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Plaza Letras Latinas & LLB2's Guide to Latinx #AWP24

Visit us at booth 830 for Plaza Letras Latinas

As many of you know, Letras Latinas is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. We have a constellation of events planned across the country during 2024 to mark the occasion. We're continuing our celebration at AWP so we hope to see you all there. This year we're a Literary Partner for the conference so we not only have a panel on Literary Citizenship featuring Rigoberto González & Carmen Giménez, but we also planned something special for our bookfair booth. We're calling our booth Plaza Letras Latinas.

Plaza Letras Latinas will be a place for gathering, plática, book signings, or anything else our visiting writers envision. This will be a safe space, a retreat, a sanctuary to gravitate to when taking a break from panels and events. Below is the schedule. Activities are subject to writerly whim & surprise, but there's much to look forward to so visit our booth often.

Thursday, February 8

11:00-11:30- Michael Torres: Office Hours

11:30-12:00- Caridad Moro-Gronlier & Dan Vera: Book Signing and Office Hours

1:00-1:30- Oliver Baez Bendorf : Office Hours and Book Signing

1:30-2:00- Felicia Zamora: Office Hours

2:00-2:30- Natalie Trevino: Book Signing

Friday, February 9

10:00-10:30- Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo & Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera: Book Signing

10:30-11:00- Kristen Millares Young: Book signing and Office Hours (prose)

11:00-11:30- Xavier Cavazos : Book Signing & Surprise Activity

11:30-12:00- Vincent Toro: Book signing & Trivia: Do You Know Your Latinx Lit? (there will be prizes!)

12:00-12:30- Dan Vera: Postcard Poems & Chisme y Picardía

12:30-1:00-Juan Morales: Office Hours & Surprise Activity

1:00-1:30- Claudia Castro Luna: Book Signing & Surprise Activity

1:30-2:00- Emma Trelles & Alexandra Lytton Regalado: Book Signing, Office Hours, Typewriter Poems, & more!

3:00-3:30- Suzanne Frischkorn: Book Signing

3:30-4:00- Ruben Quesada: Book Signing and Office Hours

Saturday, February 10

10:00-10:30- Helena Mesa: Book Signing and Office Hours

10:30-11:00- Michelle Otero: Book Signing and individual & group coaching session & Blas Falconer: Book Signing

11:00-11:30- Anel I. Flores: Book Signing, Tarot Reading, and Flute Playing

11:30-12:00- Brenda Cárdenas: Surprise Activity & Iliana Rocha: Book Signing and Office Hours

12:00-12:30- Grisel Y. Acosta: Book Signing and Typewriter Poems

12:30-1:00- Ae Hee Lee: Book Signing and surprise activity Maria Melendez Kelson: Book Signing


Join Us at Our Featured Panel

Saturday, February 10 at 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Ballroom A, Level 2, Kansas City Convention Center

What does it mean to be a literary citizen? How can you get started as a critic, editor, publisher or arts administrator, while maintaining your artistic practice? Two accomplished writers with twenty plus years of experience share their stories as literary citizens. Opening with a reading of their work, the writers will then participate in a moderated conversation about their various roles championing literature, challenges they may have faced, and ways you can get involved in the literary community.


Looking for Latine/x Focused Panels? Here's a list.

Thursday, February 8

9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. |
Sin Fronteras: Navigating, Representing, and Publishing Latine Authors:  Viktoria Valenzuela, Cloud Delfina Cardona, Carlos Espinoza, Maria Maloney, Edward Vidaurre

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

As the United States continues to diversify, state legislatures advance bills that target people of color and the LGBTQ+ community. Publishing is one of the only industries that gives a truer representation of the richly complex Latine populations in the U.S. and their contribution to culture, history, and literary landscape. This panel of independent publishers from the U.S.-Mexico border discusses the importance of publishing Latine, including LGBTQ+ Latine authors in Texas and the U.S..

10:35 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. |
Queer Latinx Men & Vulnerability: Saúl Hernández, Aldo Amparán, jj peña, Gustavo Hernandez

Room 2209, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

Latinx men who write on identity, culture, or those who grew up with limitations as to how they could express themselves, know how ones own culture plays a huge part in showing vulnerability, thus, creating perpetual feelings of shame affecting identity. As queer Latinx, we write because vulnerability is often seen as weakness; however, it’s necessary to address how it affects writing both from the writer’s and reader’s perspective.

Friday, February 9

9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. |
Latina/o/x Narratives: Including Diverse Experiences from Our Community-Nathan Osorio, Alexandra Silvas, Brenda Peynado, Andrew Boryga, Cynthia Guardado

Room 2505AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

Many Latinx stories that garner mainstream attention focus on the immigrant experience. While these perspectives are vital, other narratives including stories from Afro-Latinos, children and grandchildren of immigrants, and indigenous people must be shared to accurately reflect the Latinx population. Join these panelists as they discuss how their work expands upon the canon and the importance of diverse Latino/a/x literature.

10:35 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. | Wings of a Bird in Flight: Poets of the Cuban and Puerto Rican Diasporas | Malcolm Friend, Jennifer McCauley, Yesenia Montilla, Leslie Sainz

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

In 1893, when Lola Rodríguez de Tió wrote “Cuba y Puerto Rico son / de un pájaro las dos alas, / reciben flores o balas / en el mismo corazón,” she acknowledged the two island territories’ shared fates—from Spain’s final Caribbean colonies to early testing grounds for the United States’ evolving empire. This event brings together poets from Cuba and Puerto Rico’s collective diasporas to read from their work and discuss how diaspora and the politics behind it inform their poetics.

12:10 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. |
Should I Just Give Up? Michelle Otero, Anel Flores, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Jackie Cuevas, Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera

Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

These Chicana/x feminist poets, memoirists, artists, administrators, and professors have invested a collective ninety years on projects that lingered long past their anticipated finish dates. Because we represent communities whose stories might not otherwise be heard, the writing process can be especially daunting. We’ll talk about how we got it done, the communities that supported us, how we handled rejection, how we navigated this long relationship, or how we finally let go and moved on.

3:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. |
Latin@ Literatures: Publishing and Editing Latinx Literature Today- Liz Márquez, Florentino Solano, Thania Muñoz D., Fabio Chee Madriga

Room 2103C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

In this panel, writers and editors will share their experiences publishing and editing Latinx literature online today. This discussion will include the editors of Latin@ Literatures and a panel of writers. The diverse group of writers will also have an opportunity to discuss genres, themes, language in Latinx literature, and the ways in which Latinx literary journals can provide a sense of “literary community.”

3:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. |
Beyond Borderlands: Celebrating Essential Latinx Poetry from Texas Presses- Maria Maloney, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Luivette Resto, Adrian Cepeda, Vincent Cooper

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

FlowerSong Press and Mouthfeel Press are just a small representation of the Latinx-owned independent presses creating vibrant work in the Borderlands. Both founded in Texas, these presses publish new, emerging, and established writers who’ve historically gone underrepresented, but whose words hold the power of resilience and transformation. This poetry reading celebrates contemporary Latinx poets and their books of struggle, truth, and hope as a call to elevate diverse voices and spread cultura.

5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. |
Latinx Writers Caucus | Amy Alvarez, MK Chavez, Amairani Perez, Casey Ramos, Breena Nuñez

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

Latinx writers are becoming increasingly visible in literary spaces. However, there is still work to be done to address inequalities in access and visibility. The Latinx Writers Caucus creates space for new, emerging, and established writers of varied Latinx identities to network, discuss obstacles to publication (e.g. active oppression and the cultural marginalization of Latinx writers), and to discuss panel and event planning that will increase Latinx participation at future AWP conferences.

Saturday, February 10

9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. |
Una Mujer Peligrosa: Celebrating the Queer Work & Life of tatiana de la tierra | Olga Garcia, Carribean Fragoza, Karleen Pendelton Jimenez, Amelia María de la Luz Montes, Myriam Gurba

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

tatiana de la tierra (1961–2012) was a Latina lesbian writer and trailblazer. In the nineties, she cofounded Esto No Tiene Nombre and Conomoción magazines featuring Latina lesbians in the United States and abroad. She later authored her iconic For the Hard Ones: A Lesbian Phenomenology. In 2022, Redonda y radical: antología poética de tatiana de la tierra was published in Colombia (Sincronía Press). This panel features some of tatiana’s literary coconspirators to discuss her dangerously delicious life and works.

3:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. |
Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education; Celebrating 10th Anniversary | Daisy Hernández, Yalitza Ferreras, Celeste Mendoza, Jennifer De Leon, Gail Dottin

Room 2211, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

Contributors to the International Latino Book award-winning creative nonfiction anthology will read from personal essays that explore the range of Latina experiences in college and share their reflections since the groundbreaking collection was published a decade ago. These compelling narratives provide crucial insight into the complex intersection of race, class, and educational issues, dispelling myths, and showcasing the diversity of this community’s experiences in higher education.




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