Wednesday, September 2, 2009



Without Camels: A Caravan of Latino Writing

Caravan: A company of merchants, pilgrims, or others
who travel together . . . a troop of people going in company. . .
a company in motion . . . the traveling house of gypsies . . .

Quercus Review is putting together a special section of Latina and Latino imaginative writing—“Without Camels: A Caravan of Latino Writing”—for its 10th anniversary edition. The writer Fred Arroyo will help edit this section.

Jorge Louis Borges once suggested a caravan of imaginative writing that existed outside or without labels like “Latino.” Borges considered that what is authentic in literature cannot be limited by cultural, ethnic, or nationalistic markers. Borges tells us, “the first thing a falsifier, a tourist, an Arab Nationalist would do [in writing and trying to emphasize an “authentic” reality] is have a surfeit of camels, caravans of camels, on every page” (“The Argentine Writer and Tradition”). Latino writing springs from a rich tradition, and in its continuity and change there is a company of writers who are traveling together. This caravan is populated by diverse visions, aesthetics, experiences, and feelings that move outside and beyond labels. We want to capture this movement, this energia. And we want to see and hear and feel it in imaginative writings “without camels.” Caravan is also evoked to echo the song of the same name, which was written by the outstanding trombonist Juan Tizol (Puerto Rico, 1900-1984). Not actually a first, however, since the composition borrows or responds to Middle Eastern traditions. Those rhythms—that borrowing, mixing, and response—are also the caravan of imaginative writings by Latinos we want to share with a larger audience.

Send 2-3 previously unpublished poems with cover letter and SASE. We do not accept simultaneous or electronic submissions of poetry. Please include a brief bio in your cover letter. We prefer poems that do not exceed 40 lines, though we will consider longer work.

Fiction: Send previously unpublished stories with cover letter and SASE. Simultaneous submissions okay with notification upon acceptance elsewhere. Please include a brief bio in your cover letter. We consider fiction up to 7000 words. All work must be double-spaced, paginated, with your name included on each page.

Please send submissions to

Fred Arroyo
Department of English
2505 University Avenue
Drake University
Des Moines, IA 50311


Quercus Review
ATTN: Sam Pierstorff, Editor
Modesto Junior College
Department of English
435 College Ave.
Modesto, CA 95350

Please note: We will not read manuscripts that do not include an SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope.) Please submit separately for each genre. Also, please include an email address and/or phone number in your cover letter.

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