Writing in Latino: A National Conversation/ Escribir en Latino: Una Conversacion Nacional | Los Angeles Public Library
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Writing in Latino: A National Conversation/ Escribir en Latino: Una Conversacion Nacional

Moderated by Ilán Stavans
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Episode Summary

What is Latino literature? Who writes it? Who reads it? Explore a rich literary tradition of five centuries of writing from two continents and 10 countries, from letters to the Spanish crown, to U.S. urbanites who grow up speaking Spanglish. Join this national conversation about the contribution of Latino writing to American culture.

Participant(s) Bio

Ilán Stavans, a native of Mexico City, is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. An award-winning writer and public television host, his books include Growing Up Latino, The Hispanic Condition and Spanglish. The Washington Post has described him as "Latin America's liveliest and boldest critic and most innovative cultural enthusiast." He is the recipient of numerous honors-including an Emmy nomination, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Latino Literature Prize, the Antonia Pantoja Award, and Chile's Presidential Medal. For many years he was host of the PBS show La Plaza: Conversations with Ilán Stavans.

Susana Chávez-Silverman grew up bilingually and biculturally in California, Spain and México. Her work is at home in both Spanish and English and the space(s) in-between. She has published Killer Crónicas: Bilingual Memories (2004) and Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters (2010). She has published numerous essays on U.S. Latin@ authors and Spanish-language poetry, and is co-editor of Tropicalizations: Transcultural Representations of Latinidad (1997), and Reading and Writing the Ambiente: Queer Sexualities in Latino, Latin American and Spanish Culture (2000). She teaches at Pomona College in Claremont, CA

Rubén Martínez is an author, teacher and performer. He is the author of a trilogy of books on immigration and globalization: The Other Side: Notes from the New L.A., Mexico City and Beyond; Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail and The New Americans: Seven Families Journey to Another Country. He holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature & Writing at Loyola Marymount University. He has been active in the spoken word and performance scenes for over two decades, and as a musician has recorded with such acts as Los Illegals, Concrete Blonde and The Roches.

Luis Rodriguez, an accomplished Chicano poet, is also known for Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A., a memoir that explores the motivation of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that claim its participants. Always Running earned a Carl Sandburg Literary Award and was designated a New York Times Notable Book; it has also been named by the American Library Association as one of the nation's 100 most censored books. Luis has also published childrens' books in both English and Spanish. He was one of 50 leaders worldwide selected as "Unsung Heroes of Compassion," presented by the Dalai Lama. Luis is currently working on a new memoir.