Reading this anthology brought clarity to obstacles often overlooked that affect many of today's youth in the barrios. Striding with hope and writingReading this anthology brought clarity to obstacles often overlooked that affect many of today's youth in the barrios. Striding with hope and writing about their ambitions, ranging from careers to bonding with family, these brave writers share their diverse experiences with an honesty that is captured by their words. From their perspective, Barrio Writers is a platform that introduces participants to an outlet where their voices can be heard and their documented stories can emerge as an inspiration to other youth.
With outlined activities at the end of each prompt, this book is a must for middle and high school classrooms!...more
Desarraigados are those of us who have been uprooted and confused by the theories of fronteras. Confused by labels and labeled because it is logical.Desarraigados are those of us who have been uprooted and confused by the theories of fronteras. Confused by labels and labeled because it is logical. Regional subcultures mess us all up – so how can we associate with labels that marginalize the distinctiveness of our South Texas community?
It’s a conversation meant to have us running in circles. Jumping from being Hispanic or Latino to being Chicano, possibly Mexican-American or Tejano. I’ve lived all these labels without ever truly owning them. Sometimes, it’s all about the occasion.
And that’s what I appreciate about Isaac Chavarria’s collection of poems. In reading Poxo, I was able to identify with the author’s jumble of lenguajes, never settling between one world and the other. Aware that he can distance himself from one root and never be able to branch away from it. ...more
As a child growing up in South Texas, I knew what being a hocicona meant.
It meant you were a repelona who enjoyed arguing. A chismosa who told everyonAs a child growing up in South Texas, I knew what being a hocicona meant.
It meant you were a repelona who enjoyed arguing. A chismosa who told everyone’s business. A cabrona who often picked a fight. A metiche who put her foot down when nobody asked her opinion.
Mostly, I understood a hocicona to be someone who had something to say and the best part, had an audience to listen to her.
Someday, I want to be an hocicona like Amalia.
Her chismes entertain me like a good Mexican telenovela. Ella suelta la sopa and speaks in volumes through her resonating verses, opening up conversations often suppressed, as with ‘Women of Juarez’ and ‘the short skirt speaks’.
Amalia’s poems remember. They cry. They tell on you. They don’t know how to play hide-and-seek well. They count you in when you try to blend in. And caray, do they speak!...more
I first met Edward Vidaurre a few years ago at a Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival - I believe it was the Poetry Pachanga at the NarcisoI first met Edward Vidaurre a few years ago at a Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival - I believe it was the Poetry Pachanga at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito, TX. Every year that I've attended VIPF, it's always a great opportunity to meet new poets and listen to a diversity of voices. I remember how Edward's presence was inspiring. His poetry unique because although we have claimed him as a valle poet, his memories of an upbringing in East Los Angeles add a twist of flavor to his verses and allows for us to discover some semblances to life in South Texas that are not quite the same at all instances.
From being an acquaintance to becoming a poetry compadre I am truly inspired by, Edward's passion in sharing his writing supersedes the idea of simply promoting his work when invited to read at events. Edward shows up to events with the intent of inspiring others to collect their own experiences into writing. A proof of this is the periodical Pasta, Poetry and Vino events he hosts to promote other poets and to open a space for the literary community.
As you can probably imagine, when his latest poetry collection "Beautiful Scars: Elegiac Beat Poems" was released, I was first in line to grab a copy. One can always count on having a great time when reading my compadre's stuff. I know it's a rule to not judge a book by its cover, but Edward's book...well, the cover is enough to have made me grab a copy anyways! The photographs included in between poems offered an extra glimpse into Edward's world and incorporated a story of their own.
One look at the table of contents and I knew I'd read the book in one take. I mean, who wouldn't want to read a book about his "greñuda"? As a daddy's girl, I was able to relate to the bond the author has with his Bella, and embraced the language of amor eterno flowing from those verses. Perhaps not visible to the naked eye, but his corazón bled between the empty spaces on those pages dedicated to his daughter.
I feel this was the most beautiful scar he shared with me as I read his book. Sometimes, loving is just too much!...more
I have often been told not to judge a book by its cover - and I usually don't listen. So when I saw the cover for 'The Smoking Mirror' by Dr. David BoI have often been told not to judge a book by its cover - and I usually don't listen. So when I saw the cover for 'The Smoking Mirror' by Dr. David Bowles, I knew I had discovered a gem. It doesn't hurt to know the author is known for the amount of research he puts into his projects, and the charismatic nature of his work makes it almost impossible to put a book down.
'The Smoking Mirror' is a Young Adult Fantasy that mixes folklore & mythology with modern day adventures, bringing Aztec/Mayan histories into mainstream pop culture in a most credible scenario for a fictional story. Keep in mind, the plotline is based in South Texas and Mexico, something we don't often come across is novels. The story is thoroughly relatable to those of us from the border who have family ties in both countries.
Carol and Johnny, twins who have learned their mother has gone missing, are trying to pick up the pieces as their world begins to tumble at home. The twins are your average tweens dealing with issues youth often experience - bullying, doubts, moods, fitting in. The problems at home lead them to an extended stay with maternal relatives in Mexico, away from their home environment and their father. What they don't know is the journey and revelations awaiting them! Peeling the layers of secrets their mother has kept from them, Carol and Johnny discover they have inherited powers from her and are introduced to their nagual forms - just the fuel they needed to journey into the underworld and search for her, with the help of new friends and allies.
'The Smoking Mirror' kicks off a Young Adult book series in a fast paced adventure sure to teach you a thing or two about regional histories often forgotten....more