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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, […]

Burn The Wagon: Writings from Greater El Monte

South El Monte Arts Posse has published their first chapbook in the “Burn the Wagon” series!

My poem “The Substitute’s Pot Poem” is included, along with work from Jennifer Renteria, DJ Horchata, Alfred Mendoza, Steve Valenzuela, Benny Luna Gutierrez, Charity C. Tran, Gregorio Gonzalez, and Christine Tran. This is the first poem I have published since college, and the first thing I’ve had in print in some years.

Only 300 copies were printed, in Mexico. They are on sale for $5. How often can you say you have a book printed in Mexico? Go take a look at cofounder Romeo Guzman’s site!

burn the wagon

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A Call for Submissions!

South El Monte Arts Posse is putting together a chapbook! All Monteros, or those who know El Monte, are invited to submit. Submissions due
July 1.

Read about the call here!

el monte logo

Story Published in River River!

The Spring 2017 issue of River River, an awesome online journal run out of the Hudson Valley, includes my short story “The Manjar Versus Maté Mornings!” This story draws inspiration from many different times in my life: studying abroad and living with one vivacious family in Chile, interning at a Los Angeles literary agency with one lovely woman from Argentina who shared her maté gourd with me, and living in Jackson Heights, Queens as a young editor who frequented the local Colombian bakery in search of manjar. The journal is filled with wonderful prose, poetry, and art. Check it out. You can start with my story! And writers, they are accepting submissions for their next issue from June 1 to July 31.

jackson heights

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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Only two days until the reading!

el monte reading

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