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    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!

 

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!

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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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Upcoming SEMAP events!

Upcomng SEMAP events!

Go here to find bigger text!

South El Monte Arts Posse

As Andi Rowe lived in South El Monte (because I lived in South El Monte), I think it only fitting to share here the work of the fabulous South El Monte Arts Posse!

South El Monte Arts Posse, or SEMAP,  is a collective of artists, writers, urban planners, educators, scholars, farmers, ecologists, swap meet vendors, and youth dedicated to engaging with the South El Monte and El Monte community through the arts.

They organize events, such as readings. They are also currently putting together a reader called “East of East: Mapping Community Narratives in South El Monte and El Monte”, which promises to be an engaging and informative collection of pieces on the people, places, events, and movements of South El Monte and El Monte. The first two entries can be read here.

And they’re putting together an oral history!

These are incredibly ambitious projects. It’s wonderful to see people taking such an interest in these places dear to my heart. I know that thanks to them the history, culture, and art of these communities will not be lost.

Find SEMAP on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news from this exciting group!

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Young to Publishing Writers

Young to Publishing Writers

Story366

One story per day for an entire year.

Tropics of Meta

historiography for the masses