Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Latina/o Studies Association (LSA)
Letras Latinas

are pleased to present


Latina/o Studies Association Conference
Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Washington, D.C.
July 11-15, 2018
Thursday, July 12 @ 4 PM


Quique Avilés has been writing, performing, and leading community arts projects since coming to the U.S. in 1980. A graduate of The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, he co-founded the LatiNegro Theater Collective (1985) and Sol & Soul: Art and Activism (2000). His poetry has been featured on NPR, and several anthologies, including How I Learned English and Al Pie de la Casa Blanca. The Immigrant Museum, his first book of poetry, was printed in Mexico City in 2004. He has written and performed over 10 one-man shows dealing with issues of race and identity, including Latinhood, Chaos Standing, and Los Treinta. He has brought this work to theaters, universities, and community centers around the U.S., Mexico City, and El Salvador. In addition to his solo work, he was the founder and is the current director of Paso Nuevo, GALA Hispanic Theatre’s Youth Theater Program.

photo credit:  currently unavailable

Alexandra Lytton Regalado’s poetry collection, Matria, (Black Lawrence Press, 2017) is the winner of the St. Lawrence Book Prize. Her poems, short stories, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2018, Creative Nonfiction, Gulf Coast, Narrative, Notre Dame Review, OCHO, Puerto del Sol and elsewhere. She is co-director of Kalina press and is author, editor, and/or translator of more than ten books about Central America, most recently, Puntos de fuga / Vanishing Points, a bilingual anthology of contemporary Salvadoran prose. For more info visit her website at

photo credit: Tomás Regalado

Leticia Hernández-Linares is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, and educator.  She is the author of Mucha Muchacha, Too Much Girl, and co-editor of The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States.  Widely published, her work appears in collections and journals such as U.S. Latino Literature Today, Street Art San Francisco, Teatro bajo del Sol, Huizache, and Pilgrimage.  She has performed her poemsongs throughout the country and in El Salvador.  A three-time San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist grantee, she teaches in Latina, Latino Studies at San Francisco State University.   Visit her:

photo credit: Michelle Gutierrez
Friday, July 13 @ 4 PM


Blas Falconer is the author of two poetry collections, The Foundling Wheel and A Question of Gravity and Light, and a coeditor of two essay collections, The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity and Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets. His awards include an NEA Fellowship, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange, and a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant. He is the poetry editor for The Los Angeles Review and teaches in the low-residency MFA at Murray State University.  His third full-length poetry collection, Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books), is forthcoming in 2018. 
photo credit: Emily Petrie 

Manuel Paul López’s books and chapbook include These Days of Candy (Noemi Press, Akrilica Series 2017), The Yearning Feed (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013), 1984 (Amsterdam Press, 2010) and Death of a Mexican and Other Poems (Bear Star Press, 2006).  He co-edited Reclaiming Our Stories: Narratives of Identity, Resilience, and Empowerment (City Works Press, 2016).  A CantoMundo fellow, his work has been published in Bilingual Review, Denver Quarterly, Hanging Loose, Huizache, Puerto del Sol, and ZYZZYVA, among others.  He lives in San Diego and teaches at San Diego City College where he also co-coordinates City College’s Puente Program.
photo credit: Mireya Rodríguez

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal was born in the Rio Grande Valley borderlands to formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants. She is the author of the collection Beast Meridian (Noemi Press, AKRILICA Series), winner of the John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters, and featured as a Best of 2017 book at The Los Angeles Times, NBC News, BOMB, Literary Hub, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, The Boston Review, The Academy of American Poets, Buzzfeed, and she is a CantoMundo Fellow currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

photo credit: Vanessa Angélica Villarreal
Saturday, July 14 @ 4 PM


Naomi Ayala is the author of three books of poetry—Wild Animals on the Moon (Curbstone Press), This Side of Early (Curbstone Imprint: Northwestern University Press), and Calling Home: Praise Songs and Incantations (Bilingual Press). A teacher and freelance writer/editor, translations of her poetry have been published in Afghanistan and Switzerland. Naomi’s own translation of Argentinean poet Luis Alberto Ambroggio’s book of poetry, The Wind’s Archeology/La arqueología del viento (Vaso Roto Ediciones, Mexico), won her the 2013 International Latino Book Award for Best Nonfiction Book Translation. Some of Naomi’s work in Spanish appears in Al pie de la Casa Blanca: Poetas hispanos de Washington, DC (North American Academy of the Spanish Language). Among Naomi’s awards are several Artists Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Special Recognition for Community Service from the U.S. Congress, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy of Environmental Justice Award. She lives in Washington, DC.

photo credit: Erica Sánchez Vazquez

Urayoán Noel is an Associate Professor of English and Spanish at NYU, and also teaches at the MFA of the Americas at Stetson University. His books include, most recently, the poetry collection Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico (Arizona) and the critical study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (Iowa). He is currently completing a book based on his improvisational poetry vlog ( as well as two translation projects: a bilingual edition of the Chilean poet Pablo de Rokha, Architecture of Dispersed Life: Selected Poetry, forthcoming from Shearsman Books, and a chapbook by Garifuna Guatemalan poet Wingston González, for Ugly Duckling Presse. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Urayoán Noel lives in the South Bronx. 

photo credit: Rusty Ritek

Joshua Escobar a.k.a. DJ Ashtrae makes poetry into a kind of music. He mixes family drama with travelogues, interviews about the HIV epidemic with biographies of Mexican immigrants, the lyrical with the actual, English with Spanish. He is the author of Caljforkya Voltage (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press) and XXOX FM (DoubleCross Press, 2019). Bareback Nightfall, his first full-length work, will be published in 2020 by Noemi Press, as part of the AKRILICA series, a co-publishing venture with Letras Latinas. He is a CantoMundo Fellow. He publishes the zine, Orange Mercury, and lives with lil’ piñata in San Bernardino, California.
photo credit: Joshua Escobar

“Poetry en La Plaza” is made possible,
in part, thanks to the generosity
of Tom and Marion Rohrs

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