Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Letras Latinas: a case study

view from the 27th floor, Boston

I'd like to make less abstract what I mean when I say “Letras Latinas program.” After all, if individuals are being asked to support (by purchasing the book I’m hawking at the AWP book fair in Boston this week) it makes sense to articulate as best as possible what, exactly, one is supporting! Take, for example: the Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship.

Like most of our projects, there’s a backstory. This one took place the month of September in 2007 when I experienced my first artist residency—at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN. By the end of my time there, Letras Latinas had cemented a partnership thanks, in large part, to the generosity of Robert Hedin, the founder and Executive Director of the Anderson Center.

In a nutshell: each year, Letras Latinas names a Latino/a writer who is working on a first full-length book (poetry or prose). The selected wordsmith is awarded a one month residency (the recipient has to be able to commit to one month) to work on his/her art, and $1000 to help defray the cost of getting to Red Wing, MN.

Here is who has received this distinction, thus far:

Tomorrow the identify of our 2013 fellow will be revealed!

What is Letras Latinas’ contribution to this process? In addition to carefully curating, year in and year out, who our fellow will be, Letras Latinas has to come up with half of the $1000 stipend. In other words, we have to raise $500, year in and year out—for this one initiative.

Stay tuned as we put a face and a story behind our efforts these next few days.


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