Local Publisher Jamii Publishing to Release Anthology “Accolades”

By Brian Dunlap

FB_IMG_1583440699918Local press Jamii Publishing will release the Women Who Submit (WWS) anthology Accolades edited by Rachael Warecki and Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera. They will debut the book at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in San Antonio.

Continue reading “Local Publisher Jamii Publishing to Release Anthology “Accolades””

Review: Writing in Didion’s Honor — And Her Shadow

By Nathan Deuel
FROM: Los Angeles Times

Slouching_Towarda_Los_Angeles_3D_1000xJoan Didion is inescapable, an icon, and so essential to California’s story of itself that some even call her Los Angeles’ first public intellectual. It requires a certain bravery to tackle her legacy.

Continue reading “Review: Writing in Didion’s Honor — And Her Shadow”

‘I Was Interested In The People Who Are Stuck With These Memories’

Steph Cha discusses her new novel “Your House Will Pay,” the LA Riots, the Korean American Angeleno community, her 3,600 Yelp reviews, and pushing back against gatekeepers in publishing.

By Victoria Namkung
FROM: Longreads

LA Riots 1992On March 16, 1991, 15-year-old Latasha Harlins went to a local convenience store in South Los Angeles to buy a bottle of orange juice. Owner Soon Ja Du accused the teenage girl of shoplifting, an altercation ensued, and in a split-second captured on video, Du shot Harlins in the back of the head. She died with two dollars in her hand. A jury found Du guilty of voluntary manslaughter, but against their recommendation, the judge sentenced the Korean-born woman to a $500 fine, probation, and community service.

Continue reading “‘I Was Interested In The People Who Are Stuck With These Memories’”

DEAR DAUGHTERS, DEAR LINDA: ESSAYS FROM ‘TERRIBLE CRYSTALS’

By Victoria Chang
FROM: The Normal School

288896815_9787e7ed0f_cDear Daughter,

Sometimes I wish I didn’t try and fix everything from your childhood. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t tried so hard to help you memorize your math facts when you weren’t ready. Sometimes I wonder how many mistakes I am making now that will become clearer only later.

Continue reading “DEAR DAUGHTERS, DEAR LINDA: ESSAYS FROM ‘TERRIBLE CRYSTALS’”

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.

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

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.

Continue reading “My El Monte Halloweens”

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.

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

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.

Continue reading “Erased History, Forgotten Communities”

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.”

Continue reading “Star Chasing by Thomas R. Thomas”