Word on the street

News and notes from the San Antonio Literary scene

Desert Blood

This month, author and academic Alicia Gaspar de Alba celebrates the release of her latest novel, Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders, with two readings in San Antonio. The El Paso native weaves together issues of border culture, gender identity, and globalization in her fictional story based on the murder and disappearance of several hundred young girls over the past decade in the Mexican city of Juárez - and their implications for those of us living on the other side of the dividing line. She reads on Thursday, March 24 at UTSA's downtown Buena Vista Theater at 5:30 p.m., and the following Friday, March 25, at the San Pedro Crossing Barnes & Noble, at 3 p.m.

Victorious Victor

My Pal Victor/Mi amigo, Victor, Diane Gonzales Bertrand's story of the friendship between two Latino boys despite their differences, recently received the Schneider Family Book Award for best picture book for young children from the American Library Association. The Schneider award honors authors and illustrators of children's and young adult books that deal with the experience of being disabled. Bertrand, writer in residence at St. Mary's University, will share the award with Robert Sweetland, Victor's illustrator. "After so many rejections on the manuscript, the award is a great blessing on my persistence and faith in the story," Bertrand writes. This isn't the last stop for Victor, either. Early next month her book travels to Italy, for the Bologona Children's Book Fair, where it will begin touring as one of 40 "Outstanding books for young people with disabilities."

Pai Poetry

As part of its 15th Annual Texas Writers Conference, Schreiner University will host poet and photographer Shin Yu Pai on April 12. Pai will conduct a writing workshop in the afternoon, followed by an open mic and reading at 7 p.m. Pai has published Equivalence and Ten Thousand Miles of Mountains and Rivers, a collection of translated Buddhist poetry. Works on Paper, her forthcoming chapbook, will be published later this year. Additionally, she maintains a portfolio of her visual art on zonezero.com. For more information, contact Kathleen Hudson's office at 830-792-7409, or e-mail her at [email protected].

Latina Letters

St. Mary's University and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center have issued a call for papers for the Tenth Annual Latina Letters conference on Latina literature and identity, to be held July 14-16 at St. Mary's The conference brings together academics and literary aficionados for pláticas and presentations during the daytime, and readings and performances in the evening. Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora, Ana Menéndez, Lourdes Pérez, and Alicia Gaspar de Alba are among this year's featured guests. For more information, or to submit a paper proposal, contact the Guadalupe at 351-7787.

Compiled by Alejandro Pérez

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