10.18.10 Featuring Poet Linda Rodriguez

10.18.10 Featuring Poet Linda Rodriguez

In October 2010, Proyecto Latina has the  honor of featuring Kansas City poet, Linda Rodriguez.  Check out her full bio below and you will understand why having Linda with us will be such a huge treat.

This past winter, during Linda’s residency at Ragdale, we had an opportunity to chat with her about her book Heart’s Migration. Irasema and I walked away from this interview feeling so inspired! Here is what Linda had to say to us during her interview…

We are back to our third Monday reading series night.  Here is the full scoop on October’s Proyecto Latina.

Proyecto Latina
Feature: Linda Rodriguez

Monday, October 18, 2010 @ 7 P.M.

Held at Cafe Catedral,
2500 S. Christiana, Chicago, IL

Hope you can join us!

Linda Rodriguez has published two books of poetry, Heart’s Migration (Tia Chucha Press, 2009), a finalist for the Thorpe Menn Award, and Skin Hunger, (Potpourri Publications, 1995, Scapegoat Press, 2007). She received the 2009 Elvira Cordero Cisneros Award from the Macondo Foundation and the 2009 Midwest Voices and Visions Award from the Alliance of Artists Communities and the Joyce Foundation and has been both a Ragdale Fellow and a Macondo Fellow.

She is the vice-president of the Latino Writers Collective, founder/co-coordinator of the Kansas City Women Writers Reading Series, a founding board member of The Writers Place, and has published poetry and fiction in numerous journals, such as Ariel, Downgo Sun, El Tecolote, New Letters, Plainswoman, Present Magazine, The Kansas City Star, The Pedestal Magazine, Potpourri, Queen City Review, Wheelhouse Magazine, Writer’s Digest, and Z Miscellaneous, as well as several anthologies, such as Cuentos: Stories From the Latino Heartland (Scapegoat Press, 2009), Imagination and Place: An Anthology (Imagination and Place Press, 2009), and The Red and the Black: An Anthology about Profit and Loss (Helicon Nine Editions, forthcoming).

Thanks to Proyecto Latina's venue sponsor for October 2010.

Her poems have been broadcast on The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor (NPR), Arts Round-Up KCUR-FM in Kansas City, and she has been interviewed and read her poetry on Proyecto LatinaKC Connections KCUR-FM, Talking Earth KBOO-FM in Portland, and New Letters on the Air (NPR). She has published numerous reviews and articles for general and scholarly publications, most recently “Making Time for Writing Poetry” and “Unique Issues Women Poets Must Overcome” in Women and Poetry: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing by Successful Women Poets (McFarland & Co., forthcoming). She has also published a cookbook, The “I Don’t Know How to Cook” Book: Mexican (Adams Media, 2008). Rodriguez is the former Director of the UMKC Women’s Center and was a co-convenor of the Women & Environment Caucus at the United Nations international conference, Women 2000: Beijing Plus Five.

She has a B.A. and an M.A. in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is currently working on a book of poetry based on teachings from her Cherokee grandmother, a novel, and a co-edited collection of essays by mixed-blood women writers.

Sandra Treviño: music and writing rhapsodies

“When I grow up I want to be a classical violin player,” Sandra Treviño, 38, quotes her younger self.

As a young girl in Houston she always knew she wanted to work with music and it has always been a part of her life.  She would go into her room, turn on the radio and listen to two types of music: heavy metal and classical.  She eventually learned to play the violin and participated in her school orchestra for many years.  More recently she’s expressed interest in picking up the accordion.  A band member of the music group she manages, Descarga, offered to let her borrow the one he owns.  So, Sandra has been looking online for instructions on the accordion, from the proper way to pick it up to playing it.

Her Texas childhood also included a very religious upbringing.  When she was a teen the tasks of the sound engineer at her church caught her attention.  She asked church officials if she could help out with those duties, she was informed that only males were allowed to do that job.

“I knew I could do it better,” she explains.  She was persistent and continued to ask about it.  Eventually, a council of church elders came to her home to explain the church policy and warn her about her insubordination.

She decided not to return to church with her parents, instead she began exploring life beyond church regulated music and books and embarked on a journey that eventually led her back to Chicago, the city where she was born.  It was the impetus to her present vocation to music, something she works and sacrifices hard for despite parent disapproval.

That wouldn’t be the last of the resistance she encountered.   On a completely unrelated note she shares the story about managing a station for Autobuses Tornado back in Houston.  She was told to learn to drive a bus just in case there was an emergency one day.  Then the day came that she had to get behind the wheel, and as the passengers boarded the bus the Mexican men began asking, “Who are you?”

“The bus driver,” She responded.   Some of the men made a big fuss about it and ultimately they decided to get off.  She still drove the bus on its scheduled trip from Houston to San Antonio.


Upon arriving to the Windy City, Sandra started attending local underground concerts.   She was so impressed with local band Descarga that she was moved to create a fan page.

Sandra Treviño is the Proyecto Latina feature for August 2010.

Band leader, Hector Garcia says, “her fan page was cooler than the one we created for ourselves.” Impressed with her initiative Hector decided to ask Sandra if she would manage the band.

“I told him, I didn’t know anything about managing bands,” Sandra remembers. “He said, neither do I, but we’ll learn together.”

Hector gave Sandra a few names and numbers with instructions on how to get started but it wasn’t until she attended the first band meeting at the old Earwax Café and she heard the band members discussing their agenda and goals that it sunk in.

Hector describes what followed next, like a domino effect, the way managing a band led to producing two television shows and the website, Enchufate.com.  The band couldn’t get air time because there was no television coverage for local Latin alternative bands. Hector put his background in video and film to work and decided, why not create their own show and thus, Errores no Eliminados or ENE was born.

Hector recalls the first episode, “The audio was horrible, the images were bad, but we were the only ones out there–at these local shows– with a video camera.” He also didn’t think twice about teaching Sandra how to plug-in sound equipment or record and edit video.

“I learned how to edit, record, set up sound. When you’re involved in this business you should know how to set up sound systems, cables, lighting,” says Sandra.

For Hector it was about being practical, “If I’m not available you need to know how to edit.  It was about having a more informed team.”

Long gone were the days of exclusive church rules or doubtful male passengers.  Sandra was knee deep in the music world, her hands full with an appointment book, a growing list of contacts,cables and wires that needed to be kept untangled and properly connected. She also began finding herself in front of the camera with a microphone in hand interviewing local acts and later snagging interviews with international bands and singers.

And while she enjoys interviewing musicians because she likes to get to know more about them, she reveals one very surprising fact, “Video and editing is not my forte, I do it, and I don’t mind doing it but it’s not me—I’d rather write.”

She prefers to write longhand and pens poetry and journals about what’s going on around her.  She feels, “Everyone should be keeping a history of what’s going on.”  Her current dilemma is balancing how much to reveal in a book she’s writing about the Latin Alternative music scene in Chicago for the last ten years.  Sandra says, she’s got a lot of stories and has seen a lot in that time.   She expects to have a completed manuscript by the Summer of 2011.


After working with Sandra for over ten years Hector learned that, “she puts a magnifying glass on some things others wouldn’t notice.”  She has also kept him accountable, asking about tasks and pushing him and goes on to quote her, “If you say you want something you don’t stop until you get it. You try again tomorrow.”

Sandra says, this attitude got her backlash from the music community, “When I first started I was attacked for asking questions. Now, I don’t care if people don’t like or disapprove of what I’m doing.”

Stephanie Celis, a 19 year-old college student, had a different take on Sandra’s work when she approached her and inquired about an internship with Enchufate and ENE.  “She’s very organized she knows how to execute events.”   One of Stephanie’s first lessons was to always carry a notepad for notes and impromptu interviews if the opportunity presented itself.

Something else Sandra feels passionate about, “I think it’s important that we support each other. We, as mujeres and as people working in a field that is not lucrative and that’s about passion should support each other more.  If I know there’s an opportunity I am the first to knock but I leave the door open so you can follow me in.”

Sandra Treviños is the Proyecto Latina feature and first guest curator on Monday, August 16, 2010–event details and complete bio.

08.16.10 The Sandra Treviño Hour

08.16.10 The Sandra Treviño Hour

Sandra A. Treviño is the first guest curator for Proyecto Latina this Mon, Aug 16th.

We are putting a twist on our August 16th edition of Proyecto Latina and welcoming our first guest curator.  Sandra Treviño–an authority on Chicago’s Latin Alternative music scene for over ten years–has hand-picked three emerging Latina musicians she wants to see spotlighted–there will be live music and a q&a.  As always, the chisme box will be there and the open-mic list will only have four spots, so arrive early to sign-up.

Date: Monday, August 16, 2010
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Cafe Catedral, 2500 S. Christiana, Chicago, Il

Sandra A. Treviño began her career on the business side of music as the band manager for local rock band [.DESCARGA.].  The underground concerts she attended inspired her to begin writing and reporting on new music releases and interviewing local bands, her coverage eventually included the movement of Latin Alternative music across the US, as well as dishing out the glam and not-so-glamorous side of music and entertainment. She is the co-founder of Enchufate.com, Chicago’s first Latin Alternative media and entertainment portal. A site that began as a follow-up to E>N>E (Errores No Eliminados), a television program that focused on Chicago’s independent music movement, specifically rock en español–via interviews, reviews and event promotions, Enchufate reported on local bands as well as international acts including Cafe Tacuba, Aterciopelados, and Calle 13.

Sandra’s repertoire also includes concert organizing, spinning as DJ Angelfuk and she hosts the radio segment, “Sandra’s Seven in Seven” on Vocalo.org’s radio stream on 89.5FM.  She is currently working on her first book, Music & More, in collaboration with the upcoming documentary, REC: Rock En Español.  Sandra has contributed to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Illinois Entertainer, Extra Newspaper, Red Eye, Metromix, LATV, Contratiempo, Cafe & Mas Magazine and most of Chicago’s independent radio programs. She is the Midwest representative for Nacional Records, the country’s first Latin Alternative boutique music label.

Presently, Sandra uses television and radio journalism to spotlight the amazing world of Latin Alternative music and especially of Latinas working in the scene.  Her focus continues to be music production and the growth of women in music through Enchufate, writing and social networking.

In her spare time Sandra pretends to sleep.

07.19.10 Cristina's flash fiction and more

07.19.10 Cristina's flash fiction and more

Our third Monday Proyecto Latina feature for July is Cristina Correa, writer, poet and fierce wordsmith. Held at the lovely Cafe Catedral in Little Village. Bring your chismes and come ready for the open mic. Get the full scoop below and plan to join us.

Date: Monday, July 19, 2010
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Cafe Catedral, 2500 S. Christiana, Chicago, Il

Cristina Correa is a working artist in the city of Chicago.  Most recently, she has been published in Latina Voices, Say What Magazine, Ghost Factory Magazine and participated in a poetic and visual exhibition entitled Convergence.  She graduated from the Columbia College Fiction Writing Department as an Alexandroff Community Scholar.  She has taught creative writing and advocated for the empowerment of young people in the Chicago Public Schools and various community organizations since 2004.  Her chapbook  This is the year was published by Watch the Steps Press.

Proyecto Latina venue sponsor for July 2010.

06.21.10: Alicia's Dulce Palabras

06.21.10: Alicia's Dulce Palabras

The third Monday in June is going to be extra sweet for Proyecto Latina. We are featuring Alicia Tellez Vega from La Dulce Palabra Spoken Word ensemble and we are taking our reading series back into Little Village, we are being hosted at the lovely Cafe Catedral. Get the full scoop below and plan to join us.

Date: Monday, June 21, 2010
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Cafe Catedral, 2500 S. Christiana, Chicago, Il

Alicia Tellez Vega of La Dulce Palabra is the Proyecto Latina feature for June 2010.

Alicia Tellez Vega was raised on the southwest side of Chicago and comes from a large Mexican family. She uses her creative energy to express her sexuality, inner conflicts and sensuality through words and dramatic performances. As a advocate for youth, she also uses her writings and performances to release the negative energy that is can often be carried internally from working with young trauma victims. She is currently a member of La Dulce Palabra Spoken Word Ensemble, board member of Amigas Latinas and the Youth Program Director at Center on Halsted.

Reading will include Identity Crisis, a monologue about the struggles to give identity to the unnamed female zone. I will also be reading sections from Las Dulces Palabras, Volume 1, a self published collection of original writings from La Dulce Palabra Spoken Word Ensemble.

Proyecto Latina venue sponsor for June 2010.

05.17.10: Speak Up & Speak Out!

05.17.10: Speak Up & Speak Out!

Next Proyecto Latina is on Monday, May 17, 2010 @ 7 p.m. Cedahlia’s Cafe, 1010-12 S. Western.

This month we are switching things up a little bit,  we are featuring YOU because Proyecto Latina wants you to SPEAK UP & SPEAK OUT! In light of the anti-immigrant legislation passed in Arizona, we are dedicating our 3rd Monday Reading series to creative work that responds to it.  Join us for poems, stories, and personal essays by invited guests, Proyecto Latina cofounders, and most importantly YOU! The Chisme Box is also getting proactive and wants creative solutions to this problem and we know you have ideas.  Dig out your papelitos, dust off your guitar, and bring your journal.  Let’s celebrate our communities and keep the resistance going!

Photo by Thelma Uranga.