Locs in the Sweat Lodge: On Shonda Buchanan’s “Black Indian”

By Eisa Nefertari Ulen
FROM: LARB

downloadAward-winning poet Shonda Buchanan honors multiple literary traditions in her breathtaking new memoir, Black Indian. An educator, freelance writer, and literary editor, Buchanan is a culture worker with deep, decades-long engagement in communities of color. Her work honors the complexity and diversity of these Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. At once Indigenous, Black Female, Speculative, Feminist, Womanist, Urban, Southern Gothic, and counter to the Tragic Mulatto stereotype in American literature, stage, and film, Black Indian is a quintessentially American narrative.

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My El Monte Halloweens

By Michael Jaime-Becerra
FROM: Los Angeles Times

downloadWhen I was a boy, we didn’t celebrate Halloween. I recall trick-or-treating once, the year I was 5, my mother taking my sister and me to our nana’s house in South El Monte, me in a cowboy costume, my caramel-colored corduroy vest and chaps fresh from my mother’s sewing machine, my sister’s ladybug costume too. We approached a few houses to collect whatever candy we could, and aside from a future Halloween party or two and our elementary school’s costume parade, that was it.

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Literary History: Kate Braverman, Whose Poetry and Prose Captured a Dark Los Angeles, Dies in Santa Fe, N.M.

By Dorany Pineda
From: Los Angeles Times

download.jpeg-2Kate Braverman a poet, novelist and short-story writer whose work was fueled by a sprawling Los Angeles, has died. She was 70.

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A Great Spirit Trapped in a Tiny Life: On Cherríe Moraga’s “Native Country of the Heart”

By Michael Nava
FROM: Los Angeles Review of Books

download (1)Cherríe Moraga has been an iconic figure in queer and Latinx literature since the 1981 publication of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, an anthology she edited with the late Gloria Anzaldúa. Bridge was among the first explorations of how people and communities with multiple social identities — queer women of color, for example — are subject to intersecting discriminations that create complex and profound forms of oppression — what we now call intersectionality. In the decades since Bridge, Moraga has produced fiction, poetry, and plays, received awards and fellowships, and taught at Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Even with these credentials, she, like other queer writers of color, has been patronized by a largely white, straight literary establishment, which often dismisses work like hers as special interest pleading, while hailing the work of straight, white writers for its universality.

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Erased History, Forgotten Communities

Viramontes’ passion for bringing erased communities to the forefront of literature and history has materialized into several acclaimed literary works.

By Jackie Swift
FROM: research.cornell.edu

downloadHelena María Viramontes, English, brings people and places erased from history to life again. For years, she has focused her lens on the Latino experience in the United States, writing award-winning fiction that draws from her own heritage as a Chicana from Los Angeles. In her latest novel-in-progress, The Cemetery Boys, she explores the experiences of three generations of East Los Angelenos mired in three different wars. During this exploration, she highlights the mix of ethnicities and marginalized communities that flourished and then faded away in the California of the early-to-mid twentieth century.

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Star Chasing by Thomas R. Thomas

By Brian Dunlap

Star-Chasing-Facebook-Feature-1-1020x576The latest release from local L.A. press Los Nietos is Long Beach poet Thomas R. Thomas’ collection Star Chasing. The collection explores the themes of childhood, marriage, death and the gods of America that Donna Hilbert blurbs “chronicles [life] in tract-house Southern California.” These poems, as author Scott Noon Creley notes, are written with “minimalist lines.”

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David Ulin on the Rapidly Changing Landscape of Los Angeles

The Former LA Times Book Critic in Conversation with Paul Holdengraber

By Lit Hub
FROM: Lit Hub

los-angeles-echo-parkIn this episode of A Phone Call With Paul, Paul Holdengraber speaks with David Ulin, writer, and former book critic of the Los Angeles Times, about the dramatic changes in Los Angeles, the literature of the city, and his work on Joan Didion.

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