100 YEARS OF CHICANO/LATINO LITERATURE
1900 Gregorio Cortéz, a Tejano, kills a deputy who attempts to arrest him unjustly and flees for his life. Cortéz is eventually captured, tried by an all-Anglo jury and sentenced to prison. He is eventually pardoned in 1913. His exploits are recorded in the oral tradition of the border ballad “El Corrido de Gregorio Cortéz.”
1904 In San Antonio, Texas exiled political activist Ricardo Flores Magón and other members of the Partido Liberal Mexicano begin publishing the intermittent newspaper
Regeneración. Through the periodical’s pages Magón will work for revolution against the Porfirio Díaz regime in Mexico writings essays, speeches, poems and manifestos.
1907 O. Henry (pseudonym for William Sydney Porter) publishes “The Caballero’s Way” introducing Americans to the character of the Cisco Kid. In the O. Henry story the protagonist is neither a Latino nor heroic–rather, a outlaw. But by the time the story is made into a motion picture in 1914 (The Caballero’s Way starring William R. Dunn) the Kid will be established as a heroic Mexican caballero. For the remainder of the century, The Cisco Kid will develop as a motion picture and later television franchise promulgating what some consider stereotypic notions of the Latino.
1913 Cuban patriot and revolutionary leader, José Martí’s posthumous poetry collection Versos Libres, written during the 1880s, is published in New York. Martí arrived in New York in 1881 and began work as a journalist for the New York Sun, La Opinión Nacional and other publications. His first poetry collection Ismaelillo was published in New York 1882 and his Versos Sencillos, with the signature poem Yo soy un hombre sincero (whose lyrics comprise the popular folk song Guantanamero), was published in New York in 1891. Martí died in battle at Dos Rios, Cuba on May 19, 1985.
1913 Mexican born María Cristina Mena Chambers publishes short stories in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, New York.
1915 Mexican author Mariano Azuela publishes his classic novel of the Mexican Revolution, Los de Abajo, in the pages of the El Paso, Texas newspaper El Paso Del Norte.
1922 Puerto Rican nationalist playwright Gonzalo O’Neill’s first published work, “La Indiana Borinqueña” ( The Indians of Puerto Rico) showcases his fervent belief in Puerto Rican independence. In later years, he will continue to use his theatrical productions to lobby for Puerto Rican independence
1923 “Ramona” is performed for the first time in the amphitheater bowl in the city of Hemet, California. The play, written by Garnet Holme, is based on the novel by crusading human rights activist and author Helen Hunt Jackson. Meanwhile, the Spanish-language adaptation of the novel is penned by playwright Adalberto Elias González. “Los Amores de Ramona” (The Loves of Ramona) is an instant success and is soon being produced in Spanish language stage venues throughout the Southwest.
1924 New Mexican author Felipe Maximiliano Chacón’s collection of poetry, “Poesía y prosa. Obras de Felipe Maximiliano Chacón” is published in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1928 Las aventuras de don Chipote,o cuando los pericos mamen (The Adventures of Don Chipote, or When Parakeets Suckle their Young), newspaper editor Daniel Venegas’s novel, is published in Los Angeles.
1928 “Bajo Una Sola Bandera” (Under Just One Flag), written by Puerto Rican nationalist Gonzalo O’Neill, is premiered at the Park Place Theater in New York City.
1931 Pedro Juan Labarthe’s autobiographical The Son of Two Nations: The Private Life of a Columbia Student is published. The author’s individualist and assimilationist attitude toward the Puerto Rican experience in New York stands in sharp contrast to the nationalistic and self-determined Nuyorican writings that will emerge in the 1960s.
1931 The University of Chicago publishes scholar Manuel Gamio’s interviews with Mexican migrant laborers working in the United States as, The Mexican Immigrant: His life-Story. Documents Collected by Manuel Gamio
1934 Jorge Ainslie’s novel Los Pochos is published in Los Angeles, California. It is arguably the first of the many novels about a Mexican immigrant finding a new home in the United States. Later titles covering this theme will arise with each decade: Luis Pérez’s 1947 El Coyote; José Antonio Villarreal’s 1959 Pocho; Richard Vasquez’s 1970 Chicano; and Ernesto Galarza’s 1972 Barrio Boy.
1935 The autobiography of Miguel Antonio Otero, who was Governor of the territory of New Mexico from 1897 to 1906, is published in English under the title My Life on the Frontier.
1935 John Steinbeck’s novel Tortilla Flats is published. The novel, with its often folkloric and patronizing portrayals of Mexicans establishes literary imagery that Mexican American authors will respond to in the Chicano literary boom of the 1960s and 1970s.
1937 Puerto Rican author Julia De Burgos’s first collection of poems, Poemas exactas a mi misma, is self-published in Puerto Rico. Later De Burgos will move to New York where she will win awards for her journalism.
1938 Julia De Brugos’s second collection of poems, Poema en veinte surcos, is published. An advocate for Puerto Rican independence and an activist for women’s civil rights, Burgo’s socio-political poems center on the self in society at large. Featured in this collection is her best known and often anthologized poem, “Río Grande de Loíza.”
1941 The Forgotten Village, a photo essay book written by John Steinbeck, illustrated with some 136 still photos taken from the motion picture by the same name, is published by Viking Press, New York. The film is a well meaning but ultimately condescending in its docu-dramatic portrayal of the life of a peasant family in a small Mexican village.
1942 María Cristina Mena Chambers novel, The Water Carrier’s Secret, is published.
1945 Josephina Niggli, whose mother is Mexican and father is Anglo, writes about her experiences being part Mexican and part Anglo in her collection of short stories, Mexican Village. After a brief career in Hollywood working as a writer on such motion pictures as Mark of Zorro and Sombrero, she later moves to North Carolina where she joins the faculty at Western Carolina University. While there she continues to write for such television programs as The Twilight Zone and Have Gun Will Travel into the 1960s.
1947 Luis Pérez’s autobiographical novel El Coyote: the Rebel, is published by Henry Holt. The book, with illustrations by noted artist Leo Politi, chronicles his experiences as an immigrant in the United States.
1948 North From Mexico, Cary McWilliams’ exhaustive overview of Mexican American history, the first of its kind, is published by Greenwood Press. This insightful and thoroughly researched history of the Mexican American presence in the United States will remain as the authoritative text until supplanted in 1972 by Rodolfo Acuña’s ground-breaking history, Occupied America: The Chicano’s Struggle Toward Liberation.
1953 La Carreta (The Oxcart), a play about the Puerto Rican immigrant experience to New York, written by René Marquéz, has its New York premiere at the Church of San Sebastian. The play, directed by Roberto Rodriguez, captures quintessentially the Puerto Rican migrant experience to New York and soon becomes an enormously successful play in New York and in Puerto Rico. In 1970, Puerto Rican filmmaker José García will make a short film based on the play.
1953 Boy Heroes of Chapultepec; a Story of the Mexican War, written by María Cristina Mena Chambers is published in New York.
1958 Scholar Américo Paredes classic study of border ballads, With a Pistol in His Hands, is first published by the University of Texas Press.
1959 The Evergreen Review literary magazine devotes an entire issue to Mexican authors titled “The Eye of Mexico.” For the first time in a mainstream magazine, Americans are introduced to the writings of such Mexican authors as Juan Rulfo, Carlos Fuentes, Jaime Sabines, Elena Poniatowski and Octavio Paz.
1959 Pocho, written by José Antonio Villareal, another novel depicting the Chicano experience from immigration from Mexico to life in the United States, is published by Doubleday Press.
1959 Breve reseña de la literature hispana de Nuevo Mexico y Colorado (Brief Review of Hispanic Literature of New Mexico and Colorado) by José T. López, Edgardo Nuñez and Robert Lara Vilapando is published. The book’s review of existing Hispanic literature casts a new light on the role of literature in the Chicano/Mexicano communities of the United States.
1960 Puerto Rican author Enrique Laguerre’s novel El Laberinto, is translated and published by Americas Press, New York, as The Labyrinth.
1961 Mexican poet Octavio Paz’s The Labyrinth of Solitude is published by Grove Press, New York. A purported psychological study of the Mexican psyche, the work will find a negative reaction within the Chicano community of the 1960s for its denigrating and simplistic portrayal of the Pachuco experience of the 1940s. Poet José Montoya will respond to these portrayals in his poem, “A Pachuco Portfolio.” (SEE LATINOPIA VIDEO: JOSÉ MONTOYA READS “PACHUCO PORTFOLIO.”)
1961 Jesús Colón’s collection, A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Stories is published by Mainstream Press, New York. Colón, who came to New York in the 1920s and is a Black Puerto Rican, offers one of the earliest commentaries on the discrimination experienced by Black Puerto Ricans in New York City.
1963 City of Night written by John Rechy, born of a Scottish father and Mexican American mother in El Paso, Texas, is published. The novel soon becomes a classic of gay literature and is censored due to its sexual content.
1964 Sabine R. Ulibarri’s stories about the lives and customs of New Mexico Chicanos, Tierra Amarilla: Stories of New Mexico, is published in Quito, Equador for dissemination in the United States. Ulibarri’s stories validating the Mexican Americans experience in the United States presage the explosion of Chicano literary activity that will explode on the scene in the next few years.
1966 Island in Harlem, written by Manuel Manrique, is published by Day Press, New York. It is one of the first autobiographical novels dealing with the Puerto Rican immigrant experience in the United States that also specifically focuses on the issue of racial differences between black and white within the Puerto Rican community itself.
1967 Puerto Rican writer Piri Thomas’s landmark book Down These Mean Streets, depicting his coming of age in New York’s Spanish Harlem, is published by Vintage Books. The book becomes an instant best seller and puts the Nuyorican experience on the literary map.
1967 Tatoo the Wicked Cross, written by Floyd Salas, is published. The novel recounts the experiences of a young pachuco (zootsuiter) interned at a California juvenile prison farm and recounts the struggles between his culture and faith and the harsh realities of the environment in which he finds himself trapped.
1967 In Denver, Colorado, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez, director of the Crusade for Justice, publishes an epic poem about the Chicano experience titled I Am Joaquin. Within a short time the poem will become one of the most widely read poems within the Chicano community. (SEE LATINOPIA.COM VIDEO: 1969 Denver Youth Conference)
1967 El Grito, the first journal of Chicano writing is published in Berkeley by Quinto Sol Publications. The editor, Octavio Romano sees the need to promote Chicano writings and will soon institute the Premio Quinto Sol for best writing by Chicanos.
1967 Numbers, written by John Rechy is published.
1968 Peruvian born writer Carlos Casteneda’s account of his purported studies under the tutelage of Yaqui shaman Juan Matus, The Teachings of Don Juan, is published. The book, first in a series of books exploring a nonordinary reality, finds a welcome reception among Latino and non-Latino readers in an age of psychedelia.
1968 One of the leading “Neo-rican” or “Nuyorican” poets, Victor Hernández Cruz’s first collection of poetry, Snaps, is published by Random House, New York. Cruz becomes known for his use of “Spanglish” and Latin and African-American musical rhythms like salsa and jazz in his intellectualized urban depictions of the Nuyorican experience.
1968 From an abusive upbringing in Puerto Rico to becoming the leader of one of the most violent streets gangs in New York, Nicky Cruz’s autobiography Run, Baby, Run is published.
1968 I Am Joaquin, the epic poem written by Corky Gonzalez, is produced as documentary film by Luis and Daniel Valdez with photography by George Ballis. The film’s stark visuals tied to the Gonzalez text encapsulates the emergent sensibility and rebellion of the Chicano movement. Two years later, Rosalío Muñoz and Robert Elías will carry copies of the film throughout the Southwest, visiting Chicano centers and using the film to promote and gather support for the impending August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium in East Los Angeles.
1969 The Plum Plum Pickers written by Raymond Barrio is published by Ventura Press.Born in New Jersey of Spanish parents, Barrios writes a social protest novel about the exploitation of Mexican migrant farm workers in the Santa Clara Valley of California.
1969 This Day’s Death written by John Rechy is published.
1969 Chicano: 25 pieces of a Chicano Mind is published by Texas based poet Abelardo Delgado.
1969 In March, San Diego based poet Alurista attends the First Denver Youth Conference at the Crusade for Justice. There he pens the Preamble to the Plan de Aztlán and reads it before the assembly of several hundred young activists. The poem’s poetic identification of the American Southwest as a Chicano homeland finds immediate resonance with the audience. The concept of “Aztlán” becomes embedded in the consciousness of Chicano activists. (SEE LATINOPIA.COM VIDEO: 1969 Denver Youth Conference)
1969 At a rally called by the Puerto Rican militant group The Young Lords to protest the police killing of one of their members, Nuyorican poet Pedro Pietri first reads his
searing and plaintive poem “Puerto Rican Obituary.” The poem is published in 1973
by the Monthly Review Press, New York.
1969 Quinto Sol publications publishes what is arguably the first anthology of Chicano Literature, El Espejo, The Mirror edited by Octavio Romano-V.and Herminio Ríos
1970 Doubleday & Company publishes the novel Chicano written by Richard Vasquez. The novel follows three generations of the Sandoval family beginning with the life of Patriarch Hector Sandoval, who flees the unrest of the Mexican Revolution to find his future in the United States, and continuing with the life of his son Pete and then Pete’s daughter Mariana. The novel is one of many Chicano novels to explore the Mexican
immigrant experience and the assimilation experience of subsequent generations.
1970 Crazy Gypsy, a collection poems written by Luis Omar Salinas is published by
Orígenes publications. With surrealist touches, Salinas’ poems deal with alienation and abandonment, primarily due to the loss of his mother, and his Chicano experience in an Anglo American culture.
1970 Free, Free at Last, written by Raymundo Pérez is published.
1971 Canto y grito mi liberación/The Liberation of a Chicano Mind, written by poet
Ricardo Sanchez, is published in El Paso, Texas by Míctla Publications. The
collection of poems, essays and remembrances establishes Ricardo as one of the
leading poets of the emerging Chicano movement.
1971 Tomás Rivera’s seminal work …y no se lo trago la tierra (And the Earth did not Swallow him up) wins the first Premio Quinto Sol award. The work, a collection of interconnected short stories based on his experiences of growing up on the migrant trail from Texas to the Midwest, will soon become a classic of Chicano literature. An accomplished academician as well as an author, in 1979 Rivera will be appointed Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside. He will govern as Chancellor until his sudden
untimely death of a heart attack in 1985.
1971 San Diego-based poet Alurista’s collection Floricanto en Aztlán is published by the U.C.L.A. Chicano Studies Center.
1971 Estela Portillo Trammley’s play, Day of the Swallows is published. The play concerns a woman rebelling against marriage, and like most of Trammley’s work, depicts a Chicana in her struggle for identity and autonomy from traditional and patriarchal institutions.
1971 Actos: The Teatro Campesino, a collection of plays written by Luis Valdez and the members of the Teatro
Campesino is published by Cucaracha Press in San Juan Baustista, California.
1971 Dr. Ernesto Galarza, farm worker labor organizer and educator, published his autobiographical novel Barrio Boy. The book chronicles Galarza’s childhood in the small Mexican town of Jalcocotán, his family’s journey first to Tucson, Arizona and then to California where they settle in Sacramento.
1972 Rodolfo Acuña ground-breaking history, Occupied America: The Chicano’s Struggle Toward Liberation is published. Within a short time the book will become the standard text for Chicano studies at universities and colleges throughout the Southwest.
1972 The Puerto Rican Poets, edited by Alfredo Matilla and Iván Silén is published by Bantam Books.
1972 Aztlán: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature, edited by Stan Steiner and Luis Valdez, is published by Random House, New York. The anthology is distinguished for including José Montoya’s landmark poem “El Louie,” among other significant works of Chicano literature.( SEE LATINOPIA.COM VIDEO: José Montoya Reads “El Louie”)
1972 The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo by Oscar Acosta is published by Straight Arrow Books, San Francisco. Acosta is the celebrated Chicano movement attorney whose defense of the “L.A. Thirteen” in 1968, the “Biltmore Six” in 1969 and his participation in the Inquest into the Death of Ruben Salazar in 1970 placed him in the public limelight.
1972 Rudolfo A. Anaya’s novel Bless Me Ultima wins the second Premio Quinto Sol Award and is published by Quinto Sol Publications. Set in the New Mexico, the novel is the coming of age story of a young man grappling with a dual heritage in a time of change. In the next several decades the novel will prove to be the most widely read novel written by a Chicano in the United States. It was recommended by the National Education Association as the book to read in 2008. (SEE LATINOPIA.COM VIDEO: Rodolfo Añaya reads from Bless me Ultima)
1972 The Fourth Angel by John Rechy is published.
1972 El Sol y los de abajo, a collection of poems by José Montoya is published.
1972 The epic poem of the Chicano experience I Am Joaquin, written by civil rights activist Rodolfo “Corky “Gonzalez, is published by Bantam Books, New York, making the epic rendering of the Chicano experience available to a mainstream readership.
1972 Tino Villanueva’s collection of poems, Hay Otra vos Poems is published by Editorial Mensaje, Staten Island. Part of the Chicano Literary Renaissance, Villanueva infuses his poems with both English and Spanish and shows what it’s like to live in both worlds.
1972 Perros y antiperros written by Sergio Elizondo is published. Part of Chicano Movement Poetry, Elizondo’s poems are critical and confrontational of Anglos (“Perros”) from the perspective of a Chicano (“Antiperros”)
1972 The Secret Meaning of Death written by Raymundo Pérez is published.
1972 Nationchild Plumaroja, a collection of poetry with indigenous themes written by
Alurista is published.
1973 Rolando Hinojosa Smith’s collection of stories about the Rio Grande Valley,
Estampas del Valle y otras obras, wins the third Premio Quinto Sol award and is
published by Quinto Sol Publications in Berkeley, California. In Estampas del Valle
and later works, Hinojosa creates the fictional Belkin County, a fictionalizing of the
people and places of Rio Grande Valley of Southern, Texas where he was raised.
1973 Nephtalí De León’s Chicano Poet is published by Trucha Publications in Lubbock, Texas.
1973 In New York’s East Village, Nuyorican poets such as Miguel Piñero, Pedro Pietri,
Lucky Cienfuegos, Sandra María Esteves and others gather to read their works at
the apartment of Rutgers Professor Miguel Algarín. By 1975, the success of the informal poetry readings forces Algarín to rent an Irish pub which he converts into the Nuyorican Poets Café. For the next four decades the Nuyorican Poets Café will remain as a vital force in the New York Latino literary scene.
1973 Nuyorican poet Pedro Pietri’s searing Puerto Rican Obituary, is published the Monthly Review Press.
1973 At KCET-TV, in Los Angeles, California, José Luís Ruiz and Antonio Parra produce “Cantos de Aztlán,” a half hour dramatic reading by the two foremost “poets of Aztlán,” Ricardo Sanchez and Alurista. The show features the Sanchez poems, “Letter to Zapata,” and “Soledad” and Alurista’s “Old Man” and “Fruto de Bronze.”
1973 The Revista Chicano-Riqueña begins publication. Within a short time the magazine, edited by Dr. Nicholas Kanellos, will morph into Arte Público Press which will publish a new generation of Latino writers in the United States in the decades to follow.
1973 Puerto Rican writer Pedro Juan Soto’s 1956 novel, Spiks, is translated from the Spanish and published by Monthly Review Press,
1973 Bajo el sol de Aztlán: 25 soles de Abelardo, a poetry collection by Abelardo “Lalo” Delgado is published by Barrio Publications.
1974 In San Antonio, Texas Caracol magazine begins publication. The periodical, featuring social issues articles and commentaries as well as poems and short stories will continue until 1979.
1974 Peregrinos de Aztlán, the classic work by Tucson construction worker turned author Miguel Méndez M. is published by Editorial Peregrinos. The novel like most of Mendez M.’s work, is written in Spanish and even includes Yaqui. Also, the novel is not preoccupied with plot or linear fashion, but follows more of an oral storytelling tradition structure with a narrator relating stories to elicit emotion and a social call to action.
1974 María Teresa Babín and Stan Steiner are editors on Borinquen: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Literature published by Knopf Press, New York.
1974 In New York, Dr. Gary Keller begins publication of the periodical, The Bilingual Review. Within a short time, Gary Keller and his staff at the Bilingual Review will begin publishing a wide range of Latino writers. (SEE LATINOPIA.COM PROFILE: The Bilingual Review Press)
1975 In San Antonio, Angela De Hojos’s Arise Chicano and Other poems is published by Texas A & M press.
1975 At the University of California at Irvine, writer Alejandro Morales and his colleagues at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese institute the Chicano Literary Prize.The first, second and third prize winner are Ron Arias for The Wetback, William Busic for The Grey Dogs, and Ramón Ortiz for Cecilia.
1975 Los Criados humanos (épica de los desamparados) y Sahuaros by Miguel Méndez M. is published by Pajarito Publications in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1975 Contemporary Chicano Theatre, edited by Roberto Garza, is published by the University of Notre Dame Press.
1975 Rain of Scorpions and Other Writings by Estela Portillo-Tramley wins the fifth and last
Quinto Sol Literary Award is published by Tonatiuh International, Berkeley, California.
1975 Nuyorican Poetry: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Words and Feelings, edited by Miguel Algarín and Miguel Piñero is published by Morrow Press, New York.
1976 The literary magazine Grito Del Sol begins publication. It will continue until 1981.
1976 HECHIZOspells, a collection of poetry by Ricardo Sanchez, is published by the Chicano
Studies Center of the University of California at Los Angeles.
1976 Rodolfo Anaya’s coming of age novel, Heart of Aztlán, chronicling the passage of a Chicano family from rural to urban New Mexico in the 1950s, is published by Justa Publications of Berkeley, California.
1976 New Mexican poet Bernice Zamora’s collection, Restless Serpents, is published jointly with José Antonio Burciaga by Diseños Literarios, Menlo Park, California. Samora’s poems are feminist and literary, and are concerned with the conservation of Chicano values and heritage.
1976 The Second Annual Chicano Literary Prize at UC Irvine is announced: Winners include Rosa M. Carsillo, Gary Soto and Rosaura Sanchez in fiction.
1977 Maize literary magazine begins publication in San Diego, California. The magazine
will continue publishing Chicano as well as international Latino writers until 1986.
1977 Gary Soto’s poetry collection The Elements of San Joaquin, in which he recalls his experiences growing up in California’s San Joaquin Valley, is published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The poetry collection wins the United States Award of the International Poetry Forum and puts Soto on the map as one of the leading Chicano
1977 John Rechy’s The Sexual Outlaw is published by Grove Press, New York.
1977 Nash Candelaria’s novel Memories of the Alhambra is published by Cibola Press.
1977 Alma Villanueva’s first collection of poems, Blood Root, is published by the Place of Herons Press, Austin, Texas. Villanueva draws on her Yaqui Indian heritage for poems about nature and a matriarchal society.
1977 The Third Annual Chicano Literary Prize at the University of California at Irvine winners include Marisela Cortez Adams, Rey Madueño and Robert Rodriguez in fiction and Alma Villanueva, Victor Manuel Valle and Carlos Lombrana in poetry.
1978 La Palabra literary magazine begins publication. It will continue until 1983.
1978 The Road to Tamazunchale, Ron Arias’s classic surreal journey from Los Angeles to Latin America told through the eyes of Don Fausto, a man at the end of his life, is published by Pajarito Publications in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1978 Nuyorican Piri Thomas’ collection Stories from El Barrio is published by Knopf Publishers, New York.
1978 Gary Soto’s second collection of poems, The Tale of Sunlight, is published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.
1978 The Fourth Annual Chicano Literary Awards at the University of California at Irvine include Rita María Canales, Samuel Roybal and Dolores Ramos in fiction and Nedra Ruiz, Javier Pacheco and José Alfaro in poetry.
1979 Modern Chicano Writers: A Collection of Critical Essays is published by Prentice-Hall. The collection, edited by Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and Joseph Sommers, includes analytical essays on the works of Chicano authors Tomás Rivera, Alurista, Tino Villanueva, Bernice Zamora, José Montoya, and Luís Valdez.
1979 I Go Dreaming Serenades, a poetry collection by Luis Omar Salinas is published by Mango Publications in San Jose, California.
1979 Puerto Rican poet Luz María Umpierre’s poetry collection Una Puertorriqueña en Penna is published in Puerto Rico. Within a short time Umpierre will become one of the leading Puerto Rican women poets in New York.
1979 Arte Público Press publishes La Carreta Made a U-Turn, the first poetry collection of exuberant Nuyorican poet Tato Laviera.
1979 Helen María Viramontes heads the winners of the Fifth Annual Chicano Literary Prize at UC Irvine. Second and third place winners in fiction are M.C. Peralta and Reymundo Gamboa. In poetry the first, second and third prize winners are Orlando Ramírez, Juan Felipe Herrera and Art Godínez.
1980 Inventing a Word. An Anthology of Twentieth Century Puerto Rican Poetry, edited by Julio Marzán, is published by Columbia University Press, New York.
1980 Winners of the Sixth Annual Chicano Literary Prize from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California at Irvine are announced. In fiction the winners are David Nava Monreal, Jesús Mena, and Arnold Bojórquez; in poetry the winners are Rubén Medina, Benito Pastoriza and Rosemary Susan Cadena.
1981 Dolores Prida’s play Coser y Cantar is performed at the INTAR theater, New York.
1981 Puerto Rican author Benito Pastoriza Lyodo publishes his collection of poems, Lo coloro de lo incoloro (The color of the colorless) which has won the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for 1979-1980.
1982 Puerto Rican Victor Hernandez Cruz’s collection of surreal bilingual poems, By Lingual Wholes, is published.
1982 Martín Espada’s poetry collection, The Immigrant Iceboy’s Bolero, along with photos taken by his father, is published by Cordillera Press, Natick, Mass. Espada’s poems focus on his growing up in the tough Linden Projects of Brooklyn and on the everyday people and workers that he’ll continue to champion later as a tenant lawyer and poet.
1982 Richard Rodriguez’s autobiographical memoir Hunger of Memory is published by Bantam Books.
1982 Gregg Barrios’s Puro Rollo (A Colores) is published by Posada Press, Los Angeles. A former Los Angeles Times correspondent and San Antonio writer, Barrios expresses his disillusion with the leaders of the Chicano Movement.
1982 New York author Luz María Umpierre’s En El Pais de las Maravillas (Wonderland) is published by Third Woman Press, Bloomington, Indiana.
1982 The Nuyorican Experience: The Literature of the Puerto Rican Minority, by Eugene Mohr, is published by Greenwood Press.
1982 The Adventures of the Chicano Kid, written by Texas-based writer Max Martínez, is published by Arte Público Press.
1982 New York Puerto Rican author Edward Rivera’s coming of age memoir, Family Installments: Memories of Growing Up Hispanic is published by Morrow Press. The collection of vignettes chronicles his experiences growing up in New York’s Spanish Harlem.
1983 Novelist Lionel G. García is awarded the PEN Southwest Discovery Prize for his novel Leaving Home.
1983 Cuban-born Oscar Hijuelos’s first novel One House in the Last World, which recounts the experience of a Cuban immigrant family in New York’s Spanish Harlem, is published.
1984 Sandra Cisneros’s landmark collection of remembrances/novel The House on Mango Street is published by Arte Público Press. The following year, the book wins the American Book Award, establishing Sandra Cisneros as a vital new voice in Latino literature.
1984 The Monthly Review Press publishes, in English translation, Bernardo Vega’s Memoirs of Bernardo Vega: A Contribution to the history of the Puerto Rican Community in New York. The memoir by Vega, a cigar maker who came to New York in the 1920s, is an encyclopedic remembrance of events involving Puerto Ricans in New York and the island going back top the previous century.
1984 Pedro Pietri’s The Masses Are Asses is published by Waterfront Press.
1984 Cuentos Chicanos, an anthology of stories by a variety of leading Chicano authors, edited by Rudolfo A. Anaya and Antonio Márquez is published by the University of New Mexico Press.
1985 The Sheep Meadow Press publishes Five Indiscretions: Poems by Alberto Ríos. The poems explore desire, sexuality, religion, social boundaries between men and women and life on the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
1985 New Yorker Ed Vega’s novel, The Comeback, is published by Arte Público Press.
1985 Living Up the Street, Gary Soto’s memoir of growing up in Fresno, California, is awarded the Before Columbus American Book Award. The same year, his collection of poems, Black Hair is published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.
1985 Selected Poems by Ricardo Sanchez is published by Arte Público Press, Houston, Texas.
1985 San Antonio poet Evangelina Vigil-Piñon’s collection Thirty an’ Seen a Lot is published by Arte Público Press. Her poems reflect the search for a Chicana identity and unity for all Chicanos and Chicanas by the use of images, words and sounds of the barrio. In later years Vigil-Piñon will become a popular writers of children’s literatrure.
1985 Nuyorican poet Tato Laviera’s second collection of poems, Enclave, is published by
Arte Público Press.
1986 Estela Portillo Trambley’s novel, Trini, is published by the Bilingual Review Press.
1986 The autobiographical Last of the Menu Girls, by New Mexico writer Denise Chávez is published by Arte Público Press. The collection of stories, including the title story which wins the 1985 Puerto Del Sol fiction award, soon establishes Denise Chávez as an important voice in Chicano literature. (SEE LATINOPIA.COM VIDEO: Denise Chávez reads from Last of the Menu Girls)
1987 Bilingual Review Press publishes Martín Espada’s collection of poems Trumpets from the Islands of their Eviction.
1987 Arte Público Press publishes Lionel G. García’s novel A Shroud in the Family.
1987 Puerto Rican native Judith Ortiz Cofer’s first collection of poems, Reaching for the Mainland, is published by the Bilingual Review Press.
1987 Sandra Cisneros’ collection of provocative poems, My Wicked, Wicked Ways is published by Third Woman Press, Berkeley, California. In these poems Cisneros advocates for women to reappropriate their sexuality as opposed to what society expects from them.
1988 Alejandro Morales’ recollection of the Simons brick yard in Southern California, and the Mexican American community that developed around it in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, The Brick People, is published by Arte Público Press.
1988 Genaro González’s novel, Rainbow’s End, chronicling the multiple generations of a Mexican American family living in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, is published
by Arte Público Press.
1988 Arte Público Press publishes Anna Viramontes’s The Moths and Other Stories.
1988 Death of an Anglo, Alejandro Morales’s novel about the efforts by an idealistic young doctor’s effort to help the Chicanos of Mathis, Texas, is translated from the Spanish and published by Bilingual Review Press. The original Spanish version was published in Mexico by Joaquin Moritz press in 1979 under the title La verdad sin voz.
1989 Poems from Across the Pavement by Luis J. Rodriguez is published by Tía Chucha Press.
1989 The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Oscar Hijuelos’s pean to Cuban music in America is published by Harper & Row. The novel will be made into a motion picture in 1995 starring Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas.
1989 Skin Deep, New York author Guy García’s first novel is published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
1989 Puerto Rican poet Judith Ortiz Cofer’s The Line of the Sun is published by the University of Georgia Press.
1989 Cuban born Virgil Suárez’s novel Latin Jazz is published. The novel chronicles a three-generation Cuban American family in Los Angeles dureing the April 1980 Mariel boat lift.
1990 Rudolfo A. Anaya: Focus on Criticism is published by Lalo Press, La Jolla. The collection of critical essays covering all aspects of the literary work of acclaimed novelist Rudolfo Anaya is edited by Cesar A. González-T.
1990 Nicholasa Mohr’s novel Going Home is published by Bantam books.
1990 Who Will Know Us? A collection of poems by Gary Soto is published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco.
1990 Martín Espada’s poetry collection Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands, wins the PEN/Revson Award for Poetry. Espada’s combative poems use historical facts and personal anecdotes to give voice to oppressed minorities.
1990 Judith Ortiz Cofer’s autobiographical remembrance of journeying between the realities of Puerto Rico and the United States, and the formative effect on her identity, Silent Dancing, A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood, is published by Arte Público Press.
1991 Victor Valle’s poetry chapbook Calendar of Souls, Wheel of Fire, is published by Pacific Writers Press.
1991 The Concrete River, a collection of poems about the Los Angeles urban experiences by Luis J. Rodríguez, is published by Curbstone Press. (SEE LATINOPIA.COM VIDEO: Luis Rodríguez reads “The Concrete River”)
1992 Rodolfo Anaya’s novel, Alburquerque, at once an examination of the social dynamics of a major city but also a metaphor of the Chicano’s quest for an American identity, is published by the University of New Mexico Press. The novel follows Abrán González, who knows he is half-Mexican and half-Anglo, on his search to find out the true identity of his blood father.
1992 The Rag Doll Plagues, Alejandro Morales’s allegorical, visionary novel that takes place in three different time periods, the Aztec past, the contemporary present and in an America of the future where California and Mexico have joined together in a confederation, is
published by Arte Público Press.
1992 Iguana Dreams, New Latino Fiction, an anthology of new fiction by established and new Latino writers edited by Delia Poey and Virgil Suárez, is published by Harper Perennial.
1993 Dagoberto Gilb’s novel The Magic of Blood wins the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction. Having worked in construction and carpentry. Gilb’s novel gives voice to the Chicano working class in the American Southwest.
1993 Riding Low on the Streets of Gold, a collection of short stories for young people edited by poet Judith Ortiz Cofer, is published by Arte Público Press. The authors in the
collection include Roberta Fernández, Tomás Rivera, Jesús Salvador Treviño, Helena María Viramontes, Victor Villaseñor and others.
1993 Pieces of the Heart, a collection of “New Chicano Fiction” edited by Gary Soto, is published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco. The collection includes works by Sandra Cisneros, Dagoberto Gilb, Ana Castillo, Guy Garcia, Helena María Viramontes and Alberto Ríos and others.
1993 Ana Castillo wins the Carl Sandburg Award and the Southwestern Booksellers Award for her novel So Far from God. Using magical realism, Castillo weaves together the interconnected voices of its four protagonists and explores the challenges faced by the members of a New Mexico family living along the U.S. Mexico border,
1993 Always Running, written by Luis J. Rodríquez, is published by Curbstone Press. The searing autobiographical account of growing up as a drug addicted gang member in the
violent streets of Los Angeles gains instant recognition for its author and jumpstarts Rodríguez’s career as one of the important new voices in Latino writings.
1993 The History of Home, a collection of poems by New Mexico author Leroy V. Quintana, is published by Bilingual Review Press.
1994 Bilingual Review Press publishes Demetria Martinez’s landmark novel, Mother Tongue.
1994 Face of an Angel, Denise Chávez’s provocative novel–structured around the Book of Service for waitresses–is published by Warner Books.
1994 New York based journalist Guy García’s second novel, Obsidian Sky, is published by Simon & Schuster.
1994 Happy Birthday, Jesus, Attorney Ronald L. Ruiz’s dark novel of the transformation of an innocent Mexican American youth into a psychopathic criminal, is published by Arte Público Press.
1995 Loose Woman, Sandra Cisneros’s collection of bawdy, erotic, humorous and introspective poems is published by Vintage Books.
1995 Zia Summer, Rodolfo Anaya’s first mystery novel featuring the Albuquerque private detective Sonny Baca, is published by Warner Books. Building on a minor character in his novel Alburquerque, this is the first of the Sonny Baca mystery quartet of novels.
1995 Cactus Blood, Lucha Corpi’s second mystery novel featuring Chicana detective Gloria Damasco, is published by Arte Público Press.
1996 Goddess of the Americas, a collection of writings on the patron saint of Mexico, the Virgin de Guadalupe, edited by Ana Castillo, is published by Riverhead Books, New York. Among the authors weighing in on the Empress of the Americas are Richard Rodríguez, Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ana Castillo, Pat Mora, Rubén Martínez, Cherrie Moraca and Denise Chavez.
1996 Rio Grande Fall, the second in Rodolfo Anaya’s Sonny Baca mystery series is published by Warner Books.
1996 The Latino Press at the City University of New York (CUNY) publishes Benito Pastoriza Iyodo’s collection of short stories Cuestión de hombres (A Matter of Men). The collection is later published in English as well.
1996 Graciela Limón’s poignant post-Conquest novel about the struggle of an Aztec princess to survive in a world where the Spanish conqueror dominates all, Song of the Hummingbird, is published by Arte Público Press.
1997 The Loves of Ricardo, an anthology of the poetry and essays of the late Ricardo Sanchez is published by Tía Chucha Press, the publication label created by Chicano author Luis J. Rodriguez. Compiled two years after Sanchez’s death, the anthology consists of love poems written by Sanchez between 1963 and 1989 and critical essays on the body of Sanchez’s work.
1997 Pat Mora’s tour de force novel House of Houses is published by The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona. The narrative, told in the voice of members of several generations of the same family, chronicles the family’s emigration to the United States
and their efforts to adapt to their new home. The book is a kind of collective memoir of Pat Mora’s family and ancestors.
1997 Guy García’s second novel Skin Deep is published by UC Berkeley Press. The novel follows a recent Harvard graduate as he searches for a missing illegal alien only to discover the conflictive nature of his own identity.
1997 Virgil Suárez’s autobiographical collection of essays, stories and poems about growing up in Cuba and eventually leaving for the United States, Spared Angola, Memories from a Cuban American Childhood, is published by Arte Público Press.
1998 Urban Exile, a collection of writings by Harry Gamboa, Jr., a member of the celebrated ASCO art collective of the 1970s and an accomplished photographer, videographer and author, is published by the University of Minnesota Press. The collection includes essays,
fiction and plays from the 1970s,1980sand 1990s.
1999 Barefoot Heart, Elva Treviño Hart’s autobiographical account of growing up as a child migrant laborer is published to great success by Bilingual Review Press.
1999 Shaman Winter, the third installment in Rodolfo Anaya’s quartet of mystery novels
featuring Albuquerque private detective Sonny Baca is published by Warner Books.
1999 Capirotada, Alberto Álvario Ríos memoir of growing up along the U.S. Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona is published by the University of New Mexico Press. Like the food capirotada (bread pudding) this memoir is a mixture of the people and of the two cultures in Ríos’ life as a child.
1999 Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation, John Phillips Santos’ memoir is published by Penquin Books.
2001 Hearts and Hands, Creating Community In Violent Times written by Luis J, Rodríguez is published by Seven Stories Press. In the collection of essays, Rodríguez addresses America’s gang problem and offers ways of creating a positive future for the troubled youth of the inner city.
2001 Spanish born Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s international best seller The Shadow of the Wind is published making Zafón an overnight literary sensation. Within a short time he moves to Los Angeles, California.
2001 Denise Chávez’s novel, Loving Pedro Infante, is published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
2002 The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, a collection of poems by Albert Ríos, is published by Copper Canyon Press.
2002 The Republic of East L.A., a collection of short stories by Luis J. Rodriguez, is published by Rayo Press. From the first person narrative of an Eastside limo driver, to the despair of two out of work factory workers, to the wailing testimonials of an evangelical preacher, the stories reveal the struggles and victories of average people from the neighborhood where Rodríguez grew up.
2003 Moving Target, A Memoir of Pursuit, written by journalist Ron Arias, is published by Bilingual Review Press. The memoir delves into Arias’s childhood and the intrigue surrounding the true identity and activities of his father, a Korean War POW who returned home only to mysteriously sever ties with his family and sons.
2003 Juan Delgado’s collection of poems, A Rush of Hands, is published by the University of Arizona Press. The title refers to the hands rushing to grab candies when a piñata is busted open. Likewise are Delgado’s poems about the harsh realities of life on the border where the rushing hands may bear little fruit, but occasionally are rewarded with a small peice of sweet hope.
2004 The New Mainstream, an analysis of the growth and influence of the Latino population in the U.S., by Guy García, is published by Harper Collins.
2005 Copper Canyon Press publishes Alberto Ríos’ poetry collection, The Theater of Night. (SEE LATINOPIA.COM VIDEO: Alberto Ríos reads from The Theater of Night).
2005 My Nature is Hunger, a compilation of poems written between 1989 and 2004 by Luis J. Rodríguez is published by Curbstone Press. (SEE LATINOPIA.COM VIDEO: Luís Rodríguez reads from Always Running.)
2005 Jemez Spring, by Rodolfo Anaya, the final installment in private detective Sonny Baca’s adventures through the New Mexico seasons, is published by the University of New Mexico Press.
2005 Music of the Mill, social activists and ex-gang member Luis J. Rodriguez’s first novel is published by Rayo Press, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
2006 The premiere issue of Palabra, A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Lliterary Art, edited by Elena Minor, is published in Los Angeles.
2006 Rudolfo Anaya’s collection of short stories The Man Who Could Fly and other stories is published by the University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma. In these stories, Anaya conveys the magic and moral purpose of storytelling.
2007 Hector Torres’s Conversations with Contemporary Chicano and Chicano Writers, a book of provocative interviews with such renowned Chicano/a authors as Rolando Hinojosa, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ana Castillo, Pat Mora, Sandra Cisneros and Richard Rodríguez, is published by the University of New Mexico Press.
2007 School teacher Margarita Drago’s autobiographical Memory Tracks:
Fragments from Prison, 1975-1980, an account of her experiences as a political prisoner in Argentina during the 1970s, is published by Editorial Campana, New York.
2007 Arizona born poet and short story writer Ricardo Lira Acuna’s Under the Influence is published in Los Angeles.
2007 So I Won’t Forget, Paquita Suárez Coalla’s collection of short stories as told by the women of Asturia, Spain, is published by Editorial Campana.
2007 The massive, two-volume Festschrift honoring literary scholar and author Don Luis Leal , One Hundred Years of Loyalty, In Honor of Luis Leal, Vols. I & II is published by the University of California at Santa Barbara. The publication includes homages by a wide range of authors, scholars, poets, playwrights, and novelists honoring Don Luis on the occasion of his 100th birthday.
2009 Ricardo Lira Acuña’s Greetings from Heaven and Hell is performed at the New Los Angeles Theater Center. The staged readings and dramatizations, with musical accompaniment, are based on Acuña second anthology of poetry. (SEE LATINOPIA VIDEO: Ricardo Acuña reads “ Mujer ”).
2009 Playwright Josefina Lopez’s first novel, Hungry Woman in Paris, is published by Grand Central Publishing.