Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Back in the saddle: Letras Latinas

The impetus to start this blog was to spontaneously claim the phrase "Latino Poetry Review" in the blogoshpere. I'd purchased the domain name and then it suddenly occurred to me that someone could still start a blog and call it "Latino Poetry Review."

Before this blog came into existence, one would draw a completely blank slate if one googled the phrase, "Latino Poetry Review."

Not any more. Google the phrase and see for yourself.

Now that the identity and mission of LPR has been established ( the Institute's web designer is working on the template; I've already received the first reviews; we're determined, for better or for worse, to launch LPR, however modestly, in early 2008, etc etc ), I 'd like to properly and more accurately re-name this endeavor, as I have above.

What is more, I aspire to somehow make this very blog a key part of Letras Latinas' activities as stated in the mission statement. Let's re-visit it:

Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies, seeks to enhance the visibility, appreciation and study of Latino literature both on and off the campus of the University of Notre Dame. We are particularly interested in projects that identify and support emerging Latino/a writers. Letras Latinas actively seeks collaboration with individuals and organizations in order to more effectively carry out its mission.

With this mind, I'm happy to (unofficially) report that Letras Latinas will be entering into a partnership with the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, MN in a way consistent with the what is stated above. I will share more details soon.


Momotombo News

dos cosas


I just received an e-mail from RAIN TAXI Review of Books announcing that an online review of Pepper Spray by Paul Martínez Pompa and The Night Tito Trinidad KO'ed Ricardo Mayorga by Kevin A. González is now posted. I'd been wanting Momotombo Press titles to get some attention in their chapbook reviews for some time now (years) so it's gratifying to see this happen. A nod of appreciation to Eric Lorberer, who does wonderful work in "the Cities," as locals in Minnesota say. And a reminder to all that the community-based bookstore in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, TIANGUIS, is now the official exclusive bookseller and distributor of Momotombo Press. Hats off to Irasema González for realizing her dream of running a bookstore in, and therefore serving, her local community. I had a chance, as I may have mentioned earlier (things blur these days), of attending one of TIANGUIS' installments of Proyecto Latina, featuring Chicago-based writer and La Bloguera, Lisa Alvarado.


First order of business, yesterday, my first day back, was to fill the orders for

Braille for the Heart
by Robert Vasquez.

Truth be told, till the end of the year, one of my principal hats will be that of bookseller, where this title is concerned. AGAIN: please consider purchasing this very special title by one of Chicano letters most unsung bards, in view, and make a special contribution to the Letras Latinas Endowment, whose first beneficiary is our:

And I'm going to be so bold as to say: if you have already purchased one, you will be receiving it soon: when you do, and have the opportunity to hold the volume in your hands, please consider ordering another to give away as a gift this holiday season! When it comes to helping out aspiring high school Latino/a youth who want to attend a creative writing summer workshop, I will continue to make this pitch, however many times necessary, till year's end.

Por favor: we need your collaboration.
And: your contribution will be matched, dollar for dollar.

E-mail me ( your order ($35 postage included) and be sure to include your mailing address.

And if you haven't ordered Braille for the Heart, please do.

Thank you.

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