Letras Latinas is Celebrating its 20th Anniversary
To commemorate the occasion, we have a constellation of events planned for 2024.
We hope you'll join us!
20 Years of Letras Latinas
Programs and Initiatives
Over the last 20 years, Letras Latinas has curated, collaborated, and executed a number of initiatives to amplify Latinx literature. We've gathered them here for you to explore and learn more about them. More information and links will be added throughout 2024.
Angels of the Americlypse: readings and Colloquia
A collaboration with the University of Notre Dame's creative writing program, Angels of the Americlypse, was a conference featuring Latino poets Rosa Alcalá, Carmen Giménez, Roberto Tejada, and Rodrigo Toscano. The event took its title from Angels of the Americlypse: An Anthology of New Latin@ Writing, published in 2014 by Counterpath Press and edited by Carmen Giménez and John Chávez.
As part of the two-day conference, the poets participated in oral history video interviews, public conversations, and roundtable discussions.
Afro-Latinx Poetry Now: a 2-day gathering
The six sessions that made up this two-day gathering strove to create space to center Blackness within the literary community. The visiting poets will be joined by six scholars, who will each illuminate the poets’ oeuvre, respectively, at two sessions. In addition to performing their poems at evening sessions, the poets each delivered talks on an Afro-Latinx poet of their choosing. In all, then, the work of twelve artists were celebrated.
bilingual reading series
A partnership with the Guild Complex (2006 – 2012), a community-based literary organization in Chicago, Palabra Pura was a Letras Latinas outreach program whose aim is to present the work, in live performance, of Latino poets from around the United States. At one point, Palabra Pura inaugurated literary dialogues between the Latino poetry community and other communities of color at special editions of Palabra Pura.
The Wind Shifts
new Latino poetry
With funding from the National Association of Latino Art and Culture (NALAC), the Missouri Arts Council, and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the logistical partnership of Guild Complex, Letras Latinas carried out a seven-city two-year tour featuring the authors in The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (University of Arizona Press, 2007). The destinations were: Palm Beach, FL, Minneapolis, MN, Seattle, WA, Berkeley, CA, Chicago, IL, Kansas City, MO, and New York, NY.
PINTURA : PALABRA
a project in ekphrasis
PINTURA : PALABRA was a multi-year initiative that encourages new Latino writing inspired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibit, Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art. Aspects of the initiative included ekphrastic writing workshops; inviting writers to engage with the exhibit; and partnering with literary journals to publish portfolios of ekphrastic writing. The exhibit debuted its national tour in 2013 and concluded in 2017. The six resulting portfolios are currently part of a book arts project to mark the conclusion of the initiative. They appeared in POETRY, Poet Lore, Notre Dame Review, The Los Angeles Review, The Packinghouse Review, and Western Humanities Review.
at Noemi Press
Akrilica, a co-publishing venture between Noemi Press and Letras Latinas — the literary initiative at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame — showcases innovative Latino writing. The series name recalls the groundbreaking, bilingual book from the eighties by distinguished Chicano writer, and United States Poet Laureate Emeritus, Juan Felipe Herrera.
Oral History Project
Spotlight on Latinx Writers
PALABRA archive at Library of Congress
Letras Latinas Blog
The Letras Latinas Oral History Project produces video interviews of Latinx writers visiting the Notre Dame campus with the aim of making them available as an online resource for faculty, students, scholars, and the community at large.
A special subset of the PALABRA Archive, "Spotlight on U.S. Hispanic Writers"; is a collaborative series of recorded interviews cosponsored by the Library of Congress' Hispanic Reading Room, the Literary Initiatives, and Letras Latinas. It features emerging and established American poets and prose writers of Hispanic descent who write predominantly in English. In each segment, the featured poet or writer participates in a moderated discussion with library curators as well as reads from his or her work.
Letras Latinas Blog is an online site featuring e-interviews, book review round-ups, and other forms of literary commentary on contemporary Latino literature.
Letras Latinas Blog 2 is the new iteration of the original blog.
Poetry, Music, Coffee, Conversation
"The Ragdale 8"
Poets, editors, and publishers
Letras Latinas / FlowerSong collaborative
A partnership with the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC) at Notre Dame and the Creative Writing Program, this initiative transformed the Philbin Studio Theatre into a café for the purpose of presenting poetry and music to the campus community and the community at large. Poets who appeared included: Victor Hernández Cruz, Tracie Morris, Barbara Jane Reyes, Tyehimba Jess, and Naomi Ayala.
Ragdale’s first collaborative residency for Latino / Latina poets culminating in public reading. It brought together poets who are also editors/publishers.
The following poets attended: Francisco Aragón, Carmen Giménez, David Dominguez, Roberto Harrison, Raina J. León, J. Michael Martínez, Maria Melendez, and elena minor.
A publishing collaborations to publish forthcoming titles in 2024 by Carmen Calatayud and Dan Vera.
Letras Latinas Young Writers Initiative
Letras Latinas Writers Initiative
Letras Latinas Presents
The Young Writers Initiative offered annual support to a Latino or Latina youth who was an aspiring writer. The project was a collaboration between Letras Latinas and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago and the Young Writers Workshop at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. The initiative offered a five-day program designed to give high school students the chance to explore and develop their talents in poetry and prose writing.
The Letras Latinas Writers Initiative aimed to create community among Latino poets and writers enrolled in graduate creative writing programs. Its principal program was a 3-day informal retreat for writers to spend time with one another. The first two retreats took place at the University of Notre Dame, and the second two took place at Arizona State University in partnership with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and their Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference.
A series of strategic partnerships helps the initiative produce literary programming, both on campus and elsewhere. For example, Latino/a Poetry Now operated in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America. Other partners include the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, among others
Founded in 2000 in Davis, CA by Francisco Aragón, Momotombo Press launched with the multi-authored anthology, Mark My Words. It eventually honed its mission of publishing new chapbook-length works by Latino authors including Brenda Cárdenas, Steven Cordova, Lisa Gonzales, Kevin A. González, Scott Inguito, Aaron Michael Morales, Michelle Otero, Paul Martínez Pompa, and, Robert Vasquez. It concluded operations in 2009 with a chapbook by Octavio R. González.
Library of America / Letras Latinas collaborative
A collaborative effort to help launch the Library of America's Latino Poetry anthology.
Curated Conversation(s): A Latinx Poetry Show
Curated Conversation(s): A Latinx Poetry Show is a virtual initiative that features in-depth conversations between a Latinx poet and an interlocutor of their choosing. These pre-recorded discussions are posted on the web every month and involve a deep dive into a first book. A parallel activity involves monthly book club discussions on Zoom moderated by guest poets. This Letras Latinas program is a partnership with The Writer’s Center and Duende District Bookstore, made possible with funding from the Poetry Foundation and private benefaction.
Latino Poetry Review
Latino Poetry Review (LPR) published book reviews, essays, and interviews with an eye towards spurring inquiry and dialogue. LPR recognizes that Latino and Latina poets in the 21st century embrace, and work out of, a multitude of aesthetics. With this in mind, its critical focus is the poem and its poetics.
Letras Latinas/Red Hen
Letras Latinas/Red Hen Collaborative is a joint effort with Red Hen Press, the literary publisher in California, that supports the publication of new Latinx titles as part of a curated series and Editor’s Choice Awards. Previously, this initiative was the Letras Latinas / Red Hen Poetry Prize, which launched in 2012, and supported the publication of a second or third book of poetry by a Latinx poet.
Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize
The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, in collaboration with University of Notre Dame Press, supports the publication of a first book by a Latinx poet in the United States. The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize Initiative (AMPPI) was a campaign that helped underwrite the publication of, A Jury of Trees—a posthumous book of poetry by Andrés Montoya co-published by Bilingual Press and Letras Latinas, as well as a symposium on Andrés Montoya that took place in April of 2018.
Latino/a Poetry Now
A partnership with the Poetry Society of America (PSA), Latino Poetry Now was a multi-year, multi-author tour that traveled to college campuses around the United States: Harvard University, Georgetown University, Macalester College, University of Arizona, and the University of Notre Dame. The PSA published on its website—in tandem with each reading—a multi-poet roundtable poetics discussion.
Canto Cosas series
at Bilingual Press
Letras Latinas series
University of Notre Dame Press
This poetry series, which was initially supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, is designed to give further exposure to Latina and Latino poets who have achieved a significant level of critical recognition through individual chapbooks and publication in periodicals or anthologies or both, but who in most cases have not had their own books of poetry published. Under the watchful eye of series editor, poet, and small press publisher Francisco Aragón, the books in Canto Cosas aim to reflect the aesthetic diversity in American poetry.
A collaboration with University of Notre Dame Press on TOGETHER WE'LL BE A SONG, an anthology inspired by the first ten editions of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize.
Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship
This program funded a Latino writer's one-month residency at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota. It was for writers working on a first full-length book.
Founding Member of the Academy of American Poets Poetry Coalition
The Poetry Coalition is a national alliance of nearly thirty organizations working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.