Aztlan Libre Press has a tour de force coming up some time next year– a novel by playwright Silviana Wood about growing up in the barrios of Tucson.
“The subversive discourse in the street verse of her latest chapbook For The City that Nearly Broke Me reads like a Cosmopolitan-cadenced ”Howl,” wherein the best minds of Reyes’ generation have not at all been destroyed by machismo and an antiquated but ever in effect old boys’ system, but have become determined to invert this chronic chauvinism on all shores.” –Robert Ontiveros, San Antonio Current
Title: FOR THE CITY THAT NEARLY BROKE ME
Author: Barbara Jane Reyes
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012
FREE Writing Workshop by Barbara Jane Reyes 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Book Reading “For the City That Nearly Broke Me” new chapbook 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
VENUE: Bayanihan Community Center
1010 Mission St. (& 6th St.)
San Francisco, CA 94103
For more information please call (415) 553-8185
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Incantatory, gritty, at times heartbreaking, and, yes, celebratory, these poems are amulets for our broken world. –R. Zamora Linmark, author of Drive-By Vigils and The Evolution of a Sigh.
Scribe of global soundscape, Reyes builds upon the heartbeat of literary and blood ancestors, feeding her “mythic thirst for home” as she journeys back to cities devastated and torn by the politics of race, history, class and sexuality, greeting her like an outsider. And still, despite the cities’ fall from grace, each gritty image, drawn on multiple languages and rhythms, is a love song, a reflection, a naming of the self. Bittersweet, powerful and precise, I adore this important book and the work of Barbara Jane Reyes. –M. Evelina Galang, author of Her Wild American Self andOne Tribe.
Aztlan Libre Press had a productive 2011 in which our first two publications: Tunaluna, alurista‘s tenth book of poetry, and the Aztec Calendar Coloring Book saw brisk sales. We also sealed a deal with Small Press Distribution out of California to promote and distribute our books. At the end of 2011 we published our third book, Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words: American Indian Heritage as Future, by the award-winning Chicano historian from U.C.L.A., Juan Gomez-Quinones; and we also published our first in a series of Xican@ Art Notecards that feature four different paintings by San Antonio artist Vincent Valdez.
We’re pleased that Juan Gomez-Quinones’ book has already been adopted as a textbook for Chicano and American Indian Studies courses at San Diego State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of California Los Angeles, the American Indian Institute for the Arts in New Mexico. About Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words, Rodolfo A. Acuna, author of Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, writes:
“Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words is an original, complex work that will influence future generations of scholars. Juan Gomez-Quinones combines an excellent narrative with shrewd analysis of the construction and distortion of Native American identity by Western/American scholars, and he makes a compelling case for a reexamination of Indigenous history. These two essays cover fifty years of scholarship that includes the forging of Chicana/o Studies, and they are especially important at a time when most Chicana/o scholars have no historical memory of the importance of Indigenous thought on the formation of their discipline. His bottom-line is how we acquire knowledge determines ‘Who are we?’”
Currently we are working on three different publications which should be out by Summer, 2012: Reyes Cardenas (still untitled) 1970-2010, a forty year retrospective of writings from one of the best, most prolific, profound, and under-recognized Chicano poets; For the City that Nearly Broke Me, by Barbara Jane Reyes, an outstanding Filipina/American writer, that initiates our new Indigenous Voices Series; and Nahualliandoing Dos, an anthology of poetry in three languages, Nahuatl, Espanol and English.
We are very excited about our publications for 2012 as we prepare to end an almost 5,200 year Mayan long-count cycle, and begin a new one.
Como siempre, gracias por su apoyo. The Editors
In our historical moment, we have seen the people of the world announce a global crisis. In 2011 we saw the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East call for an end to oppression and foreign American imperialism. These calls rang a chord with the people of the United States who called for an end to capitalist greed through the Occupy movements.
Yet the problems of capitalism, hegemony, and the imperialism that binds the two are almost two centuries old and colonialism has produced similar outcomes since the first European invasions of Africa in the early 15th century. This is a fact that is well known among the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas since 1492.
Now more than 500 years later, we see how the material benefits of western modernity have come with the price of violence, gluttonous consumption by the privileged few at the expense of the have-nots, oppression on the basis of race and ethnicity, the exploitation of land, resources, hearts and souls, and the de-validation of Indigenous knowledge across the globe. The crises of today are an extension of this history and are like a nightmare we cannot wake up from. The irony of this is that many of us don’t learn how our current crises are part of long historic trends. More importantly, we don’t learn that for 500 years, the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas have been trying to have us see there are ways to live our lives in accordance with the values of respect for all living beings and the land.
When educators at the Mexican American Studies Program in Tucson tried to incorporate Indigenous values into their curriculum state officials shut these classes down and carted away banned books in front of tear-eyed Latina/o youth with the similar soul-crushing effect Nazi book burnings had on Germans who did not adhere to Nazi ideology in 1933. Or was it more like the conquistadores and Franciscan friars burning Aztec codices in the 16th century? Either way shared knowledge, written or oral, is a challenge to power and has been at the forefront of resistance to imperialism and colonialism for centuries.
In his book Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words: American Indian Heritage as Future, Juan Gómez-Quiñones depicts how colonizers and imperialists have de-validated Indigenous knowledge to rationalize the exploitation and oppression of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas. He is critical of Western forms of knowledge production because Western thinkers have used their written word to depict Indigenous Peoples across the world as backwards in an effort to establish Western supremacy since the 15th and 16th centuries. Continue Reading →