Wednesday, April 27, 2005

All In The Family

Film producer, director, screenwriter Severo Perez (...and the earth did not swallow him; Rudy Perez, Countdown, Reflections on a Life in Dance) reports that his son is doing the artist thing in NYC. Here's a website for Rafael Perez that showcases some of his alluring art.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Laura Canales

A short note on the recent passing of one of the great Tejano singers. Here's the lead from a story in the Washington Post:

"Laura Canales, 50, a soulful Tejano singer who stormed the stage at a time when men tended to hog the Tejano limelight, died April 16 of complications from bladder surgery at Christus Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi, Tex.

Known in the 1980s as La reina de la onda tejana (Queen of the Tejano Wave), she blazed a trail for other female musicians, including Selena, the Tejano superstar who was shot to death a decade ago. "

Other stories in the N.Y. Times, the Houston Chronicle (which comments, "Although she was predated by pioneers Chelo Silva and Lydia Mendoza, Laura Canales was the first widely popular female singer in the macho world of Tejano music"), and the Brownsville (TX) Herald.

Descanse en paz.

Friday, April 22, 2005


Spring, 2004
Transplanted cactus along the side of our house.

May Is Latino Books Month

In its ongoing efforts to promote books by and for Latinos, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) has designated May 2005 as the second annual Latino Books Month. During the month-long celebration, booksellers, librarians, and others in the book industry will encourage people in their communities to read books by and for Latinos, in both English and Spanish. More information on the AAP website, including specifics about the Latino Books Month Resource Kit.

Monday, April 18, 2005

New Book - Chicano Detective Fiction

The following is from the Spring catalog of McFarland publishing.

Chicano Detective Fiction: A Critical Study of Five Novelists
Susan Baker Sotelo
$32 softcover
ISBN 0-7864-2¡85-¡
Notes, bibliography, index
June, 2005

In his 1985 novel Partners in Crime, writer Rolando Hinojosa introduced homicide investigator Rafe Buenrostro, the first Chicano protagonist in one of the most enduring genres of modern literature. Since that time, Chicano writers have embraced the detective novel, successfully diversifying and refining a traditional Anglo American and British genre.The 21 whodunits of Hinojosa, Rudolfo Anaya, Lucha Corpi, Michael Nava and Manuel Ramos are closely studied in this groundbreaking work. The models, both contemporary and Romantic, of this relatively new Chicano genre are first discussed. Next come detailed analysis and reviews of such novels as Shaman Winter, Partners in Crime, Cactus Blood and 18 others, focusing on how each writer departs from contemporary detective genre formula, uniquely rendering a particular regional or cultural variation of what it means to be Chicano. It is this departure from the norm that defines their writings and distinguishes them from the Anglo American and British whodunit. Interviews with the writers conclude the work.

About the Author
Currently working on a novel, Susan Baker Sotelo is a Spanish teacher in Tucson, Arizona.
More info about this upcoming book on this page.

Garden of Hope

April 30th
A Denver Latin tradition for the past twelve years, this year, Latin jazz artist and event organizer, Manuel Molina, along with his 15-piece international orchestra, play for the benefit of Garden of Hope. For one night, the finest Latin jazz musicians gather from all around the world to play the hottest Latin sounds from Central and South American and the Caribbean.

Where: Convention Center, Holiday Inn D.I.A., I-70 and Chambers.

Time: VIP Reception Begins 5:30 p.m.; Dancing begins 8:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $30 for Reserved Seating; $20 for General Admission

Garden of Hope is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Denver whose mission is to advocate on behalf of low-income individuals in need of life-saving medical treatment. Specifically, the mission of Garden of Hope is to develop a national network of professionals willing to donate services either at a reduced cost or at no cost at all. The professional services include those of doctors, lawyers, social workers and physical therapists, among others. The organization was created in response to the growing number of individuals in the United States who have been denied health care treatment due to their lack of health insurance or their legal status. Garden of Hope is the first organization of its kind to address the medical, financial and legal needs of a family in crisis.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Memorial Celebration for Corky Gonzales

Escuela Tlatelolco has posted the details for the Rodolfo Corky Gonzales Memorial Marcha and Celebration. April 17, 11:00 A.M., the march begins at the Escuela (29th and Federal, Denver) and ends up at Mestizo/Curtis Park (32nd and Champa). The celebration starts at 1:00 P.M. at the park. Info: 303/964-8993.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Benjamin and The Word

Danny Olivas sends word that crabby, hard-to-please Kirkus has given his children's book a pretty good review. The book is Benjamin and The Word/Benjamin y la palabra (Piñata Books/Arte Público; pub. date 4/30/05). Here's the review:

"When Benjamin defeats his friend James in a game at school, James calls him a name, the 'word' of the title. While the name itself is never mentioned, Benjamin's talk with his father about his hurt feelings makes it clear that James has insulted Benjamin because his heritage is mixed: half-Russian Jew, half-Mexican. The father-son relationship and their discussions - coming only as Benjamin is ready to talk - are warm and open, and Benjamin's conclusion that he still wants James to be his friend is encouraging and believable. Dyen's illustrations feature background washes, small and large, overlain with penciled details and outlines, creating an expressive realism. A quiet look at prejudice, forgiveness and friendship. (Picture book. 6-8)"

Congrats to Mr. Olivas. He's doing some good things with his talent and passion for writing - this children's book sounds like a great project. I've already written about his call for submissions (March 14, 2005) for short stories for a planned anthology using Los Angeles as the theme and over on La Bloga you can find his essay Cuentos de Fantasma as well as a review of Daniel's current short story collection Devil Talk. ¡Ajua!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Nymphos of Rocky Flats

A shout out to Mario Acevedo and his recent contract with Rayo. Always great to hear about another Latino, especially from the neighborhood, who cracks the publishing puzzle. And this book sounds like something that just might catch on. ¡Felicidades!

Here's the press release.


Scott Hoffman of PMA Literary & Film Management, Inc. is pleased to announce the sale of world rights to Mario Acevedo's debut novel, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, and two other novels to Diana Gill for Harper Collins' Rayo imprint.

Felix Gomez doesn't like what war has done to him. He went to Iraq a soldier, and came back a vampire. Now he's a private detective, hired by a trusted friend to penetrate the murderous conspiracy cloaking an outbreak of nymphomania at the U.S. Department of Energy's Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant.

As he unravels the mystery surrounding one of the darkest secrets of modern times, Felix realizes that he must resolve issues from his human past if he is to defeat government assassins and fanatical vampire hunters from Transylvania. Sexual myths, conspiracy fables, and bureaucratic paranoia are skewered in this novel about American pop culture.

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats deconstructs vampire lore and presents the bizarre world of the undead with a humorous slant and a fresh Latino twist.

A 66,000-word fantasy-thriller set in present day Denver, Nymphos is the first (and only) vampire novel reviewed and declassified by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Mario Acevedo is a community activist currently living in Denver, Colorado. His resume includes military helicopter pilot, engineer, and art teacher to prisoners. This is his first book.

He is currently working on the next Felix Gomez book, X-Rated Bloodsuckers.For more information, contact Scott Hoffman, PMA Literary & Film Management, Inc. at 212.929.1222.

Esteban's Blog

Esteban Martinez is gettin' it on over on his blog. He set up at, where he's posting poetry, stories, "whatever else we want to call writing." This guy can be dark as hell, but then he writes some clever love poems that invoke Neruda. Check him out.

Stories On Stage

The upcoming program at Stories on Stage:

People Who Live In Imaginary Houses Shouldn't Go Home

Sunday, April 17th at 2:00 and 7:00 PM
Stage Theatre
Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Tosca by Isabel Allende read by Elizabeth Pena
City of Clowns
by Daniel Alarcon read by Tony Plana
A Shocking Accident by Graham Greene read by David Ivers
The Hat of My Mother by Max Steele read by Jamie Horton

Tickets: $20. Call 303-494-0523.