About a year ago, frustration over the banning of Chicana/o writings by the state of Arizona, and the hate of all things Latino that seemed to be spreading across the country became a topic of conversation on Twitter and in essays written by some of us for Aztlán Reads. This might have been the end of it were it not for the energy and organization of Santino Rivera of Broken Sword Publications. Santino put out a call for writing, welcoming both poetry and prose and encouraging all of us to contribute. We brought the call to NACCS, making an appeal for Chicana/o scholars to contribute.
I have to admit, even at this point, I didn’t think the anthology would happen. There’s so much to publishing and editing and I’ve seen too many projects die from the complications of life intervening. I did send a contribution — something theoretical on the mythology of Aztlán. I don’t think it was what Santino was imagining, but he wrote me back encouraging me to expand the autobiographical section of my essay. I happily did so, watching via Twitter as Santino edited the collection, got artwork for the cover and, sooner than I could have imagined, announced that the anthology was going to press.
As exciting as it was to get my copy and read through the diverse contributions, what Art Meza has organized for tonight at Cypress Park Library is even more exciting. Tonight a number of us will do readings from the anthology and sign copies of the book for the public.
I’m nervous, but can’t wait.