The Wandering Song, Tia Chuca Press

The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States, Tia Chucha Press, 2017 (Northwestern University Press distributor) Prelude by Leticia Hernández-Linares LA MISIóN, SAN FRANCISCO November 28, 2016 HOME WAS BEHIND US, always somewhere else. Born into 1970s Los Angeles, a few months after my parents arrived in the United States, I experienced El Salvador as a distant place we referred to as “back home.” Civil war disappeared the pos- sibility of return, and yet, my parents’ country transplanted itself within the walls of this other home, colored our beans, determined our verb conjugations and our difference. “Back home” shadowed our lives here; my parentsRead More →

Luis at Tia Chucha Books

The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States is a multi-genre collection of poems, short stories, essays, memoir, novel excerpts, and creative nonfiction. The book showcases writers who render a multiplicity of experiences as refugees from the wars of the 1980s to those who barely remember the homeland, or who were born in el norte. Read More →

Harley and Me by Bernadette Murphy

We look to George. Was that a gun? “Could be hunting season,” he speculates, eyebrows lifted. “Or maybe there’s a shooting range nearby.” The sharp cracks come more frequently. Multiple shooters. Whoever they are, they seem to be moving closer.

We all go by certain assumptions that we live in a largely civil, law-abiding society. Still, it’s hard not to flash back on the final scenes of Easy Rider with its denouement of casual, explosive violence against the free-spirited, live-and-let-live cross-country riders. But that was only a movie, right? Right?

I glance at Emily for an assuring look that will confirm I’m overreacting. But her widened eyes and the taut set of her jaw tell me she’s frightened, too.Read More →

Borrowed Bones by Luis Rodriguez

People’s Sonnet #1 by Luis Rodriguez A shadow hangs where my country should glow. Despite glories shaped as skyscrapers or sound. More wars, more prisons, less safe, still low. Massive cities teeter on shifting ground. Glittering lights, music tracks hide the craven. TV, movies, books so we can forget. Countless worn out, debt-laden and slaving; Their soul-derived destinies unmet. Give me NASCAR, lowriders, Hip Hop, the Blues. Give me Crooklyn, cowboys, cool jazz, cholos. Give me libraries, gardens of the muse. Give me songs over sidewalks, mad solos. Big America improperly sized. Give me your true value, realized. Excerpt from Borrowed Bones (Northwestern University Press,Read More →

Photo by Arlene Mejorado

Leaving his past behind, Rodriguez, with the help of a mentor, recognized his deep hunger for something new and powerful to replace the emptiness and suicide road he was on, “with enough righteous anger, not rage, but anger with eyes, with direction—remember rage is blind—against whatever was keeping me from making a way in this world, be it personal, familial, or social.” Read More →

Amanda Gorman, US Poet Laureate

“It’s fantastic to be a poet in L.A., and to be an Angeleno.” That’s right, our country’s chosen wordsmith is one of our city’s own. Amanda Gorman was born near Los Angeles International Airport, fitting considering she has wings rivaling any aircraft’s. Her path to poet laureate began “at the cross-section of diametrically opposed neighborhoods; Read More →

A Negro and A Hot-Tub by Andre Hardy

For instance, whenever I wear hoodies, I find myself suspicious of my right hand, wondering if it might steal the money from my left pocket. With that in mind, who knew what stereotype would be triggered if Tiny Hands started using foul-mouthed locker room talk? I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be Sambo, Coon or good ole’ Stepin Fetchit, who was television’s favorite Negro, back when America was Great.Read More →

Miss Annie

Miss Annie: Sometimes the Judge does get quite morose. It’s something to do with his Welsh roots. I find it useful to come and sit on his foot. This way it’s difficult for him to ignore me, and he can’t really get up and walk away. He usually gives in and starts to stroke my head. That’s when I know I’ve got him.Read More →

Harley and Me paperback bookcover

Murphy wrote a book that is riveting, intimate, and a fun read. Learning about our four brain chemicals that determine our personality traits is interesting however, I found Murphy’s personal experience even more intriguing. Not every woman is going to embrace mid-life on a Harley, but living vicariously through Murphy’s travels gives us insight into what it means to embrace mid-life rather than complain about it. Her story and her book is compelling. What a joy it was to spend an afternoon in my easy chair riding on a bike with Bernadette Murphy.Read More →

Mystery novelist Davis MacDonald aka Don Davis

According to MacDonald, “The Judge has a legal mind. He’s trained as a lawyer, as I am. If you go to a good law school – I went to USC, and I was number one in my class – they don’t teach you to pass the bar, they don’t teach you to practice law, they teach you a different way to think.” It is that difference that makes The Judge a well-defined, three-dimensional character, able to approach investigations from the perspective of the legal mind. “He’s a clever and experienced guy, but a judge no longer.Read More →