THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH (6:30-8:30pm)
READING & WORKSHOP
with Reyna Grande & Emmy Pérez
LibroMobile presents a reading of the works of two nationally recognized Macondistas: Emmy Pérez and Reyna Grande. The authors are widely known for their borderlands narratives and community engaged style, often writing about the subject of marginalized communities, especially women of color. Their literary range covers the genres of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Infused with Mexican-American culture, their readings offer a relevant experience to the local community.
Before the reading (6:30-7:30pm), a special community-based workshop with SanTana’s own Emmy Pérez! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot. All ages over 16 years-old are welcomed.
The reading (7:30-8:30pm) will be followed by a book sale and signing. Fellow Macondista & GCAC Artist in Residence, Sarah Rafael García will host the reading.
This literary reading is supported & co-hosted by Barrio Writers and Grand Central Art Center. This event is also supported in part by Poets & Writers through grants it has received from The James Irvine Foundation and the Hearst Foundations.
About the authors:
Reyna Grande is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. She has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards, and in 2015 she was honored with a Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. Her works have been published internationally in countries such as Norway and South Korea.
Her novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, (Atria, 2006) and Dancing with Butterflies (Washington Square Press, 2009) were published to critical acclaim and have been read widely in schools across the country. In her latest book, The Distance Between Us, ( Atria, 2012) Reyna writes about her life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the United States. An inspirational coming-of-age story about the pursuit of a better life, The Distance Between Us will be republished by Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Division–Aladdin–as a young readers edition in the fall of 2016.
Reyna is a member of the Macondo Writer’s Workshop founded by Sandra Cisneros. Currently Reyna teaches creative writing, travels across the country and abroad to give presentations about her books, and is at work on her next novel.
Born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico (where 43 college students disappeared in 2014), Reyna was two years old when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two years later, leaving Reyna and her siblings behind in Mexico. In 1985, when Reyna was going on ten, she left Iguala to make her own journey north. She entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant, and later went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college.
After attending Pasadena City College for two years, Reyna obtained a B.A. in creative writing and film & video from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She later received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University. Now, in addition to being a published author, she is also an active promoter of Latino literature and is a sought-after speaker at high schools, colleges, and universities across the nation.
Emmy Pérez is originally from Santa Ana, California and has lived on the Texas-Mexico border, from El Paso to the Rio Grande Valley, since the year 2000. She is the author of the poetry collections With the River on Our Face (University of Arizona Press, forthcoming fall 2016) and Solstice (Swan Scythe Press, 2011 & 2003).
Pérez is a graduate of Columbia University (MFA) and the University of Southern California (BA). She has received poetry fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She also received the James D. Phelan Award for her prose writing. A CantoMundo fellow from 2010-2012, she is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop founded by Sandra Cisneros for socially engaged writers.
Pérez’s poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Indiana Review, Crab Orchard Review, Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas, Pilgrimage Magazine, PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano & Latino Literary Art, and many other publications, including the anthologies Entre Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature & Art (University of Texas Press 2016), New Border Voices: An Anthology (Texas A&M Press 2014), and The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (University of Arizona Press 2007). She has poetry forthcoming in the anthologies Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (University of Georgia Press) and The Barricades of Heaven: A Literary Field Guide to Orange County, California (Heyday).
Her lyric essays have appeared or are forthcoming in A Broken Thing: Poets on the Line (University of Iowa Press 2011) IMANIMAN: Poets Reflect on Transformative & Transgressive Borders in Gloria Anzaldúa’s Work (Aunt Lute Books, forthcoming). Her fiction has been published in Story magazine and Blue Mesa Review.
She has been a writing mentor at juvenile and adult detention centers and at an adult basic education program at the University of New Mexico-Gallup. She has also taught writing at the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College.
Currently, she is an associate professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Edinburg campus), where she teaches creative writing in the MFA and undergraduate programs and is an affiliate faculty member in Mexican American Studies. In 2008, she began an annual event on campus since titled “El Retorno: El Valle Celebra Nuestra Gloria Anzaldúa.” She and her students, through service learning projects, have also taught creative writing in local juvenile and adult detention centers and programs. In 2012, she received a UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, and in 2016, she received a Faculty Excellence Award for Student Mentoring.