Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Catching Up—Las Comadres, AWP, Woven Voices

Las Comadres is a 25-year-old national organization that brings Latinas together through email, teleconferences, and in person to engage in dialogues around culture and other aspects of life. They have a national series of teleconferences in which their members all around the nation discuss books they've read with their authors--Las Comadres Conversations With...   

And Every Last Secret has been selected for one of these conversations in May!

This is a real honor, and I’m very excited. This is a great organization that's doing such essential work in many ways, but especially promoting reading and literature this way. So I’m really looking forward to my teleconference with these bright, inquiring Latina minds!

Right now, I’m getting ready to head to the Associated Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) national conference for a crazy, hectic week. I’ll be co-hosting the Ragdale reception on Thursday evening at the Cliff Dwellers, and I hope to read at the Guild Complex/Tia Chucha Press reading afterward—if I’m not too physically worn out by then. Then, on Friday night, I will read with the Latino Writers Collective and  Proyecto Latina at Columbia College Chicago in one of the off-site readings. With our great Chicago friends, the damas of Proyecto Latina, we hope to put a distinctive Midwestern spin on this national celebration of the written word.

I will also be on a panel with fellow Latino Writers Collective members on Saturday from 3:00-4:15 pm that will discuss our experiences with offering writing workshops to the children of migrant farm workers. This has been such a fruitful and satisfying project for the Collective, and the feedback says that we’ve really made a change in these young people’s lives. We’ll talk about how we started and how other groups could do something similar in their areas.

I will be working at the Tia Chucha Press/Scapegoat Press table (B12, like the vitamin) in the bookfair much of the time I’m at the conference. I’ll have ARCs of Every Last Secret with its gorgeous cover top show off to any of my friends who visit me.
 I hope everyone will also check out the dynamite new book I edited—Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriqueñas Look at their American Lives. This book braids a conversation of poetry among three very different but truly related poets, Anita Velez-Mitchell, grandmother and mother, Gloria Vando, mother and daughter, and Anika Paris, daughter and granddaughter.  
Ruth Behar, author of An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba says, “Woven Voices is like no other poetry book! Here is a gorgeous trio of poets, a grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter who share family ties, a common Puerto Rican history, and the twists and turns of a diasporic journey. Each speaking in her own unique voice, Anita, Gloria, and Anika write with honesty and tenderness about the big themes of home and mortality as well as about everyday lessons and losses. Read the poems together and separately and you'll find yourself singing along, entering a world of beauty and truth you didn't know existed.”
On Thursday here in the Literary Mystery Novelists series, you can read an interview with Rhys Bowen, author of two current mystery series plus an earlier one that have won many awards. An extra bonus if you’re jones-ing for a Downton Abbey fix—one series is set in that time period among Britain’s aristocracy.
Then, on Monday, we’ll return to the Books of Interest by Writers of Color series, and midweek I’ll try to post another installment of the series on Juggling the Two Jobs of Writing Novels and Promoting Books.

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