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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, […]

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.

 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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