2020 brought new events and challenges to us all. The lockdown happened just as we became a press and Zoom became our primary means of communicating. We had many wonderful interviews with authors such as Ivan Argüelles, Ernest Hogan, Rios de la Luz and Sasha Reiter. We hosted a panel and performance for Bay Area events: LitCrawl and Weekend of Words. Many of the things we planned last year will come to fruition this year.
We hope you are as excited about them as all of us.
Advances we made in 2020
Somos en escrito Press launched
Last year, we launched our publishing arm, Somos en escrito Literary Foundation Press, with three books. The first, Insurgent Aztlán, by Ernesto Todd Mireles, reveals the relationship between social political insurgent theory and Xicano literature, film and myth. He makes a powerful case for addressing the decades-long decline of Mexican American identity. The book won second place in the International Latino Book Awards. In our second book, Theorizing César Chávez, author Armando Arias proposes how the teaching of the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) can be improved for Chicano and Latino students. Looking through the eyes of the famed union organizer, Arias suggests methods that could result in scientific solutions for social justice, economic and environmental problems. Theorizing César Chávez won honorable mention in the International Latino Book Awards.
Two other books were released toward the end of 2020: Postcards from a PostMexican by Álvaro Ramírez, which lays out the transnationalization occurring within and between the U.S. and Mexico, and Undesirable Race and Remembrance by Robert René Galván, which portrays the legacy of resilience among his family members who survived and thrived despite years of following the migrant stream to make a living.
In 2021, we intend to seek out news works which provide a venue for Mexican American and Latino writers which reflect the lives and aspirations of these, our communities. Our readers, our community, may share in the pride we feel in our publishing venture. Visit our books for purchasing information.
Chicano Sci-fi Panel on Speculative Existence
The half-hour we at Somos en escrito were allowed for a panel discussion at Weekend of Words in May was prelude to an hour-long session we continued with the panelists: Ernest Hogan, Rios de la Luz, Rudy Ch. Garcia, Kathleen Alcalá and David Bowles, with S.e.e. editors Armando Rendón and Scott Duncan-Fernandez as moderators. Topics ranged from Chicano Sci-fi books, the use of Spanish in publishing, Tejas, Magical Realism, ethnic heritage, and upcoming books by the writers. Listen into the discussion here.
Extra-fiction contest was put on hold
The 2020 Extra-Fiction contest had few entries compared to our first two years of the contest…it seems the world of 2020 was too apocalyptic in reality and the imagination suffered for it. The Extra-Fiction contest will be back in Fall 2021 and we will be honored to have Ernest Hogan, the accomplished father of Chicano Sci-fi, once more as judge.
Our YouTube Channel
We have been building the Somos en escrito YouTube channel in 2020. Our intention is to create a repository of Indigenous and Latino literary performance and interviews. We encourage authors who submit to our magazine to submit a video of their reading their work or arranging a virtual videos, but they aren’t required, these video performances are treated as video submissions for the channel. We invite all poets, performance artists, writers, and storytellers to submit your videos to email@example.com.
Ventures in the works for 2021
To Tell the Whole Truth series on state violence against Mexican Americans
We started our series on violence against the Mexican American community “To Tell the Whole Truth” with “Reflections of violence in a pool of blood” by Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez. We will resume the portrayals of that legacy through essays, book excerpts, poems and various works of scholarship. We invite the submission of family histories or memoirs especially written memoirs, video discussions, about this history of violence. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Books Coming!
We are excited for the books lined up for 2021: Our Grandfathers Were Braceros…And we too will recount testimonies about the experiences of the Braceros, many of whom are still seeking redress for having been robbed of their pay by both the U.S. and Mexico. Death Song of the Dragón Chicxulub by R.Ch. Garcia, which can be described as Carlos Castaneda meets Harry Potter, is a modern New Adult fantasy book in which an Irish American boy discovers truths about his identity and powers, as well as his own limits. We have a Chicano Sci-fi anthology in the works featuring new stories from writers such as Kathleen Alcalá, Rios de La Luz, Rosa Martha Villarreal, Rosaura Sánchez, Beatrice Pita, Ernesto Hogan, Pedro Iniguez, and others.
Another upcoming anthology is Nuestra Realidad Creativa / Our Creative Reality, a nonfiction Latina/o/x anthology meant to show the beautiful reality of our thought and experiences.
Somos en escrito online and in downloadable e-issues
We are working on e-publishing Somos en escrito into two issues a year, a Spring and Winter starting with Spring and Winter 2020.
Love our literature
Our goal is to support the literature, writers and communities we love that are Indigenous and Latino, themes and topics as well as writers that are often glossed over and undervalued by the big publishing conglomerates. These stories help form notions of ourselves that dispel the distortion and destruction by the mainstream media. Spread the word about Somos en escrito Magazine and Somos en escrito Literary Foundation Press.
You can help us in our mission to grow these literatures by following us on social media and our YouTube channel and by signing up for our newsletter. Our magazine and Press have high goals, enhancing our visibility and honoring our diverse Indigenous and Latino communities. Somos en escrito is thirsty for these stories, like many of you. They fill in the spaces we don’t always know were there, inspire us to possibilities of being and growth we had been blocked from imagining. If you feel this way about Indigenous American and Latino literature, read and support us. We are your place for literature in 2021.
With deep and sincere thanks for reading Somos en escrito and here is to the best 2021 for us all.
Armando Rendón, Executive Editor
Scott Duncan-Fernandez, Senior Editor
Jenny Irizary, Poetry Editor