Chicanonautica: Altermundos: Latinoid Culture Goes Speculative

Original post by Ernest Hogan found here:

Look out, world! Here’s a manifestation of La Cultura that will give the President’s absurd performance art, the design contest for the Border Wall, and the Mother of All Bombs some serious competition: Altermundos: Latin@ Speculative Literature, Film, and PopularCulture edited by Cathryn Josefina Merla-Watson and B.V. Olguín. It’s got a cover that riffs on a classic Jesús Helguera painting, making it into sexy space opera. The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center calls it “The first collection engaging Chicana/o and Latina/o speculative cultural production.” And it’s over 500 pages.


You can even order it from Target for a 32% discount.


It includes my “Chicanonautica Manifesto” where I say things like: “I’m not interested in being puro Mexicano and only reaching the gente in the barrio. My roots embrace the planet, and reach out for the universe—the Intergalactic Barrio.”


There’s also Daoine S. Bachran’s “From Code to Codex: Tricksterizing the Digital Divide in Ernest Hogan’s Smoking Mirror Blues” and other essays that discuss and mention my work. Makes me look like some kind of Latinoid literary chingón. Hmm, maybe there’s something to this Father of Chicano science fiction stuff, after all?


And it’s not all about me. Other essays discuss Gloria Anzaldúa’s sci-fi roots, Jamie Hernandez’s comics, Latin@ science fiction, Latin@ speculative fiction, Chicanafuturism, Chican@futurism, Sexy cyborg cholo clownz, a post-apocalyptic anarcha-feminist revolutionary punk rock musical, Matthew David Goodwin’s notes on editing Latin@ Rising and mucho, mucho más, all reprinted from Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies.


This ain’t no dull, academic tome. This is what’s been going on as Latinoid culture rides the waves of future shock, sending fractures through Latinoid/Chicano art and science/speculative fiction. It’s also the way the world is going, the culture of the 21st century and beyond. Civilization as we know it will not be the same. And it’s good non-fiction companion to the other fiction anthologies that have been coming out lately.


Ernest Hogan has been published a lot in 2017. So far his work has appeared in Mithila Review, The Jewish Mexican Literary Review, Latin@ Rising, and Five to the Future. And a new edition of his novel Smoking Mirror Blues is in the works. Political turmoil seems to be good for Chicano science fiction. And the year just keeps getting weirder.

Rev. of Coronado National Memorial: A History of Montezuma Canyon and the Southern Huachucas

Joseph P. Sánchez
University of Nevada Press – Aprilánchez,%20Joseph%20P.
[from the publisher]
Coronado National Memorial explores forgotten pathways through Montezuma Canyon in southeastern Arizona and provides an essential history of the southern Huachuca Mountains. This is a magical place that shaped the region and two countries, the United States and Mexico. Its history dates back to the expedition led by Conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1540, a mere 48 years after Columbus’ first voyage. Before that time Native Americans occupied the land, later to be
joined by Spanish and Mexican period miners and ranchers, prospecting entrepreneurs, missionaries and homesteaders.

Joseph Sánchez is the foremost historian of the area, and he shifts through and decodes a number of key Spanish and English language documents from different archives that tell the story of an historical drama of epic proportions. He combines the regional and the global, starting with the prehistory of the area. He covers Spanish colonial contact, settlement missions, the Mexican Territorial period, land grants, and the ultimate formation of the international border that set the stage for the creation of the Coronado National Memorial in 1952.

Much has been written about southwestern Arizona and northeastern Sonora, and in many ways this book complements those efforts and delivers fresh and illuminating details about the region’s colorful past.

Joseph P. Sánchez worked for the National Park Service for 35 years. He is the founder of the Spanish Colonial Research Center at University of New Mexico, and founding editor of Colonial Latin American Historical Review. He is the author of several books, including most recently, Early Hispanic Colorado, 1678-1900. He lives in Albuquerque, NM.

Rev. of Papi: My Story

David Ortiz, Michael Holley
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – May
[from the publisher]
An entertaining, unfiltered memoir by one of the game’s greatest, most clutch sluggers and beloved personalities.David “Big Papi” Ortiz is a baseball icon and one of the most popular figures ever to play the game. As a key part of the Boston Red Sox for 14 years, David has helped the team win 3 World Series, bringing back a storied franchise from “never wins” to “always wins.” He helped them upend the doubts, the naysayers, the nonbelievers and captured the imagination of millions of fans along the way, as he launched balls into the stands again, and again, and again. He made Boston and the Red Sox his home, his place of work, and his legacy. As he put it: This is our f*&#ing city.

Now, looking back at the end of his legendary career, Ortiz opens up fully for the first time about his last two decades in the game. Unhindered by political correctness, Ortiz talks colorfully about his journey, from his poor upbringing in the Dominican Republic to when the expansion Florida Marlins passed up a chance to sign him due to what was essentially tennis elbow. He recalls his days in Peoria, Arizona, his first time in the United States; tense exchanges with Twins manager Tom Kelly in Minnesota; and his arrival in Boston. Readers go behind the scenes for the many milestones of his Red Sox career— from the huge disappointment of the Red Sox losing to the Yankees in 2003, ending the curse in 2004 with the infamous “band of idiots,” including his extraordinary clutch hitting to overcome a 3-0 series deficit against the Yankees, to earning a second title in 2007 and a third in 2013. Along the way, he was tainted by the infamous banned substances list in 2009; he used his passion and place to fortify a city devastated by the Boston Marathon bombings; and he dominated pitchers right up through his retirement season at age 40. Papi, as he became so affectionately called, gave his fans big hits when they needed them most. He was an even bigger presence: He was a champion who rallied a team, a city, and a sport in a way that no one will ever forget.

In Papi, his ultimate memoir, Ortiz opens up as never before about his life in baseball and about the problems he sees in Major League Baseball, about former teammates, opponents, coaches, and executives, and about the weight of expectation whenever he stepped up to the plate. The result is a revelatory, fly-on-the wall story of a career by a player with a lot to say at the end of his time in the game, a game to which he gave so much and which gave so much to him.

David Ortiz, nicknamed “Big Papi,” is a ten-time major league All-Star, three-time World Series champion, and the all-time MLB record holder for home runs, RBIs, and hits by a designated hitter. In 2015, Ortiz was voted as one of the four greatest players in Boston Red Sox history—along with Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Pedro Martinez—by Red Sox fans. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. 
 Michael Holley is the New York Times best-selling author of Patriot Reign, War Room, and Red Sox Rule. A former reporter and columnist for the Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune, Holley has also appeared on ESPN’s popular show Around the Horn and on Fox Sports Net’s I, MAX. He is currently a host of WEEI’s popular radio show Dale & Holley.

Rev. of The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States

Edited by Leticia Hernández Linares, Rubén Martínez, and Héctor Tobar
Foreword by Juan José Dalton
Northwestern University Press/Tia Chucha Press – April
[from the publisher]
Tia Chucha Press is proud to present an anthology of Central American writers living in the United States. It features work that captures the complexity of a rapidly growing community that shares certain experiences with other Latino groups, but also offers its own unique narrative. This is the first-ever comprehensive literary survey of the Central American diaspora by a U.S. publisher, perfect for high school, college, or university courses in U.S. literature, Latino literature, multicultural studies, and migration studies.
A multi-genre collection—including poems, short stories, essays, memoir or novel excerpts, and creative nonfiction—the book showcases writers who render a multiplicity of experiences, as refugees from the wars of the 1980s to those who barely remember the homeland or who were born in el norte. There are writers from both coasts and from the middle. Their aesthetics range from hip-hop inflected to high literary to acrobatics in Spanglish. Yet it is a community that shares a history of violence—both here and back home—and the hope and healing that ensures its survival. They include migrants or children of migrants from countries in the so-called Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—considered one of the most violent places on earth, as well as from Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panamá.

Leticia Hernández Linares is the author of Mucha Muchacha, Too Much Girl and a three-time San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grantee.

Rubén Martínez, the son and grandson of immigrants from El Salvador and Mexico, is a writer, performer, and professor of literature and writing at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Héctor Tobar is a novelist and journalist, the author of four books, and the Los Angeles–born son of Guatemalan immigrants.

New Non-Fiction: Flying Under the Radar with the Royal Chicano Air Force: Mapping a Chicano/a Art History

By Ella Maria Diaz and published with the University of Texas Press

The Royal Chicano Air Force produced major works of visual art, poetry, prose, music, and performance during the second half of the twentieth century and first decades of the twenty-first. Materializing in Sacramento, California, in 1969 and established between 1970 and 1972, the RCAF helped redefine the meaning of artistic production and artwork to include community engagement projects such as breakfast programs, community art classes, and political and labor activism. The collective’s work has contributed significantly both to Chicano/a civil rights activism and to Chicano/a art history, literature, and culture.

Blending RCAF members’ biographies and accounts of their artistic production with art historical, cultural, and literary scholarship, Flying under the Radar with the Royal Chicano Air Force is the first in-depth study of this vanguard Chicano/a arts collective and activist group. Ella Maria Diaz investigates how the RCAF questioned and countered conventions of Western art, from the canon taught in US institutions to Mexican national art history, while advancing a Chicano/a historical consciousness in the cultural borderlands. In particular, she demonstrates how women significantly contributed to the collective’s output, navigating and challenging the overarching patriarchal cultural norms of the Chicano Movement and their manifestations in the RCAF. Diaz also shows how the RCAF’s verbal and visual architecture—a literal and figurative construction of Chicano/a signs, symbols, and texts—established the groundwork for numerous theoretical interventions made by key scholars in the 1990s and the twenty-first century.

Ella Maria Diaz is an assistant professor of English and Latino/a Studies at Cornell University. She has published in Aztlán: The Journal of Chicano Studies, Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, and U.C. Santa Barbara’s Imaginarte e-publications.

CfP: Staging Difference & Alliance: Latinx, Indigenous, and Beyond (Deadline 6/1)

Carla Della Gatta, University of Southern California
Courtney Elkin Mohler, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Within theatre scholarship that addresses difference based on identity and identification, Latinx and Indigenous theatre and performance remain underrepresented. Over the past two years the field has expanded to include gender and sexuality (as denoted by “Latinx” rather than “Latina/o”). Thoughtful conversations have resulted in the decision to integrate Indigenous theatre into the conversation with Latinx theatre, such as ATHE’s newly-titled Latino and Indigenous Americas (LIA) Focus Group, which signals not only a change toward broader gender inclusivity, but also reflects upon what kinds of performance traditions and innovations, topics, themes and aesthetics are currently most relevant to the field. This change arises at the same time as the initiatives in the Latinx Theatre Commons, catalyzing the creation of works by Latinx playwrights containing Latinx characters as only a portion of the total characters. This connects to the ongoing issue faced by Indigenous dramatists: the perception of a lack of qualified Native actors and audiences interested in plays with Native themes. The past decade has seen a surge of quality Native-written scripts, and a notable but non-proportional uptick in produced plays by Native American playwrights. To be produced, some Native dramatists seem to be testing the strategy of including more non-Native characters and accepting “non-traditional” or coalitional casting practices. This working session seeks to join these two conversations to determine the commonalities and differences between Latinx and Indigenous theatre, and how each is changing in subject matter, dramaturgy, practice, and performance to reflect a changing understanding of identity in 2017.

The format for the working session will be to obtain abstracts from each participant in order to divide the participants into pairings or two or possibly three. Essays will be placed in a shared Dropbox and pre-circulated with deadlines for review and commentary. Participant-groups will respond with comments to one another’s essay and pose two questions. These questions and reflections will also be sent to the session leaders. The working session will be held in a roundtable format, with participants giving a one-minute summary of the their partner’s paper. After all of the participants and papers have been introduced (fifteen minutes), the conference leaders will guide the larger conversation and ensure that the discussion pertains to all participants’ papers.

The session leaders will determine four discussion categories that will advance the conversation on Latinx and Indigenous theatre (twenty minutes each, for a total of eighty minutes). Of critical importance will be larger questions regarding the nature of identity as reflected in these papers, practical concerns pertaining to the production of Latinx and Indigenous American theatre and performance, the role of the scholar/critic in engaging with Latinx and Indigenous American theatre practitioners, and an assessment of the changing aesthetics, themes, and forms in a genre/genres currently characterized by an ethos of inclusivity.

After each topic has been discussed, the working group will identify next steps in the conversation (ten minutes) and allot time for Q&A with auditors (fifteen minutes). The goals of the working session will be to develop and advance the discourse on the expanding genres of both Latinx and Indigenous theatre. Historically, the playwright’s background informed a categorization as “Latinx theatre” or “Indigenous theatre” as well as generalized ideas about cultural themes. Given the shifting borders of the field and identification in the second decade of the 21st century, such generalizations based on aged notions of identity politics may not hold. Rather, this working group will grapple with how the expanded notions of indigenous/brown/native/mestiza/mized/on-the-border/borderless/gender+ are produce and are reflected in contemporary Latinx and Indigenous performance. The participants’ papers will inform the working session and hone in on the most urgent issues facing these fields. This may include negotiating how language, linguistic code-switching, performance venues, casting, dramaturgy, historiography, and criticism have all informed the delineations between Latinx and Indigenous theatre.

For any specific questions, please contact the working group convenors at, and

Please note that all submissions must be received formally through the ASTR website here. The form will allow you to indicate second and third choice working groups if you wish; if you do so, note that there is a space for you to indicate how your work will fit into those groups. The deadline for receipt of working group proposals is 1 June 2017 and we anticipate that participants will be notified of their acceptance no later than 30 June. Please contact the conference organizers at if you have any questions about the process.

CfP: A History of Mexicans in Missouri in the 20th Century edited by Daniel Gonzales and Valerie M. Mendoza, Ph.D.

Please share: Call for ProposalsMexicans in Missouri Call for ProposalsPersons of Mexican descent have been living in Missouri since the 19th century with the advent of the Santa Fe Trail, however, this group receives very little attention in the historical record, and its history has yet to be told. This edited volume aims to correct that by focusing on the experience of Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans during the twentieth century.

Missouri serves as a study in contrasts in that Missouri’s two anchor cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, attracted industrial workers while the remainder of the state focuses on agriculture. In addition, the state served as a cross roads for immigrants while at the same time attracting core groups of stable settlers.

We invite scholarship on topics such as immigration, braceros, the Chicano Movement, the effects of amnesty of the 1980s, and everything in between. We are looking for a unique perspective that illuminates this history and includes the use of oral histories and testimonies as well as photos and other more standard sources and documents.

Abstracts of potential entries along with a brief bio should be sent no later than July 31 to Daniel Gonzales at

Event: Loose Lips Poetry Series

Original post found here:


TAG and the Topanga Library co-present the Loose Lips Poetry Series with featured poet Luivette Resto, a mother, teacher, poet, and Wonder Woman fanatic, who was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico but proudly raised in the Bronx. Her two books of poetry Unfinished Portrait and Ascension are published by Tia Chucha Press (founded by the 2014 Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez).  Curated by Millicent Borges-Accardi and Jean Colonomos, Loose Lips is dedicated to bringing a diverse array of the best contemporary poets to Topanga, providing audiences and authors with a poetic forum and community, and to delivering literary events that are edgy, spiritual, inspiring, and at times irreverent. The featured poet will be followed by an open mic.

Refreshments provided by Friends of the Topanga Library.

New Book: The Little Doctor / El Doctorcito

by Juan J. Guerra

Illustrations by Victoria Castillo

Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura

Publisher: Arte Público Press/ Piñata Books

ISBN: 978-1-55885-846-6

Publication Date: May 31, 2017

Bind: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Ages: 4-8

In this bilingual picture book, a young Salvadoran boy

dreams of helping his family and community by becoming a doctor.

Salvador raced home from school to share his exciting news with his abuela: he made an A+ on his science test! But at home, he learns that his grandmother needs his help. She is going to the doctor and wants her grandson to interpret for her. Abuela is nervous because she has never been to a doctor in the United States.

When he learns that none of the physicians speak Spanish, the boy realizes that he is completely responsible for making sure the doctor understands his grandmother—and that she understands his instructions! But in spite of his help, the visit does not go well. The doctor rushes in and out. He doesn’t listen to Abuela. And he tells Salvador that she should not eat so much Mexican food! Abuela is so upset that she threatens not to take the medication the doctor prescribes! What can Salvador do to help her?

In this engaging bilingual picture book for children ages 4-8, a young Salvadoran boy dreams of becoming a doctor who speaks both English and Spanish so that patients like his beloved grandmother aren’t afraid to visit the doctor. Paired with lively, colorful illustrations by Victoria Castillo, this book will encourage children to think about their own futures as well as the role their culture can play in helping the community.


“Castillo’s background as a comic artist is successfully expressed in the characters’ exaggerated expressions and in her predominantly red and orange color scheme.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Inspired by his own experiences as a young boy helping his El Salvadorian grandmother navigate the US health-care system, Juan J. Guerra’s insightful, bilingual account highlights the need for culturally sensitive medical practitioners, in The Little Doctor: El doctorcito. Notes of despair and hope shine through in the strikingly animated artwork from Victoria Castillo.”—Foreword Reviews

JUAN J. GUERRA, a doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of Illinois School of Medicine. This is his first picture book.

VICTORIA CASTILLO, an illustrator and comic artist, loves vibrant, expressive shapes and colors. She lives in Texas with her family and numerous dogs. This is her first published book.

GetLit Poetry Slam Hosted by LATC

Original post by Michael Sedano found here:

Los Angeles Theater Center is a theater multiplex of five performance spaces joined to a luxurious marble-walled grand hall and lobby. The descent to the basement rest rooms takes visitors along a massive bank vault. Remodeled stairs to the balcony feature half inch thick glass and stainless steel rails. the balustrade overlooking the lobby gives unobstructed vistas of the huge and luxurious space.

The LATC is a great place for theater and a fabulous place for a poetry slam competition among teams from local high schools. That’s what drew me to Spring Street early Thursday and Friday morning. Lend a hand with administrative chores and share the energy of dozens of Get Lit staffers and a thousand or more kids gathering to perform or cheer on their spoken word artists.

GetLit Classic Slam follows a wondrous format. The contestant chooses a poem by a well-known poet and writes a response poem. The contestant knits the two with narrative, working from memory to meet a time limit. It’s a beautiful way to link generations by remembering in one’s own voice good work from another time.


Rachel Kilroy put me to work at the merchandise table where I would sell “Poet” merchandise. A jumble of colors, sizes, styles, teeshirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, beanies, filled plastic storage bins. Git Lit’s first book is hot off the presses, and several boxes wait under the table skirts. Rachel’s mother is there. Later I meet her dad. The family that supports literacy and oracy together make up just three of the dozens of volunteers and paid staff bustling through the lobby, theatres, and outside foyer, getting the crowd set to make a beeline for their seat.
Thursday, I worked with one other volunteer. Friday three knowledgeable women took over. Two, who were mothers of contestants, and a retired high school English teacher, organized the garments, folding and laying them out across twenty feet of table space. I hope the clean-up crew labeled those stacks before moving them to the bins and transport to the finals on Sunday.
Thursday and Friday, school teams competed in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. The winners move to the final competition, this year taking place in the opulence of the Orpheum movie house.

Registration keeps the kids outside as the coaches sign in and take a bag of credentials outside to waiting and cheering teams. A signal from Get Lit executives Diane Luby Lane or Amanda Pittman and the lobby doors fill with excited kids thronging toward their stage. There, an MC whips up enthusiasm before introducing the first contestant.

A panel of judges scores the panel of competitors. A few get selected to compete in the day’s second round of competition, the afternoon’s semi-finals.

The Get Lit experience cannot be matched by any other competitive activity. Reciting and performing spoken words to audiences of hundreds of peers produces pure exhilaration. At the end, the kid walks off stage into the waiting arms of the team.

For finalists, the experience of taking the Orpheum stage to a screaming full house will make all the work of honing the performance into a winner worth it. And it is.

Teams and individuals pose in front of a Get Lit seamless. An official photographer is there to document every team.
When the formal pose is done, the cell phones come out for exuberant selfies.

Get Lit published its first collection of work by Get Lit participants. A single copy sells for fifteen dollars at the venue. For details, click here. I sold one person the show special, 10 books for a hundred dollars. In addition, Get Lit would donate ten books to a participating high school, or a school of the customer’s naming.

My heart went out to the schools who prepared for the competition but didn’t make it to LA on time. On Friday morning, two forlorn registration bags lay tossed behind a sign. Maybe those teams can find a donor to pay for an overnight stay in DTLA. These kids and their coaches deserve a night in the big city.