SOMOS EN ESCRITO features the work of the following renowned and soon to be renowned writers, scholars and poets, including notable contributors like Rudolfo Anaya, Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Ernest Hogan, Cristina Garcia, Rodolfo F. Acuña, David Bowles, Lucha Corpi, Rosa Martha Villarreal, Carlota Caulfield, and Alfredo Véa:
RODOLFO F. ACUNA
Rodolfo F. Acuña, a janitor and then a teacher in the Los Angeles City Schools from 1956–1965, earned a doctorate from the University of Southern California in Latin American Studies. In 1969, Acuña was the founding chair of Chicano Studies at San Fernando Valley State (today California State University Northridge), where he is now Professor Emeritus of Chicano Studies. His seminal work on Chicano history, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, is in its 8th edition (Longman, 2015). He has also written three children’s books and, a prolific historian, always has another book in the works. Lexington Books (2017) is publisher of AssaultonMexicanAmericanCollectiveMemory,2010–2015.
Gonzalo Adolfo, an American of Bolivian descent, the author of the short novels, No Rush For Goldand Golden Rushes, has published several volumes of photographic portraits of his travels;Cuchi Cuchi Time: a Portrait of Los Cabos is the most recent. He can be found in and around Berkeley, California, where he lives, sketching with graphite and other materials and dabbling in music–pairing the harmonica with the Bolivian charango is his current favorite diversion. Gone To War, his first volume of poetry, and his other works are available in hardcover and e-book on his website, www.bumhew.com.
Rodolfo Alvarado is a native of Lubbock, Texas, now living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This story is based on experiences gained while working the cotton fields of West Texas as a boy with his family. His fiction and non-fiction have been published by Arte Público Press, the University of Michigan Press, Texas AandM University Press, El Central, El Editor, and Alpha Books of New York. Noted publications include,Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in Michigan for Michigan State University Press and The Untold Story of Joe Hernandez: The Voice of Santa Anita. This biography won the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award and was a finalist for an International Latino Book Award. He holds a Fine Arts PhD from Texas Tech University and has taught at the University of Michigan, Ave Maria University, and Eastern Michigan University, where he was a Parks/King/Chavez Fellow and a University Fellow. This is his first story for Somos en escrito.
RUDOLFO ANAYA Rudolfo Anayais Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico and award-winning author of numerous books including the classic Bless Me, Ultima. Anaya has also written Curse of the ChupaCabra and ChupaCabra and the Roswell UFO. He has received myriad awards and honors for his work including the National Humanities Medal (2015), the National Medal of Arts (2001) and the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes (2012). He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
SARAY ARGUMEDO Saray Argumedo is a fronterizafrom El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México, a graduate of the University of Texas El Paso where she published stories about local issues in the magazine called “Borderzine: Reporting Across Fronteras,” and a recent MA graduate in Community and Regional Planning, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. This is her second obra in Somos en escrito.
SONNY BOY ARIAS
Sonny Boy Arias is the pen name of Armando A. Arias, a dedicated contributor to Somos en escrito via his column, Chicano Confidential and a stone-cold Chicano. He writes under the general rubric ofhistorias verdaderas mentiras auténticas–true stories and authentic lies. He has found this the most effective manner to convey his stories about Chicano life. He is the author of Theorizing Cesar Chavez, a publication of Somos en escrito Foundation Press, 2020.
Carmen Bacataught a variety of English and history courses, mostly at the high school and college levels in northern New Mexico where she lives, over the course of 36 years before retiring in 2014. She published her first novel in May 2017, El Hermano, a historical fiction based on herfather’s induction into the Penitente society and rise to El Hermano Mayor. The book is available from online booksellers. She has also published eight short pieces in online literary magazines and women’s blogs.
David Bowles, has taught English and education courses at the University of Texas since 1997. A product of an ethnically diverse family with Latino roots in the Río Grande Valley of south Texas, his focus is on the study of indigenous philosophy, mythology, and legend through primary sources. He is the award-winning author of several books, including Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry (2013); Shattering and Bricolage (2014); Border Lore: Folktales and Legends of South Texas (2015); and The Smoking Mirror (2015). His translations have appeared in various venues, including Somos en escrito. He may be contacted at:email@example.com or www.davidbowles.us. Feathered Serpent is available from Cinco Puntos Press, www.cincopuntos.com.
NORMA ELIA CANT́U
Norma Elia Cantú is the Norine R. and T. Frank Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas. Her recent works include Transcendental Train Yard: A Collaborative Suite of Serigraphs, Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, Updated Edition (UNM Press), and the coedited anthology Entre Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art.
Xánath Caraza es viajera, educadora, poeta y narradora. Enseña en la Universidad de Missouri-Kansas City. Escribe para Seattle Escribe, La Bloga, Smithsonian Latino Center y Revista Literaria Monolito. Esla Writer-in-Residence en Westchester Community College, Nueva York desde 2016. En 2014 recibió la Beca Nebrija para Creadores del Instituto Franklin, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares en España. En 2013 fue nombrada número uno de los diez mejores autores latinos para leer por LatinoStories.com. Su poemario Sílabas de viento recibió el2015 International Book Award de poesía. Sus poemarios Lágrima roja, Sin preámbulos, Donde la luz es violeta, Tinta negra,Ocelocíhuatl, Conjuro y su colección de relatos Lo que trae la marea han recibido reconocimientos nacionales e internacionales. Sus otros poemarios son Hudson, Le sillabe del vento, Noche de colibríes, Corazón pintadoy su segunda colección de relatos, Metztli. Ha sido traducida al inglés, italiano y griego; y parcialmente traducida al portugués, hindi, turco, rumano y náhuatl.
Carlota Caulfield, a poet, writer, translator and literary critic, has published extensively in English and Spanish in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Her most recent poetry books are JJ/CC and Cuaderno Neumeister / The Neumeister Notebook. The recipient of several awards, Caulfield is the W. M. Keck Professor in Creative Writing and head of the Spanish and Latin American Studies Program at Mills College, Oakland, California. Her webpage is www.carlotacaulfield.org.
Gloria Delgado, born and raised in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, is the daughter of a Mexican father and a Hawaii-born Puerto Rican mother. She and her husband live in Albany, California. One of her stories, “Savanna,” was included in the Berkeley Community Memoir Project’s recently published collection, “A Wiggle and a Prayer.” This is her third story for “Somos en escrito.”
Sylvia Eugenia combines elements of fiction and memoir into a prose poetry. Her poems have no structure except, the pauses in her breath and metronome of her heartbeat. She graduated from Mills College, Oakland, California, with a BA in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She has presented her work at many small readings in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2013, she performed at Beast Crawl in Oakland and Lit. Crawl in San Francisco. She lives in Santa Cruz, Cali.
Arnoldo García is a co-writer of Poets against War & Racism | Poetas contra la guerra y el racism Poets against war and racism, published by Editorial Xingao, Oakland, California, 2017. For a book, click copy. For more information, visit artofthecommune.wordpress.com.
FELIPE DE ORTEGO Y GASCA Felipe de Ortego y Gasca (1926-2018) is Scholar in Residence, Western New Mexico University; Professor Emeritus, Texas State University System—Sul Ross. All rights reserved.
Rebecca Granado, born and raised in Columbus, New Mexico, dropped out of high school and traveled the country by bus, living in tents along the way. “An undeclared social researcher,” as she called herself, she resumed schoolwork and earned a Master of Science in Family and Child Science and Addiction Studies from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Her story "Tres Millas a mi Libertad" in Somos en escrito is her first publication. Rebecca is working on a first novel.
ERNEST HOGAN Ernest Hogan, a six-foot tall Aztec leprechaun, was born in East L.A. and he grew up in West Covina, which he considered one of the most boring places in California. Monster movies, comic books, and science fiction, he says, saved his life. The author of High Aztech, Smoking Mirror Blues, and Cortez on Jupiter, he is considered the Father of Chicano Science Fiction, though there hasn’t been any kind of DNA test. His short fiction has appeared in Amazing Stories, Analog, Science Fiction Age, and many other publications. Recently discovered by academia, his “Chicanonautica Manifesto” appeared in Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies.
Cristina M. Luna, who lives in Philadelphia, says her writing is often influenced by her upbringing as a Latina in the Washington, D.C. area and her work in Latino and Spanish-speaking communities. A graduate in English from the University of Delaware and with a Master’s in American Studies from George Washington University, she was also a fellow at the Smithsonian's Program in Latino History in Culture at the National Museum of American History.
RIOS DE LA LUZ
Rios de la Luz, of El Paso, Texas, is the author of the novella, Itzá (Broken River Books) from which the excerpts are taken, and of the short story collection,The Pulse between Dimensions and the Desert(Ladybox Books). A "proud queer xicana and chapina" (Guatemalteca) as she says, her work has also appeared in Corporeal Clamor, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Entropy, Luna Luna Magazine, and St. Sucia.
JEŚUS MENA Jesús Mena, the son of undocumented Mexican immigrants from the south Texas Rio Grande Valley, grew up as a migrant farm worker, following the crops each year with his family along the entire US Midwest corridor. He was managing editor of ChismeArte, a pioneering Latino literary journal. After stints as a journalist with various newspapers including the Brownsville Herald, Orange County Register and Oakland Tribune, he became director of media relations for UC-Berkeley and subsequently held a similar post at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Jesús is currently working on a historical novel set in the Rio Grande Valley in the early 1900s.
Oscar Moreno, born and raised in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México, endured the crime wave that took over his hometown in the late 2000s. During that time, he studied Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso and then did a Master’s in Art and Design in the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez. He’s now in the Creative Writing MFA at UTEP, commuting every day across the border.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farming family. She is the author of many books, including the acclaimed An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States(featured here in Somos en escrito), Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie,Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico, and BloodontheBorder:AMemoiroftheContra War. She lives in SanFrancisco.
AMALIA LETICIA ORTIZ Amalia Leticia Ortiz is a Tejana actor, writer, and activist who appeared on three seasons of “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” on HBO, and has toured colleges and universities as a solo artist and with performance-poetry troupes Diva Diction, The Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word, and the Def Poetry College Tour. The first of many other awards, her debut book of poetry, Rant. Chant. Chisme (Wings Press), won the 2015 Poetry Discovery Prize from the Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards and was selected by NBC Latino as one of the “10 Great Latino Books of 2015.”
RAY PADILLA Ray Padilla, El Vato de Sananto, earned a doctorate in Higher Education Administration at UC Berkeley in the early 1970s, taught at Arizona State University for 19 years before joining the UT San Antonio faculty in 2001 where he retired in 2009. He has deep roots in San Antonio, he says, as his grandparents worked their way through there more than a hundred years ago on their way to Chicago.
Willy Palomo, the son of immigrant parents from El Salvador who now lives in Cedar City, Utah, is a McNair Scholar, Macondista, and a Frost Place Latin@ Scholar. He has performed his poetry at the National Poetry Slam, CUPSI, and V Festival Internacional de Poesía Amada Libertad in El Salvador. Other works have appeared in Best New Poets 2018, Latino Rebels, Muzzle, and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States. His first collection of poetry is due out in 2020 by Black Lawrence Press. Follow him @palomopoemas and www.palomopoemas.com.
Bianca Paz, who grew up in Brownsville, Texas, is enrolled at Concordia University, Austin, Texas, toward a major in communications and a minor in writing, which includes both non-fiction and fiction stories and poems. She is Editor-in-Chief of the school’s student magazine, “The Spin.”
Álvaro Ramírez, a native of Michoacán of Purépecha ancestry, has taught Spanish Golden Age and 20th Century Latin American Literature in the Department of Modern Languages at Saint Mary’s College of California, since 1993. At present he is also director of the Ethnic Studies Program. A scholar on the writings of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, essayist on Mexican culture and film and Chicano studies, he recently published a collection of short stories titled, Los Norteados (Ediciones Alfeízar, 2016) a couple of them first published in Somos en escrito.
Sofia Resendiz is an English student at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California. Two of her short stories, “A Term of Respect” and “Tick Tock,” were selected for publication in the college’s literary magazine, Artifact Nouveau. Upon completing her studies, she plans to continue writing as well as teach literature at the middle or high school levels. She lives in the Stockton, California, area.
Born in Lima, Peru, Natalia Sylvester came to the US at age four and grew up in Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Miami, is a faculty member of the low-residency MFA program at Regis University, and works as a freelance writer in Austin. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Catapult, Electric Literature,Latina magazine, and the Austin American-Statesman. Natalia’s first novel, Chasing the Sun, was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad. Her latest novel, Everyone Knows You Go Home, has been named a Best Book of 2018 by Real Simplemagazine and is a finalist for the International Latino Book Awards.
JUAN ALVARADO VALDIVIA
Juan Alvarado Valdivia is a Peruvian American writer born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and raised in Fremont, CA. His fiction has been published in The Acentos Review, Black Heart Magazine, The Cortland Review, Label Me Latina/o, Origins Journal, and is forthcoming from Prairie Schooner. His first book, ¡Cancerlandia!: A Memoir, received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 International Latino Book Award for Best Biography in English.
Karen Valencia is a first generation Mexican American poet born and raised on Chicago’s Southwest side. A Northwestern graduate, Karen has appeared in Huizache, The Magazine for Latino Literature (2014) and most recently in the Literary Issue of Southside Weekly (2019). Karen is also a fashion stylist, model, DJ and co-creator of DESMADRE, a Latinx fashion styling collective. To see more of her work you can visit her website (karenvalencia.com) and to check out her other projects, follow her on Instagram (@karennoid).
Oswaldo Vargas lives in Davis, California, where he attends the University of California, Davis, working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in History while also studying Human Rights and Jewish Studies. Previous publications include the Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands anthology, Assaracus’s If You Can Hear This: Poems in Protest of an American Inauguration anthology, RaspaMagazine, Nepantla: Queer Poets of Color anthology, and Huizache.
David Vela, born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, now resides in Northern California where he writes poetry, short stories, book reviews and interpretive essays of literary criticism. David has taught in Paris where he researched and lectured on the Modern Intellectual and did research at the Institut du Monde Arabe. He taught for 22 years in the English Department at Diablo Valley College and previously at Dominican University, both in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been a military veteran advocate throughout his professional career as teacher and writer. His two manuscripts, Irish Literary Influence on Jorge Luis Borges, and al-Andalus: What we inherit from Muslim and Jewish Spain in Jorge Luis Borges’ and Carlos Fuentes’ writing merge his interest in Latin America, Spain and Ireland.
CARLOS G. V́ELEZ-IB́ñEZ
Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez, an anthropologist, is Regents’ Professor and Founding Director Emeritus of the School of Transborder Studies and Motorola Presidential Professor of Neighborhood Revitalization, and Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. He has also taught at UCLA and the University of Arizona where in 1982 he was the founding director of the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology. Carlos was recently named the first recipient of the newly created Saber es Poder-IME Academic Excellence Award in Mexican American Studies, which includes a $10,000 cash award.
Tommy Villalobos, an inveterate serial thriller writer, regales us with another of his novel affairs, set as usual in Los Angeles and its environs, filled with characters larger and funnier than life drawn from the streets and callejones of the City of Angels (and Devils). His first of five novels, Lipstick con Chorizo, was serialized in Somos en escrito ala Carlos Dickens. He lives incognito in northern Califas.