Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back from Macondo--Part Three

After the Friday vision session

Friday began with a vision and planning session where members of the foundation board and this year's participants looked at what worked and what didn't and planned for future growth to keep the foundation and the workshop strong and supple enough to meet the needs that the future would bring.

This discussion continued at a long lunch. Then the final afternoon seminar on translingual writers (those who write in a language other than their first language), which engendered an energetic discussion because we had so many translingual writers there.

Friday evening was our culminating public event. It was held at Casa Navarro, an historic building complex in downtown San Antonio. It kicked off with live music by Orqestra Tropicante.

Josslyn as Lady Day

Josslyn Luckett, emcee of many disguises, was in Billie Holiday mode as she hosted the evening. The dynamic writers reading were Liliana Valenzuela, John Olivares Espinoza, Jessica Lopez, Elaine Beal, Francisco Aragon, Deborah Miranda, and the magnificent Ruth Behar, introduced by Sandra Cisneros.
Liliana Valenzuela reading

Jessica Lopez reading

Francisco Aragon reading

Elaine Beal reading

Deborah Miranda reading

Ruth Behar reading

An after-hours party

Macondo is the brainchild of the incredible Sandra Cisneros, author of the novels, The House on Mango Street and Caramelo, the short fiction collection, Woman Hollering Creek, and the poetry collections, My Wicked, Wicked Ways and Loose Woman. She started the Macondo Foundation to help talented mid-career writers who were also involved in community-building. She started the Macondo Writing Workshop around her kitchen table. Sandra is still at the core of what Macondo is, although she has a dedicated board that makes decisions and sets direction for the foundation now and has done the necessary planning to ensure that the foundation will survive long after she is gone. But Sandra is the soul of Macondo.

La Sandra

Sandra having fun with Jennifer De Leon

Sandra and the Macondistas, those who belong to the Macondo community and return year after year, have written a code of conduct that every writing workshop/class/community would do well to study, The Compassionate Code of Conduct. And they are serious, very serious, about adhering to it. To read it, go to the Macondo website. This community that Sandra has fostered is like an ideal family--if your family were other writers who were also committed to creating a better world in one way or another. And I feel privileged and proud to be a member of that community.

Thank you to the Macondistas who took photographs--Deborah Miranda, Liliana Valenzuela, Jennifer De Leon, and any other I've forgotten.

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