Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Desde El Epicentro

"An Anthology of U.S. Central American Poetry and Art"
Introduction to forthcoming book:

This anthology is about creating a home for those who have lost their home, who were taken from their home, who had it stolen, who decided it was time to leave and for those who carry their home in their heart and need a place to rest. It is about recovering, documenting and making our own histories and demanding their rightful place among cultural, political and literary movements. We give our testimony to resurrect memory, inspire action, to laugh loudly and to heal old wounds.

We are often asked why we want to distinguish ourselves as Central Americans. Why not just join in or blend into other cultural and political movements that have more established visibility and community support? Many of us are a part of community spaces where we work as a part of or in solidarity with communities of color, queer folks, immigrants, and educators. But we feel the need to create a space for our own U.S. Central American voices, which are still rarely heard. Ours are the voices that many of us wish we had heard more of growing up so we didn't feel so alone and invisible in our multicultural/multi-lingual realities.

This book also comes from finding solidarity and a home in the group EpiCentroAmerica that has since found its home in cyberspace. Founded in 2000 by Raquel Gutierrez and Marlon Morales, the group Epicentro or EpiCentroAmerica doesn't exist as it once did; meeting to workshop writings, organize events and perform as a collective. But our vital passion for doing creative work, the need to hear each other's voices and the desire to inspire new voices remains.

This anthology, an often talked about dream in Epicentro, is my contribution to cultivation of new spaces for Central American voices, the kind of voices that we have always wanted to hear; the conscious and empowered voices of compañeras/os who are immigrants, workers, students, mothers, fathers, children of borderlands and solidarity movements.

I hope you are moved to support this book and later published versions. The book will fulfill its goal if you find what you are looking for in it or if it inspires you to create what you want to see in the world.

Maya Chinchilla


Jeyc. Balmaseda said...

thanks for the words in your work
all central-american feel the same necessity to read about ourself when we live in exile
is the only way to do it better for the next generations and too let them now that we still always living our countrys from the distance.
Paz para nuestros paises

Chapina said...

Thanks for your words it means a lot to hear from you.

Anna said...

Hello! I am very interested in obtaining a copy of this anthology. Is there any way that I can get my hands on one? Can you let me know how I might be able to get one? Thanks so much in advance! I appreaciate it!