Writing Urban Latinas: The New Wave

A panel entitled, WRITING URBAN LATINAS: THE NEW WAVE,  will take place on Saturday, October 12th from 1pm-2pm at the Children’s Aid Society East Harlem Center, 130 East 101st Street in New York City.

The discussion features a group of dynamic and diverse authors including Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa (Daughters of the Stone), Lyn Di Iorio (Outside the Bones), Maria Aponte (Transitions of a Nuyorican Princess), Michele Carlo (Fish Out of Aguaand Gloria Rodriguez (You Are More Than Good Enough).

11MTW Dahlma GOG Cover #3_DSC4170       11MTW COLOR Lyn Di Iorio Photo       MARIA APONTE       MICHELE CARLO       GLORIA RODRIGUEZ

Dahlma L. Figueroa          Lyn Di Iorio             Maria Aponte            Michele Carlo       Gloria Rodriguez

The panel, produced by the marketing agency MORE THAN WORDS, will explore writing centered upon the life of Latina women, from dealing with a male-dominated culture, family relationships, acculturation, language, stereotypes and more.

WRITING URBAN LATINAS is part of EL FESTIVAL DEL LIBRO, an annual book festival celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month that will take place on the same day from 11am to 6pm.  Drawing from the rich mosaic of Latino culture centered in New York City, El Festival del Libro will feature published authors and aspiring writers in all literary genres (Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Children’s books) from across the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and other Hispanic nations, in both English and Spanish.

Produced in collaboration with the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation (EHBCC), the Harlem Book Fair and the Consulate of Mexico, El Festival del Libro will feature writers, poets, music and children’s books authors, as well as discuss topical issues ranging from ‘Dual Language Literacy’ to ‘Libro Traficante’, the writers’ caravan traveling from Houston to Arizona – carrying books banned by the State of Arizona.

El Festival del Libro will also feature Ms. Olga Marta Perez, author and Director of Ediciones Unión, Cuba’s official publishing house, award-winning author and illustrator, Eric Velazquez (Grandma’s Gift, Walker Publishing); Dr. Marta Moreno Vega (The Altar of My Soul, Random House; When Spirits Dance Mambo, Crown), Torrey Maldonado (Secret Saturdays, Penguin), J. L. Torres (The Accidental Native, Arte Publico) and Danette Vigilante (The Problem with Half A Moon, Penguin).

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, author of the multi-generational novel, Daughters of the Stone (Thomas Dunn) and Lyn Di Iorio, author of the hilariously provocative murder mystery Outside The Bones (Arte Publico) will be featured in the following panel discussions that celebrate Hispanic Heritage.

With Magic & Mysticism in Latino Writing, the novelists will explore spiritual beliefs, customs and rituals in Latino culture and how they are expressed through character and plot in their novels.  This event will take place on Friday, October 28th from 6pm-8pm at Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem – 2319 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, between 124th and 125th Streets. 

The authors will also reprise this event on Saturday, November 19th from 1pm-4:30pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC – 901 G Street NW.

With Latina Voices: Sharing Our Experiences, the authors will explore the varied lives of Latin women as expressed in their novels and personal backgrounds.  They will be joined by special guest Toni Margarita Plummer, author of The Bolero of Andi Rowe.  This event will take place on Wednesday, November 9th from 7:30pm-10pm at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn – 686 Fulton Street.

About Daughters of the Stone & Outside The Bones

The novel Daughters of the Stone by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa tells the story of five generations of Afro-Puerto Rican women from slavery to the Civil Rights Movement.  Beginning with the slave Fela, each generation passes on a spiritual legacy that shapes their relationships to the world and each other.

Daughters of the Stone was a finalist for the prestigious 2010 PEN/Bingham Fellowship for Writers and was recently named one of the top five works by Latin American authors by Pulitzer Prize winner Oscar Hijuelos (The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love).  Ms. Llanos-Figueroa is a prolific writer whose work has appeared in many anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul.

Outside The Bones is a provocative tale of love, murder and mystery steeped in the Afro-Cuban religion of palo monte.  When the novel’s unforgettable and irrepressible heroine, Fina, falls in love with her upstairs neighbor, she does what any ghetto bruja (witch) would do – puts a spell on him.  Mixing humor, eroticism and African spiritual history, Outside The Bones takes readers on an amazing journey through New York’s Upper West Side, Central Park and Puerto Rico.

Acclaimed author Ernest Quinonez (Chango’s Fire) says, “Lyn Di Iorio has written a brilliant love story full of magical urbanism that is sure to make Outside The Bones a modern day classic.”

For more information on the panel discussions, authors and their books, contact Tracey Y. Smith of More Than Words at tsmorethanwords@gmail.com.

I Love To Read

I am thrilled to launch my blog, More Than Words Literary, to express my passion for literature and support the work of multicultural writers.  My love of books began before I knew how to read.  When I was about four or five years old my mother subscribed to some type of children’s book club for my older brother.  He showed no interest in the titles that came to him each month.  So while he played with his trucks and race cars I sat at the kitchen table trying to make sense of the letters in each book.  I wanted so desperately to know what each one conveyed.  Since I couldn’t figure it out, I imagined that each book was telling a story that I made up in my head.  I was so happy to go to school and learn to read.

I grew up in a single-parent household in Newark, New Jersey.  During the summer we were not allowed to simply hang out on the block and play all day.  My mother wanted us engaged in supervised, constructive activities and since she had no money for camp she took us to the neighborhood children’s library.  Every day in the summer she brought our sandwiches from the Italian bakery and gave strict instructions to both the head librarian and my brother and I not to leave the premises until she returned.

During those summers in the library I participated in plays, saw magicians and animal trainers, met lots of other kids, played games and read lots of books.  I was in heaven.

Today, my appetite for good literature is insatiable.  I have been a member of Go On Girl! Book Club for 15 years and read their monthly titles in addition to a few others each month.  Some books that took my breath away this year include Beneath The Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste, The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar, The Book of Night Women By Marlon James, Perfect Peace by Daniel Black, The Sexy Part of the Bible by Kola Boof and Outside The Bones by Lyn Di Iorio.

Thank you for reading my blog, I hope you enjoy the things I have to share!

This entry was posted on September 21, 2011. 4 Comments