Extra, Extra Read All About It! Self-Interview On Our Proyecto Latina Anthology

WRITERHere is Proyecto Latina’s installment of the self-interview project “NEXT BIG THING” is online. Thanks to poet/writer Xanath Caraza for tagging us.

I’m tagging writers Xenia Ruiz, Ulises Silva and Linda Rodriguez

Next Wednesday they’ll each publish a self-interview based on the 10 questions and tag other writers.

What is the working title of your book?

We are currently huddling with the illustrious and sassy Chisme Box to kick around a few names. Some working titles we’ve come up with include:

Hola Chola: A Collection of Proyecto Latina Writings, Art, and Chismes

Snake Effect: Collected Proyecto Latina Writings, Art, and Chismes

Presentation: Proyecto Latina Writing, Art, and Chisme

If you suggestions at info@proyectolatina.org

What genre does it fall under?

Multi-Genre Anthology

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Last year, writer Paloma Martinez-Cruz made the suggestion and we encouraged her to take the lead on the anthology project. Since then, Paloma has been amazing at gathering the stories and giving thoughtful edits to the writers who will be published in the anthology.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

This anthology chronicles the stories, poems and chismes of Latina women living in Chicago and have come to the Proyecto Latina Reading Series to share their work in primera voz.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? At this time, all of the writers included in the anthology are in the editing process and in March we will be in phase two of compiling all of the edited stories.

Who or what inspired you to write it?

This anthology reflects the voices of women that were featured at Proyecto Latina Reading Series. Their work chronicles and honors the diversity of stories being told in our community. It is meant to inspire other Latinas to take responsibility and generate new work.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The anthology will be self-published and is supported by madrinas and padrinos who believe in the voices of Latina women and have generously contributed to the publishing of the anthology. We are still looking for madrinas y padrinos for the book. If you are interested learn how you can get involved read more…

What other works would you compare this book to within your genre?

I have to say the Latino Writers Collective of Kansas City kicks ass when it comes to cranking out books reflecting diverse Latino voices. I think are intentions are similar in that we both strive to amplify the stories of Latino writers in the Midwest. Two of my favorite books they have published and are sitting on my bookshelf include:

Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland

Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

There are many different stories and poems in this anthology representing the Proyecto Latina community so obviously I can’t speak for their work. For my own story, Of Pulque, Pilgrimages and  Goddesses, I would cast Will Ferrell in a wig or Scarlett Johansson to play the lead protagonist. Cringe, I’m kidding but isn’t that how it works in the movies?

We have this huge Latino population in this country and we aren’t reflected in the mainstream movies we consume. We remain invisible except when we are cast as gangbangers, maids, janitors or prostitutes. This is why it is so important to cultivate diverse Latino writers to challenge and change those narratives. If I had my way I would cast local actor Stephanie Diaz Reppen or funny lady Claudia Martinez because they get my writing and I trust their skills to interpret the work.

What else about your manuscript might pique the reader’s interest?

At this time, it’s the only Latina anthology being published spotlighting the work of Latinas living and writing in Chicago. The Chisme Box will also be sharing some of her funniest bits of gossip that mujeres have shared over the years.  It’s definitely a literary blue print for women in other communities to either create their own anthology or start their own reading series. My hope is that readers will be inspired and challenged to generate new work and create their own print or online platforms to share their stories with the next generation of Latina writers.

You can read more about the anthology in a recent article written by Lucia Anaya, The Gate Newspaper. Read more…

Next week, expect self-interviews from these writers and poets:



One Response to “Extra, Extra Read All About It! Self-Interview On Our Proyecto Latina Anthology”

  1. xenia says:

    Nice interview…I think you should have Chicago in the title somehow: CHITOWN CHICAS: COLLECTED PROYECTO LATINA WRITINGS, ART, AND CHISMES

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