Wednesday, May 28, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: a new partnership
Michelle Otero, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the inaugural recipient of the "Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship." She will receive $1,000 and be in residence for one month this June at the Anderson Center at Tower View in Red Wing, Minnesota. This annual distinction is the result of a new partnership between the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the Anderson Center. The aim of the initiative is to identify and support a Latino or Latina writer who is working on a first full-length book, and for whom a one month writing residency would suppose a crucial boost in this endeavor. There is no application process.
“In its ongoing efforts to make the Anderson Center as ethnically diverse as possible, I wish to say how delighted I am with our new partnership with the Institute of Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. This outgrowth of the "Midwestern Voices and Visions" project established in 2007 by the Alliance of Artist Communities with support from the Joyce Foundation in Chicago fits perfectly into the Center's overall mission and helps to underscore the Center's desire to nurture the work of emerging Latino
—Robert Hedin, Executive Director
The Anderson Center at Tower View
"I was fortunate in 2007 to win a travel grant to conduct research on La Malinche in Mexico. I worried, though, about losing momentum in the rhythm of daily life in the U.S. I am grateful to the Anderson Center and Letras Latinas for their gift of time and space to re-enter Mexico and to continue following La Malinche, not on foot, but with the soul, on paper."
inaugural winner of the Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship
Michelle Otero is the author of Malinche's Daughter (Momotombo Press, 2006), an essay collection based on her work with women survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Artful Dodge, Puerto del Sol, Upstreet, and Metamorfósis, a Spanish-language anthology published by the National Hispanic Cultural Center. She has attended workshops and residencies at Macondo and Hedgebrook and has been a featured artist at the Border Book Festival, the Festival of International Books and Arts, sponsored by the University of Texas – Pan American, and the Women in Creativity series, sponsored by the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Her awards include a Fulbright Fellowship, an Association of Writing Programs Intro Journal Award, and fellowships from the McCune Foundation and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.
Otero was also a featured artist at a special event in the Regis Philbin Studio Theatre at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC) at the University of Notre Dame in 2006, where she performed with fellow Momotombo Press authors Paul Martínez Pompa and Brenda Cárdenas.
She is a founding member of the Women Writers' Collective, an El Paso-based group that showcases the talents of women writers and artists while raising awareness of women's issues. In Albuquerque, she performs with Las Meganenas, a repertory theatre troupe that uses performance to raise awareness of issues facing Latinas, such as the destructive impact of globalization on the women of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, where over four hundred women have been murdered since 1993.
Raised along the U.S.-Mexico border, she lives in Albuquerque, where she has been a Project Coordinator for Enlace Comunitario, a non-profit that provides support and services to Latina immigrant victims of domestic violence.
She is currently working on Vessels, a memoir of borders.
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 with a focus on 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.
Since 1995, the Anderson Center has served the artistic community and the citizens of Minnesota through artistic leadership, program development, and support. It is the mission of the Anderson Center to uphold the unique wealth of the arts in the region; to develop, foster, and promote the creation of works by artists of all kinds; and to provide leadership and services that help to insure a strong, healthy arts community and a greater recognition of the value of arts in society.
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