“Orphans and Hoodlums” is included in phati'tude Literary Magazine’s current issue: WHAT'S IN A NOMBRE? This issue features Pulitzer-prize winners as well as lesser-known writers who explore Latino identity in America.
Their press release states, “WHAT’S IN A NOMBRE? sets out to investigate the diverse cultural identities of writers of Spanish descent by bringing together an amazing range of voices that we felt had been unfairly lumped into the category of “Hispanic” and “Latino.” ¿Qué hay en un nombre? What’s in a name?
¿WHAT’S IN A NOMBRE? celebrates and introduces readers to Latino writers from a U.S. perspective. Featuring a cavalcade of over 117 Latino poets, writers and artists, highlights include Interviews of Esmeralda Santiago, Oscar Hijuelos, Nelly Rosario, Gary Soto, and Junot Diaz; and tributes to Piri Thomas and Louis Reyes Rivera. Short stories by Rosebud Ben-Oni, Angie Cruz, Judith Mercado, Thelma T. Reyna and John Rodriguez. Artwork and photographs by Wanda Benvenutti, George Malave, Kukuli Velarde and more. Includes bilingual works in English and Spanish. The editors are particularly proud of a body of work that explores social protest and exploitation; the migratory experience; self-exploration or self-definition, including the exploration of myths and legends.
By no means is this issue complete, nor is it meant to be, but we have created a collection that includes some of the older, established writers alongside the newer and lesser-known voices that represent the different cultures thriving beneath the umbrella term of “Latino.” The authors here have courageously shared their stories with us through interviews, essays and poetry, where language, culture, history, religion, and gender issues are explored against the cultural backdrop of American culture. This groundbreaking issue is not only a great teaching tool, but it’s also an excellent addition in anyone’s library collection.”
I am proud to have “Orphans and Hoodlums” included in the most recent issue of phati’tude Literary Magazine. Established in 1997, it is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed quarterly magazine published by the Intercultural Alliance of Artists & Scholars, Inc. (IAAS), an organization which promotes multicultural literature and literacy. It focuses on, but is not exclusively devoted to, the work of writers of African, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Arab and Asian descent in an aim to provide a forum for quality works of diverse voices from around the globe.
My writing frequently explores multicultural themes. Born in Puerto Rico, I moved at a young age to the U.S., where my parents became Pentecostal ministers. Early immersion in Latino and religious cultures preceded later experiences as a businesswoman, a White House Fellow, and life aboard a trawler cruising from Martha’s Vineyard to South America. These sometimes incompatible worlds have given me a respectful outlook toward differing points of view. My short stories, poems, and essays reflect my own inclusive, yet sharply defined, journey across cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. I recently published Peace on the Journey, a poetry collection which explores the theme of renewal in the face of adversity.
The defining image of this blog is a waterfall. Its inspiration comes from a scene in one of my novels in which the infant protagonist escapes her mother’s attention and wanders off to a nearby waterfall. While there, she experiences a mysterious sense of wellbeing, which she yearns to replicate for the rest of her life.
"I have made love to my writing and am now in the afterglow."
"Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession... Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
About his fictional town Macondo, widely acknowledged to be inspired by his real home town of Aracataca, Colombia. “Macondo is not so much a place as it is a state of mind.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
"The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers fear."
"The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing."
Blaise Pascal, Pensées
"There is vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and, because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly... to keep the channel open."