Plaza de la Raza, Los Angeles, November 11, 2010
Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize Initiative
Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, gratefully acknowledges Chicano artist Malaquias Montoya, who has created this silkscreen print (Edition 50). The work is inspired by the poetry of his son, Andrés Montoya (1968-1999). It includes lines from, “the escape,” a poem from Andrés Montoya’s award-winning book, the iceworker sings and other poems (Bilingual Press, 1999).
Malaquias Montoya had this say shortly after its creation:
“My son Andrés's poetry has always inspired me especially those poems that reflect the San Joaquin Valley. Just as in Andrés's work, this print views the Highway 99 as an important symbol not only because it connects so many little towns throughout the valley, but also because it has always given hope to some that they might one day escape life's hardships and despair. I've always been deeply touched by the protagonist in Andrés's poem "the escape," a man who leaves, even if only in his mind, the love of his life on the 99.”
Proceeds from the sale of this print will go towards two worthy projects: the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, a biennial Letras Latinas initiative which supports the publication of a first book by a Latino or Latina poet; and the publication of a posthumous book of poetry by Andrés Montoya, edited and introduced by Chicano writer, Daniel Chacón.