Thursday, October 15, 2009

"climb up / that ladder / bring down / the moon ..." —Angela De Hoyos from her collection WOMAN, WOMAN (1985)

Pioneering Mexican-American poet Angela De Hoyos passed away September 24, 2009 in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas. She will long be celebrated for her impact and influence on so many Latino authors.

The author of Arise, Chicano! (M&A Editions, 1976) and Woman, Woman (Arte Público Press, 1985), De Hoyos’ work is groundbreaking, politically charged, and much admired. The winner of numerous international awards, she will undoubtedly be remembered for stirring a sense of conscience about the Hispanic-American experience. De Hoyos read a letter to the editor in a San Antonio newspaper in the 70s telling “Mes’kins” to go home and subsequently took up her pen to argue against blatant intolerance. De Hoyos continued writing during turbulent times, and her unique voice called for an end to discrimination against the less fortunate—women, farm workers, etc.

Carmen Tafolla, award-winning poet and author said, “An exquisite poetic voice and one of the first Chicana poets to publish, Angela was not only significant as a writer but also as a pioneer in Chicano publishing.”

Tafolla understands the significance of honoring pioneers in the Latino community. Her great grandfather, Santiago Tafolla, blazed a trail as an early Hispanic Methodist circuit-riding preacher. He wrote about his experiences in a memoir started in 1908 and published for the first time in 2009. Carmen Tafolla co-edited A Life Crossing Borders: Memoir of a Mexican-American Confederate / Las memorias de un mexicoamericano en la Confederación. The autobiography serves as an invaluable aid to understanding the upheavals of the 19th century in North America. In the same vein, De Hoyos’ voice will live on in her poetry as evidence of her passionate call for human rights.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

arte público [ar’-tay poo’-ble-co]

Over the years, people have frequently been confused by the bilingual name of our organization. Many assume that Arte Público Press must publish Spanish-language materials. But the reality is that our focus is on Hispanic culture and life, whether it takes place in English or Spanish.

Arte Público Press, the oldest and largest publisher devoted to producing books by U.S. Hispanic authors, has been breaking down barriers for 30 years, since its inception in 1979. Dr. Nicolás Kanellos envisioned a “people’s press,” a place for Latinos to publish their work when no one else was interested.

Many of our books—in fact most of our books—are in English, because our authors were born and raised in the U.S., have gone through the educational system here, and speak, read, and write in English. But their writings are influenced by their Hispanic heritage.

So what you will find here are the musings and behind-the-scenes takes on what we do as the largest Latino publisher in the country. You will find posts from our staff, authors, and supporters. This blog will also serve as a forum to foster awareness and discussion about issues that affect the growing Hispanic population and therefore everyone ; so, please comment, share posts, and accent your time spent online with this blog.

For more information about Arte Público Press’ history, click here.

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