Friday, April 24, 2009
Its poetry month and we are taking the chisme box and our favorite Latina poets with us to the 10th annual Poetry Fest @ The Harold Washington Library.
Featured readers: Cristina Correa, Stephanie Gentry-Fernandez, Irasema Gonzalez, Diana Pando.
Poetry Fest is a free festival of poetry readings, workshops, performances and discussions, all under one roof.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
One Book, One Chicago events are still ongoing. I hope you have had a chance to read or revist The House on Mango Street. Maybe you had the opportunity to see Sandra Cisneros read at the Harold Washington Library. Through my work with Proyecto Latina I had the exciting opportunity to interview her, that interview aired on Radio Arte tonight and will be posted here for folks that missed it. I hope you can join us this Monday, April 20th for Proyecto Latina, mangos are our theme and we are excited to have a preview of Tanya Saracho's musical adaptation of The House on Mango Street. Tanya also shares the art process of how she took a lyrical narrative and modified it for the stage.
PROYECTO LATINA READING SERIES
Monday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.
1401 W. 18th St.
Mangos, Chismes y Mucho Más! This monthly reading series promotes and features emerging and established Latinas of all written and performance disciplines from Chicago. This month's event honors Sandra Cisneros and includes a sneak peak at Tanya Saracho's adaptation of The House on Mango Street. Proyecto Latina is a collaborative between Teatro Luna, Tianguis Books, and Mariposa Atomica Ink. For more information, go to www.proyectolatina.org.
Lecture: Mango Street Revisited-Youth, the Community/Barrio, and Immigration in Mexican Chicago
Tuesday, April 21, 6:00 p.m.
DePaul University-McGowan South Building
1110 W. Belden Ave., Room 108
Come to DePaul for a lecture by Juan Mora-Torres, Associate Professor in the Department of History. In the spring of 2006, over a million people, including large numbers of young people, marched in Chicago to demand civil rights for the undocumented population. This lecture/presentation revisits key themes in Sandra Cisneros' novel, The House on Mango Street - the meaning of community, the politics of the youth and issues of immigration in the making of contemporary Mexican Chicago.
Free and open to the public; no reservations required.
STAGED READING OF THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET
Monday, April 27, 7:00 p.m.
Steppenwolf Theatre - Upstairs theatre
1650 N. Halsted Ave.
This fall, Steppenwolf will present Sandra Cisneros' inimitable work about growing up Latina in Chicago. Adapted by Tanya Saracho, co-founder of Teatro Luna, this play will bring the world of Esperanza-her friends, family and neighbors, her dreams and her heartbreak-to vivid life on the stage. This reading presents Chicago actors performing scenes from the adaptation-in-progress.
Free event, reservations required! Call (312) 335-1650.
COMMUNITY FORUM ON IMMIGRATION
Wednesday, April 29, 7:00 p.m.
Chicago Public Library
Logan Square Branch
3030 W. Fullerton Ave.
Join fellow Chicagoans from all backgrounds for a "town hall" meeting on the topic of immigration. The evening will feature a short reading, input by local activists, and your conversation.
This program is presented as a partnership between the Chicago Public Library, The Guild Complex and Latinos Progresando.
I'll be leading a couple of Spanish language discussions for The House on Mango Street. You can join me at the West Belmon Branch this Tuesday, or in May at the Albany Park Branch. You can get the full list of Spanish language discussions in the One Book, One Chicago resource guide here.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The House on Mango Street was announced as the next pick for One Book, One Chicago earlier this week.
I have a well thumbed and authographed copy of this book already but I was delighted to get a copy of the new edition. It not only has a beautiful new cover but it also includes a moving introduction by Cisneros where she shares the story of writing this book and also on how she became a writer and the series of life events that led her to writing Mango Street. Plenty of food for thought in those first few pages.
I want you to also re-discover this book and I hope you have a chance to read the new introduction too. The Chicago Public Library has hooked up Proyecto Latina with FREE copies of The House on Mango Street so make sure to join us on March 16th, our feature will be the Vida Bella Ensemble with the Brown Girl Chronicles.
There's a calendar full of citywide events and you can get an electronic version of the resource guide here.
Also, you can catch up with me at a couple of events this Spring: I will be co-hosting Proyecto Latina in April and contributing on a panel on Latina Creativity in Chicago.
Panel Discussion: Celebrating Latina Creativity in Chicago
Thursday, April 2, 6:00 p.m.
DePaul University—John R. Cortelyou Commons Building
2324 N. Fremont St.
Join a distinguished panel of artists who will discuss the path of their own creative journeys, examine the ways in which their work has been influenced by Cisneros, and trace the dynamic relationship between artists and their communities. Panelists will include Professor Bibiana Suarez from the Department of Art, Media, and Design at DePaul University; Irasema Gonzalez, poet and founder of Tianguis Books; Coya Paz, co-founder of Teatro Luna and Visiting Multicultural Faculty in DePaul University’s Theatre School; and Tanya Saracho, co-founder of Teatro Luna who is adapting The House on Mango Street for the stage.
Co-sponsored by the Women’s Center at DePaul University. Free and open to the public; no reservations required.
PROYECTO LATINA READING SERIES
Monday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.
Radio Arte, 1401 W. 18th St.
Mangos, Chismes y Mucho Más! This monthly reading series promotes and features emerging and established Latinas of all written and performance disciplines from Chicago. This month’s event honors Sandra Cisneros and includes a sneak peak at Tanya Saracho's adaptation of The House on Mango Street. Proyecto Latina is a collaborative between Teatro Luna, Tianguis Books, and Mariposa Atomica Ink. For more information, go to www.proyectolatina.org.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Junot does this exceptionally well. I get his FLOW! The flow of mixing languages, thoughts that communicate. As ixchel33 put it, ”Seamless is a good word, I hadn't even noticed that there were words in Spanish, I didn't bat an eye when I read them” Why? ‘Cause the message is clear...well, at least for bilingual/bicultural readers.
Maureen shares the perspective of a non-native speaker of Spanish, “ Diaz just puts in the Spanish and lets you deal with it.” Rich says, "I say, no italics for Sterling Brown*, no italics for Junot Diaz. We're knee-deep in the new American idiom, y'all. Whether or not some folks are ready to accept that, of course, is a whole other story." Language is powerful!
I remember when I first discovered that I spoke Spanglish in my early twenties. I looking up at the sky (or my brain) searching for the best word after speaking English that would describe my thinking. This word was in Spanish not English! Ah yes…perfect! Is that what Junot did as he wrote Oscar Wao? How beautiful to be able to do that with your mind. Have one powerful message using words from different languages.
Walter Mosley, author of Devil in a Blue Dress and Blonde Faith states that Wao “is a book that speaks in tongues”. In more ways than one! Not only is Junot speaking to us in ethnic tongues, his references of sci-fi and comic books are definitely specific to a segment of American pop-culture language, and he also speaks in the tongue of Latin American history. Maybe, just maybe this is why La Mujer Maravilla (Love your tag name!) says, " The language seems more authentic."
“I’ll think of African slaves screaming this curse word from the depths of their pain,” Jessica points out in reference to the word Fukú (Zafa! Just to be safe ;) Do you see the impact…the image…the context…the history that it brings? What a wonderful way to engage in history. Alejandra Ibañez captured my sentiments exactly, “It left me yearning to learn more about Dominican history.” I wonder if we can use this book with young people in high school?
*"In 1933 Sterling Brown published his first book of poetry Southern Road. It was a collection of poetry with rural themes and treated the simple lives of poor, black, country folk with poignancy and dignity. It also used authentic dialect and structures..." --from wikipedia
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Jenny Priego and me with Stephanie Elizondo Griest at the the reading of Mexican Enough this past February 7th. Check out my interview with Stephanie here.
A morning coffee and chat on the first day of AWP* with elena minor publisher of Palabra. I'll be airing and uploading that interview soon.
Michelle Otero author of Malinche's Daughter, featured at Proyecto Latina this past Monday. Couldn't miss the opportunity to interview Michelle either, that will also be aired and uploaded soon.
*I know AWP has passed, but Francisco Aragon summarized Latin@ participation at this years conference at the Letras Latinas Blog. He lists the following, "57 Latino and Latina poets, writers, teachers, other literary folk are taking part on 34 panels." You can get a more the four part breakdown on his blog.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
"They say it came first from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles. Fukú Americanus, or more colloquially, fukú --generally a curse or doom of some kind; specifically the Curse and the Doom of the New World. "All it took was the first sentence...of the introduction! Junot Diaz reached up from the page, placed a wizard's spell on my imagination. I devoured the book and lamented when life forced me to put it down. Being a bookworm was so much easier when I was a kid, when I could afford to spend an entire evening or weekend with my nose in a book.
--from the introduction to The brief and wondrous life of Oscar
We hope that you have read the introduction and chapter 1. If you are like me, you probably kept pressing forward. This is definitely a page turner. We plan on taking the book discussions a little slower to help us process the book. We ask for your patience since this is the first time we do this and we are learning as we go along.
Cynthia and I have met a couple of times to discuss our book club goals and timeline. During our meetings every time I say, fukú. Cynthia promptly follows up with a, zafa. This makes us laugh, a little nervously, after all we are Latinas, we can't help superstition. We might be Mexican but we understand Junot's reference, "to extraordinary tolerance for extreme phenomena." We take careful mental notes on antidotes and even begin to avoid saying fukú, instead call it the Dominican "f" word. So, our most pressing question right now is in the title of this blog post, can you even say it?
More food for thought. These questions are regarding language.
Spanish words and phrases appear unaccompanied by their English translations. What is the effect of this seamless blending of Spanish and English? What if Junot had stopped to provide translations at every turn? Why does Junot not italicize the Spanish words (the way foreign words are usually italicized in English-language text)? Are you bilingual? Do you italicize or resist?
We want you to hear from you, chime in via the comments, you can address one thought, or address multiple questions.*
*Cynthia and I are seeking to develop a safe place for honest and open dialogue. Language is powerful, let's exercise some tolerance and be open to opposing views and if debates arise let's do it respectfully.
Monday, February 2, 2009
by Scott Inguito
with an introduction by Craig Santos Perez
I got word from Momotombo Press publisher, Francisco Aragon that the following article appeared in the El Paso Times. For those new to the world of chapbooks, Daniel A. Olivas sums it up nicely in a short paragraph, "mini-collections of poetry, fiction or essays that can whet the appetite of adventurous readers." The article goes on to share the history of Momotombo Press, and also includes a great review on Momotombo's latest title, Dear Jack, a collection of experimental poems.
In praise of the chapbook
Independent press excels at creating small poetry samplers
Julia Alvarez, one of my favorite Latina writers will be reading from Return to Sender, her new book for young adults at the Chicago Public Library, Wed. February 04, 2009 @ 6:00 pm . I'm loving the whimsical bird that makes up part of the cover art of her new book.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I'm a relative newbie to comics, well at least to the American comic book world. When I was a kid, a cousin from Mexico introduced me to Kaliman. A couple of years ago when my friend Liza was developing a character, for a Latina super hero in Teatro Luna's production of Lunaticas, she walked into Tianguis with a stack of comic books--they were a part of her research. I picked up a copy of Supergirl and was mesmerized. "Did you know Supergirl was Superman's cousin? That she killed her mother?" I paused to ask, it had elements of a good telenovela, no one had ever clued me in.
It was serendipity that just as I was reading about Oscar's adventures I came across, The Unbelieveable Laundry Detergent Man by Jose "Nino" Mesarina. Its a comic book and its hero is a boy as awkward as Oscar who gains special powers after being forced to drink a very potent laundry detergent.
Nino is currently busy with an event he has masterminded, and that he describes as a comic book convention with a twist--one table will feature an artist alley, vendors, guest speakers, original artwork, comic books, and even a gamers area.
Nino tells me, "Table con was an idea...since high school...It's the only Latino run comic book convention in Chicago."
Table Con takes place this weekend. Its free admission and held at Third Coast Comics, 6234 N. Broadway. You can get details at the myspace page for Table Con. I'll be swinging by to check out the comics and discover more about Latinos working in the comic book industry.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Cynthia and I worked on a tentative timeline together that would call for reading an average of 56 pages per week. Feedback on this reading load would be helpful, check out our poll on the top right hand side of this blog page and click on the answer that fits your profile best. None quite describe you or you want to elaborate with a comment or send us a message to info (at) tianguis (dot) biz.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Below I've listed praise Stephanie's Elizondo Griest has garnered for her third book, Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlands. She's gotten some exciting reviews from some of our favorite Latino authors, including Sandra Cisneros and Luis Alberto Urrea.
Read an excerpt of Stephanie's book here, and see why Luis Urrea said, 'No, you can't say that.' I am glad she did.
Make sure to join us for the reading and booksigning on Friday, Feb. 6th, 2009 @ 7 p.m. Event details here.
"Stephanie Elizondo Griest dances where others fear to tread. There were several places in this book where I said, 'No, you can't say that.' I am glad she did."-- Luis Alberto Urrea, bestselling author of The Devil's Highway"This is a travel journal for the new millennium, a biracial woman searching for herself among the complexities of the borderlands."-- Sandra Cisneros, bestselling author of The House on Mango Street and Caramelo"I can't think of anyone who does a better job of capturing the people and places that inhabit the soul of a country. She grants us access into the hidden corners of a Mexico we've only heard about, with her own brand of humor, spot-on wisdom, and heart."-- Michelle Herrera Mulligan, editor of Juicy Mangos and Border-Line Personalities"A revealing exposé of one woman's struggle to live between two cultures and two worlds, and yet not fully belong to either."-- Teresa Rodriguez, author of The Daughters of Juárez
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
"We’ll talk, we’ll laugh, we’ll cry. We’ll vent. We’ll write from our hearts and our minds. And then, we’ll learn to get rid of all the sentimentality and leave on the page what is important for the reader to know about your memoir."Ana Castillo is coming to Chicago on Friday, February 13th, 2009 and is offering a one-day Memoir Writing Workshop. For details and guidelines visit her website.
Monday, January 19, 2009
The Acuerdos we will use are from "Los Cuatro Acuerdos (The Four Agreements)" by Don Miguel Ruiz. They are 4 agreements that are simple yet powerful.
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Do your best.
3. Don't take it personal: -Be responsible for your own communication. (my elaboration)
4. Don't make assumptions: -Do assume good faith from everyone! (my elaboration)
What are they?
*They are system for integrity and R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
*Not a system of right and wrong.
How do we create them?
*We will get to know them as we use them.
*Pick the "one your with" to focus on for each discussion.
How will they really be effective?
*Grace of forgiveness...we are all learning how to make it a great literary experience.
*At times I will include quotes from inspirational cards Don Miguel has produced.
Let's get this party started! Literary love is in the house! (Yes I'm a Chicago 80's Baby :)
Friday, January 16, 2009
We know its two weeks away, but we just finalized the date and venue for this reading and booksigning. Save the date and come out to join us.
Friday, February 6, 2009 @ 7 p.m.
Held @ Radio Arte, 1401 W. 18th St.
(Radio Arte is in Pilsen. A few blocks East of the CTA pink line stop and there is meter parking nearby.)
Free. Copies of Stephanie's books for sale.
MEXICAN ENOUGH: MY LIFE BETWEEN THE BORDERLINES
Washington Square Press, August 2008
As a biracial American, Stephanie Elizondo Griest has long struggled with her cultural identity, wondering if she is “Latina enough” to pursue race-based scholarships and the like. In 2005, she ventured to her mother’s native Mexico to do a little root-searching and improve her “Tarzan Lite” Spanish. She stumbled upon a burgeoning social movement that shook parts of the nation to its core. MEXICAN ENOUGH chronicles her journey, from the narco-infested border town of Nuevo Laredo to the highlands of Chiapas. She investigates the murder of a prominent gay activist, sneaks into prison to meet with resistance fighters, rallies with rebels in Oaxaca, and interviews scores of migrant workers and the families they were forced to leave behind. Travel companions include a Polish thief, a Border Patrol agent, and a Dominatrix. Part memoir, part journalistic reportage, MEXICAN ENOUGH illuminates how we cast off our identity in our youth, only to strive to find it again as adults—and the lessons to be learned along the way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: STEPHANIE ELIZONDO GRIEST
Stephanie Elizondo Griest has mingled with the Russian Mafiya, polished Chinese propaganda, and belly danced with Cuban rumba queens. These adventures inspired her award-winning memoir AROUND THE BLOC: MY LIFE IN MOSCOW, BEIJING, AND HAVANA (Villard/Random House, 2004) and guidebook 100 PLACES EVERY WOMAN SHOULD GO (Travelers’ Tales, 2007). She has explored five continents and once drove 45,000 miles across America in a Honda Hatchback named Bertha. A 2005-2006 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, she recently won the Richard J. Margolis Award for Social Justice Reporting. Visit her website at www.aroundthebloc.com
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
For now go get your copy of the book. If you already own it/read it, I encourage you to revisit it and log on for the book club discussions. Look for the first book club questions to be posted next Monday (1/19/09).
Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.
"An extraordinarily vibrant book that's fueled by adrenaline-powered prose...[Junot Diaz has] written a book that decisively establishes him as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Panoramic and yet achingly personal. It's impossible to categorize, which is a good thing. Diaz's novel is a hell of a book. It doesn't care about categories." --Los Angeles Times
"Superb, deliciously casual and vibrant, shot through with wit and insight. The great achievement of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is Diaz's ability to balance an intimate, multigenerational story of family tragedy...The past and the present remain equally in focus, equally immediate, and Diaz's acrobatic prose toggles artfully between realities, keeping us entralled with all."
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
photo credit: I design my own path by Cynthia Nambo
Feliz Año y Dia de los Reyes!
I hope you spent the holidays in good company. Aside from being at the store and helping customers pick out Christmas gifts, I made sure to schedule time to spend with my own family. Knowing that I was going to have to move did keep me too busy and I confess that it took a hot minute to get into the Christmas spirit. It finally sunk in when I was making tamales with my mother and getting to hang out with my precious loved ones was probably the best gift.
I know I did end 2008 on a bittersweet note, I always hate sharing bad news. I have received beautiful handwritten letters via snail mail, encouraging phone calls and email messages rooting me forward. Some beautiful customers and neighbors even made it a point to come by and say goodbye personally.
All that energy and hope, I gotta tell you that I am excited about the possibilities that 2009 will bring. I am brimming with ideas and can't wait to share them with you and have you along for the ride . It will be a time of transition and evolution for Tianguis--our biggest change will be going from a brick-and-mortar to an online business. Please be patient with us, our website and blog might look a little rough in the next few weeks but we ask that you please pardon the dust while we make our virtual renovations.
We do want to remind you to save-the-date and join us on Monday, January 19, 2009 @ 7 p.m. for the first Proyecto Latina of 2009--we will be celebrating our third anniversary and the launch of a fourth year with some special treats. Details coming soon.
Also, we invite you to join the discussion on the Tianguis Bookclub that is going on here, we already have a few book recommendations but we would love to have more before finalizing down to our first book of the year.