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Palabra Pura: Greater Than The Sum Of Parts

02/19/2014 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


“As Latin@s born and bred in the U.S., our sense of identity, culture, mother tongue and family are often complicated and contradictory. We are not a uniform group and sometimes don’t play well with others – even with our own gente. Yet on our life’s journey, aided by our writing, we find the integrity as individuals to stand firmly in self-definition, unafraid to acknowledge those aspects of ourselves that make our antepasados shudder with aversion. February’s Palabra Pura presents work by fearless, complex, authentic voices that deny the easy definitions we are often thrust into as 21st Century Latin@s.” ~ Teresa Vázquez, February Palabra Pura curator and host

l to r: Emmanuel Ortiz, Lucrecia Guerrero, Elizabeth Marino, Paul Martínez-Pompa, Teresa Vázquez
l to r: Emmanuel Ortiz, Lucrecia Guerrero, Elizabeth Marino, Paul Martínez-Pompa, Teresa Vázquez

Guest authors include: Lucrecia Guerrero and Emmanuel Ortiz from Indiana, and Elizabeth Marino and Paul Martínez-Pompa from Chicago.



Lucrecia Guerrero grew up on the U.S./Mexico border in a bilingual and bicultural home.  Both her mother, from Kentucky, and her father, from Puebla, Mexico, were proud of their respective cultures and shared that with Guerrero and her siblings.  Her short stories have been published in literary journals such as “The Antioch Review” and “The Louisville Review,” and have been anthologized in Fasntastmas: Supernatural Stories by Mexican-American Writers (Bilingual Press) and Best of the West 2009 (U of Texas Press).  Chasing Shadows, her collection of linked short stories was published by Chronicle Books, and Bilingual Press/Arizona State U. published her novel Tree of Sighs.  Her novel received a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship and the Premio Aztlán Literary Award.  She leaves and teaches in the Midwest.

Elizabeth Marino is a Puerto Rican poet and educator, based in Chicago. Her chapbook, Debris: Poems and Memoir, went into a second printing (Puddin’head Press 2011). She was awarded Hispanic Serving Institution funding from NEIU for her Latina/o Community Creative Non-Fiction Workshop and received a 2012 CAAP grant and conference scholarship to attend the initial Las Dos Brujas Writers’ Workshops, where she studied with Juan Philipe Herrera, poet laureate of California. She was a Ragdale resident and holds an MA from UIC’s Writers’ Program in addition to having studied literature at Oxford University on academic scholarship. Elizabeth’s poetry has appeared in print journals, anthologies and live performance. Currently, she is working on a second chapbook, Ceremonies(forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press), and conducts a creative writing workshop for GLBTT seniors at The Center on Halsted. Most recently, her work was given a critical review in Femficatio (London), and also appeared in the national Latino blog of culture and literature “La Bloga,” along with the FB page “Poets Responding to SB 1070.”

Paul Martínez-Pompa, English Faculty-Triton College is the author of Pepper Spray (Momotombo Press 2006) and My Kill Adore Him (University of Notre Dame Press 2009), which was awarded the 2008 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize.

Emmanuel Ortiz is a Latino writer and community organizer. He is a founding member of Palabristas: Latin@ Wordslingers,  – a Latina/o poets collective based in Minnesota. He has authored 2 books of poetry: The Word Is a Machete: Post-Pocho/Puerto Rican Poems of the Personal and Political (Pocho Rican Press, 2003), and Brown unLike Me: Poems From The Second Layer Of Our Skin (2008, Calaca Press). He received the Verve Grant for spoken word poets in 2005. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, and he has performed his work across the country.

Teresa Vázquez (curator) released “Audio Chapbook 001: A Woman Loving” in 2000.  She appears in March Abrazo Press’s Between the Heart and the Land/Entre el corazón y la tierra. She holds a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing from Oberlin College, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



Palabra Pura promotes literary expression in more than one tongue through a monthly bilingual poetry reading featuring Chicano and Latino artists. With an aim to foster dialogue through literature in Chicago and beyond, many evenings pair a local poet with a visiting writer along with an open mic to engage the interaction of diverse voices, ideas, and aesthetics. The readings are held the third Wednesday of every month (except August and December).



Story Week, a program of Columbia College Chicago

Chicago Community Trust


7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
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La Bruquena Restaurant
2726 W. Division
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