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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, […]

Netflix con Cerveza

With only a week remaining in Hispanic Heritage Month, I am trying to better document how Latino culture enriches my daily life. Last night I tried this beer for the first time. Evil Twin Brewing’s Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break. I don’t think I’ve ever had a beer made with habanero peppers. Delicious and so decadent!

I also finally watched Pablo Larraín’s Neruda (2016). Having studied in Chile, I’m particularly interested in its history. I love Pablo Neruda’s poetry. And I  love watching (and hearing!) Gael García Bernal. This was an atmospheric and fittingly poetic, if not very exciting, film. It was also interesting to see this Nerudian interpretation of crime fiction. Worth a viewing!



House Party in El Monte

South El Monte Arts Posse will be throwing a launch party for their first chapbook, Burn the Wagon! All are welcome to attend. The party is Saturday, October 21, starting at 6PM. Chapbooks will be on sale for $5. There will be readings and DJs spinning (?) tunes. See SEMAP on Facebook or Instagram for the exact location.

Sadly, I won’t be able to attend, but I hope those of you in the area will check out this literary throwback to 90s backyard parties.



Sweating in Pink and Gonna Critique: Things We Do to Combat Helplessness

It’s been a sad, in fact heartbreaking, start to Hispanic Heritage Month. Between the earthquakes in Mexico, the complete devastation of Puerto Rico, and now the shooting in Las Vegas, there are many people suffering, some dying, out there. And this all comes on the heels of the damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. So many people need our help.

Yesterday I got to attend the Pink Zumbathon in the airport gym in New Windsor. It’s an annual event to raise funds for breast cancer research. Many of those attending were Puerto Rican and shouted out solidarity with the island. There were boxes for donations that would go to Mexico and Puerto Rico. One of the instructors wore the Mexican and Puerto Rican flags at her waist. As the speakers blared out Latin music and I did my best to keep up, I was overcome with gratitude. Gratitude that I could dance, jump, and laugh with these women and men who had come together to support a good cause.


What I also hope will be of some small help to the people in Puerto Rico is an auction I am involved with. It’s called #PubforPR, and it started today. You can bid on signed books, ARC’s (those are books that haven’t come out yet), original artwork, manuscript critiques, Skype chats and phone calls with editors and agents, and much more! (I am offering a 25-page manuscript critique, fiction or nonfiction. Look for me under Toni M. Kirkpatrick.) Please go to the website and check out the truly impressive list of items. Bidding ends October 5 at 10PM EST. And if you don’t wish to bid but would like to donate, you can do that and be entered into a raffle. I love that the publishing community has put this together to help those affected by Hurricane Maria. Here’s the website again. Please share it with all your reader and writer friends.


These past few weeks I’ve seen so much pain, but I’ve also seen a wonderful outpouring of love. I wish you all a Happy Hispanic Heritage Month. Not because it is without tragedy, but because we are coming together to help those in dire need.



Get Ready to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

Hispanic Heritage Month starts up on September 15! Latinx in Publishing is inviting you to share your favorite book by a Latino author. This is open to all. Take a video or photo of you and your fave book and submit this form. Ignore the deadline–they are still accepting these. Have fun!

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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An Auction to Aid Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief

Young to Publishing Writers

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One story per day for an entire year.

Tropics of Meta

historiography for the masses