On Wednesday April 22, 1998, in the party hall of Chapultepec Restaurant, in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, I founded Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say (affectionately known as NP).
I didn't know it would become a massive grassroots movement that would go on to organize the largest book fairs in Texas, create the leading literary radio show in the state, propel members from our community into literary, academic, and activist worlds. I didn't even know it would create the foundation for the Librotraficante Movement.
But I always suspected.
... A Day at the Opera:
Alvaro Saar Rios kicked off the first literary showcase of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say that April 16 years back. And he made the cover of the Houston Chronicle Metro Section for it.
That was his first time reading his fiction in public.
He went on to get his work published, his plays performed, and to create the Latino Boys Writing Group at Lanier Middle School, and he read on stage with such literary giants as Dagoberto Gilb, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and others.
He went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Writing for Stage and Screen from Northwestern University, and today, he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
I want you to pay attention to the next sentence that I write because I can only barely begin to explain all the forces that have had to come into play, all the nuances touched on when I say this.
I Skyped in Professor Alvaro Saar Rios from the University of Wisconsin to speak to students in my Mexican American Literature course at Lone Star College-North Harris.
Almost every aspect of the previous sentence was carved out of thin air by the work, energy, and genius of so many in our community. It took many of us a lot of work to be able to utter that sentence.
But that is just the tip of the pyramid.
There is still more, much more.
Read the full story at the Huffington Post.