Nuestra Palabra Turns 21

Nuestra Palabra Turns 21 and Transforms Houston & Latino art                        

Houston, Texas, February 22, 2019With two decades under its belt, Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say has made a significant impact on the city and its arts. Now, as the group celebrates its 21st anniversary, Nuestra Palabra is poised to take Latino Art and Literature to the next level and fuel a city a wide movement to make Houston the nation’s leader in delivering Latino Art and Culture.  Nuestra Palabra plans to accomplish this by helping the community take advantage of new technology to work more closely together. One example of this is the new website www.MANTECAHTX.com. This is the nation’s first online directory for Latinx artists ranging from visual artists to writers, to musicians and filmmakers.

“We are cultural accelerators,” said writer, Tony Diaz, the founder and director of Nuestra Palabra. “We have worked to cultivate our community’s voice through literature. We are now collaborating with other art forms through technology to multiply our efforts and reach more of our community. Houston will be seen as the nation’s leader for supporting and delivering our community’s art.”

MANTECAHTX.Com is a collaboration with Houston Latina visual artists. It is made possible in part through a grant from City Initiatives.

Nuestra Palabra is also the fiscal sponsor for Macondo Writers, the writers retreat founded by writer Sandra Cisneros over 20 years ago. Nuestra Palabra helped the group launch, maintain, and market its website. Over 100 applicants apply for the annual workshops which take place in San Antonio and are conducted by the leading Latino writers in the nation, take place annually in San Antonio. Nuestra Palabra will soon be making a major announcement with Texas A & M University San Antonio about The Macondo Writers Workshop.

Nuestra Palabra’s 21st anniversary showcase will reflect all of these influences as well as the group’s dedication to literature and literacy. The literary celebration is funded in part through a grant from City Initiatives. It will take place Wednesday, April 3, 2019 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Brown Auditorium. Admission is free. RSVP at www.NuestraPalabra.org.

The evening will feature:

The Godfather of Chicano Literature, Dagoberto Gilb who is the author of nine books, including The Magic of Blood, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña, Woodcuts of Women, Gritos, The Flowers, and Before the End, After the Beginning. He is also the editor of two canonical anthologies, Hecho en Tejas: Texas Mexican Literature and Mexican American Literature, and the founding editor of Huizache, the country’s best Latino literary magazine

Mari Carmen Ramirez is The MFAH Wortham Curator of Latin American Art. She will discuss the museum’s holdings of Mexican American and Latino art.

Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garciawill make a special announcement on a new Latino Art Initiative.

The evening will feature leading Latino writers, thinkers and leaders, as well as 3 Nuestra Palabra 2nd Generation Writers who began writing with Nuestra Palabra and are now nationally published authors.

Poet Lupe Mendez will present his his new book “Why I Am Like Tequila”.

Poet Jasminne Mendez will read from her new book “Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry”.

Poet Leslie Contreras Schwartz will read from her book “Nightbloom & Cenote”.

 

Who: Latino leaders, thinkers, and writers

What: Celebrate Nuestra Palabra’s 21st Anniversary

When: Wednesday April 3, 2019. 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.

Where: Museum of Fine Art, Brown Auditorium 1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005

Why: Nuestra Palabra has transformed the landscape for Latino Literature and is now changing Latinx art for the next generation.

Contact:  Tony Diaz
Tony@NuestraPalabra.org (713) 867-8943

Librotraficante, P.O. Box  41628, Houston, 77241

EXCLUSIVE FROM CUBA !

 

22 photos géniales qui nous ont fortement impressionnés

Enterprising Cubans are training replacements  ( pictured above) to serve on the nation’s local chapters of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution.  Government complaints that the new comrades are overly conscientious have been greeted with national hilarity.   President Raul Castro recently announced that he is sending the one hundred top new Defenders to the U.S in a historic gesture of goodwill to Cuba’s thousands of Miami Relatives. Miami has reportedly asked the CIA how many small planes and automatic weapons it will trade in exchange for 100 highly trained communists.

The Cuban public was not impressed.

“Big deal,” said  several of the  23 doctors who happened to stroll by during Electrica’s fifteen minute  man-in-the-street interview in downtown Havana. “Cuba is full of highly trained communists. ”

The remaining 20 physicians either snorted or laughed, as did the 47 world class musicians,  32 internationally famous dancers, 12 poets, 83 artists, seven engineers, 15 craftsmen, six cigar makers,  several rum experts, ten winning Olympic athletes and a small crowd of laughing Rastafarians.

Also, an old man selling bananas illegally from a wheelbarrow

“We know there will be changes in Cuba’s future “, pronounced a popular and handsome orchestra leader, who sat on the front steps of a crumbling old mansion divided into fourteen tiny apartments.  He laughed loudly and added, ” But anyone who shows up from Miami whining about getting his grandfather’s land  back will be immediately shipped to North Korea.”

Leonardo Oña / Havana Times

 

Havana Times photo

Meanwhile,  Raul has strictly prohibited all canine members of the Committee  for the Defense of the Revolution from sniffing any Party member in public.

“It’s times like this that the president  misses his brother most,” confided Venezuelan leader Nicholas Madura, as he arrived in Havana to lend his support to Raul. The Cuban president greeted  the former bus driver abrubtly, as Madero  stumbled over several of the CIA agents who had been underfoot throughout Venezuela for at least six or seven years.  Castro aimed a swift, well-placed kick at a senior agent as he stamped out of Jose Marti airport, followed by his presidential comrade, who had faced down  American intelligence to be democratically elected.   Castro had just snubbed Vladimir Putin’s offer to poison six rude Cuban bloggers and was in no mood for Russian or American mobsters, frivolous dissent, or ambitious dogs , regardless of breed.  Well, as Fidel had famously said, a revolution is no bed of roses.

Castro stopped, turned to face a crowd of Granma reporters and addressed the nation.

“Be  like  Che!”   he ordered, “Now, sit!”

Hundreds of good dogs immediately sat.

No further word from Havana at press time.

 

                                  _______________________________________

 

Thank-you to Paul Siemering for sending me the great photo of the Committee in Defense of the Revolution that appears at the top of this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop the press!

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I interrupt this program to announce that I’ve added text to my previous post, One Boy’s Pablo Neruda.  I knew you’d all want to stop whatever you are doing and rush to read it,

As always, I aim only to please, and remain your humble and deeply modest servant.

Heh heh heh… or, as they say in Central America !JaJa Ja!

Bercian’s Rooster Flew

  •   F   R   E   D   E   R   I   C   O

rooster-onedotcom

Continued in English just below

Hey Bercian! ¿Estás en tu casa? ¿Hola? It’s Clara. Sólo vine a darle un regalo espléndido: un grande gallo llamado Frederico. Me siguió hasta aquí desde Nuevo México.

Mi abuela y yo estábamos de gira con una banda llamado América Turístico, pero fue despedido por tratar de iniciar una revuelta en Cleveland. Además, somos demasiado perezosos para mover equipo pesado.
Este país es una mierda.

¡Oh no, Frederico ha volado! Ahora que lo pienso, dónde está mi abuela? No estés triste, Bercian. Un pollo guapo y noble como Frederico  es amado de de su rebaño. Debería haber sabido iba a regresar a ellos.
Te voy a enviar otro espléndido regalo – un pájaro carpintero gigante desde el Río Grande! De acuerdo a mi abuela, ellos aman para nadar!

                _______________________________

VISIT BERCIAN:   VIAJES AL FONDO DEL ALSA

 

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                               American Tourist, Rust Bowl Tour 2016 / O’Brien

P  A  R  A  P  H   R   A   S  E

 I surprise the good artist, writer, and blogger Bercian Langan with the splendid gift of a large, handsome rooster named Frederico, who has followed me all the way from New Mexico. I pass on the news that my grandmother and I have just been kicked off the Rust Belt Tour of the Country/Hip-Hop band, American Tourist. We had proven ourselves useless as roadies because of our strong opposition to moving heavy objects. Also, someone had ratted Grandma out for attempting to incite the Cleveland audience to riot.

Whatever.

“This country is turning to shit,” I tell Bercian.

It suddenly becomes clear that Frederico the Rooster has flown away.  Come to think of it, where’s Grandma?

“Don’t be sad,” I tell Bercian, “A chicken  as handsome and noble as Frederico is beloved by his flock. I should have known he would return to them.”

Before I leave, I promise Bercian another splendid gift.

“I’ll send you a Giant Woodpecker from the banks of the Rio Grande,” I say grandly.

Maybe I shouldn’t have added that Giant Rio Grande Woodpeckers can swim. At least, that’s what my grandmother told me…

 

T  H  E   ~  E  N  D

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               CLICK HERE:   VIAJES AL FONDO DEL ALSA

Changing the World Through Latino Literature

PRESS RELEASE
Feb/5/2016
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Tony Diaz
AztecMuse@aol.com
(713) 867-8943Nuestra Palabra:Latino Writers Having Their Say
Nuestra Palabra Turns 18
Celebrates Changing the World Through Latino Lit

HOUSTON, TX – February 5, 2016 – When Nuestra Palabra began, we were told that Latinos did care about literature. We were told that Latinos were not interested in writing. We were told that there was not much interest in Latino Literature. We are proud to have proven the naysayers wrong for 18 years. Join us to celebrate the landmark of our 18th anniversary as we aknowledge all the milestones we have achieved as a community.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 6pm – 8pm, at Talento Bilingue de Houston 333. S. Jensen. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, February 23, 2016, during the NP Radio Show on 90.1 FM 6p-7p. They will be available at www.NuestraPalabra.org. $25 at the door. $20 in advance. This showcase will feature the poetry, fiction, and teatro of our award-winning authors who started their careers on our stage.

Antonio reading a book by the brook.

Here are just a few milestones.

* Largest Book Fairs in Houston: We organized the Houston Latin Book and Family Festival, which at its peak drew 30,000 folks to the GRB, making it the largest lit event in Houston for any demographic.

* When Arizona banned Mexican American Studies, Nuestra Palabra veteransunited to become the Librotraficantes to smuggle the banned books back into Arizona by using the resources and contacts of Nuestra Palabra.

* We just had our 12 members receive a Master’s Degree in Writing, with 10 MFA’s stemming from our group. Nuestra Palabra has created more Latino MFA’s than the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. As a side note, I’m the first Chicano to recieve in MFA from the UH CWP back in 1995.

* The NP Radio Show: Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say ON THE AIR began broadcasting on 90.1 FM KPFT in March of 2001.

* The Houston Public Library is archiving the Nuestra Palabra papers.

* The UH Library will be archiving our radio broadcasts.

* We are also launching the Nuestra Palabra Anthology.

 More info to come, always MAS.

www.NuestraPalabra.org

Love on the D Train

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When I was 19, my girlfriend, Shirley, lived on Tiebout Ave, near 183rd and the Grand Concourse in the north Bronx. We spent so much time on the D Train that eventually we came to regard it as a sort of extension of Shirley’s living room. Lurching our way south toward Manhattan or to the deep south of distant Brooklyn, we spread out comfortably (if we were north of 125th St., when seating was roomy), eating Popeye’s chicken and playing cards.

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Meanwhile, our huge platform shoes glittered like skyscrapers.

Essentially,  we were proud of ourselves for being smart enough to be young and beautiful in the right place at the right time – and wearing the right shoes.

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We had no idea that an afternoon at Coney Island, eating junk food on the boardwalk and taking off our gigantic shoes to wade in the dirty surf wasn’t everyone’s idea of great good fortune. We didn’t realize that our huge shabby beachfront was actually a slum.

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boardwalk

Yes, it was rundown, but its dimensions remained glorious and, for us at least, gleamed with adventure and a kind of abundance. Even the scale of its decay was impressive, although I think the miles of South Bronx rubble we regularly passed through had enabled us to sort of look through decay.

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At any rate, seagulls still circled in the bright sky, the air still smelled of salt, waves rolled in and ships passed on the horizon. People did spread blankets on the sand and win stuffed animals for their kids in the shooting galleries.

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Above all, people ate. A lot. But nobody ever loved Coney Island food, or ate as much of it, as my girl Shirl and I.

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In much the same way, we thought everyone would wander the north Bronx’s Concourse if they possibly could, checking out the stacks of cheap and desireable stuff piled high on the sidewalk and eating huge mounds of greasy noodles.

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Shirley and I turned heads in a city that wasn’t inclined to turn its head for anyone: women, men, teenagers – suddenly, it seemed that the whole world wanted to dance with us.

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This adolescent thinking may well have been a case of arrested development, but it turned out to be a good thing, since actually neither Shirley nor I was at all certain that we even belonged in the world. We tried to act stuck up, but we could never pull it off. Actually, we were immediately delighted to be almost anybody’s friend.

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Looking back, I think of us fondly as Life’s Cheap Date

Reds

AFTER THE (LAPTOP) CRASH

im-sorry`

beback

i-ll-be-back-soon

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“Here I am! I promised I’d be ba- “

Hello? HEY! Hello!

 

im-back

” Hey! I SAID I’m back! Wait! Don’t you want copies of my press release… check out my statement on Twitter!” 

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Andrew Reynolds, thanks a bunch for your generous cat  advice.You were right – Julio is almost twice as old as I thought he was, and thus didn’t make front page news. He’s evidently  not a WILD BEAST, but merely an adolescent, just as you diplomatically suggested.

VALERIE DAVIES – no, not you…move over, lady..yeah, YOU; thank-you, dear friend for hearing the distress call of a fictional cow seperated from a fictional herd on the other side of the planet.

Your  ears got so sharp from listening via your heart.

Oh I can’t find your email adress: can you send it to me?

XXOO

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ELLEN HAWLEY: You should get a medal for your patience. Please forgive me – I had no Internet acess at all. I’ll write soon!

Rosaliene Bacchus, Robyn Jambo, Derrick J. Knight, Stuart Bramhall, Ashi Akiri, Lens 1: thanks so much – and please everyone else – please forgive my haphazard brain for not listing all the rest of you dear lunkheads.

I have more notes for the rest of you lot, so please come by soon, and I’ll be over your way ASAP. (I’m still looking for lost files!)

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“Claire’s files are up..there. Somewhere….I think..”