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ABOUT US

Christina Rodriguez Landis

Landis began writing as a child at the urging of her father to help her through childhood experiences. Christina recently joined the Latino Writers Collective to hone her writing skills. One of her goals is to write and return to her love of art in her retirement. Christina hails from Arkansas City in southern Kansas which is the backdrop of many of her stories. Her short story “The Eclipse” was included in the Latino Writers Collective second anthology, “Cuentos del Centro Stories from the Latino Heartland. Christina is a computer science graduate of Park University in Parkville Missouri and works in the computer software sector.

Gabriela N. Lemmons

Gabriela N. Lemmons is a native of South Texas. She is a daughter of migrant workers and grew up in a household where Spanish was the spoken language. Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland, Cuentos: Stories from the Latino Heartland, and Blue Island Review. She was televised as the feature poet on PBS's show Uniquely Kansas City. A founding member of the Latino Writers Collective, and a member of Sandra Cisneros’s Macondo Workshop, Gabriela is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Kansas.

Gabriela N. Lemmons
es una nativa del sur de Texas. Ella es hija de trabajadores migrantes y se crió en un hogar donde el español era la lengua hablada. Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland, Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland, y Blue Island Review. Ella fue televisada como el poeta principal en el programa de PBS Únicamente Kansas City. Miembro fundador del Colectivo de Escritores Latinos, y miembro del Taller de Macondo de Sandra Cisneros, Gabriela se graduó de la Universidad de Nuevo México y actualmente se encuentra cursando una maestría en escritura creativa en la Universidad de Kansas.

Gloria Martinez Adams

A community activist, freelance writer and poet, Gloria is a southwestern Chicana. She belongs to a part of the rebellious generation that broke loose of the segregation imposed on Hispanos in the 50’s and 60’s and now spends her time cultivating good habits and writing. She is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective.

Una activista de la comunidad, escritora y poeta, Gloria es una chicana del sudoeste. Ella pertenece a una parte de la generación rebelde que se desprendió de la segregación impuesta a los hispanos en los años 50 y 60 y ahora dedica su tiempo cultivando buenos hábitos y la escritura. Es miembro fundador del Colectivo de Escritores Latinos.

Linda Rodriguez

Linda Rodriguez has published two books of poetry, Heart’s Migration (Tia Chucha Press, 2009), winner of the 2010 Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence, and Skin Hunger (Potpourri Publications, 1995, Scapegoat Press, 2007). Her novel, Every Last Secret, won the 2011 Malice Domestic First Novel Award from St. Martin’s Press and will be published in May 2012. She received the 2010 Inspiration Award from the KC Arts Fund, 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 was 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 and anthologies. Her poems have been broadcast on The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor (NPR) and New Letters on the Air (NPR). She is currently working on a book of poetry based on teachings from her Cherokee grandmother, another novel, and a co-edited collection of essays by mixed-blood women writers.

Linda Rodríguez ha publicado dos libros de poesía, Heart’s Migration (Tía Chucha Press, 2009), ganador del Premio 2010 Thorpe Menn de Excelencia Literaria, y Skin Hunger (Potpourri Publications, 1995, Scapegoat Press, 2007). Su novela, Every Lost Secret, ganó el premio nacional 2011 Malice primera novela de la prensa de San Martín y será publicado en mayo de 2012. Recibió el Premio Inspiración 2010 del Fondo de KC Artes, el Premio 2009 Elvira Cordero Cisneros de la Fundación Macondo, y en 2009 el Premio de Voces y Visiones del Medio Oeste de la Alianza de Comunidades Artistas y la Fundación Joyce y ha sido a la vez una compañera de Ragdale y Macondo. Ella fue la vice-presidente del Colectivo de Escritores Latinos, y ha publicado poesía y la ficción en numerosas revistas y antologías. Sus poemas han sido emitidos en Writers Almanac con Garrison Keillor (NPR) y New Letters On the Air (NPR). Actualmente está trabajando en un libro de poesía basado en las enseñanzas de su abuela Cherokee, otra novela, y co-editando una colección de ensayos de las escritoras con la sangre mezclada.

Gustavo Adolfo Aybar

Gustavo Adolfo Aybar is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he received his MA in Romance Languages & Literature. As a scholar he’s presented at the University of Florida, and has upcoming publications by ABC-CLIO and Salem Press. He is also a Cave Canem fellow. Other publications include: Harvest of New Millennium 3.1 & 4.1; Black Magnolias Literary Journal, Jan. 2010; NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture 19-1 Fall 2010; Oranges & Sardines Dec. 2009; and presentmagazine.com where he was a Poet-In-Residence all of 2010.

Gustavo Adolfo Aybar es un graduado de la Universidad de Missouri-Kansas City donde el recibió su Maestría en Artes en Lenguas Románticas y Literatura. Como académico ha presentado en la Universidad de Florida y tiene publicaciones por ABC-CLIO y Salem Press. El también es socio de la Fundación de Cave Canem. Otras publicaciones incluyen: Harvest of New Millennium 3.1 Jan. 2010; Black Magnolias Literary Journal, Jan. 2010; NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture 19-1 Fall 2010; Oranges & Sardines Dec. 2009; y presentmagazine.com donde el fue un Poeta en residencia en 2010.

Ignacio Carvajal

Ignacio Carvajal was born in San José Costa Rica. He moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 2002 with his family. He received an Associates Degree from Johnson County Community College in 2009 and a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of Kansas in 2011. Currently, he is coursing his graduate studies in Hispanic Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. At KU, he co-hosted "Word", a radio show on KJHK, KU student-radio, devoted to poetry and hip hop. He has joined the collective in readings across the Kansas City Area, and has participated in open mics in places like Busboys and Poets in Washington DC, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City. He has also shared his work in several venues in Costa Rica. His work has appeared in Present magazine and, from time to time, he posts some of it on his blog: tiquiciadesterrada.wordpress.com. Ignacio joined the collective in 2008.

Ignacio Carvajal nació en San José, Costa Rica, en 1988, y empezó a escribir poesía antes de que le cambiara la voz. Por una de esas cosas de la vida, se trasladó a Lawrence, Kansas en el 2002. En ese estado cursó la secundaria y recibió diplomas de Johnson County Community College y la Universidad de Kansas. Allí, también, se unió a la LWC, en el 2008. Actualmente, vive en Austin y cursa sus estudios de posgrado en la Universidad de Texas. Algunos de sus arrebatos aparecen en su página de blog: tiquiciadesterrada.wordpress.com. Ignacio ha sido empleado de restaurante, acomodador de biblioteca, tutor, recepcionista, y sigue siendo aficionado al fútbol, lector, estudiante, participante de talleres literarios, creyente, escritor de cartas e -inevitable y orgullosamente- tico.

Jason Sierra

Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Jason Sierra began crossing borders early. Crossing back and forth between Mexico and the United States, and being Mexican-American himself, Jason learned that sometimes borders can be fixed and severe, but oftentimes they are blurry or even non-existent. Jason’s cultural hybridity has played out throughout his life as he has spent time living with people of different classes and cultures in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Germany and the Philippines. The cultures that Jason experienced in these countries, as well as the theme of blurring borders can be found in Jason’s art, poetry and music, which are heavily influenced, by graffiti, pop art, Mexican folk art and political comics. Jason uses different mediums of expression, working in commercial art, graphic design, illustration, poetry, and music.

Creciendo en El Paso, Texas, Jason Sierra comenzó a cruzar las fronteras temprano. Cruzando de ida y vuelta entre México y los Estados Unidos, y siendo mexicano-americano el mismo, Jason se enteró de que a veces las fronteras pueden ser fijas y graves, pero muchas veces son borrosas o incluso inexistentes. La hibridación cultural de Jason ha revelado a lo largo de su vida con la pasada del tiempo viviendo con personas de diferentes clases y culturas en los Estados Unidos, México, Canadá, Alemania y las Filipinas. Las culturas que Jason ha experimentado en estos países, así como el tema de las fronteras borrosas se pueden encontrar en el arte de Jason, la poesía y la música que están muy influenciadas, por el graffiti, el arte pop, el arte popular mexicano y cómics políticos. Jason utiliza diferentes medios de expresión, de trabajo en el arte comercial, diseño gráfico, ilustración, poesía, y música.

José Faus

José Faus is a native of Bogota, Colombia, and a long-time resident of Kansas City. He received degrees in Studio Art and Creative Writing from UMKC. José has exhibited extensively in the Kansas City area. He is a muralist with public works locally and in Mexico. José is a newspaper editor and founding member of the Latino Writers Collective. He has also worked as a youth advocate in a variety of at-risk programs.

Juanita Salazar Lamb

Juanita Salazar Lamb grew up in a bilingual, bicultural family and her heart belongs to La Cultura Latina. Her stories are grounded in the realities of growing up along the border of two countries and two cultures. Her writings have appeared in Zopilote, Latina Magazine, Border Senses, Azahares: UA Fort Smith's premier Spanish-language creative literary journal, and Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland. She served on the judging panel for 2010 Conversations Essay Contest sponsored by the Rogers Public Library Foundation.

Maria Vasquez Boyd

Maria Vasquez Boyd exhibits paintings and illustrations across the country including murals in Mexico. She is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute where she returned to teach in the Design and Illustration Department. Boyd taught at the Nelson Atkins Museum, worked for Hallmark Cards, and served as gallery coordinator for the Guadalupe Center and the Writer’s Place. She serves as producer and host of special programming on KKFI 90.1 fm community radio and is Poet In Residence for Present Magazine. Maria is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective in Kansas City Missouri. where she continues to write and publish her work.

Mario Duarte

Mario Duarte is an alumnus of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the University of New Hampshire. He lives and works in Iowa City, Iowa, a UNESCO City of Literature, and is a member of the Latino Writers Collective based in Kansas City. Recently, he has published poems in the Broken Plate, language and culture, Marco Polo, and Slab, and is busy writing and revising poems and short stories.

Miguel M. Morales

Miguel M. Morales is a student, employee and Diversity Fellow at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan. Born in Texas, Morales worked as a migrant farmworker/child laborer. He is an award-winning journalist most notably earning the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2006 First Amendment Award. Morales serves on the Latino Writers Collective board and is featured in its latest offering, Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland. Morales’ work also appears in From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction, the premier Latino Literature website: La Bloga, and the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Chicano Poetry.

Miguel M. Morales es un estudiante, empleado y compañero de la diversidad de Johnson County Community College en Overland Park, Kansas Nacido en Texas, Morales trabajó como trabajador agrícola migrante / niño trabajador. Es un periodista premiado, sobre todo ganando en 2006 el Premio de la Primera Enmienda de la Sociedad de Periodistas Profesionales . Morales trabaja en el consejo de Escritores Latinos colectiva y se presenta en su última oferta, Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland. El trabajo de Morales también aparece en From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction, la mejor pagina-web de la literatura latina: La Bloga, and por venir Joto: An Anthology of Queer Chicano Poetry.

Natali Navarro Cazarez

I’m a Biologist and originally from Mexico. I have always loved reading and writing fiction. I joined the Latino Writers Collective in Kansas City to explore new ideas and now I’m focusing on short stories. I enjoy crafting odd narratives that entertain my own imagination.

Sofiana Olivera-Abalán

Sofiana Olivera-Abalán grew up in Lima, Peru. After high school she won a scholarship to the University of Kansas. She graduated from KU with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Latin American Studies. Sofiana has worked in the business world both in Peru and here in the US. Currently, Sofiana makes her home in Lenexa, KS with husband Tim. Sofiana enjoys writing fiction in both English and Spanish.

Sofiana Olivera-Abalán creció en Lima, Perú. Después de terminar la secundaria, ganó una beca a la Universidad de Kansas. Se graduó de KU con un B.S. en Economía y un B. A. en Estudios Latino Americanos. Sofiana ha trabajado en el mundo de los negocios en el Perú y aquí en EE. UU. Actualmente, Sofiana vive en Lenexa, KS con su esposo Tim. Sofiana disfruta el escribir ficción en inglés y español.

Xánath Caraza

Xánath Caraza is a traveler, educator, poet, and short story writer. She has published her original work and essays in Pilgrimage Magazine, Quercus Review, L’crème, Antique Children, La Bloga, Pegaso, Latino Poetry Review Blog, Present Magazine, El Cid, and Utah Foreign Language Review. Additionally, her work has been published in the following anthologies: Woman’s Work: The Short Stories (Girl Child Press, 2010), Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland (Scapegoat Press, 2009), Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland (Scapegoat Press, 2008), and Más allá de las fronteras (Ediciones Nuevo Espacio, 2004). Her most recent published work is scheduled for release in 2010 in the following anthologies and journals: Poetry Anthology in Nahuatl, English, and Spanish, Aztlan Libre Press, and 2010 Pegaso Literary Journal.


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Latino Writers Collective General Operating Support is recipient of the NFA grant. The NFA grant is made possible with funding from the NALAC Fund for the Arts, which receives support from the Ford Foundation and Southwest Airlines. Other NFA funders include: JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Foundation, Nescafe Clasic6, Heineken USA and The City of San Antonio Cultural Collaborative.

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Gemma Tornero