On an otherwise lazy summer day, about 25 Chicano youth are busy scribbling their thoughts in a journal exercise at Santa Ana's El Centro Cultural de México. They're aspiring Barrio Writers, guys and gals ranging in age between 13 and 21 who are dedicated to an intensive one-week program by the same name. All are motivated by a desire to find their voice in an essay, poem or story to be published in a future anthology.
Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly Sarah Garcia shares a smile during Barrio Writers
Barrio Writers first began under author Sarah Rafael García in 2009 at El Centro Cultural de México with 30 students. After spreading to different states and college campuses, the program returned to its roots this summer with a solid group sure to produce the next Gary Soto or Ana Castillo! "Unfortunately, this past year we lost our space at Cal State Fullerton," García says. "It's back where it started, with el Centro more than willing to help out."More »
Regnery Publishing Hot on the shelves!
I may be going out on a limb here, because I have yet to read Ann Coulter's new book (or, come to think of it, any Ann Coulter book), but other than the upside down exclamation marks before the titles and right side up exclamation marks after, her ¡Adios, America! and The Mexican-in-Chief's ¡Ask a Mexican! book and columns take far different views of U.S. immigration policy.
The pair of authors do have this in common: both will be in Costa Mesa Wednesday.
Gustavo will be here at Weekly HQ, putting the final touches on the latest edition of the best alternative newsweekly in all the land (that's for sale).
Coulter will be pimping ¡Adios, America! at the local Barnes & Noble Booksellers, where a crowd is expected ... to protest her. (They likely won't be able to get as close at Coulter's July 13 gig at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda.)More »
In 2006, after years of in-depth research into the origins of the Mexican drug trade, novelist Don Winslow published Power of the Dog, a saga similar to Tolstoy's War and Peace except with Mexicans instead of Russians and no peace.
Four years after Dog came the hugely successful The Savages, which depicted a Laguna Beach marijuana cultivator, his ex-Navy SEAL pal and their mutual girlfriend; the trio run afoul of a Mexican cartel when they refuse a business offer. (The book led to a 2012 Oliver Stone movie starring Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro and John Travolta).
Fortunately for fans of Winslow's highly-inventive, torn-from-the-Blog-del-Narco account of south of the border carnage, Winslow has just come out with The Cartel, a Dog sequel that chronicles the bloodiest years of the Mexican war on drugs, which has killed well more than 50,000 people since 2006, including dozens of journalists Winslow lists by name in the front of the book.
We recently caught up with Winslow to talk about the true tales behind The Cartel, which comes out in bookstores today.More »
Mr. Bib surprised himself, with help from friends
and fellow bibliophiles, at recent Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, getting pretty inspired, grateful, just plain happy during Gary Snyder's chat with David L. Ulin, book reviewer and, as it happens, contributor to current Santa Monica Review. Among many topics, the poet whose youth charged up so many, whose writing and politics influenced the policy decisions of a state and its then-governor (one Jerry Brown) and the California Arts Commission and so many college lit class syllabi, Synder mentioned, joyfully, anarchism, of all things. If he'd had longer he would no doubt have elaborated on lumbermen and other backwoods hobo I.W.W. "Wobblies" and the once-active everyday embrace of mutual aid and, you bet, industrial sabotage and standing in solidarity against the bosses. Still, it was just enough, that brief allusion, what with the Buson and the Beats and saving the American Southwest from coal-burning power plants and reading his own latest, and newest work, collected in an edition titled, charmingly, This Present Moment.
You may know Peter Mathews as a longtime political science professor at Cypress College, an adjunct professor at Cal State Long Beach or a guest lecturer at Cal State Fullerton.
epetermathews.com Peter Mathews talks money.
Or, you may know Mathews as a political analyst on Southern California radio and television news programs.
Or, you may know Mathews from North County ballots, as he has run for several elected offices over the years. Now you'll get to know Mathews the author. He's got a new book out titled Money in Politics: the Destruction of the American Dream, and How to Restore It.More »