Friday, September 29, 2006

New Book: Provocaciones,...

New Book by Rafaela Castro out in November!
Provocaciones, Letters From the Prettiest Girl in Arvin

A collection of sensitive essays that depict the lives of a close knit Mexican family living first in Arvin, in the San Joaquin Valley, and later in the San Francisco Bay Area. These insightful, loving, guilt ridden, and at times very sad narratives, reveal the religious, moral, cultural, and ethical values of a young girl raised in the 1950s and 1960s in a Mexican Catholic working class home. We are told stories about a special Mexican mother-daughter relationship; about loving one’s family but needing to leave it; about living in another country and loving it; and about the role of the Peace Corps in the lives of young Americans of the 1960s. The essays cover the years from the late 1930s to the 1990s.

Rafaela Castro was born in Bakersfield, California but has lived most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area. She spent two years in Brazil with the Peace Corps before receiving degrees in English Literature, Library Science, and Folklore from the University of California, Berkeley. As an academic librarian she has lectured in Ethnic Bibliography and Chicano Studies at UC Berkeley, has written various articles, op-ed pieces, and "Latino Literature" in What Shall I Read Next?: Multicultural Literature.

She is the author of Dictionary of Chicano Folklore.
"This excellent volume will find an audience with folklorists, scholars, regionalists, and library researchers and will likely become indispensable for both educators and students."
Library Journal

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Celebrate with Literanista: Read a Banned Book!

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2006, marks BBW's 25th anniversary (September 23-30).

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000

“[i]t's not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” — Judy Blume

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls:
A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys:
A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies
by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Great List: Famous firsts for Hispanic Americans


Member of U.S. Congress: Joseph Marion Hernandez, 1822, delegate from Florida territory

U.S. representative: Romualdo Pacheco, from California, elected in 1876 by a one-vote margin.

U.S. senator: Octaviano Larrazolo was elected in 1928 to finish the term of New Mexico senator Andieus Jones, who had died in office. The first Hispanic senator to serve an entire term was Dennis Chavez, of New Mexico, who served from 1935 through 1962.

U.S. treasurer: Romana Acosta Bañuelos, 1971-74U.S. cabinet member: Lauro F. Cavazos, 1988-90, secretary of education

U.S. surgeon general: Antonia Coello Novello, 1990-93. She was also the first woman to hold the position.

U.S. secretary of transportation: Federico Peña, 1993U.S. secretary of housing and urban development: Henry Cisneros, 1993

U.S. attorney general: Alberto Gonzales, 2005


Flying ace: Col. Manuel J. Fernández Jr., who flew 125 combat missions in the Korean War

Medal of Honor recipient: Philip Bazaar, a Chilean member of the U.S. Navy, for bravery during the Civil War.

Admiral, U.S. Navy: David G. Farragut. In 1866, he became the first U.S. naval officer ever to be awarded the rank of admiral. The first Hispanic American to become a four-star admiral was Horacio Rivero of Puerto Rico, in 1964.

General, U.S. Army: Richard E. Cavazos, 1976. In 1982, he became the Army's first Hispanic four-star general.

Secretary of the Navy: Edward Hidalgo, 1979

Science and medicine

Astronaut: Franklin Chang-Diaz, 1986. The first female Hispanic astronaut was Ellen Ochoa, whose first of four shuttle missions was in 1991.

Nobel Prize in physics: Luiz Walter Alvarez, 1968, for discoveries about subatomic particles

Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine: Severo Ochoa, 1959, for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid


Novel in English, written and published in U.S.: María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, 1872, for "Who Would Have Thought It?"

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Oscar Hijuelos, 1990, for "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love"

Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Nilo Cruz, 2003, for "Anna in the Tropics"


Opera diva: Lucrezia Bori, 1912, debuted at the Metropolitan Opera

Rock star: Richie Valens, 1958

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee: Carlos Santana, 1998


Oscar, Best Actor: Jose Ferrer, 1950, "Cyrano de Bergerac"

Oscar, Best Supporting Actress: Rita Moreno, 1961, "West Side Story"

Oscar, Best Supporting Actor: Benecio Del Toro, 2000, "Traffic"

Hollywood director: Raoul Walsh, 1914, "The Life of General Villa"

Matinee idol: Ramón Navarro, 1923, "The Prisoner of Zenda"

Leading lady: Dolores del Rio, 1925, "Joanne"


Tony, Best Director: Jose Quintero, 1973

Tony, Best Supporting Actress: Rita Moreno, 1975, "The Ritz." In 1977, Moreno became the first Hispanic American to have won an Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and Emmy.


Star of a network television show: Desi Arnaz, 1952, "I Love Lucy"

Broadcaster of the Year: Geraldo Rivera, 1971.


Major league player: Esteban Bellán, 1871, Troy Haymakers

World Series player: Adolfo "Dolf" Luque, 1919, relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds

All-Star Game player: Alfonso "Chico" Carrasquel, 1951, starting shortstop for the American League

Rookie of the Year: Luis Aparicio, 1956, shortstop, Chicago White Sox

No-hitter: Juan Marichal, June 15, 1963, for the San Francisco Giants, against the Houston Colt .45s

Hall of Fame inductee: Roberto Clemente, 1973

Team owner: Arturo "Arte" Moreno, 2003, bought the Anaheim Angels, becoming the first Hispanic owner of any major U.S. sports franchise.

Other sports

Grand Slam championship winner: Richard "Pancho" González, 1948

Starting NFL quarterback: Jim Plunkett, 1971

Football Hall of Fame inductee: Anthony Muñoz, 1998

LPGA Hall of Fame inductee: Nancy Lopez, 1987. In 1978, she became the first player to have won the the Rookie of the Year Award, Player of the Year Award and Vare Trophy in the same season.

Heavyweight boxing champ: John Ruiz, 2001

NHL first-round draft pick: Scott Gomez, 1998

Other firsts

Supermodel: Christy Turlington.

Labor leader: Juan Gómez, 1883. First female Hispanic labor leader of note was Lucy González Parsons, 1886

Entertainer on the cover of TIME magazine: Joan Baez, 1962

Source: Pearson Education Inc.
©Times Community Newspapers 2006

Tonight: iNegros! A Cultural Introspection into the Afro-Latino Diaspora

NEGROS! A Cultural Introspection Into the Afro-Latino Diaspora

Date: Wednesday, September 20th
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Carlitos Café y Galería
(1701 Lexington, btw. 106th St. & 107th St.) New York
Cost: Free

Summary: Art for Change presents this exhibition, with art from Yasmin Hernandez, Keisha-Kham Perry and the photography Miriam Fogelson. The opening will also feature the poetry of Papoleto Melendez, with accompanying images by Luis Cordero and live drumming by Choco.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Book News: Professor co-edits book about her father

From the The Dallas Morning News Co.:



Dictionaries bring Rhina Toruno-Haensly fond memories of her father.

When she was a child, if she didn't know how to spell a word, Juan Felipe Toruno would tell his daughter to find a dictionary — which, the Spanish professor remembers, would make her throw an angry fit.

Several years later, in newer editions of many Spanish dictionaries, her father is listed as one of the most influential writers in Latin American literature.

The recognized author, who was born in Nicaragua and spent much of his life in El Salvador until his death in 1980, wrote 33 major works, including two novels, eight poetry books and many essay collections, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin professor said.

To celebrate her father's accomplishments, Toruno-Haensly has co-edited with Ardis L. Nelson the book "Juan Felipe Toruno en dos mundos: Analisis critico de sus obras" (Juan Felipe Toruno in Two Worlds: Critical Analysis of His Works). The book includes 22 analytical essays of her father's works, many of which contributed a great deal to the creation of a literary Central American language, Toruno-Haensly said.

"I'm very pleased, and I wish he were alive so that he could see how amazing it is that so many writers have understood his poetry and narrative," she said.

Among the contributing essayists are poets and professors from Latin America, the United States and Europe, she said.

The book covers a wide literary range, Nelson said, adding that she wanted to be part of the publication because she wants to make sure he gets the credit he deserves.
"I really respect his writing. It's been a very important and emotional project for both of us," Nelson said. "I'm particularly fascinated with his esoteric beliefs."
Nelson wrote three essays for the book.

William O. Deaver Jr., Spanish professor at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., contributed one essay.

"It was an unexpected pleasure to contribute an article ... especially since the author fomented Hispanic letters not only as an editor, but also as a producer of creative and critical works that are as valid today as they were in his epoch," he said.

The idea came about at an international congress in 1998 to honor the 100th anniversary of Toruno's birth. Many writers from different parts of the world attended. One year later, Toruno-Haensly thought about putting together a collection of essays about her father's writings.

"More than anything, he was a promoter for generations of writers," she said. "All these people that were influenced by him attended the congress."
Most of the work for "Dos mundos" took place in the last two years before its publication in August, Toruno-Haensly said.

She contributed two essays and wrote the introduction, where she shared anecdotes about her father's personal and family life.

In one occasion, Toruno-Haensly remembers the time she was studying in Belgium and complained to her father about the weather and the people. His answer was "Your destiny is in your hands. If you want, you can become a tourist or you can come back with a degree," she recalled.

"He had very high expectations. He would tell us that education was the window for progress."
Such advice didn't come in vain — the writer is the father of a doctor, an engineer, an accountant, a medical school professor with a degree in chemistry, a travel agency owner and Toruno-Haensly, who has published four books (including one with two editions) and has two doctorate degrees.

"He would tell us, 'You can do whatever you want; you've got your destiny in your hands,'" the professor said. "I believe in God and have a strong self-will, but also because of him I have done whatever I wanted with my life."

New Book- Mambo Mouth Speaks!

I have been a long-time fan of John Leguizamo, who is part Columbian & Puerto Rican so I am looking forward to reading his memoir due out in November -

Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends: My Life by John Leguizamo

Book Description:

John Leguizamo defies easy categorization. Fans of his smash-hit one-man shows (Mambo Mouth, Spic-O-Rama, Freak, and Sexaholic) have gotten a glimpse into his life, but this book tells the whole story, taking readers on a journey from his childhood in Queens ("my father was a strict autocrat-totalitarian-despot-dictator-disciplinarian") to his current home at the top of the Hollywood pyramid-;actor, director, producer, one of the highest-paid Latin actors in the world, with the clout to shape every aspect of his own career.

Beginning on the classic New York comedy club circuit, where he made the rounds with Ray Romano, Mario Cantone, and Chris Rock, through his disastrous one-night run as Puck in Joseph Papp's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, to his brief go at Method acting with Lee Strasberg (who died the next day; "I have that effect on people") and his hit Broadway debut with Freak, the protean performer shares the stories behind his many roles-;what inspired them and what transpired as he created them.

Never shy, he dishes on his personal relationships with his family, friends, and colleagues, including Spike Lee, Steven Seagal, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Harrison Ford, Brian De Palma, Al Pacino, Baz Luhrmann, and Nicole Kidman.

Keenly intelligent and insanely funny, this book offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the magic and chaos of stardom, as well as an intimate portrait of John Leguizamo's greatest achievement-;to grow up Latino in America and to succeed on his terms.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

News: Juan Felipe Herrera To Receive Americas Award

Juan Felipe Herrera To Receive Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature on Sept. 16

I love when stuff like this happens, Mr. Herrera's son wrote to me to let me know that he thought my blog was appreciated, he shared his with me (check out: The Unapologetic Mexican) and best of all let me know about this award his dad is receiving. It's a small world after all, huh?

He is receiving this award for his book "Cinnamon Girl."
(Cinnamon girl)

Juan Felipe Herrera will receive the 2005 Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the 13th annual award presentation hosted by the Library of Congress from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 16, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The award is sponsored by the Consortium of the Latin American Studies Program (CLASP) at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The Library’s Hispanic Division and Center for the Book will host the event, which is free and open to the public. A continental breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made through the Hispanic Division at (202) 707-2013.

Herrera will be honored for his book “Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box” (HarperCollins, Joanne Cotler Books, 2005). At the event, Herrera will discuss his book and sign copies.

Herrera is professor and holder of the Tomas Rivera Endowed Chair in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. He is the author of “Love After the Riots” and several collections of poetry, including “Akrilica” and “Night Train to Tuxtla.”

The Americas Award recognizes outstanding U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore or selected nonfiction published in the previous year “that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean or Latinos in the United States.”

Juan Felipe has also has written many other books, and received awards for others, such as the "1997 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, a School Library Journal 'Best Books of 1995,' a 1996 Hungry Mind Review Children's Book Award, a 1995 Américas Award commended title (from the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs), an IRA Teachers' Choice for 1996, a Coooperative Children's Book Center Choice, and a 1995 Smithsonian Notable Book" for his book, Calling the Doves.

You can find more of his work here:

News: Hispanic family says cross was burned in their yard

You know, I try to stick to my topic on this blog...but this is just horrid, beyond words. This is 2006, have we learned nothing? I knew all this illegal immigrant talk would backlash against all Latinos. Don't sleep, mi gente!

Associated Press
ROCKFIELD, Ky. - Local and federal officials are investigating an incident in south central Kentucky where a burning cross was left in a Hispanic family's yard.

Nelson Espinoza moved his family into the neighborhood two months ago. He is originally from El Salvador, but has lived in the United States for five years, he said.

A sign that read, "My country, maybe, my neighborhood, no way!" was left with the cross over the weekend.

"I'm a little scared. My wife and my brother-in-law and his wife, they are scared. They don't want to stay here," Espinoza said.

The family's home was broken into the day before the cross was left on their yard, according to the Warren County Sheriff's Department.

Espinoza said he and his family have been sleeping at his brother-in-law's house since the incident.

"They don't want me here. They say I can live in the United States but I can't live in their neighborhood. I can't be a neighbor here," said Espinoza.

Local and state police have been advised of the incident and are watching for any suspicious activity in the neighborhood, said Daniel Alexander, a spokesman for the Warren County Sheriff's Department. The Warren County sheriff's department was investigating the incident as a hate crime.

The FBI is also looking into the case, though an official investigation has not been opened, according to Louisville agency spokesman David Beyer.

Kane/Miller Launches 'Libros Del Mundo': Spanish Language Picture Books

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/

-- Just in time for HispanicHeritage Month, September 15 -- October 15, Spanish speakers in the U.S.have a new resource for children's picture books. Dedicated to bringing thebest of the world's children's literature to American children, Kane/Milleris proud to announce the launch of "Libros del Mundo," a new line ofSpanish-language editions. The United States, with a population of over 25 million Hispanics, isthe fifth largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Kane/Millercreated "Libros del Mundo" in response to the increasing number ofSpanish-speaking children -- and parents -- who are looking for qualitychildren's books with an international flavor.

"Young readers, whether they speak Spanish in the home, or are learningit in school, will have the opportunity to experience the work ofaward-winning authors and illustrators from all over the world," says KiraLynn, president at Kane/Miller. "Our mandate is to bring the world closerto a child and the children of the world closer to each other. We arepleased to offer children's books in Spanish as part of our publishingprogram." Kane/Miller books include winners of ABA Kid's Pick of the Lists,ALA Notable Children's Books, and New York Times Best Illustrated Books. Spanish-language editions of four of the company's most popular picturebooks will debut this fall: Apolo, from Germany; Benny, from theNetherlands; Suerte: El Mejor Amigo De Un Perro, from England; and FelizCumpleanos Tengo 1, from Italy. Kane/Miller will be publishing ten moreSpanish language titles in 2007.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

PBS: Special Presentations Focus On The Latino Experience In New York


Thirteen's Broadcast Day runs from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.
(FB indicates future broadcasts during the month)

Saturday, September 2
6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: America Ferrera - Honduran American actress America Ferrera caught the attention of critics and fans alike with her portrayal of Ana, the curvaceous Mexican American girl in the independent film Real Women Have Curves. Ferrera's portrayal earned her the Special Jury Prize for Best Actress at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002. Other films include Lords of Dogtown and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ferrera, who was valedictorian at her high school, is studying at the University of Southern California. She is on an academic scholarship, majoring in international relations and theater. In her conversation with host Ilan Stavans, Ferrera talks about the pressures and demands of show business. (Premiere) (FB: Friday, September 8 at 3:30 a.m.)

9-10:30 p.m.: CINEMA THIRTEEN: VOCES: The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood - This comprehensive documentary reveals the engaging, entertaining and largely untold story of Latino contributions to the Hollywood motion picture industry. It charts the struggle of many gifted artists to bring a measure of reality to their screen images and transcend crudely clichéd movie stereotypes. It features interviews with Ruben Blades, John Leguizamo, Cheech Marin, Ricardo Montalban, Rita Moreno, and Edward James Olmos. (Premiere) (FB: Friday, September 8 at 2 a.m.)

Monday, September 4

12:30-1:30 a.m.: VALLEY OF TEARS - An examination of race, class and corruption, this film offers a vivid account of a strike by Mexican-American migrant farm workers in a small town. In 1979, a group of Mexican-Americans - the majority population of Raymondville, Texas - demonstrated their outrage at unequal treatment by protesting against the influential group of "Anglo" farmers that controlled the town. Archival footage and interviews with townspeople on both sides of the long struggle help tell the story. (Encore)

Tuesday, September 5

1-1:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Julián Zugazagoitia - Julián Zugazagoitia is the director of El Museo del Barrio, New York's leading Latino museum. Zugazagoitia is no stranger to the world of art exhibition. He served as the curator of numerous exhibitions internationally, was a member of the Director's Office at the Guggenheim Museum, and served as the director of special projects at the Getty Conservation Institute. A native of Mexico City, Zugazagoitia holds a doctorate from the Sorbonne and is a graduate of L'Ecole du Louvre. Zugazagoitia talks with Ilan Stavans about the role of cultural institutions in the Latino community. (Premiere)

Friday, September 8

2-3:30 a.m.: VOCES: The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood - See Saturday, September 2 at 9 p.m.

3:30-4 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: America Ferrera - See Saturday, September 2 at 6 a.m.

Saturday, September 9

6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Julia Alvarez - Author Julia Alvarez was born in New York City but spent the first four years of her life in the Dominican Republic. Much of her work is still connected in some way to the Caribbean island even though she now lives in Vermont. Alvarez discusses 1994's In the Time of the Butterflies, her fictionalized account of the four Mirabal sisters, who grew up in the Dominican Republic under the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship. No one in the Dominican Republic was untouched by Trujillo's reign of terror. Alvarez's own family was forced to flee the island after her father's political work put them in danger. Alvarez and host Ilan Stavans discuss the evolution of her work and her status as a successful author. (Premiere) (FB: Saturday, September 9 at 3:30 a.m.)

2-3 p.m.: MI COLOMBIA - Colombian singer/songwriter Soraya narrates this spectacular journey through Colombia, a country steeped in rich history, colorful traditions and stunning natural beauty. This one-hour special visits Colombia's world-famous Barranquilla Carnival, the beloved Flower Festival in Medellin, vibrant Christmas celebrations and passionate sporting events. Images blend together with the distinctive sounds of the vallenato and cumbia music. Interviews with families and some well-known Colombians highlight fond memories that paint a vivid portrait of a remarkable country. The program features interviews with Juanes, Rafael Escalona, Edgar Renteria, Luis Carlos Perea, Enrique Córdoba, and Eucario Bermúdez, among many others. Also featured are Colombians in South Florida who are working hard to keep their traditions alive. (Premiere)

1:35-3:30 a.m.: THE BLUE DINER - A Puerto Rican mother and daughter living in Boston cope with complicated relationships, their murky pasts and the daughter's sudden inability to speak Spanish, her native language. Everyone has a theory about the origin of Elena's linguistic misfortune, but no one knows for sure what caused the tragic and absurd event. As Elena's language disappears, her boyfriend's painting inexplicably appears at the Fine Arts Museum, where her mother works. In a misguided attempt to obtain an artist's visa, his actions unleash a world of misunderstanding and trouble for Elena and her mother. (Encore)

3:30-4 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Julia Alvarez - See Monday, September 4 at 2:30 a.m.

Tuesday, September 12

5-5:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Richard Montoya - Richard Montoya is a founding member of Culture Clash, a Latino/Chicano comic theater group that started in San Francisco in 1984 and gained a place in the national spotlight with the 1988 play, The Mission. Claiming Charlie Chaplin, Bertolt Brecht, Cantinflas, and the Marx brothers as influences for their blend of social and political satire, Culture Clash has appeared at prominent venues across the country, and on television and in film. Montoya talks with critic Ilan Stavans about Culture Clash's television specials and comedy series; their movies and short films; their artwork and visual style; and most recently, the publication of their collected works, Culture Clash: Life, Death, and Revolutionary Comedy (1998) and Culture Clash in AmeriCCa: Four Plays (2003). (Encore)

Wednesday, September 13

12:30-1:30 a.m.: GLORIA ESTEFAN LIVE & UNWRAPPED - Gloria Estefan performs her vibrant blend of pop and Latin music in a lavish, colorful performance filmed live at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, in October 2003. Backed by her 23-piece band, The Miami Sound Machine, and joined by a host of dancers and percussionists, Estefan fuses traditional pop with exuberant Latin rhythms, creating a truly spectacular show. (Premiere)

Thursday, September 14

8-9 p.m.: BRAGGING RIGHTS: STICKBALL STORIES - Played on the streets of New York since the 1920s and known as "the poor man's baseball," stickball is much more than an urban pastime. This uplifting documentary tells personal stories, revealing how the game has helped to promote healthier lifestyles and even break down racial barriers. It focuses on players in the Bronx, including Steve Mercado, who died on September 11th, 2001. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 14 at 1 a.m.)

9-10 p.m.: VOCES: From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale - This musical panorama examines the rhythms that blossomed in the South Bronx from the late 1940s when mambo burst onto the scene through the birth of hip hop in the '70s. It chronicles two generations that grew up on the same streets and used rhythm as their form of rebellion - the older generation took their sound from Cuba and their children created rap. The film features such celebrated artists as Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, Benny Bonilla, Willie Colon, Africa Bambaata, Kool Herc, and Kid Freeze. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 14 at 2 a.m.)

1-2 a.m.: BRAGGING RIGHTS: STICKBALL STORIES - See Thursday, September 14 at 8 p.m.

2-3 a.m.: VOCES: From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale - See Thursday, September 14 at 9 p.m.

3-4 a.m.: LARRY HARLOW AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF SALSA - This lively and rhythmic documentary explores the phenomenon known as salsa via Larry Harlow, a Brooklyn-born Jewish musician considered one of the most talented and colorful personalities of the scene. It features rare photographs and classic film footage. As this program shows, salsa has a long and distinguished tradition and continues to thrive today. (Encore)

Saturday, September 16

6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Luis Alberto Urrea - Mexican-born author Luis Alberto Urrea is the son of a Mexican father and an American mother. Since he was a child, when his parents registered him as a U.S. Citizen Born Abroad, he has had one foot in the U.S. and the other in Mexico. His work as an author reflects that duality. His most successful book, The Devil's Highway: A True Story tells the tragic story of a group of Mexican migrants who risked walking across the Arizona desert for a chance to enter the U.S. - 14 of them died. Urea talks with Stavans about the painful process of researching and writing The Devil's Highway: A True Story. (Premiere) (FB: Monday, September 18 at 5 a.m.)
2-3 p.m.: VISIONS OF PUERTO RICO - Rita Moreno hosts this journey through "the Jewel of the Caribbean," from the timeless plazas of Old San Juan to the lush El Yunque rainforest, to the heights of Cerro Punta, to carnival in Ponce, and the beautiful beaches of Culebra and Vieques. There's even golf at Dorado and many more surprises. This visually stunning film features aerial and ground footage. (Premiere) (FB: Wednesday, September 20 at 3 a.m.)

Sunday, September 17

2-3 p.m.: CUBA MIA: JEWS OF CUBA - This film tells the story of a group of Cuban Jews who live in America and embark on a mission to Cuba through the Jewish Solidarity Foundation. The past and present collide as they journey back to their homeland, an island that has hardly changed in the 40 years they have been gone. While the politics of Castro's Cuba exist as an undercurrent in this story, the film strikes a more personal note as viewers share the subjects' rediscovery of their lost childhoods while they retrace their history in Cuba. (Premiere) (FB: Monday, September 18 at 3 a.m.)

Monday, September 18

12:30-1:30 a.m.: INDEPENDENT LENS: Mirror Dance - Identical twins Margarita and Ramona de Saá became acclaimed ballerinas with the National Ballet of Cuba. Once inseparable, their relationship disintegrated as one sister left for America while the other embraced the Cuban revolution. This program is the story of two women forever linked by birth and dance, but struggling to overcome rifts not only between sisters but also between nations. (Encore)
1:30-2 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Melinda López - The work of actress and playwright Melinda López explores the complexities of the Cuban Diaspora. Her latest work, Sonia Flew, centers around a young girl who is put on a plane bound for the United States soon after Fidel Castro rises to power. Boston University's Huntington Theatre Company gave Sonia Flew its world premiere in 2004; it received rave reviews. López is also a recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for her plays God Smells Like a Roast Pig and Midnight Sandwich. (Premiere) (FB: Tuesday, September 19 at 5 a.m. and Saturday, September 23 at 6 a.m.)

2-3 a.m.: P.O.V.: 90 Miles - In 1980, Juan Carlos Zaldívar was a 13-year-old loyalist of the Cuban Revolution jeering in the streets at the thousands of "Marielitos" leaving the island by boat for the United States. Within weeks, he was a Marielito himself, headed with the rest of his family for a new life in Miami. Now a U.S.-based filmmaker, Zaldívar recounts the strange twist of fate that took him across one of the world's most treacherous stretches of water in 90 Miles. (Encore)

3-4 a.m.: CUBA MIA: JEWS OF CUBA - See Sunday, September 7 at 2 p.m.

5-5:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Luis Alberto Urrea - See Saturday, September 16 at 6 a.m.

Tuesday, September 19

5-5:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Melinda López - See Monday, September 18 at 1:30 a.m.

Wednesday, September 20

2:30-3 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Osvaldo Golijov - Osvaldo Golijov has been making music all of his life. A descendent of Eastern European Jews who emigrated to Argentina, Golijov has lived and studied in Latin America, Israel and the United States. Golijov has a Ph.D. in music and is a celebrated composer of operas, symphonies, folk songs, and now film scores as well. His latest work will be used as the basis of Francis Ford Coppola's film Megalopolis. In this La Plaza conversation, Golijov speaks about his upbringing, historical influences and passion for music. (Premiere) (FB: Saturday, September 23 at 2 p.m.)
3-4 a.m.: VISIONS OF PUERTO RICO - See Saturday, September 16 at 2 p.m.

Thursday, September 21

8-9 p.m.: VOCES: Yank Tanks - This film explores the phenomenon of classic American cars in Cuba. Like an exotic, endangered species, these colorful cars cruise around the island. As beacons of individuality in a sea of government conformity they represent freedom for those who own them, and their owners will do almost anything to keep them running. After decades with no spare parts and an embargo by the United States, these determined Cubans maintain them through sheer ingenuity. Yank Tanks offers a rare glimpse into the underground world of Cuban cars, and introduces viewers to a gallery of eccentric characters - the curators of the largest, living, automobile museum in the world. (Premiere) (FB: Saturday, September 23 at 2 p.m.)

12:30-3:30 a.m.: DARKNESS INTO LIGHT - Narrated by Edward James Olmos, this series presents three documentaries filmed on location in several Mexican states. Each hour-long film is complete in itself, but together they present the Mexican people as they have persisted in their spiritual journey from pre-Christian times until today. The first film, Guadalupe: Mother of all Mexico, examines how veneration of the Virgin Mary has been a vital part of Mexican life for almost 500 years. It shows that today, millions of Mexican devotees make their way to shrines to the Virgin throughout the country. They travel in buses and cars, on bicycles and on foot. The second film, Semana Santa, San Miguel, was filmed in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, a colonial town in the hills of central Mexico. This program traces the history of local Lenten and Easter observances, and documents the contemporary celebrations with a representative and moving selection of events. Following the Spirit, the final film, looks at the struggles of the Mexican people for religious liberty in the 19th and 20th centuries. To understand the role of public devotions in Mexican life today, it is necessary to understand their cost. Conformity to political and religious authorities marked the 300 years of Spanish rule in "New Spain." After Mexico won the War for Independence in 1821, anarchy and religious suppression followed. (Premiere)

3:30-4:30 a.m.: GLOBE TREKKER: Ultimate Mexico - Ian Wright, Justine Shapiro and Zay Harding explore Mexico's many facets. Shapiro and Wright trek into the mountains and jungles, climbing the mighty pyramids in search of the remains of the Mayans, Aztecs and other pre-colonial cultures. Wright investigates the arrival of Cortez near Acapulco and tests his bull-riding abilities. Shapiro joins the annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe and discovers the origins of maize, tequila and chocolate. Wright celebrates during the Day of the Dead Festival and then comes nose-to-nose with whales in Baja. Harding sweats it out with the Tarahumara Indians in Copper Canyon and rafts the whitewater rapids of Vera Cruz. Wright concludes his trip in the jungles of Palenque with a visit to the Lancandon Indians, the last descendants of the Mayans. (Encore) (FB: Saturday, September 23 at 4 p.m.)

Friday, September 22

9-10 p.m.: WIDE ANGLE: An Honest Citizen - Colombia's five-billion-dollar-a-year cocaine trade is funding the country's brutal civil war involving leftist guerillas, right-wing paramilitaries and a national government undermined by corruption. Unable to maintain control in whole swaths of the country, the government is ill-equipped to curb the culture of violence and lawlessness. Every year 1,500 citizens are kidnapped and up to 3,000 lives are lost in the war. This documentary, filmed in 2004, follows Maria Cristina Chirolla, the courageous head of the Colombian attorney general's anti-money laundering office in her struggles to fight the extraordinary reach of drug money in her country. During the course of the film, Chirolla is promoted to the position of chief of all anti-drug and anti-crime operations after two of her colleagues are fired for alleged corruption. (Encore) (FB: Sunday, September 24 at 2 a.m.)

Saturday, September 23

6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Melinda López - See Monday, September 18 at 1 a.m.

2-3 p.m.: VOCES: Yank Tanks - See Thursday, September 21 at 8 p.m.

4-5 p.m.: GLOBE TREKKER: Ultimate Mexico - See Thursday, September 21 at 3:30 a.m.

Sunday, September 24

4-5 p.m.: LA COCINA CUBANA: SECRETOS DE MI ABUELA - This film pays tribute to Cuba's best chefs: its abuelas, or grandmothers. Colorful characters from the Cuban-American community reminisce about the flavors and aromas from their childhoods. During the program, mouth-watering recipes and desserts from chefs Maricel Presilla and Douglas Rodriquez, Univision star Chef Pepín and others transport viewers to a different time and place. Narrated by poet and actress Teresa Maria Rojas, it explores Cuban culinary traditions which remain alive and well despite the passing of time, the introduction of foreign customs and even exile. (Premiere) (FB: Friday, September 29 at 2 a.m.)

7-8 p.m.: MI MAMBO - The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts is changing lives in East Harlem. This documentary profiles the vibrant cultural institution, and shows how powerful and positive a force music can be for young people at risk. It focuses on students whose hard work pays off in performances of the Latin rhythms that have become an integral part of American society. The film also introduces the Conservatory's director, Ramon Rodriguez, a passionate advocate of Latin music. (Premiere) (FB: Tuesday, September 26 at 12:30 a.m.)
8-9 p.m.: NATURE: Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean - The island of Cuba contains some of the strangest creatures on Earth, including the terrifying "high-jumping" Cuban crocodile, the world's tiniest bird, and land crabs that migrate by the millions across forests and fields to spawn in the sea. But Cuba's political and economic isolation has afforded the outside world little opportunity to see these indigenous animals, until now. Recently, Cuban authorities lowered a significant cultural and science barrier, giving an outside film crew unrestricted access to the island's protected wildlife preserves for the first time since Fidel Castro took power nearly a half-century ago. The intriguing results of this breakthrough are on display in this documentary. (Encore) (FB: Saturday, September 30 at 6 p.m.

2-3 a.m.: WIDE ANGLE: An Honest Citizen - See Friday, September 22 at 9 p.m.

Monday, September 25

12:30-1:30 a.m.: COUNTDOWN: REFLECTIONS ON A LIFE IN DANCE - For over 40 years, Rudy Perez has moved, invigorated and perplexed audiences. In the early 1960s, he was hailed as a post-modern pioneer when he was a founding member of the groundbreaking Judson Dance Theater in New York City. Today he lives in Los Angeles and defies definition as he continues to create provocative new work. This documentary follows the engaging give-and-take of the rehearsal of one of Perez' signature dances, Countdown. Throughout the rehearsal process, Perez' life and career are revealed through evocative home movies, rare stock footage of New York and visually exciting experimental films. Interviews with dance critics, former dancers and collaborators are a testament to Perez' impact and influence. Archival videos showcase significant selections from his extensive body of work. The documentary concludes with his protégé Victor Quijada performing an emotionally powerful version of Countdown. (Premiere)

Tuesday, September 26

12:30-1:30 a.m.: MI MAMBO - See Sunday, September 24 at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, September 27

10:30-11 p.m.: EL DOCTOR - This film by Suzan Pitt is an animated poem wrought with magic realism and set in a crumbling Mexican hospital around 1920. The surreal characters include a man shot with a hundred holes, a girl who sprouts morning glories and a woman who thinks she is a horse. The bitter and ailing alcoholic doctor takes a dark and twisted journey, prompted by the Saint of Holes and a mysterious gargoyle. The film celebrates the nature of perception and the miraculous. More than five years in production, it was entirely hand-painted by artists in Los Angeles and Mexico. (Premiere) (FB: Saturday, September 30 at 2:30 p.m.)

12:30-1:30 a.m.: PASAJERO, A JOURNEY OF TIME AND MEMORY - This authentic and uplifting documentary follows a group of young inner-city Mexican-American musicians to Mexico where they seek a deeper meaning of its traditions. They accompany their teacher, an elderly violinist, on his homecoming to his pueblo in Jalisco. The group tours a musical presentation of a long-forgotten style of pre-commercial mariachi in Mexico and California's Central Valley where they meet fascinating characters that embody the spirit of old Mexico. At its heart, this film is a heartfelt reminder of the vital role that music plays in defining our identities. (Premiere)

Thursday, September 28

8-9 p.m.: VOCES: The Republic of Baseball: The Dominican Giants of the American Game - This film celebrates the achievements of the first great Dominican stars of Major League Baseball, including Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marachal; Felipe Alou, the first Dominican Major League star and current manager of the San Francisco Giants; and Manny Mota, the Los Angeles Dodgers legendary player and coach. It also includes interviews with today's Dominican star players, including Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, and Miguel Tejada. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 28 at 1 a.m.)

9-10 p.m.: VOCES: Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano - Lalo Guerrero is the beloved "father of Chicano music." This film celebrates his extraordinary life and career, while documenting the contemporary history of Mexican Americans through his music. It features interviews with singer Linda Ronstadt, actor Edward James Olmos and producer Ry Cooder, among others, who discuss his impact and influence. Guerrero, himself, offers his own insights and inimitable humor in interviews conducted for the film a year before his death in 2005. Rare photographs and performance footage complete the portrait. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 28 at 2 a.m.)

10-11:30 p.m.: INDEPENDENT LENS: The Devil's Miner - Basilio Vargas, 14, and his 12-year-old brother Bernardino work in the ancient Cerro Rico silver mines of Bolivia. Raised without a father and living in extreme poverty with their mother and 6-year-old sister on the slopes of the mine, the boys assume many adult responsibilities. It takes two months' work just to afford the clothing and supplies vital to their education. Without an education, the brothers have no chance to escape their destiny in the silver mines. The Vargas boys chew coca leaves to stave off hunger and keep their wits about them during their long hours in the mines, where they also present offerings to El Tío, the malevolent spirit that is believed to reside there. Each mine has its own statue of the horned demon who guards the mine's riches. According to local legend the mines are the exclusive province of El Tío, the protector and destroyer of the miners. El Tío is a miner's only hope of salvation in this heavily Catholic region, where the people believe that the spirit of God does not exist in the hellish underworld inside the mountain. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 28 at 3 a.m.)

1-2 a.m.: VOCES: The Republic of Baseball: The Dominican Giants of the American Game - See Thursday, September 28 at 8 p.m.

2-3 a.m.: VOCES: Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano - See Thursday, September 28 at 9 p.m.

3-4:30 a.m.: INDEPENDENT LENS: The Devil's Miner - See Thursday, September 28 at 10 p.m.

Friday, September 29

2-3 a.m.: LA COCINA CUBANA: SECRETOS DE MI ABUELA - See Sunday, September 24 at 4 p.m.

3-3:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Maricel Presilla - Maricel Presilla has been exploring the cuisines of Latin America for more than thirty years - since the time politics forced her out of her beloved Cuba. Since then, this Ph.D. in medieval history has traveled several times from Mexico to Argentina, collecting recipes from contemporary chefs and historic archives. The result is a view of Latin American cooking loaded with context but with an eye to the future. Stavans and Presilla discuss a compelling question - what is the meaning of Latino food in the 21st century United States? (Encore)

Saturday, September 30

6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Lila Downs - Mexican singing sensation and Latin Grammy Award-winner Lila Downs burst on to the music scene with her stunning performance of a song from the film Frida at the 75th annual Academy Awards. But this native of the Mexican state of Oaxaca has made music all of her life. Downs, the daughter of a Mixtec-Amerindian mother and a U.S. filmmaker/academic father, started singing Mariachi music at the age of 8, and began a formal music education at the age of 14. She recently released her fourth album, Una Sangre. (Premiere)

2-2:30 p.m.: EL DOCTOR - See Wednesday, September 27 at 10:30 p.m.

4-5 p.m.: GLOBE TREKKER: Central America - Neil Gibson visits the Costa Rican capital of San José, where he gets caught up in election fever, samples traditional cuisine and visits volunteers trying to combat poverty in the city. He cruises to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and encounters tarantulas, deadly snakes and rare birds before arriving at the Arenal volcano, where he relaxes in the hot springs. In Liberia, Gibson attends a bull fiesta. He crosses the border into Nicaragua and stops at El Castillo, site of the only castle in Central America. He plays baseball on the island of Mancarron, rolls cigars in Granada and explores Managua, site of a devastating earthquake. He ends his trip at the Masaya volcano, known by the Indians as the "land of the gods" and by the Spanish as "the mouth of hell." (Encore)

6-7 p.m.: NATURE: Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean - See Sunday, September 24 at 8 p.m.

For all the lexophiles in the house:

Some cool sites to bookmark:

Double-Tongued Word Wrester records undocumented or under-documented words from the fringes of English. It focuses upon slang, jargon, and other niche categories which include new, foreign, hybrid, archaic, obsolete, and rare words. Special attention is paid to the lending and borrowing of words between the various Englishes and other languages, even where a word is not a fully naturalized citizen in its new language.

Urban Dictionary is a slang dictionary with your definitions. Define your world.

What is it? The Visual Thesaurus is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus with an innovative display that encourages exploration and learning. You'll understand language in an exciting new way. To understand the power of the Visual Thesaurus, you really need to see it in action. Type in your favorite word and give it a try!

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day Free service

Expand your vocabulary, sign up now to have Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day e-mailed to you for FREE!

Monday, September 11, 2006

New Book Realease: The Heiress of Water

The Heiress of Water: A Novel By Sandra Rodriguez Barron

Just the title enraptured me!

From Publishers Weekly

At 12, Monica Winters is forced to exchange her privileged life in El Salvador as the daughter of the beautiful and headstrong heiress (and amateur marine biologist) Alma Borrero Winters for a humdrum existence in Connecticut with her cuckolded father after unfaithful Alma and her lover are attacked by soldiers at a gathering place for Communist rebels. His body is recovered, but Alma is lost to the sea.

Fifteen years later, disinherited by her mother's family, Monica, now a successful massage therapist, is hired by Will Lucero to give Yvette, his comatose wife, a massage. A series of improbable events lands the cast at a clinic in El Salvador where researchers claim to be able to revive comatose patients using the venom of the very cone snail, thought to be extinct, that Monica's mother spent her life searching for. As Will and Monica try to deny their attraction to one another, Monica begins piecing together the truth about her mother's family (and there are many, many things to discover).

Though the scenes in El Salvador are vividly rendered, Barron clumsily handles the convoluted plot's ungainly twists, but her debut is intriguing in spite of its excesses.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Because You Can't Know Where You're Going Unless You Know Where You've Been has put together a great Latino Civil Rights Timeline in preparation for Latino Heritage Month, which begins on September 15th.

This is a great tool to help us appreciate the struggle for Latino civil rights and the obstacles faced by immigrants in the U.S. today.

From their site:

Latino Civil Rights Timeline, 1903 to present

The following timeline documents dozens of key Latino civil rights events between 1903 and 2006.

When reading this timeline, it's important to remember that the fight for civil rights doesn't happen in a vacuum. In many cases, the events listed below have fueled – and have been fueled by – other social justice movements, like the African American Civil Rights Movement and the fight for equal employment and education among Chinese and Japanese immigrants.

The Latino civil rights struggle did not begin in 1903 and will not end in September 2006. Watch the news and listen to politicians, and you will see the fight for equal rights for ALL people is not over.

Read the rest here:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Book News: My poem is featured in new anthology!

Hi, everyone:

I just wanted to let you all know that one of my poems,
The Rich Historian (p. 127), was selected to be published in a new poetry anthology, which is now available for purchase.

Regrets Only: Contemporary Poets on the Theme of Regret Edited by Martha Manno

Book Description

Sixty-three poets from the United States, Europe and Australia contemplate the could-have-beens, should-have-beens, squandered chances, near misses, lost loves, shames and sorrows of regret. With rare insight, tenderness, courage and humor these poems invite us into the richness of lives lived fully.

If you enjoy poetry and would like to purchase this book
or if you would just like to support this project, click here for more info:

If you would like a discounted or signed copy, please feel free to contact me!




From Hispanic PR Wire:

Tampa, FL--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--September 5, 2006--

When Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez’s THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB was published in 2003, Latinas everywhere celebrated the birth of their own commercial ethnic literature. Latina characters, Latina culture, Latina stories. Who then would have guessed that in three years the demand for stories featuring Latina characters would move beyond the Latina market and into mainstream America?

According to USA Today bestselling novelist Julie Leto, that’s just what’s happening, and she couldn’t be happier. As her new novel, DIRTY LITTLE LIES arrives in bookstores across the country, Leto is celebrating the popularity of her Marisela Morales novels. The series’ Cuban-American ex-bounty hunter has become the alter ego of women everywhere—not just Latinas—who long for adventure, thrills and, well—why not?—some good, hot sex. “No longer are Latinas the main characters in books targeted only for our ethnic group,” explained Leto, whose paternal grandmother was a proud Cuban-American.

“These characters have gone mainstream, starring in novels that are being snapped up by anyone who appreciates a great read.” In these lively books, the characters speak English, Spanish and Spanglish, depending on the situation, so readers everywhere are getting into the hearts and minds of Latino and Latina characters, enjoying their pursuits and tasting their culture. “Marisela is Cuban-American because I needed the conflicts that come with being ethnic in a world that doesn’t always accept that,” says Leto during a time when immigration controversy, walkouts and demonstrations are the target of the U.S. Latino culture. "I think readers enjoy the flavor that ethnicity adds to a book’s characters. And with all the controversies going on in the world right now about immigration, I think it's important to portray my ethnic characters like the real, multi-layered, diverse people that they reflect," said the Tampa author of 25 novels.

In DIRTY LITTLE LIES (Pocket Star, September 2006), after an assassination attempt on her watch, Marisela teams up with her ex-lover to find the shooter, a highly trained professional killer who believed the targeted Congressman deserved to die for a past transgression—murder. Leto is so hot right now that her publisher picked DIRTY LITTLE LIES as their September lead mass market title.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Book: September Catalina Book Club Pick!

Across a Hundred Mountains: A Novel by Reyna Grande

Book Description:

Across a Hundred Mountains is a stunning and poignant story of migration, loss, and discovery as two women -- one born in Mexico, one in the United States -- find their lives joined in the most unlikely way.

After a tragedy separates her from her mother, Juana García leaves her small town in Mexico to find her father, who left his home and family two years before to find work in America, el otro lado, and rise above the oppressive poverty so many of his countrymen endure.

Out of money and in need of someone to help her across the border, Juana meets Adelina Vasquez, a young woman who left her family in California to follow her lover to Mexico. Finding each other -- in a Tijuana jail -- in desperate circumstances, they offer each other much needed material and spiritual support and ultimately become linked forever in the most unexpected way.

The phenomenon of Mexican immigration to the United States is one of the most controversial issues of our time. While it is often discussed in terms of the political and economic implications, Grande, with this brilliant debut novel and her own profound insider's perspective, puts a human face on the subject. Who are the men, women, and children whose lives are affected by the forces that propel so many to risk life and limb, crossing the border in pursuit of a better life?

Take the journey Across a Hundred Mountains and see.

New Book: Pa' Donde Vamos?

Nueva York: The Complete Guide to Latino Life in the Five Boroughs by Carolina Gonzalez, Seth Kugel

From Yahoo News:

NEW YORK - Where can you visit Cuba, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and many other Latin American countries, all in one day, by subway? New York City, of course!

"Nueva York: The Complete Guide to Latino Life in the Five Boroughs" (St. Martin's Press, $14.95) by Carolina Gonzalez and Seth Kugel, tells you where to eat, where to shop, where to hear music and where to dance.

You'll learn about museums like El Museo del Barrio; street art in Latino neighborhoods; and city parks — like one in Red Hook, Brooklyn, lined with Latin food vendors on weekends — where you will feel like you are watching a soccer game in Central America.

The book describes walking tours of Hispanic areas like Hunts Point-Longwood in the Bronx, where you'll find the Rincon Musical music store at 968 Southern Blvd., and pastelillos at Mama Isabel's food truck at the corner of Prospect and 156th Street.

For a tour of El Barrio, start at the 103rd Street No. 6 subway station on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where you can see a mural of Celia Cruz by a local artist. On the playground for nearby P.S. 72, an elementary school, there's a colorful sculpture by two Hispanic artists that is also a sundial. The Graffiti Hall of Fame is at 106th Street and Park Avenue. Try the tacos at Taco Mix, 236 E. 116th St., or at La Taquicardia, 237 E. 116th St.

Other neighborhoods worth visiting for food, art, atmosphere and more include the Lower East Side (Loisaida), Sunset Park, Brooklyn; and Jackson Heights and Corona in Queens.

And if you're looking for Spanish food after a Broadway show, try the Chimichurri Grill, which serves Argentine food near the Theater District, 606 Ninth Ave. at 43rd Street.

As for clubs, you'd better be a night owl. Most don't unlock their doors until 10 p.m.; many people don't arrive until after 1 a.m. In addition to the grande dame of Latin clubs, the Copacabana — 560 W. 34th St. — there are salsa parties at La Maganette, 825 Third Ave., and themed nights devoted to reggaeton, merengue, Spanish rock and other genres, at Umbrella, 440 W. 202nd St., in Washington Heights, Manhattan.

2006 National Book Festival Is Coming to DC

From the LOC site:

The festival, which will be held on September 30, is organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Laura Bush. It is free and open to the public and features more than 70 award-winning authors, illustrators and poets appearing in "Fiction & Fantasy," "Mysteries & Thrillers," "History & Biography," "Children," "Teens & Children," "Poetry," and "Home & Family" pavilions. Browse this Web site to learn about the authors who will be appearing throughout the day in the pavilions and signing their books.

Activities for children, which are fun and promote reading, can be found in the popular "Let's Read America" pavilion. The Library of Congress also has a pavilion where festival goers can explore the Library's acclaimed Web site at and learn about the Veterans History Project, a grassroots effort to document the stories of veterans from World War I through the current conflicts and those who supported the war effort on the home front. The Pavilion of the States brings representatives from throughout the country to the festival with information on local reading and literacy programs.

The Smithsonian metro stop opens onto the festival's grounds, where you can spend the day listening to and meeting your favorite authors and picking up the free festival poster. We hope you will join us on September 30 for this celebration of the joys of reading and lifelong literacy!
Web Analytics