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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, […]

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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A South El Monte Story

I would like this blog to keep track of all the literary works that come out of or are about South El Monte. My good friend, fellow Macondista, and fellow MPW graduate Michael Sarabia has published his story Tio Rojo in  Label Me Latina/o. And the story is set in South El Monte! You can read it and other fine works here.

South El Monte Arts Posse

SEMAP has a new website and it looks amazing! I especially love the watercolor-looking map  with little dots that you can click on for links to the various essays. It also has some oral histories!

SEMAP has been gathering all these stories for some time; it’s wonderful to see all this content up in one place.

To visit the website and hear stories about El Monte and South El Monte, go here!

On Epiphany

South El Monte Arts Posse continues to post entries on El Monte and South El Monte on the Tropics of Meta website. Today, my entry is featured! I write about Epiphany, my hometown church and school.

You can read the entry here. And check out the other awesome entries from SEMAP!

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Featured in SEMAP’s East of East series!

I’ve been trying to stay on top of these entries being posted for SEMAP’s East of East series. They’ve all been wonderful and have been teaching me things I never knew about El Monte and South El Monte.

Today I am the subject of an entry! Last year I was interviewed by the lovely Alexandra Maria Landeros, an Austin-based writer who is also from South El Monte. It’s so exciting to see the piece is up! You can read it on the Tropics of Meta website here.

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One story per day for an entire year.

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historiography for the masses