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  • South El Monte Arts Posse

    Burn The Wagon: Call For Submissions

               Burn the Wagon Chapbook Series Our city’s official logo proudly proclaims El Monte’s place at the “end of the Santa Fe Trail.” The white covered wagon at the center of the logo places white Americans as El Monte’s “pioneers.” Indigenous people that occupied these lands before and the Mexican, Latino, […]

Remembering and Recreating El Monte

Here are some photos from the wonderful reading in March. Better late than never, I figure! Michael Jaime-Becerra served as moderator and began by saying that when he was starting out as a writer the only mention he’d found of El Monte in literature was in James Ellroy’s memoir My Dark Places. Ellroy was writing of his mother’s murder in El Monte, and El Monte did not receive a positive portrayal. Actually the book description on Amazon refers to El Monte only as “a seedy L.A. suburb.” This was not the El Monte that Michael knew, and he set out to write about it. Salvador Plascencia reminded me of another El Monte reference, from Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. When I first saw the movie I got a kick out of the line, but that also is not a particularly good association! We also reminisced on Golfland, The Golden Cue, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, all inspirations for our writing. We are doing what we can to show a truer, more nuanced picture of our hometowns, each in our own way. Salvador with his cholo sci-fi/magical realism, Michael with his hyper-realism, and me with my, what would you call it? The audience was warm and receptive. It was standing-room only. Huge thanks to Rosa Peña and La Historia for hosting us!

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Michael Jaime-Becerra, Salvador Plascencia, Toni Margarita Plummer

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