Thursday, November 29, 2007

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Update

Here's a note from my good friend at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center:

Fans, Friends, and Familia,

Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone from the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center's Teen Arts Puentes Project.

We are delighted to announce that the Teen Arts Puentes Project has officially gone cyberspace!

If you were fortunate enough to catch our live performances this summer, you can now relive some of the drama and laughter through our Youtube channel and our myspace page. If you did not get to witness it the first time, here is your chance to view live performances, film shorts, and poetry readings all created and presented by our team of talented youth artists.

Myspace page:

Video and audio clips, show updates, and pictures from the Teen Arts Puentes Project

Youtube channel:

Short films and live performances by the Teen Arts Puentes Project

Enjoy, and look for updates on youtube, myspace, and, as we will be continually uploading new videos along with audio clips and written texts of poetry and monologues on our blog.

And please come out to see our Fall Performance:

The Teen Arts Puentes Project in
"To Meet a Stranger"
Saturday Dec. 15th at 4PM
The Guadalupe Theater
1301 Guadalupe Street

We thank for your time.
Peace and metaphors,

Vincent Toro
Theater Arts Director
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
1300 Guadalupe Street
(210) 271-3151 ext. 26

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trino Update

I received a note from Regina Chavez the other day with an update on events honoring the life and works of Trinidad Sanchez Jr. that I would like to share with you.

--American Public Radio has a webcast of "Jalapeno Blues" performed by Chanticleer.
--UTSA will be publishing a joint effort combining photography taken by Dr. Ricardo Romo, and food poems by Trino.
--Regina is working on several of Trino's unpublished manuscripts.

Regina also has Trino's books for sale:
Why Am I So Brown? $15
Jalapeno Blues. $20
Compartiendo de la Nada. $10
Authentic Chicano Food is Hot! $10
Poems by Father & Son. $15
All prices include shipping fees.

Make your check or postal money order payable to:
Regina Chavez y Sanchez
827 Park Avenue West Suite 203
Denver, Colorado 80205

Monday, November 26, 2007

Congressman Rodriguez Urges Consumers to Shop for Safer Toys

Toy Safety Alert—(L to R) Gina Meagher, TexPIRG spokeswoman; Congressman Ciro Rodriguez; Dr. Ben Elizondo, Pediatric Digestive Care; and Dr. Ana M. “Cha” Guzman, PAC president, pose for a photo before the start of a media conference unveiling the Annual Toy Safety Report issued by the Texas Public Interest Research Group.

SAN ANTONIO-With the holiday season in full swing, U.S. Representative Ciro Rodriguez and the Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG) held a joint media conference at Palo Alto College to remind San Antonians to be on the lookout for recalled and other potentially dangerous toys that could harm unsuspecting children.

According to TexPIRG spokeswoman Gina Meagher, hazardous toys are still being sold across the country. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notes that toy-related injuries sent almost 73,000 children under the age of five to emergency rooms in 2005. Twenty children died from toy-related injuries that year.

In a prepared statement, Meagher said that while TexPIRG has seen progress after more than two decades of advocacy on behalf of America’s littlest consumers, its researchers still found trouble in toyland on store shelves this month.

“We’ve known for decades that lead poses serious health risks to children, yet consumers can still find lead-laden children’s jewelry and lead painted toys on store shelves,” Meagher said.

Congressman Rodriguez supported Meagher’s claim and added that Congress has been negligent in not doing the right thing in inspecting toys that come into the United States. Rodriguez is calling for increased funding for the CPSC, the governmental agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products.

“Shoppers should remember that no government agency test toys,” Meagher said. “You should examine all toys carefully for hidden dangers before you make a purchase this holiday season and watch for further recalls.”

For a list of CPSC recall announcements and product safety alerts, go to

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Upcoming Events at The Twig

Courtesy of The Twig and Marian Haddad.
Both events at:
Twig Book Shop
5009 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 826-6411

Tuesday, November 27, 5 – 7 PM
Zara Houshmand
A Mirror Garden: A Memoir of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

The extraordinary and irresistible Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian was born in Persia in 1924. From the enchanted basement storeroom where she played as a girl to the penthouse high above New York City where she would someday live, this is the delightful and inspiring story of her life as an artist, a wife and mother, a collector, and an Iranian.
An enchanting love story, a compelling portrait of the creative spirit, and a celebration of the warmth and grace of Iranian culture, A Mirror Garden is also a genuine fairy tale whose exuberant heroine has never needed rescuing – for by embracing experience, she has always charmed her own life.
Zara Houshmand is an Iranian American writer and theater artist. She lives in Austin.

Monday, December 10, 6 – 8 PM
UTSA Graduate Poetry Workshop
Members of UTSA’s graduate poetry workshop will read their poems. The types of poems will vary widely, from experimental and performance poetry to more traditional, lyrical, and narrative poems. Several of these students have had work published in excellent magazines as well as UTSA’s own student-run literary journal, The Sagebrush Review. UTSA poet-in-Residence Wendy Barker, instructor of the course, will also be reading from her work.
The students are – Grisel Y. Acosta, Kazia Branstetter, Jack Buentello, Chad Clayton, Joseph Conroy, Amber Duncan, Robyn Glasscock, Joseph Guyer, Neli Gogovska, James Harris, Michelle Neumann, Devon Valderas, and Zane Zimbelman.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Message from Ruben

The following email is from Ruben Soto sent on 11/15:

Fellow Writers,

I wanted to share with you all in my writers group some personal terrific news.

As most of you know I moved back to Miami in April 2006 after receiving a promotion in my current job as a Provider Relations Specialist. My company, LifeMasters, was granted a government contract to study certain illnesses and my job is to educate the doctors, home health agencies, and other health related organizations that have our patients about the services we provide.

The Center for Medicaid and Medicare granted us a 3-year demonstration phase that began in January 2005 and ended this December 2007.

Well, on Monday we got news that they decided to renew it for another 3 years and it was the best news we could get before the holidays. All of the Florida employees are elated and I am also very thankful since we get to keep our jobs.

This is the best job I have had. This also means that I can continue studying and eventually completing my certificate in TV Journalism at UM next April 2008. My short term goal is to become a Medical/Health Reporter and my long term goal is to become an Anchor. I was an Anchor/Reporter for the NBC TV station in Laredo, TX from 2001-2002 and I have always longed to return to this profession.

It also means I will continue with The Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of Miami. Today I met with Ingrid Rogers from the Cintas Foundation, to see how we can work closer with their foundation to promote the winners of the Creative Writers Fellowship. As you may recall from Marcelas Landres' newsletter, this foundation is for artists and writers of Cuban descent. I did not know they had a presence in Miami (since it's based in New York). The meeting went very well and we hope to partner up next year for a special event.

I know the San Antonio group would like for me to return, but it seems for now I'm staying in Miami.

Just thought I'd share this with you all.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Cinco Minutos with You

Thank you to everyone who has sent me emails regarding my book review in yesterday's edition of the San Antonio Express-News.

It was a wonderful experience to speak with the author about his book, the writing process and background information that didn't make it into the review.

In case you missed it, here's the link to the REVIEW.


Just a few more spots remain to read during our 4th annual Holiday Reading Extravaganza "Cinco Minutos with You." If you are interested in sharing up to 5 minutes of a work in progress, please email me at and let me know. Spots are filling fast!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Meeting Re-cap


The following information is submitted by one of our Founding Members, Lupe Gonzalez:

Lupe Ruiz- Flores was the featured speaker at Monday’s November meeting of the Society of Hispanic and Latino Writers. Her first words to the members were that she wasn’t there to teach them how to write, but to “give you inspiration”. The author began her writing career by submitting stories to contests. The first one she entered was one sponsored by Guideposts, an inspirational magazine.

Her story “My Abuelita” placed and was published. Since then she has written for that magazine and others.

LUPITA’S PAPALOTE, a bilingual picture book, was published by Arte Publico Press, Pinata Books, in October, 2002. The story was inspired by the author’s father.

Ruiz-Flores’ newest book, which was released October 31, 2007 also by Arte Publico Press, Pinata Books, is also a blingual picture book titled, THE WOODCUTTER’S GIFT. Her inspiration for this book was two articles, one about an elderly man who made figures of cement for his grandkids, then refused to sell them. Another inspiration was someone the writer called “Ralph, the woodcutter”, a man who stated, “The beauty of the tree is inside”.

As all writers know, the path to publication is filled with rejection, writer’s block and frustration. Ruiz-Flores said that her first book was bought immediately. She didn’t even follow the correct submission process. This gave her the wrong idea. Although she continued writing for magazines, she received 17 rejections for THE WOODCUTTER’S GIFT. Her advice? “Be persistent. And remember writing is a business.”


Publication will take longer than you think. Write other things while you wait to hear from editors and agents.

Remember you won’t have a say on your book’s illustrations.

Promote your book, learn how. Your publisher will only do so much for you.

Create a website.


Attend writer’s conferences.

Don’t feel guilty about the tools you need for your writing career – desk, computer, software, space, etc.

Nurture your writing.

Write every day. Use prompts, e.g., “I remember when…” or “I want to write about…”

Have a passion for your story. Remember only you can write your story.

Throughout November and December, Lupe Ruiz-Flores will be signing her new book, THE WOODCUTTER’S GIFT at various HEB stores in San Antonio. The next one is at the HEB located at 10718 Potranco on November 15, 2007, from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. Please go and support this wonderful writer. To find a book signing at a store near you, check here:

Monday, November 12, 2007

S.A.S.S. at the Guadalupe

Meeting Tonight!

Featuring Author

Lupe Ruiz-Flores

"The Woodcutter's Gift"

7:30 p.m.

Barnes and Noble, San Pedro Crossing

The following notice is sent to us by Lupe Gonzalez, a Founding Member of the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio:

Hi all,

Martha, Gabriella and I attended San Antonio Second Sunday (S.A.S.S.) at the Guadalupe Theater last night. The featured authors were undergrad and grad students from writing classes at UTSA. The students regaled us with their poetry which covered many topics, some serious, some humorous, but all enjoyable and inspiring. From S.A.S.S. Host Grisel Acosta’s “I Lost My Virginity To A DJ”, a performance poem, to Christy Sabo’s “Kisses That Never”, which depicted the ups and downs of relationships, the evening started with the highest potential. Chad Clayton’s “Chicken Man” had the audience in stitches before more sober poets made us ponder illegal immigration, undocumented workers in a poultry plant and the questionable policy of exorbitantly high out-of-state college tuition.

During the Open Mic portion of the program, new member to the Society and our new Hospitality Greeter, Gabriella Madrid, read a short story entitled “Mujer Siglo 21” depicting the horrors of anorexia, bulimia and liposuction. Past speaker at the Soceity Alicia Galvan also read her poetry, one of the poems was entitled, "Saints of the Bed Chamber". Longtime member, Martha Curcio, also read a short story, “Que Me Quiso Decir Mi Abuelo”, again inspiring this listener with her passion and love of family and of her mother country, Mexico .

The S.A.S.S. is taking a break for the holidays, so no program is scheduled for December, In January, 2008, the Peace Posse with Rodney Garza and Dayva Hernandez will be the featured performers/ readers. Join in for the Open Mic afterwords – be it poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, playing music, whatever your talent.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Society Updates

Fellow Writers,

There are three events I would like to bring to your attention:

--As we head toward the end of the year, I would like to have a meeting with ANYONE interested in taking an active, leadership role in the Society. I would like to have a meeting tomorrow, Satuday, Nov. 10 at the Barnes and Noble, IH 10 and De Zavala (Fiesta Trail) at 9 a.m. I could really use help in runn ing this organization that is truly filling a need in San Antonio. If interested, please attend.

--Gil Dominguez will be at Bihl Haus Arts, 2803 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 383-9723 San Antonio author and Vietnam veteran reads from his book, "They Answered the Call: Latinos in the Vietnam War." Tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.

--Please mark your calendar for the November Monthly Meeting of the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio! The meeting will be on Monday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m., at the Barnes and Noble, San Pedro Crossing. Our featured author will be Lupe Ruiz-Flores!

Lupe has just published, via Arte Publico Press, a bilingual children 's picture book (with a lesson for everyone of all ages!), entitled "The Woodcutter's Gift/El Regalo del Lenador," about a woodcutter who creates a lasting gift that brings a community together. This book follow's Lupe 's successful debut bilingual children's picture book, "Lupita's Papalot e." Lupe has written numberous articles for local and national publicat ions and some of her poetry has been published in anthologies. She is a member o f the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and has been a feature d author at the Texas Book festival in Austin.

I hope everyone can attend this meeting to meet this talented lady who has also just completed a children's novel.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Robleto Receives Tobin Grand Prize

Barbara A. Renaud Gonzalez (left), one of two winners in the Literary Arts category, and Linda Hardberger, at the Artist Foundation of San Antonio Awards Ceremony, held at the Havana Riverwalk Inn, Nov. 6. Photo by Joan

Dario Robleto Receives
Tobin Grand Prize for Artistic Excellence

San Antonio, Texas – An accomplished artist desiring to create a sculptural installation exploring “how humans change the physical nature of a substance through faith or belief in it” is the recipient of the first Robert L.B. Tobin Grand Prize for Artistic Excellence from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio. Bruce Bugg, a trustee of the Tobin Endowment, presented the award to Dario Robleto in ceremonies at the Cool Café in the Havana Riverwalk Inn on November 6.

The award was the climax of the event recognizing the recipients of grants awarded by the Artist Foundation of San Antonio to nurture the creativity of some of San Antonio’s most talented geniuses. Nineteen grants totaling more than $92,000, more than double the amount awarded in 2006, are being provided to artists working in visual, performing, literary and media arts.

In addition to the excellence award, new awards in 2007 include the George Cortes Award for Classical Singing; the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Set Design; the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Costume Design; and the Lifshutz Foundation’s Chez Bernard Awards for up-and-coming artists. The award process is extremely competitive; 137 entries were received by the Artist Foundation. Twenty-eight judges critiqued the entries and selected the winners in each category.

Within the coming year, San Antonio will be experiencing the positive impact of this second round of grants awarded by the Artist Foundation. One example of the artistic endeavors stimulated by these grants will be the construction of 3-D panoramic lightboxes to immerse viewers in Thomas Cummins’ nocturnal images of San Antonio. The photographer says, “I attempt to capture surrounding structures in order to discern how we contextually attempt to create selves through our environment that ultimately defines us.”

Clarinetist Stephanie Key plans to use her grant to enlist the help of guitarist/composer Joe Reyes and dancer/choreographer Amber Ortega-Perez to compose an improvisational new work revolving around the effects of global warming. In addition, Ortega-Perez was awarded the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Choreography for another project. David Heuser, PhD, plans to compose a jazz-influenced work for saxophone quartet scheduled to debut throughout the country in performances by a consortium of 12 saxophone quartets during the 2008-2009 concert season. Joey Fauerso will use her grant for new computer hardware and software to enable her to complete a video piece combining digital video with 16-mm film and hand-painted animation exploring the complex relationship of art, religion and revolution.

Other recipients include Linda Poetschke, the George Cortes Award for Classical Singing; Martha L. Penaranda, the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Set Design; John McBurney, the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Costume Design; and Justin Parr in the category of Media Arts. Additional Visual Artists receiving grants include Daniel A. Borris, Leigh Anne Lester and Constance A. Lowe. Winners in the Literary Arts category are authors Barbara Ras and Barbara A. Renaud Gonzalez. Artists selected for the Chez Bernard Awards provided by the Lifshutz Foundation are Kristy Perez, Visual Arts; Rick Frederick, Performing Arts; Pete Barnstrom, Media Arts; and Michael Barrett, Literary Arts.

The purpose of the Artist Foundation of San Antonio, founded by Patricia Pratchett and Bettie Ward, is to grant monetary awards and recognition to artists in the San Antonio area, which will in turn grow and diversify the art market throughout Bexar County. The cash awards are made possible through the private fundraising efforts of the Artist Foundation of San Antonio and supported in part by The Cultural Collaborative of the City of San Antonio.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Jackie Mendez on "Amazon Shorts"

Here is some exciting news from fellow Society member, Jackie Mendez. It's another path to publication that I hope some of you will consider:

Hello Friends!
Just thought I'd share some exciting news... Amazon Shorts accepted one of my works and has finally posted it on their site. It is a short story called " A Shadow to Call My Own." You can read it at:
Your support is appreciated as I am donating the profits to help abused women and children. I hope all is well...
Love and Blessings,
Jackie (JAX), author of Heart of the Jaguar

Monday, November 05, 2007

Casting Call for "El Chisme"

Fellow Writers,

Please let me share with you the success and excitement of another achievement by a member of our Society!

Mary Lou Barrera's short story "El Chisme," which she read for us during a "Cinco Minutos with You" presentation, is being made in a short film by Mary Harder! Mary Lou and Mary are announcing a casting call open city-wide. Here are the details:


For: "EL CHISME" Independent comedy/drama short about gossiping women of the "barrio."
Positions not paid, meals provided. Shot in San Antonio. Film will be considered for TV exposure and film Showcases, Festivals.

The following characters still need to be cast:

Featured: minimal dialogue
Juanita Latina female 20's - Concha's daughter
Ricardito Latino boy 8 - 10 yrs. - Andres & Maria's Son

Bar Scene
Woman at table with Andres - Latina female "hottie" late 20's
Connie's Cousin at her table - Latino Male 30's
2 women sitting at bar - Sexy Latina females 20's - 30's
2 men at a table - Laborers, Caucasian & Latino 30's - 40's

Also need back-up actor for a gossiping "Cuca" Latina female of "big porportions" 30's - 40's

Casting Venue: Hartt's Audio & Video
In Loehman's Village
4953 Loop 410 West
San Antonio, Texas 78229

Saturday, November 10
4:00PM - 6:00PM
Auditions by appointment.

For details contact:
Mary Harder
Executive Producer
Glorybridge Productions

Friday, November 02, 2007

Society Leadership Meeting

I would like to thank the members of our Society who attended my college's Dia de Los Muertos presentation entitled "Celebrando Recuerdos," last night at Palo Alto College. Overall, the event was wonderful--if I do say so myself--and for me, a much needed cultural refresher.

As we head toward the end of the year, I would like to have a meeting with ANYONE interested in taking an active, leadership role in the Society. I would like to have a meeting on Satuday, Nov. 10 at the Barnes and Noble, IH 10 and De Zavala (Fiesta Trail) at 9 a.m. I could really use help in running this organization that is truly filling a need in San Antonio.
Thank you to my colleague, Mario Ramirez, who took the altar photo pictured above.