Friday, September 28, 2007

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez at OLLU Tonight!

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez
Author of Mexican Americans and World War II

7 p.m. • Fri., Sept. 28, 2007
Our Lady of the Lake University
Providence West Social Room

Rivas-Rodriguez spearheaded U.S. Latino and Latina World War II
Oral History Project & led effort to get Ken Burns to include Latino/a stories in his documentary on WWII.

Her book will be available for sale. Book-signing will follow the presentation.

For additional information, contact Sister Maria Eva Flores,
Center for Mexican American Studies and Research director,, or 434-6711 ext. 8164.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

MacArturo Reunion 2007

Are you ready for the Macarturo Reunion 2007? According to Sandra Cisneros' website, "'Los MacArturos" is a collective of Latino/a MacArthur Fellows, not formally recognized by the MacArthur Foundation, though the foundation is aware we have been working as a group. We are a self-initiated, self-organized collective. Our aim is to unite to assist one another in our individual activist efforts, and to share our creativity and expertise with la comunidad."

Please take a moment to read Sandra's letter to her friends on her website's homepage.

Reunion Events run from Thursday, October 4 to Saturday, October 6. If you attend any of the events, please provide me with feedback. Thank you.

SLHW on Texas Public Radio

I hope some of you had a chance to listen to Texas Public Radio today where I gave a brief announcement about our Society of Writers. I can indeed confirm that I have a face for radio, but not the voice!

During Hispanic Heritage Month, Texas Public Radio will feature one Hispanic social, civic or professional organization each day. To catch my announcement, and all the others, please go to TPR's website at: and scroll all the way down.

I think I'll stick to writing!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bihl Haus Arts Membership Drive

Yesterday I was invited by Texas Public Radio to record a spot for Hispanic Heritage Month on the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio! I was allowed 40 seconds to talk about the Society and the services we provide.

The spot should air tomorrow (Thursday).

My good friend, P.C. McKinnon, forwarded me the following information on the Bihl Haus Membership Drive to share with you:


Dear Friends of Bihl Haus Arts,

Can you believe it? It's been two years since our inaugural exhibition (and three since restoration work began on the Bihl house). And what a time it's been! In that period, Bihl Haus Arts has organized 20 exhibitions featuring the work of more than 130 artists, including artists from Japan, Tibet, and India. We have hosted dozens of poetry readings and dance, musical, and theatrical performances. We have presented scholarly lectures, a symposium on contemporary Indian art, numerous artists' talks, and lots of children's activities. Our seniors at Primrose have partnered with urban youth to create wonderful artworks, such as the current photography exhibit, "Exploring the Landscape," and a pair of 7-foot-high sculptures!

Our art classes have grown from one a week in May to three classes per week, and we are getting ready to expand this programming even more. We just added a second Thursday morning yoga class. And we've partnered with more than a dozen arts and cultural institutions in the city to expand our programming even farther. On the horizon are special events, such as the "On and Off Fredericksburg Rd. Studio Tour" (Feb. 8-10, 2008), and "Art and the Healing Arts" (opens June 21, the Summer Solstice). And, there are some major surprises in the offing that we can't talk about just yet, but we know you’ll be amazed.

That's why, for the first time, we are turning to our Friends for support. We need your help. This is a critical moment in our development. We very recently received our official non-profit status, which makes Bihl Haus Arts eligible to apply for grants and other funding. But, it is going to take some time before we can expect to see results. We need to bridge that time gap. And this is why we are turning to you.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Become a "Friend of Bihl Haus Arts." You can become a member of Bihl Haus Arts by either going to our new website, (still under construction), and clicking on "Support the Bihl Haus,” then the "Membership" button. Our PayPal account, which is guaranteed to be secure, will prompt you to do the rest. Or, you can mail your $35 ($20 seniors and students) membership fee directly to Bihl Haus Arts, at P.O. Box 100806, San Antonio, TX 78201. Your annual membership benefits include receiving regular email updates and advance invitations to exhibitions and other events, a 10% discount on admission to special events, workshops, and classes, as well as a 10% discount on all art purchased from the gallery.

2. Become a “Supporter of Bihl Haus Arts.” If you would like to contribute beyond the membership fee, our website has a “Support” button where you can contribute whatever amount you feel comfortable giving. Your contribution to Bihl Haus Arts provides valuable unrestricted support so your dollars go where they are needed most. Contributions are also tax deductible as allowed by law (please consult your tax professional).

I want to close by thanking you for helping make our first two years of programming not simply remarkable but a true joy. We want to grow and continue to nourish the artistic spirit that is in all of us. We can change the world, one brush stroke, one note, one performance at a time. But we can’t do it without you.



P.S. We want to especially thank our fantastic BHA Docents (we can’t do anything without them!), and Primrose at Monticello Park Senior Apartments and The Potashnik Family Foundation for their generous support and commitment.

Dr. Kellen Kee McIntyre Executive Director Bihl Haus Arts 2803 Fredericksburg Rd. San Antonio, TX 78201 (210)

Monday, September 24, 2007

An Evening of Banned Books

Thank you to everyone who has sent me messages regarding my book review of "Windows Into My World" edited by Sarah Cortez, which appeared in yesterday's San Antonio Express-News. In case you missed it, here's the LINK.

I just finished reading and reviewing Naomi Shihab Nye's book "I'll Ask You Three Times, Are You OK?" It's a delightful read and I hope you have the opportunity to pick it up and read it soon.

I don't know about you, but it's always a challenge for me to decide what book to read next since there are so many interesting books out there!

I hope some of you take the opportunity to attend Trinity University's Banned Books Week presentation of “An Evening of Banned Books” at 7 p.m., Sept. 27, in Chapman Auditorium. According to a press release issued by the university, “An Evening of Banned Books” will focus on the effects of censorship on writers. A panel of students and teachers from the high school and university level will read original work and discuss the impact of book challenges and bans on their work.

The event is open to the public and refreshments will be provided. For more information, call Jeremy Donald at 210-999-8176 or e-mail him at

Friday, September 21, 2007

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

America has been blessed by the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who have answered the call to defend our country and protect liberty around the world. On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we honor a special group of patriots: those who have been prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action. We remain forever in their debt, and we renew our commitment to them and to their families never to rest until we have accounted for every missing service member.

To commemorate this day, the National League of Families POW/MIA flag is flown over the White House, the Capitol, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and other locations across our country. This flag is an enduring symbol that reflects our solemn commitment to our courageous service members who have been imprisoned while serving in conflicts around the world and to those who remain missing. America will always remember these heroes, and we underscore our pledge to achieve the fullest possible accounting for every missing member of our Armed Forces.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 21, 2007, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. I call upon the people of the United States to join me in honoring and remembering all former American prisoners of war and those missing in action who valiantly served our great country. I also call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.


Please join me in remembering family members and friends of the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio who have been prisoners of war, and those who are still missing in action. We will always remember their valiant service to our Nation.

Semper Fi,
Vincent Bosquez
Captain USMC (Ret.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez at OLLU

Meet the University of Texas journalism professor who battled to give Latino veterans their rightful place in filmmaker Ken Burns’ much-anticipated World War II PBS documentary, “The War.”

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, PhD, will speak at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28 at Our Lady of the Lake University in the Providence West Social Room and read from “Mexican Americans and World War II,” a volume of essays of which she served as editor.

The OLLU Center of Mexican American Studies is hosting the event.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Miami Chapter Update

The following message is from our Society's founder, Ruben Soto:

Dear Fellow San Antonio Writers:

The Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of Miami finally had their first event "Writer's Slam" jointly with the Florida Center for Literary Arts of Miami Dade College. The event was held this past Wednesday at the historic Tower Theater in Little Havana.

About 35 people attended this first event and we were treated to readings from about 15 poets and writers. The event was hosted by Vice-President Tennille Martinez and by me. The rest of the officers: Claudia Forestieri, Alejandra Fernandez, and Kemila Velan all contributed to making this event a success.

Everyone who attended left feeling very satisfied and wanting to know more about our unique writers group. From romantic spanish poems, to English short stories, to Spanglish hip hop, and more - it was truly a night of celebrating our Latino literary talent.

We look forward to next month when we host a panel of three traditionally published authors to talk about the paths they took to make their dreams come true. So far we have on the panel Gaby Triana - author of "Cubanita" and other young adult novels; Nick Garnett - a professor at Miami Dade College who is writing his memoir and was accepted by a major publisher; and we will also have Jose Cancela - author of "The Power of Business en Espanol".

We have also been guaranteed a spot during the International Miami Book Fair in November. We will be holding a similar night of readings and will invite the general public to share their writings with us.

So as you can see, three years after our first event in San Antonio I am proud to share that we are having a similar success here in Miami. I will keep you updated on our progress.

Take care and I miss you all,

Friday, September 14, 2007

News Flash: Latino Heritage adds to U.S. Cultural Diversity

I was reading a recent release posted on the USINFO website. USINFO delivers information about current U.S. foreign policy and about American life and culture. The site is produced and maintained by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs.

The article which captured my attention was U.S. Politics, Literature, Sports Show Cultural Influence of Hispanics: Latino heritage adds to U.S. cultural diversity, Smithsonian official says.

According to the article, the influence of Latinos is felt in every aspect of society, but especially in baseball, politics and literature, remarks Pilar O'Leary a Smithsonian official. She goes on to say that Latino authors as Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes and Isabel Allende have blazed a trail for Latino authors in the United States and globally.

Isn't this what I and other admirers of Latino/Hispanic literature have been saying for years?

For the complete article, click HERE

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nationwide One Brown Book Project

In commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month, has launched a “One Brown Book, One Nation” reading program to highlight Latino literature across the United States.

After extensive review, the inaugural selection is “The Devil’s Highway” by Luis Alberto Urrea. “The Devil’s Highway” is the true story of a group of 26 Mexicans who attempted to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border on foot into the desert of southern Arizona and only 12 survived the journey. Published in 2004, The Devil's Highway was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction the following year.

“The ‘One Brown Book’ project arises out of the need to highlight literature by the largest minority group in the U.S.,” said Dr. Jose B. Gonzalez, Professor of English, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and co-founder of “The idea for the project came to me out of a need to make readers of the U.S. aware of the power and beauty of Latino literature.”

The nationwide committee which selected Urrea’s book was composed of Vincent Bosquez, president of the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio; Marcela Landres, editorial consultant and publisher of Latinidad (NYC); and elena minor, editor of PALABRA A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art (LA).

According to minor, The Devil’s Highway is an excellent starting point for a discussion of the country’s current immigration issues and their causes. Committee members agree with her assessment.

“The Devil’s Highway is not only a gorgeously written work of art, it is also a powerful commentary on the current debate regarding illegal immigration,” Landres said. “Regardless of your position on the politics, this book will both move you and stun you.”

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sarah Cortez Tonight!

Don't forget to attend tonight's meeting of the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio at the Barnes and Noble, San Pedro Crossing! The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and features Houston author Sarah Cortez. Sarah has been published by Arte Publico Press. Our meetings are free and open to the public!

Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Story Quarterly Fiction Contest

This contest information was sent to me by Mary Lou Barrera. Please let me know if you're competing!

StoryQuarterly announces that the deadline for the Story Quarterly Fiction Contest has been extended to November 30. The contest offers a First Prize of $2,500, a Second Prize of $1,500, and a Third Prize of $750. And ten Finalists will each receive $100. For complete details, please click here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Weekend Sessions

The following message is from our good friend Marian Haddad, forwarded by P.C. McKinnon:

Please see for more information on all classes offered in creative writing, visual art, and music.

THE WEEKEND SESSIONS - Instructor: Marian Haddad, MFA
Location: SALON MIJANGOS - 1906 S. Flores, San Antonio, Texas

8 students minimum
18 students maximum

Weekend One:

October 20 & 21, 2007 = $110.00 for full weekend
2:00-5:00 each day

Strengthening our Poems and Prose: This class is geared to those who love to write either poetry or prose (personal essays, memoirs, and/or short stories) but who have not yet published. We will focus on what fortifies a creative piece and will go over what makes a poem or story strong. Haddad will ask some participants to come prepared to share a typed original piece and make enough copies to share with the class to go over in a workshop-style atmosphere. Those participants who do not choose to share their work in this fashion can still glean much from the observation and participation of a classmate's poem or story being "workshopped". There will be time for new writing. The goal is for the participants to leave the weekend sessions with a heightened idea of "what makes a poem or prose piece fly, work, live."

Weekends Two, Three, and Four:

November 3 & 4 = $175.00 for six classes
November 10 & 11
November 17 & 18
2:00-5:00 each day

Poetry: Refining an Already-Strong Poem and Taking it to the Limit: This class is geared to those who have not yet published collections but who have published poetry in literary journals and anthologies, and/or who have worked privately with published poets and writers as mentors, and/or who have taken courses in creative writing. The sessions will focus on the pacing of a poem (and will include discussion on the importance of various line-lengths and how those line-lengths influence the pacing of the piece), the tonality, line-breaking, enjambent, and refinement. The importance of revision is highly addressed. "Listening to the poem" is central and will be discussed. Discussion, if requested by participants, will included advice on publishing in journals and anthologies.

Weekend Five:

Dec. 1 & 2 - $110.00 for full weekend
2:00-5:00 each day

Poetry: Compiling your Manuscript: This class is geared to those who have published significantly in literary journals and/or anthologies and will discuss revision and refinement to a degree, but will more so discuss the compilation of a poetry manuscript. This class is open to those who are ready to explore envisioning their own collection of poetry. We will address: Where to begin? Where to end? Which poem will your book start with? Which poem will your book end with? Should your book be divided into sections? Should you use epigraphs on section pages? At the beginning? Are all of the poems you've written and published going to appear in the same book: do they work together? Which publishers should you send to? How do presses differ: small presses, university presses, large presses? Why send to contests? How do you send to contests? Why? Why not? etc. This class is geared to the highest refinement of the poem, and will focus on how to thread poems together and form the final manuscript that will seek its place in the world as you prepare to send it out to various presses.

Creative Writing for Seniors - (10 class days on Tuesday afternoons)Teacher: Marian Haddad. Meeting time: Tuesdays, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pmSemester: October 2 to December 11 (10 weeks)

Do you have stories you can never forget? Things that happened when you were a teen? Or things that happened just yesterday? Do you want to tell the world about that time... those times with your partner, your children, your self... do you have something you want to write down and keep for posterity's sake? For the sake of your own documentation and keeping the stories alive? For possible publication? This class is geared to helping you get those stories out in prose form and/or poetry form.

We will explore the use of dialogue in creative writing. We will discuss the necessity of precise and detailed language, the importance of universal truths, the importance of sound and attention to detail. We will take our observations of the world and our lives within them and our observation of others and tell the stories that are waiting to be born. We will workshop our original pieces. Participants will bring typed copies of at least one original work (prose or poetry), and will bring enough copies for the entire class. The participant will read their poems or stories aloud as the rest of the class reads along on a copy made for them and comments on the piece. This will be a guided workshop, and the final comments will come from the instructor. These classes will strengthen your sense of an immediate writing community and will strengthen your writing itself. Marian Haddad has taught creative writing workshops for OASIS for senior citizens and is offering this class because of her absolute joy in working with this community, hearing the stories that define their lives, and helping them get their ideas out onto paper so the stories can have a larger audience.

Marian HaddadMarian's Classes: Creative Writing for Seniors.

Marian Haddad, MFA (poet and writer), is the author of Saturn Falling Down (April 2003), a chapbook of poems compiled at the request of Texas Public Radio in correlation with their Hands-On Poetry Workshops, and a full-length poetry collection, Somewhere between Mexico and a River Called Home (Pecan Grove Press 2004), which appeared on the El Paso Times' Top Five Book List (October 2004), and is recommended reading by The Valparaiso Review and Small Press Review. Haddad received her B.A. in Creative Writing at The University of Texas at El Paso and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. She studied "The Prose Poem" at the graduate level at Emerson College and was the recipient of an endowment from The National Endowment for the Humanities to do graduate work at The University of Notre Dame. Her poems have appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies. Her work has been profiled on The Hallmark Channel and various media venues. And her works-in-progress include two collections of poetry and one collection of personal essays/memoirs. She has taught Creative Writing at Our Lady of the Lake University and Northwest Vista College and International Literature at St. Mary's University. Manuscripts on which she has consulted have won various literary prizes, including The Ashland Poetry Prize and The Texas Review Poetry Prize among others. She currently resides in San Antonio where she works as a manuscript consultant, visiting writer, creative writing workshop instructor, public speaker, and private writing and publishing mentor. See Marian Haddad, MFA at

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Just wanted to remind everyone that Society member Diane Gonzales Bertrand will be one of the featured authors at this Saturday's Fourth Annual Express-News Children's Book Workshop. Her recent book "Ricardo's Race" will be featured.

What: Fourth annual Express-News Children's Book Workshop
• When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Pearl Stable, 312 Pearl Parkway• How much: $25, adults; $10, children (includes all activities, as well as lunch)
• Info: (210) 225-4728, ext. 11 or e-mail
• While open to all ages, the event primarily targets children between 5 and 14. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Here's is the link to the story that appeared in the Express-News over the weekend: