By Candice Yacono
FROM: Orange County Register
On any given day, you might find Susan Straight walking along the Santa Ana River or throwing darts at the local Elks lodge.
By Scott Neuffer
My wife tells me not to talk about it: her trauma. She survived the dirty wars in Peru. If you talk, you die, she tells me. People don’t talk about it. The dead are dead. The living go on. Sorry, it’s not my place, I say. But these ghosts. I can feel them.
By Carolyn Neuhausen
FROM: The Argonaut
Loyola Marymount University writing instructor and rhetorical arts fellow Shonda Buchanan understands how abuse and self-hatred — the kind that ripples through families for generations — can set the tone for interpersonal relationships for decades, if not centuries.
By Eisa Nefertari Ulen
Award-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.
By Michael Jaime-Becerra
FROM: Los Angeles Times
When 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.
By Michael Nava
FROM: Los Angeles Review of Books
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.