview with Proyecto Latina Radio, which aired earlier this month where she talks about her art process and her upcoming show Adelita, pata de perro at Tianguis.

12 min, 29 sec

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Copies of the latest issue of Palabra Magazine have arrived!

This is Palabra's 4th issue and if you are new to Palabra, its a magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, you can read more about them here. elena minor the editor of Palabra, would like to see more submissions of work from the Midwest, you can get the guidelines here.

And speaking of the country's heartland, I'm pretty excited because this issue includes familiar names from these parts. There are short stories from Paloma Martinez-Cruz and Aaron Michael Morales--both of which I had the pleasure of hearing at readings hosted at Tianguis. There is also new poetry from the most recent Montoya Prize recipient Paul Martinez-Pompa along with other Latino voices from the rest of the U.S.

Swing by Tianguis we have all four issues of Palabra available. Palabra Magazine, paperback, 116 pages, retail price $10.00.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Raw Silk Suture gets rave review

"Raw Silk Suture" lives up to its name. This book is the marriage between that which aggravates and that which soothes the body and soul. There's no picking and choosing; there's only the dealing with all things beautiful and all things hurtful. It's called life, it's called survival: "Yes, / I am here, / even now."

The review for Lisa Alvarado's books appears here in and is by Rigoberto Gonzalez.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fronteras del Amor by Teatro Americano

There are more than tacos cooking at Los Milagros Taqueria
Things heat up in the lives of the taqueria's young workers. Marisol is struggling for better life--for herself and family while being undocumented and taking care of her grandfather and kid brother; Raymundo got beat with the love stick and is sneaking around with the boss's daughter, Lucia ; and Cisco cannot seem to keep himself off the streets and get to work on time. These young adults are joined by luchadores, street kids, and has-been beauty queens all of which are looking for miracles and tortas at Los Milagros.

Join us as the kitchen gets too hot in this telenovela complete with commercials for the stage exploring the intersection of public health, immigration, and youth issues. Order up!

Come see Teatro Americano Perform Fronteras del Amor @ DePaul University

Nov. 21 & 23 Cortelyou Commons Main Hall 2324 N. Freemont
November 22nd Student Center Room 120 2250 N Sheffield


Tickets $10

Directed by Ricardo Gamboa & Steven Beaudion
Developed & Written by Ricardo Gamboa & Steven Beaudion
with Francisco Javier Arrellano, Ashley Bland, Manuel Carnero, Angelica Delgado, Samanta Eimontaite, Julian Gallegos, Alejandra Garcia, Maybeth Gomez, Emmanuel Gutierrez, Hermelindo Hernandez, Unique Howard, Jennifer Idrovo, Chantal Kimbrough, Salvador Ledesma, Jacob Lopez, Xavier Lopez, Rolando Martinez, Veronika Miranda, Zulema Ortiz, Jilberto Popoca, Christy James Sanchez, Mario Sanchez, Sandra Sanchez and Manuel Saucedo

Teatro Americano will continue to offer performances in the coming months at local schools and community venues. For more information about how you can bring a performance to your school or organization, please contact Melissa Gonzalez, Director of Advocacy and Community Education, at (312) 850-9376 or .

Monday, October 27, 2008

Proyecto Latina's Radio Project

What I am going to remember and probably miss most about this past summer are my Thursday evenings. These were the evenings dedicated to getting the Proyecto Latina Radio project off the ground. After closing shop I would meet up with my fellow co-producer Diana Pando and we would catch a quick bite to eat at either La Cebollita or Los Comales and then stroll over to the Radio Arte studios to meet up with our other team members: Yolanda Cardenas, Ericka Sanchez and Miranda Gonzalez. Jesus Ortiz, the host of the Urban Alternatives show at Radio Arte patiently guided us through weeks of radio training and tolerated my affinity for freestyle music while enlightening me with some knowledge of hip hop music.

We've been a little quiet about our little Sunday project because we are still refining our radio editing and producing skills. The goal of the radio show is to build upon Proyecto Latina and the programming that we have already been doing with our Open mic and reading series. So far we've had the pleasure of featuring work by local Latinas such as Lisa Alvarado, and Tanya Saracho as well as an interview with Mexican author Elena Poniatowska. We encourage you to tune in on Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m. If you are in the area you can probably pick up the frequency on your radio (90.5 FM) or you can tune into to listen as it streams online.

We are working on uploading our radio archives so you can access them any time you like. More on this project coming soon...

Monday, October 20, 2008


Biblioburro The story of one man, two donkeys and 4,800 books.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

From the Guild Complex: Palabra Pura

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palabra Pura, Frances Trevino and Tony del Valle
@ Decima Musa, 1901 S. Loomis, Chicago (Pilsen neighborhood)
Reading begins at 7:30 p.m.
Free admission. All ages. Books for sale.

Frances Treviño de Santos
was first published by Pecan Grove Press in 1999 in a chapbook Mama & Other Tragedies. That same year, she was a fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities for integrating U.S. Latino Literature in the secondary classroom. She is the recipient of the 2000 Premió Poesía Tejana Award for The Laughter of Doves, which was published through Wings Press. In 2001 she received a grant from the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. Her current book of poems, Cayetana, is also published by Wings Press. From 1999-2002, she was a member of "Women of Ill-Repute: Refute!" - a performance group that deconstructed issues of culture and identity. Treviño de Santos teaches British Literature to high school students for the San Antonio Independent School district.

Tony del Valle
is a published writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. For the past thirty years he performed as a singer, pianist and guitarist in a touring orchestra and recorded several albums of Latin music as composer, arranger, songwriter, and pianist. He also has taught music and visual arts in the Humboldt Park community where he painted various murals. He is currently seeking to publish a novel entitled The Royal Road, part of which has appeared in Chicago West Side Stories. Del Valle has presented his fiction, poetry, research, and music performances at various conferences, workshops and community events, and he continues his work as a professor of English.

I *heart* nuestro teatro....

There is lots going on this fall in Latino theatre for the Chicagoland area. For me, these plays are just as important as the books that tell our stories. Show your support by attending, and helping pass the word along.

Kita y Fernanda

by Tanya Saracho
Kita y Fernanda is a look at class, immigration and women's friendships as it follows the lives of two girls growing up in the same household; one the privileged daughter of a rich Mexican family living in Texas the other Kita the child of an undocumented maid. Playing through October 26th at 16th Street Theatre in Berwyn.

Meet Juan(ito) Doe
Directed by Ricardo Gamboa
Developed & Written by Ricardo Gamboa, Manuel Saucedo, Veronika Miranda, Alejandra Garcia and Mario Sanchez
Who is Juan Doe? An original ensemble devised piece by Teatro Americano exploring the realities of Latino youth in contemporary society composed from interviews, personal narratives and recent research. From gang violence to myspace, immigration to love and mix tapes, Teatro Americano has created a work that speaks to our collective and individual experiences as young Latinos. Juanito Doe is a busboy, gang member, a pregnant teen, an illegal student--Juanito Doe is you.

Saturday October 18th 7pm
Little Village Arts Festival
General Wood Boys & Girls Club
2950 W. 25th St
*Free event

Jarred: A Hoodoo Comedy
written by Tanya Saracho, directed by Belinda Cervantes & Tanya Saracho
In search for a cure to her heartbreak after a relationship turns sour, Alicia will try anything to mend her broken heart. When yoga, therapy, meditation (you name it she tried it) don't provide relief, her desperate search leads to a most unexpected practice: Magic. With the help of her friends, and three wise magi, Alicia mines the underworlds of Brujeria, Santeria and Hoodoo for folk magic recipes and ancient jar spells, in a frantic attempt to get her love back.

Begins October 31st, get tickets and details at here.
*Read my thoughts on the reading of Jarred, which I got to see this past summer at the Latino Theatre festival, better yet, see what the Chicago Tribune is saying about Tanya Saracho's work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Turning three and giving thanks

I have the nicest customers and neighbors. They look out for me. On days when I absentmindedly forget to turn on the open sign, I sometimes get a friendly call from my neighbors across the street to alert me. Last spring five customers and friends pitched in to treat me to a spa day. I've been given some more random things like a pine tree (that now resides in our back yard) and a usb full of music to play in the store. Oh, and our used book shelf (yes we have used books now) was started by very generous customer donations.

These acts of kindness always surprise and move me and leave me feeling all mushy and giddy and chocked up.

With that said, I want to share the following: A couple of Saturdays back Natalie, a neighbor that lives a few houses away and is a florist brought me flowers just because. I was touched and then she continued to surprise me with some very encouraging words, "Thank you for what you do."

Later that same day, Mari called me. She brought me tacos for lunch from La Internacional on 45th and Ashland. That lunch hit the spot. Yum. Go check out what her father's taqueria y carniceria has been doing so well for many, many years.

And if the universe had not indulged me enough, a few days later when I logged online I found a one line message from one of my favorite writers, "Thank you for all you do."

All unexpected gestures of kindness that humbled and filled up my soul with the good stuff. And now its my turn to send out a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all the people that have supported my venture and vision: Tianguis turns three this October!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pregonando: Voicing Community

This event opens TODAY. Its spearheaded by Giselle Mercier. Giselle will be the featured artist at Tianguis as part of the Pilsen Open Studios art walk later this month (details for that coming soon). I have also been asked to participate on the October 25th panel. Details below.

Pregonando*: Voicing Community
A multi-disciplinary exhibit highlighting the collective efforts of partnership building. From transnational to cross-city collaborations, the work of the cultural worker or community artist depends on the cultivation of reciprocal relationships amongst partners.

Join the Cuentos Fdtn., for a month of family workshops, film screenings and panel discussions that will transport us to the exemplary community-based work done in Chicago, Panama and Mexico.

Sat. October 4, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
Opening reception,

Sat. October 4 @ 7:30 p.m. & Sun. October 5 @ 4 p.m.
"Outside the Indigenous Lens" - Video Presentation by Chiapas Media Project/ Promedios,

Sat., October 11, 2008
Intergenerational Workshop - music and adornment

Saturday October 25, 2008
Closing & panel discussion and party with Nuestro Tambo

Participating artists and groups: Giselle Mercier*, Beth Massura,Tara Malik, Angel Nava, Lindsey Potter, Ashley Walls, Jesus Macarena-Avila, Gabi Nelson and Chiapas Media Project/Promedios. With performances by Ruben Gerena and Nuestro Tambo.

Held at Cuentos Foundation, 6321 N. Clark.

*In Spanish, the verb "pregonar" means to praise publicly and the person charged with this is the town crier or the "pregonero". The "pregon" or announcement is always urgent in nature and is loaded with collective community knowledge that is gained through daily experiences. This socially relevant proverb exalts "doing the right thing" or working ethically as we face day to day challenges.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Visit our table at Vive La Hispanidad celebration

We have been invited to participate at the 4th Annual Vive La Hispanidad. If you are planning on attending make sure to stop by our table and say hello and check out the books and merchandise. We're sure its going to be a blast, the food and music lineup is fierce!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Voicing Resistance: The Latino Experience through the Arts and Media

I've been invited to participate on a panel with three fellow Latinas. Details below:

Voicing Resistance: The Latino Experience through the Arts and Media

Monday, October 6th, 2008
7:00 - 9:00pm / Schmitt Academic Center (SAC) 154
2320 N. Kenmore Avenue

The panel features Chicago artists/activists who will discuss their work and the impact the visual and performing arts and the media have on Latino communities. The panelists will also examine the role of art and the media as a form of resistance within the Latino community.

Naomi Martinez is a Chicana artist who grew up in Logan Square in Chicago. Her world of original Monstrochika characters sprouted in 2000 and continues to evolve today. She has designed and hand sewn her own pouches and stuffed monstros while completing volume one of Monstrochika Comix. Martinez has collaborated with other local female graffiti artists on various murals and arts projects around the Chicago area. See:

Marcela Munoz, born in Cartagena, Colombia, is a founding member and Managing Director of Aguijón Theater. As an actress and director she has worked with Aguijón Theater, Teatro Luna, Victory Gardens Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and has participated in international theatre festivals in Peru, Argentina and Colombia.

Irasema González, Chicago poet, is a founding member of the Proyecto Latina reading series, a collaborative between Tianguis Books, Teatro Luna and Mariposa Atomica Ink. She is the owner of Tianguis Books, the “bookstore she always longed to walk into.” Her poems appeared in the anthology, Between the Heart and the Land. See:

Yunuen Rodriguez, the first youth co-president of the board of Chicago-based Women & Girls CAN and a member of its youth-led initiative, Females United for Action, is an advocate for media justice, violence prevention and culture change that respects women and girls. She successfully led negotiations with a Chicago radio station to drop a sexually exploitive ad campaign and testified before the Federal Communications Commission about how women of color are portrayed in the media. See:

For more information contact: The Women’s Center (773) 325-7558.

Mark your calendars: Lisa Alvarado reads @ Tianguis on 10/29

I had the pleasure of attending Lisa Alvarado's national book release party for her new book Raw Silk Suture this past September. Lisa's poetry collection is powerful and as the title implies 'raw'. She delivered her delicate but intense gems beautifully. I'm excited to be having Lisa read at Tianguis later this month, mark your calendars and make sure to join us!

Wed. October 29, 2008 @ 7 p.m.
Lisa Alvarado reading from Raw Silk Suture
@ Tianguis, 2003 S. Damen.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The pinch me moment: Ana Castillo reads at Tianguis

I had been preparing for last Friday night's reading for about a month--I was going through the motions at a pace that didn't allow me to really reflect on what was going to happen--but then Ana Castillo walked through our front door and that's when it really sunk in. Ana Castillo was reading at Tianguis! It was like when that special tia or the long lost cousin comes to visit and everyone gathers to anxiously wait and welcome their arrival. There was an energetic buzz that began building up in the store in the hours leading up to the reading because it was an honor, for me, my store and my customers to have an opportunity to share in such an intimate setting with a very talented writer--we all accepted the gift gratefully.

Ana read from her new book The Guardians, now out on paperback, and shared a poem from her poetry collection I ask the Impossible. There was a brief Q&A before folks lined up for the booksigning and picture taking.

A great big shout-out and thank you to all the wonderful folks that helped (behind-the-scenes) to make the evening a great success: Amanda Torres, Cristina Correa, Diana Pando, Liza Ann Acosta, Jenny Priego, Yolanda Cardenas, Isabel Garcia, Ellen Wadey, Radio Arte/Yollocalli Studios (for the use of their lovely red folding chairs) and to everyone who joined us. Look for more pictures of the evening on our myspace photo albums.

You can log on to Ana's blog to check out video from that evening that she has also posted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Workshop with Taco Shop Poet, Tomas Riley

Last Thursday, September 18th, Tianguis hosted a poetry workshop led by Tomas Riley and sponsored by the Guild Complex. This is the second workshop of its kind (learn about the first one here), we love the creative energy this type of gathering brings to our space. We had some familiar faces amongst us, as well as newbies and some old students of Tomas Riley that joined us for the evening. We will keep you posted if similar opportunities become available in the future.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Proyecto Latina: September recap

This last Monday we got together for our September '09 edition of Proyecto Latina: we had chismes, open mic and a featured reading by Achy Obejas. The Yollocalli Gallery at Radio Arte, where we hosted our event, is currently decked out in various shades of pink because their current exhibit is about the Quinceanera tradition. I thought it was pretty cool and appropriate that our open mic participants and Achy got to read with a Latina deity of sorts (a student piece) watching over them.

If you missed it, we just want to let you know that copies of Achy's latest titles, This is what happened in our other life and Havana Noir are still available at Tianguis. You can also catch Achy September 26th where she will be having a conversation with Junot Diaz at Instituto Cervantes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A little bit of serendipity and a week full of all-stars

It must have been a little bit of serendipity because these events kind of built up on our calendar before we realized what an amazing all-star line-up we had before us. So, we are excited and gearing up and we hope you can join us for one or two or ALL events!

Monday, September 15, 2008
Proyecto Latina welcomes back Achy Obejas. Join us for a reading, to check out her latest book and first published poetry collection, This is what happened in our other life. As usual open mic and chisme box will be in full force. Held at Radio Arte. Details here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Free poetry workshop with Tomas Riley at Tianguis. Free but space for this event is limited. RSVP required to info @ tianguis. biz. You can catch Tomas' at Palabra Pura on Wed. 9/17 where he will be one of two features.

Friday, September 19, 2009

Ana Castillo will read and sign copies of her latest novel, The Guardians (now available on paperback) at Tianguis. Free, arrive early, seating will be limited to first come first serve.

Saturday, September 20, 2009
This is a bonus event for us! We may not be hosting it but we are definitely supporters of Lisa Alvarado and her work. We will be joining her for the national book release party for her poetry collection: Raw Silk Suture. Event details.

You can find complete event details on our website:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


IMMIGRANT NATION: A human rights struggle for the new millennium is searching for spoken word poets for an independent upcoming documentary about the immigration movement. If you are a spoken word poet who has a piece about the immigration movement and are interested in being part of the independent documentary, we will be having auditions on September 5th-12th. Spoken word pieces will be used as a form of artistic involvement within the immigration movement. If you are unable to attend please submit a video link with your spoken word performance to and a copy of your poem.

When: September 5th or September 12th

Where: Radioarte 90.5 FM corner of 18th street and Blue Island

Time: 4pm-7pm

If you are planning to attend please e-mail your name, title of piece, copy of poem, length of performance, and schedule time and date to, Subject Title: AUDITION. Please be prepared to perform your piece in front of a camera.

If you would like more information please send your questions to, Subject Title: QUESTION.

This is an independent community production so any assistance and contribution would be greatly appreciated. We need to create our own history and work as a community.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

8.23.08: Defenders of Earth

I'll be learning about energy healing on Saturday afternoon, but after we close shop on Saturday I will be heading to the Defenders of Earth Art show and Benefit.

We thought we should let all Montrochika fans know that Naomi Martinez--creator of all things Monstrochika and whose items can sometimes be found at Tianguis--has been working hard on this fundraiser for Connections for Abused women and their children. Naomi says, "Join us for an evening of good beats and urban art by various female artists coming together for a serious cause." Its a good opportunity to see what Naomi has been working on and check out the arts and crafts of some artist friends. Details below.

Al Son Que Me Toques Lorca

Al Son Que Me Toques, Lorca opened at the Goodman's Latino Theater Festival and is now playing through Aug. 31 at the Raven Theater, 6157 N. Clark St.

A musical allegory of Lorca's famous tragedy Blood Wedding, set in the colorful state of Veracruz, México. The poetry and passion of Lorca's classic Blood Wedding (Bodas de Sangre) is relocated from the picturesque realm of rural Spain to the vibrant and colorful world of Veracruz, México. Adapted and directed by Laura Crotte, a Teatro Vista member, Al son que me toques, Lorca is performed in Spanish. With traditional music and dance, this inspired adaptation emanates the energy and spirit of Veracruz, while remaining loyal to Lorca's famous tragedy. A Flor De Piel and former members of Sones de México provide the music.


Jueves y Viernes 8 pm
Sabados 7 pm y Domingos 6 pm

Entrada General $ 25.00
Estudiantes y Adultos Mayores $ 15.00
Grupos de más de 10 personas $ 10.00


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Congratulations Paul...

I got news a few days back that Paul Martinez-Pompa won the 2008 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Kudos to Paul.

You can read more about Paul at the Latino Poetry Review the blog for Letras Latinas. There is an announcement of the prize that includes some words from this year's judge Martin Espada, and also a second entry with links to two interviews with Paul.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"jarred" in the most pleasant way

If Tianguis was the bookstore I always wanted to walk into then Teatro Luna was the theatre company that I always wanted to find--and I thank my lucky stars that Tanya Saracho and Coya Paz found each other and then founded it. Its been a love affair for me since I first discovered Teatro Luna when I saw Generic Latina about seven years ago.

I went to see the reading for Jarred last night, its Teatro Luna's next productions--due to open this fall--and part of this years Latino Theatre Festival at the Goodman.

I was left "jarred"(in the most pleasant way). I can't wait for this production to open. Mark your calendars.

Jarred opens November 6th and I'm sure details will soon be posted at the Teatro Luna website soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Healing through Novelas

Nothing like the word novela to pique my interest: I love to read them and watch them. Naturally its what caught my eye when I first heard about the radio and teatro novelas that Latinos Progresando and Radio Arte are working for their project SALUD, healing through the arts showcase. Some folks working on this project were in the store today and I got to hear snippets of the music that is part of the production, it was a pretty original and diverse selection. So, I'm definitely making plans to attend--that and I've seen Ricardo Gamboa's work before and I can't wait to see what he's whipping up this time around. Its this Friday, details below...


I'm copying and pasting a portion of Ricky Gamboa's note on facebook, because I think he describes this Friday's production best...

"Since June 30, I have worked with 22 youth under the auspices of Teatro Americano of Latinos Progresando to create the premiere of a telenovela for the stage--a teatronovela--complete with commercials.

I brought my protege, Steven Beaudion, to the Monkeys and I kept him on my street team as my co-instructor and got Sadie Woods--if you know anything about nightlife beyond kiddie crack deejays at a billy dec club, you should know about her--she is deejaying all original compositions for the show.

The show is truly amazing and I cannot begin to even tell you the journey that me and these young people have been through, or at least not until the talkbalk. But I will tell you, there is acting talent on that stage from young people that rivals some of the most notable performers in the city and guest appearances from a doped up Hannah Montana and the debut of Border Runner Kicks--"the shoes to give immigrants a step up on border patrol." And like in all telenovelas: You will laugh. You will cry. You will want more. Seriously, its like going to see an awesome play in the city except actually relevant."


Healing Through the Arts Showcase

Friday, August 15th, 2008
5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Held at National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W 19th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60608

Forty of SALUD's vibrant and enthusiastic youth performers will showcase weeks of preparation and collaboration with original radionovelas and teatronovelas about immigration, health, and where the two topics converge. This free event will take place at the National Museum of Mexican Art on Friday, August 15th. Museum galleries and information booths hosted by local health- and youth-focused organizations will be open prior to the performance from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Food and beverages will be provided.

Please contact Melissa Gonzalez at 312.850.0572 or with any questions or concerns.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My neighbor's freedom project

"Degrees of Freedom is a term used in statistics to describe how far a number is from the average; to describe how weird or how abnormal its placement is. There is freedom in not being afraid to be different. There is freedom in creativity. There is freedom in a life that does not fit inside of a box that goes beyond borders." --Angel Nava, The Degrees of Freedom Project

I'll be checking out the final exhibition for the Degrees of Freedom project this Saturday, August 9th. My wonderful neighbor Angel Nava has been sharing tid-bits about her work with me whenever she stops in to get an ice tea or say hello. And its all so intriguing to me, she's even brought her mom into town to help her build life-like cardboard appliances and other neat sculptures for the 700 square foot community maze that is part of this project.

What I appreciate most about Angel's art is its beauty and oozing optimism (have you seen the "when life gives you lemons make lemonade" piece that is currently residing in the back wall of our store?*), but my favorite part about Angle's art is the LARGE scale with which she does most pieces.

I'll be quick to close shop tomorrow afternoon because I'll be making my way down to the Degrees of Freedom project to catch it in its final hour.

Saturday, August 9, 2008 from NOON-6P.M.
The People's Music School Street Festival
931 W. Eastwood Ave.
Free family event.

More info:

*pictures coming soon.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Journey in Nichos

This past July 17th, Esmeralda Baltazar's farewell show, Paloma Libre in the Windy City, opened at Tianguis. This art show marks the end of Esmeralda's journey through Chicago and each nicho is representative of key moments of her life here. We were honored to have the opportunity to display Esmeralda's nichos which feature her trademark use of Homies.

You can learn more about Esmeralda and the show in this article that appeared in Extra News.

The show will run through August 17th. For the store schedule, check our website.


"As a passionate collector of homies and a Chicana homie I have placed them in a position of artist, activist and/or educator, in order to remember my experience of leaving my own barrio. This series commemorates the learning opportunities and experiences the city of Chicago has offered me as a Chicana."
-Esmeralda Baltazar

Esmeralda Baltazar moved to Chicago from San Antonio Texas to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a Bachelors in Fine Arts with a concentration in Art Education. Chicago has been her home for the past seven years and is the place where she has been able to establish her identity as an artist, educator and activist. She is the co-founder of the community-based organization, the Crib Collective, located in North Lawndale and Little Village that develops young people as leaders in their community. After six years of developing a youth leadership organization she is leaving Chicago for graduate studies at New York University to continue and further develop her work in Chicago.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

07.23.08:Cohort Residency Reading

This WEDNESDAY, July 23
California Clipper, 1002 N. California, (Augusta and California), Chicago
Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Reading begins at 8:30 p.m.
Free admission. 21 and over show. You must have i.d.

What is a cohort residency you ask? The Guild Complex in partnership with Cave Canem and the Andres Montoya Prize of Letras Latinas has arranged for two premier poets -- one Latina, one African American -- to be placed in residency together at Ragdale. Our aim is to expand the diversity of residency programs, to open professional creative opportunities for writers of color, and to enrich the exchange between writers. Sheryl Luna read in our inaugural year of Palabra Pura. Her collection Pity the Drowned Horses was selected by Robert Vasquez for the 2004 Andres Montoya Prize and published by the University of Notre Dame Press. Dawn Lundy Martin is the winner of the 2006 Cave Canem Prize. Her collection of poetry A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering was selected by Carl Phillips and was published by the University of Georgia Press. You don’t want to miss the inaugural reading of this groundbreaking collaboration.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The amazing transformations of Desiree Castro

Desiree T. Castro piqued my interest when she sent word of her most recent project, The Cabrona Chronicles. The last time I had caught Desiree on stage she was in drag and playing Diego, a young boy in the men's bathroom with his dad learning about the rules of using the urinals. Next it was the solo piece that Desiree wrote for the Solo Tu show about motherhood.

Desiree explains that The Cabrona Chronicles is a piece about, "exploration of vital turning points in women's lives and those moments that trigger daughters to avenge their families, wives to leave their husbands, timid girls to have fist fights, students to discipline teachers, and grandmothers to mumble in their sleep,"Te estoy viendo cabrona."

I've had some of those turning points, so I can't wait to see Desiree at the next Proyecto Latina where she will be
sharing excerpts from, The Cabrona Chronicles.
Ginger Gallardo, Desiree's sister will be joining her with musical selections she's composed as part of the project.

This actress, writer, arts-educator, dancer and mother has a list of impressive accomplishments that include Teatro Luna's award winning show Machos and Solo Tu, she is also a company member for Barrel of Monkeys Theatre Company. You can read Desiree's complete bio here.

Come out and join us on Monday, June 21st at the Radio Arte studios,
1401 W. 18th Street, on the corner of 18th and Blue Island for this event. (Use the 18th street door.) Desiree will be our feature, there will be eight open mic slots and every one's favorite the chisme box.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hosting our first poetry workshop


Sewer stink fills his lungs

tortillas on his face like a mask

candlewax drips over time like tears

rubber body suit melts into the grooves of the day

there is a red light behind his eyes

cry, cloaca, cry

what did you stop doing?

Listed above is the group poem that was written last Thursday when a small group of folks came together at Tianguis for a free poetry workshop with Naomi Ayala. The event was sponsored and made possible by the Guild Complex.

I can't begin to express how grateful and honored we felt for such a wonderful opportunity for both Tianguis and for the community members that got to participate. Naomi was a blast and we had so much fun, there were lots of laughs and jokes and ultimately we all walked out armed with a writing exercise and a new poem.

Stay tuned, because Ellen at the Guild Complex hinted about doing this again next fall. We will make sure to keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 21st: mojitos and mingling @ Cuatro

When: Wednesday, May 21st.
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Cuatro, 2030 S Wabash Ave.

The wonderful women that serve on the Latina Leadership Council for the Chicago Foundation For Women are putting together a lovely event. Its an evening gathering open to everyone, come out for mojitos, do a little mingling and obtain information on the Latina Leadership Council.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tianguis @ the Mexican & Latino Book Fair in Chicago

We are thrilled to be taking part of this book fair, we invite you to look for the Tianguis booth on Saturday, May 17th and check out the most recent titles by Momotombo Press. The fair will be from Thurs., May 15th to Sun, May 18th but we will only be there one day. Held at University of Illinois at Chicago, Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted. This event is free and open to the public. Details here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Extended Deadline for Anthology: May 30, 2008


Call for submissions for new anthology focusing on Mexicans/ Chicanos in Chicago and the Midwest.

Edited by: María A. Beltrán-Vocal, Paul Martínez Pompa,
and Irasema González

  • Abstract: This anthology explores the experience of Mexicans/Chicanos in Chicago and the Midwest through their writing. By telling the stories of Chicano lives’, we create history and provide a foundation for those attempting to understand the needs and experiences of Chicanos. We also provide direction for self-empowerment.
  • The purpose of this book is to record the social, cultural, political, literary experience of Chicanos/Mexicans from their own voice and perspective. This anthology will provide writers and scholars with first hand experience and perspective of Mexicans in Chicago and the Midwest. This anthology will provide Mexicans/Chicanos with the opportunity to explore the presence of Mexicans in Chicago and the Midwest from the end of the XIXth century to today. The writings will allow the reader to view the experience of workers in the railroads, the mills, and the activism of Mexicans in the sixties and seventies to the immigration marches in the XX1st centuries. These writings will give a new perspective of the presence and contributions of Mexicans in Chicago and the Midwest. It will examine the hardships, the struggles and triumphs of Chicanos/Mexicans and how their struggle has changed their perspective of life, politics, activism, education, and gender roles. We are accepting submissions in the forms of essay, poetry, short story, oral histories/testimonies, and autobiographies.
  • Postmarked deadline for submissions is Saturday,March 22nd, 2008

  • Two hard copies of the article, including endnotes and bibliography

§ Submissions should be double spaced, follow MLA format and must not exceed 20 pages.

§ Poets may submit up to five poems

§ Writers may submit up to two short stories no longer than 20 pages

§ Autobiography/testimony, creative, non-fiction/memoir no longer than 20 pages

§ All contributors must submit a brief biography and professional affiliation.

Please send submissions to:

María A. Beltrán-Vocal
Department of Modern Languages
DePaul University

802 West Belden Ave.

Chicago, IL 60614

(773)325-7000 ext. 51866

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Catch us in the Chicago Journal

This week's Chicago Journal includes a feature about Tianguis and Proyecto Latina. You can also read the article online here.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Proyecto Latina: Redeems and inspires

I first met Josephine Gasca many years back when we both took a Latin American Literature class in college. When we received the syllabus Josephine thought to ask a very important question, "Why is there only one book by a Latina on the reading list?" We read many wonderful books that semester but only one was written by a female writer, with the exception of the authors we chose to write about for our independent projects. Our professor didn't budge and I hesitate to share what this individual answered, but I think you can probably guess what it sounded like. So, some ten years later, being a part of Proyecto Latina is a wonderful privilege and I value the opportunity to learn about and meet so many wonderful, established and emerging Latina writers--its complete redemption for having to sit through that awful class.

The third Monday of every month always inspires me, I would love to share that with you. So, I invite you to join us, Monday, March 17th, our feature is my old friend Josephine Gasca. I'm very excited about Josephine's feature because she will be reading and also doing belly dance performance for us. Remember that we will be meeting at Radio Arte, 1401 W. 18th St, on the corner of 18th and Blue Island. Open mic sign-up begins at 7 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Josephine Gasca graduated from Columbia College with an MFA in Creative Writing. In Chicago, she helped run the family drywall business, raised an amazing daughter, taught in Columbia's Fiction Department and gathered enough material for several novels. She moved to the East Coast a little over four years ago to devote more time to her writing and artistic pursuits. Her teaching repertoire now includes dance. She writes and and book keeps by day and belly dances at night.

February recap:
Our February feature was Liz Sandoval. Liz and everyone who joined us, including the Chicago Journal, were wonderful sports and didn't complain much about the last minute venue change. In case you were unable to join us, Liz read a powerful memoir piece, From Zero to Fucked in Six Seconds, that you can go read here- its posted under a different title, White Daisies.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Due to significant street closings along 18th street we will be holding February's Proyecto Latina--THAT'S TONIGHT!--at Tianguis, 2003 S. Damen.

Join us this President's Day, Monday, February 18th @ 7 p.m. Proyecto Latina's open mic series resumes after a brief winter break and 2nd anniversary celebration--we're back with amazing features, an open mic and everyone's favorite the chisme box.

This month's feature is Elizabeth (Liz) Sandoval. An amazing writer and performer. You can learn more about her here and find a link to hear a sample of her work here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Proyecto Latina & Palabra Pura, both in Pilsen this February

Proyecto Latina
Remember to join us this President's Day, Monday, February 18th @ 7 p.m. Proyecto Latina's open mic series resumes after a brief winter break and 2nd anniversary celebration--we're back with amazing features, an open mic and everyone's favorite the chisme box.

We have new things in the works with Proyecto Latina, including an awesome lineup of featured talent for the new year, art shows and a radio show! Stay tuned we will share details as they become available.

We will now be gathering at a new venue to better accommodate everyone: Radio Arte, 1401 W. 18th Street (On the corner of 18th and Blue Island. Across the street from the Lozano Library).

This month's feature:

Elizabeth (Liz) Sandoval
is a Chicago-born writer/performer who's lived most of her life in Los Angeles--and has made her way back home to Chicago! You can get her full bio here, and you can get a preview of her work a humorous
Valentine's piece on unrequited love--that aired on Chicago Public Radio last night here.

Palabra Pura
Wednesday, February 20th @ 8 p.m.
Palabra Pura is touring into Pilsen this month and holding its open mic at Decima Musa, 1901 S. Loomis. Their February features are Tim Hernandez from Boulder, CO, he will read from his book, Skin Tax, which won the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Tim will read with Stephanie Gentry-Fernandez, who will just be completing her performance in the sold-out play Machos by Teatro Luna.

Lisa Alvarado has posted all the wonderful details on Tim and Stephanie over at La Bloga.

Friday, February 8, 2008

High wow factor for Momotombo's new release

Aaron Michael Morales is the author of From here you can almost see the end of the desert, the newest title from Momotombo Press.

When the box of Aaron's new book arrived, I promptly grabbed a copy and read it. When I was done reading it, I raved to anyone who would listen about the amazing writing I had just encountered. Actually, I've revisited Aaron's book and I still find myself wondering about his characters.

I'm not the only one that felt this way, Luis Alberto Urrea gives Aaron's work an eloquent thumbs-up in the introduction, and there is even more praise by Helena María Viramontes on the back cover of this chapbook.

The book is available and on sale at Tianguis. You can swing by the store to pick it up or if you are outside our area you can order it online or by phone.

Even better, Aaron will be joining us at Tianguis, 2003 S. Damen, Chicago, for an author reading on Saturday, February 23rd @ 2 p.m. Space is limited and RSVP is not required but recommended. Its a wonderful opportunity where Aaron will personally share his stories and characters with everyone.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Resource: Youth Grant for Lawndale neighborhoods

We got this message today from our friends over at the Crib Collective:

The Crib Collective's Youth Grant-Making Team is at it again!
If you are a young person or you know some young people that are trying to get a project off the ground, could currently be happening or could be a plan for something in the near future. We are giving up to $2500 to youth-led projects that benefit the Lawndale community, both North and South, that includes Little Village. I am attaching an application and I am available via email to answer any questions about it. The deadline is approaching soon, FEBRUARY 14TH!

Please feel free to forward this to your contacts especially any young leaders who could benefit from this oppurtunity.

Application, guidelines and contact info available here.