Posts Tagged ‘library’

Escritores is a community writing group started by Chimayo Poet, David Martinez. The writing groups meets twice a month at the Northern New Mexico Collage library. For the second October gathering, El Razafotografista was the facilitator of the writing group. Three images were used as prompts for poems. Those images and poems are being shared here.

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El Esqueleto Borracho
© 10-23-14, Angelo J. Sandoval

In the dark shadow
of the bar’s rincon
sat a figure slumped on his chair
the flash of the stage light
hit his face
rancheras and cumbias giving
bailadores rhythm to dance too.

The ghostly figure’s dark eyes
sparkle with the turn of the disco ball
head tilted to the left, slumped on his shoulder.

Just before sun down
he made his way to Vic’s Bar
casting his ghostly shadow on
bar patrons as he made his
way to his favorite corner.
He waves down the mesero to the
darkness of his misery, the corner.

Face hiding in the shadows,
he speaks in a low tone
with a rustic voice,
“Same una botella de tequila.”

Triste corridors make there way
to his ears,
the tears run down from his eyes
as the musica plays.

Memories of lost lovers
and war torn memories
fill his soul,
the tequila feels his sorrows

the disco ball shines light
into his dark eyes
sadness fills his heart
as tequila fills his panzita.

Sitting in the corner,
the clock Strick’s one o’clock
the musica died out
empty bottle of tequila,
the man stumbles out into
the full moon
light shines through his rib cage
the sorrow of the dead man
feels the night sky.

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La Esqueletafotografista
© 10-23-14, Angelo J. Sandoval

She came from the land of immortality
as soul from ancient times
units with modern technology

Kneeling behind her camera
La Esqueleta looks dead ahead
spooked by the wonder of the day
she recognizes flower designs
and colorful patterns
the paleness of white brought to
life by the brightness of colors.

The figure is unknown to her
never seen in the land of the immortals
her camera, to heavy to hold up
her arms frozen to the unknown figure.

She is unable to capture the moment
the figures are not real to hug yet
they approached her in song and dance,
in collaboration………… She asks, “quien son”?

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Please feel free to use these images to create your own poems. If you would like for your poem to be added to this post please email poems/prose/short stories (under 350 words) here. for review and consideration. Authors retain all rights to their work. Photographs are copyrighted by El Razafotografista and Company de Esperanza Fotography. May use with written consent.

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Meet this month’s feature at the Española Poetry Explosion.
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Sheri Lopez is a little lady who was born in Albuquerque on August 22, 1985. That makes her 28 for those of you who hate math. She has a little man named Dominic who is pretty much the radest creature on the face of the earth, at least to her. He is almost two and this makes Sheri very nervouse because he can already run faster than her which is forcing her to get into shape to catch him. Mostly because she does not want to be one of those mother who has her child on a leash. But that is neither here, nor there, since this should be about her writing.

She has been writing her whole life, mainly short stories, but poetry is fun for her too. She does this in her free time or at 3 in the morning for some odd reason. Sheri really likes 3am. And in those tiny moments when the world inspires her she takes phrases and hordes them until they become a piece. This also happens to be the first time she has ever been a featured anything and it makes her nervous. But all in all she hopes you all like what she has to offer and she thanks you for coming.

(By the way, Sheri wrote this, but it is hard for her to talk about herself so she chose the third person format. Sheri hopes you do not mind and possibly think it is funny).
With love,
Sheri

Growing up in Cordova reading and writing were far from my mind. I spent my time riding my bike all over the plazita, swimming in the river and playing basketball. When I was old enough to drive, I spent by time cruising Spaña’s main drag. I would spend hours up and down River Side Dr. from one end to the other. These are the things we did for fun and to fit in. During this time reading and writing were only things I did for school, even when I first started college. Reading was what the nerds did, not the cool kids. Because of this mentality I missed out on a lot of great literature as a teenage and young adult.

I returned to college in the Spring Semester of 1999, I took many classes that were sounded interesting because I needed to bring up my GPA. I began to learn about literature written by Chican@s about our history and events that impacted our community and people. Even though the list of Chican@ writers is distinguished, it was also short. I was in search of more. I wanted to learn more about the history for New Mexico, especially Española and Cordova.

In the Summer of 2009 I attended a gathering, the group was called La Resolana. From this I began to write my own poetry. By the end of the summer we had put together a chapbook titled “Declamacion” this was the beginning of a collection of poems by local writers writing about our community and history. The treasure I was searching for was coming together. At our Resolana meetings we would gather and share our poetry and words or wisdom and guidance. This was something I never thought I would be a part of, but I found that it was a part of me that I hadn’t discovered in high school or my early years in college.

In July of 2011, Adán Baca had a poetry reading at the Española Library, the event was nameless for a few readings. I then created a Facebook page and called Poetry at the Española Library. After a few months Adán in a discussion with other poets dubbed the event The Española Poetry Explosion, it was named after an explosive night of poetry.

The Española Poetry Explosion has been a place of safety for many new poets and a place for veteran poets to come together and create a family of poets and writers. We have experienced flute players, musicians, singers and a host of veteran and new poets. The Española Library has been a great host. The staff has opened their arms and hearts to a community of renegade poets and revolutionaries. We have hosted chapbook releases by La Resolana when “Declamacion II” was released and when Luis Peña released his chapbook “The Three-Legged Dog”. We have had artist share their art with the community.

The Española Poetry Explosion is something new and explosive for our community. A safe have for young and old writers alike, newbies to the poetry scene or veterans. We have come together to expose a hidden talent of writers and poets. We gave a voice to many individuals who have been struggling with addiction and they became our teachers. Giving us an inside look in to their world of pain and let us know that they were human and had feeling just the same. The Library was their safe haven and class room to open many eyes in to the world of addiction. This is what community is all about. Every person who has come to a reading has become part of a family were all members are equals and all are respected.

I am honored to have been able to photograph the many great poets and artists who have come to the Española Poetry Explosion. I have collected a great number of photos of many open mic poets and featured poets. In the following blog I have invited Adán Baca, host to Española Poetry Explosion, Amanda Salinas, Adán Trujillo, Pilar Trujillo and Andrea Serrano for their thoughts and reflections regarding the Española Poetry Explosion.

GUEST WRITERS:

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Adán Baca

One of the beautiful and powerful things about poetry and spoken word is freedom, freedom to express what the poet has or wants or needs to say. There are no rules and no expectations. When the poet touches the pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard, voice to text on smart phone….the words are liberated and can also become liberating. These poems spoken from the heart, the mind the imagination, the funny bone; inspired by hope, loss, broken hearts, new loves, lost loves, our children, our elders our acequias our gardens and our plebe.

So for over the past two years the poets and the community have found a home at the Espanola Library. The library has been a great host and partner. The library belongs to the community and Teddie, Sherry and the library staff have been welcoming and supportive.

We’ve seen and heard incredible featured poets from as far away as Denver, many from Albuquerque and still more from right here in mi querido Norte. It’s been a blessing to see and hear people writing and sharing their words for the first time. It’s also been encouraging and powerful to see so many people come out and support the Espanola Poetry Explosion and the poets who share their words.

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Amanda Salinas
Photo used with permission.

Two years flew by for Poetry at the Library I was so excited to learn something like this would be in my hometown Española N.M and  Adan Baca creator of Poetry at the Library brought in Hoy Recovery patients to read their truths and healing that hit my heart and gave me a better understanding of the problems we have in our community.  I featured twice and although I had featured before in Albuquerque something about performing in front of my peers in a town I called my own yet never really fit in made it more nerve racking, but Adan made it fun and laid back making it that much easier. I look forward to coming in and sharing my old and new poems, seeing my community come together positively.  Something different.  Not forgetting its “funner than a sack of wet mice”- Pilar Trujillo. As time flys by and realize that in just two years I have heard the most heartfelt, honest and raw poetry in one room than anywhere else and I’m lucky to have been able to experience it. Happy two year anniversary Poetry at the Library, and many more.

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Pilar Trujillo

I first heard about the Espanola Poetry Explosion through my brother, Adan. He had been going to these monthly poetry readings and always came back excited. I decided to check it out one night, and I was immediately blown away. There was a true sense of community, but more than that, it felt like a really safe place to read a poem out loud in front of people. Everyone was so welcoming and respectful and very encouraging. I had never read any of my poetry out loud before. I decided to give it a try, knowing that I would be supported. 

I am always in awe of the powerful words that other people share at the readings. I have been moved to tears more than once in that space: hearing recovering addicts come to hard truths about their lives, witnessing someone read a poem out loud for the first time, hearing a new poem by a friend or finding new meaning in poems I’ve heard before. One of my most cherished memories was when my brother and I were asked to be the features for the reading in June 2012.  I will never forget how special it was to stand in the library of my hometown with my oldest brother and pour out my heart for my community. But the thing is, every single monthly reading has been a profound experience because the space allows for people to just be real and raw and true to themselves. It pushes you to be vulnerable in the best way.

The Espanola Poetry Explosion at the Library is evidence that we can truly heal together as a community if we have the space for it, and the right intentions. I am forever grateful for all that I’ve gained by being a part of the readings: the friendships, the shared palabras, the inspiration from some of the fiercest poetas I’ve ever known. Thank you to Adan Baca, Angelo, and all the others who have made it possible! Here’s to many more years!

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Andrea Serrano

For years, I felt out of place in the poetry scene in Albuquerque.  While there are a lot of talented poets in Albuquerque and more venues than anyone can keep track of, I never quite felt like I had a community.  In the summer of 2009, I met a group of people who welcomed me into their circle and gave me friendship and my poetry found a home.  In Española, NM, the sun shines bright and hearts are warmed in the resolana that is created by the poets of the Norte.

The Española Poetry Explosion is a gathering of community and friends.  A place where poets can share words and laughs.  There is comfort in the words that are shared, but beyond that, it’s the feeling of the gente who are there.  New poets, seasoned poets, souls in search of healing, lovers and fighters are mixed in with books and history.  As my comadre Pilar Trujillo once remarked, there is something beautiful about reading poetry at a library she grew up in. 

To be welcomed into this space reminds me that there is safety in community, and that community extends beyond county lines and boundaries.  I often call it Speak, Poet’s Sister Event because it feels like familia.  Even if I haven’t been in a while, knowing I can go to an event where so many people find and share voice is an honor and I’m proud to know the poets and organizers of this beautiful venue.    

Española Poetry Explosion is the light that shines through the darkness, the resolana that warms the bones and the familia that is always on your side.  Thank you for the courage to create community in my own city, and congratulations on two beautiful years!

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Adán Trujillo

When I walked out of the Española Library in June 2011 after randomly going to a poetry reading that I heard about on Facebook, I had rarely felt so inspired. Going that day changed my life and was one of the best decisions I ever made. Going every month after that (and until the wheels fall off) is a close second. This event stretched me outside my comfort zone, helped me find a voice I didn’t know I had and plugged me in to a community of like-minded people that I am grateful to know and call friends. 

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Beata Tsosie-Peña

It has always amazed me, how strongholds of talent, tradition and beauty are so abundant in Northern NM. How the arts scene here has maintained an underground and above ground presence that never tried to fit into mainstream westernization, but has existed more to sustain each other, and echo our multi-versal realities that we have to navigate through daily as Peoples coming from mixed heritage and upbringings. Through art this has been done seamlessly, and I am grateful for its existence within so much breathtaking beauty that also contains so much love of place for the Peoples who live in the Rio Grande Valley.

Española Poetry Explosion is an example of the way we come together as artists to reshape our landscape to hold this space for ourselves. In a time when public spaces are under utilized and scarce, it is so important that we make use of the spaces that do exist to continue to come together. Poetry is a way to share knowledge, shared and individual experience, and tell the collective stories of our time. The oral tradition is strong in this place that anchors our spirit, and it is very clear to me every time I hear blessings of words offered up, in such humble settings, how our poetic intentions are a spiritual bridge.

I am grateful for those in our communities who take the extra time for rural organizing, knowing the importance and equality of hosting any size of circle, and even more so, for making it a consistent one. I am also grateful for the poets who have been willing to travel far, and lend their voice in the uplifting of our Indigenous atmosphere in Española, reinforcing a creative network that I know has more work ahead. I’m thankful for or all the strength through words that is emerging from such beautiful faces, and that I hope can continue to be a vibrational movement of its own in our Valley.

COLLAGES FOR PAST READINGS

Here are some post reading collages of the Española Poetry Explosion. The collages aren’t in any particular order. This is part of the Española Poetry family and community. Thank you to all who have and continue to support this great community event every month.

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If you’re on Facebook please visit the Poetry at the Library (Española Poetry Explosion) fan page. Also, drop by El Razafotografista and Campana de Esperanza Fotography Fan pages. For biographies of many of the poets whom have featured at the Española Poetry Explosion visit the archive of my blog. Like our pages and support great community events and local businesses!

To all of you who have participated in our family and community of the Española Poetry Explosion please share your reflections on the comment section of this post.

After a month’s hiatus, Española Poetry Explosion is back. July’s feature is Damien Flores. Join us July 31, 2013 from 6:00-8:30pm. There will becat least two rounds of the open mic. Let me introduce Damien Flores:

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Damien Flores hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He received a BA in English and Chicano Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2009 and was recipient of the 2008 Lena Todd Award for creative non-fiction from the UNM English Department. He was named “Poet of the Year” in 2007 & 2008 by the NM Hispano Entertainer’s Association. Flores is best known as a member of the ABQ Poetry Slam Team as well as the two-time National Champion UNM Loboslam teams. He organized the College Unions Poetry Slam in 2008 and is also a four-time ABQSlams City Champion.His published works include: “A Novena of Mud” and “El Cuento de Juana Henrieta,” released by Destructible Heart and Culture Lab Press. His work has appeared in Bomb Magazine, The Daily Lobo, Duke City Fix, and The Underground Guide to Albuquerque. Flores has also been anthologized in Malpais Review, De Veras: Young Voices From the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Anthology, The 2006 National Poetry Slam Anthology, and A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene. Damien Flores is currently an educator in Albuquerque and hosts the Spoken Word Hour on 89.9 KUNM-FM.

On May 23 Española Poetry Explosion will be featuring from Alburquerque Cathy Arellano and Maneul Gonzalez two great poets. Lets meet Cathy and Manuel.

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Cathy Arellano writes poems and stories about growing up brown, coming out queer, and living as true as she can which is kinda crooked. Her poetry and prose collection Salvation on 24th Street will be published by Korima Press in Fall of 2013.

Also in 2013, three of her poems will be published in Feminist Formations out of the University of Arizona’s Women’s Studies Program. Cathy has had other work published in various publications, including Huizache (Literary Arts Journal of University of Houston-Victoria), The Malpaís Review, The Más Tequila Review, Turtle Island to Abya Yala: A Love Anthology of Art and Poetry by Native American and Latina Women, Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About, Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds: The Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose, El Tecolote (San Francisco Mission District neighborhood newspaper), Cipactli (San Francisco State University’s La Raza Studies Program Journal), Fourteen Hills (San Francisco State University’s Creative Writing Program Journal), San Antonio’s Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s La Voz, La Bloga, and Duke City Fix. She was awarded the Hispanic Writer Award for the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference and a Literary Arts Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Cathy teaches Developmental English at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque. Occasionally, she teaches Creative Writing in the Chicana and Chicano Studies Program at the University of New Mexico. As much as she loves teaching in the classroom, she’s very happy to facilitate groups in the community, such as “Fact, Fiction, and Funk: A Writing Workshop for Women of Color” which she led at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

She looks forward to raising her and her partner’s son Amado and is curious to see how he finishes raising them. Cathy can be reached at carellanopoet@yahoo.com.

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Manuel is a performance poet who began his career in the poetry slam. He has represented Albuquerque many times on a national level as a member of the Albuquerque poetry slam team. Manuel has appeared on the PBS show, Colores, in “my word is my power.” He was one of the founding members of the poetry troupe The Angry Brown Poets. Manuel Teaches workshops on self expression and poetry in high schools and youth detention centers. He also works with an art therapist to help incarcerated young men express themselves. He is one of the coaches and mentors for the Santa Fe High Poetry Slam team. Manuel is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His mother’s family is from Barelas. His father’s family is from a small town in Northern New Mexico called Anton Chico, and his father was the lead singer of the band Manny and the Casanovas. He identifies himself as being Chicano.The history, culture, and spirituality of his people are among his inspirations. “I’m proud to be from New Mexico, and to me it’s more than just green chile and desert. It’s seeing the value of famila and respect. It’s the rio grande valley and Santuario de Chimayo. It is feasts, dance, poetry and prayer.” His connection to his culture helps him connect to his students. Manuel Teaches poetry as a means for self expression. Looking within oneself and examining ones roots is the essence of the type of poetry he works with. Emotions, feelings, experiences, and prose in an historical and cultural context is the goal of his workshops. Self esteem, finding something to say, figuring out how to say it eloquently, and letting your voice be heard are just some of the benchmarks in Manuel’s workshop.

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Come join the Española Library and the Española Poetry Explosion Team on April 4th, 2013 at 6:00 pm for a night of poetry and spoken word. This is the first of two reads for April. April is also National Poerty Month. This will be the first of two readings we will be having this month.

Featuring on April 4th are Priscilla Candelaria and Israel Francisco Haros Lopez. Please meet our wonderful featured poets.

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Priscilla Baca y Candelaria a native of Atrisco, has been reading her poetry for 20 years. Priscilla read across the country for poetic justice. Her work shows her love for where she is from and who she is Nuevo Mejicana.

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Israel Francisco Haros Lopez is both a visual artist and performance artist.He was born and raised in East Los Angeles, graduated from Roosevelt High School with a 1.59 G.P.A. He is a graduate of Laney and Vista Community College with an A.A. in English Literature . Survided UC Berkeley with a degree in English and Xikan@ Studies and recieved an M.F.A. from California College of the Arts. His work is an attempt to search for personal truths and personal histories inside of american cosmology. The american cosmology and symbolism that he is drawing from is one that involves both northern and southern america that was here before columbus. The work both written and that which is painted is attempting to mark and remark historical points in the americas and the world.The mark making attempts to speak to the undeniable presence of a native america that will continue to flourish for generations to come.The understanding which he is drawing from is not conceptual but fact and points to the importance of honoring and remembering ancestral ways of living as a means of maintaining healthy relations with all humans,the winged, all those that crawl on this Earth, all Life, the Water, the Sacred Fire, Tonanztin, Tonatiuh,the Sacred Cardinal Points,everything inbetween, above and below and at the center of self and all things in the universe. Currently the visual motifs are drawn from both a pre-columbian america that had far far less physical, mental or spiritual borders . He also draws inspriation from the contemporary styles of inner city youth who use public space by any means necessary as their method of artistic expression. Israel also draws much of his inspiration from his peers and contemporaries who constantly show him innovative ways to approach cultural and political dilemnas. The written words cannot be without the painted image. The painted image cannot be without words. Neither the written work or visual work can be without sound without vibration, as all things on this earth carry vibration. As such his written and oral work is constantly shifting as it is performed or recording. The same poem,story,monologue or abstract diatribe shifts within the space it is performed taking into consideration audience and the theatrics and vibration of the moment. You can hear audio of his poetry , videos and visual work at www.waterhummingbirdhouse.com 

Photographing poets has been a great honor for me. I have worked with Española Poetry Explosion at the Library and with Speak, Poet: Voz, Palabra y Sonido since the beginning of both events. During that time I have also been privileged to attend other reading and photograph those poets as well.

This post is a tribute to many of the poets I have had the honor of photographing since the summer of 2011, when it all began. Aside from from the Poetry Explosion and Speak, Poet other events include the Caravan for Peace in Santa Fe, the opening of the Underground Library, Sostenga at Northern New Mexico College Garlic Harvest and the Librotraficante Caravan reading in Alburquerque. The collages are photos I posted moments after the event was over. The images were taken with my cell phone and collages created in minutes after each reading. I have writen poems for some of the events.

The last two images are of a group of poets and writers from the Española area. The photos taken were during the release of Declamacion II by Una Resolana. The people in the photographs are contributers and the production team. Not all team members or poets/writers were present at the symposium.

I hope you enjoy this gift of photography and poetry.

Inspiration

(c) Angelo J. Sandoval
01-07-2013

Thoughts and words
Unite through inspiration
Poems are created when
Thoughts and words unite.
Poems create inspiration.
Then cycle begans
As poems inspire
Thoughts and words.

As thoughts and words
Run through my head
They unite to create,
POETRY!

I ask The Creator of Poetry
To send you,
My fellow Poets,
Thoughts and words
And that you
be inspired
To create Beautiful
Healing
And heart fealt
POETRY!

Española Poetry Explosion at the Española Library

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Speak, Poet: Voz, Palabra y Sonido

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The writers gathered
To share personal truths,
Held close to their hearts
Close to their hearts.

Speaking palabras del corazon
Y del alma.

Del Valley de Española
A la ciudad del Duque.
De la Biblioteca de Spaña
Hasta el Chante de Burque.

The writers gather sharing
Voicing truths,
Lost knowledge,
Personal experiences,
Love, heart break.

The writers gathered
To plan the next revolution
Con Poesia como arma
Poesia, tiene las palabras
De la verdad del pueblo y
La gente.

Los poetas se han reunido
A compartir palabras
De liberta y justica
Pa’ nuestro pueblo querido.

The writers have gathered
To began the new
Revolution
The new movement for justice
And equality.

Sostenga Garlic Harvest

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Caravan For Peace Santa Fe, NM

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Librotraficante Underground Library, Los Jardíns Institution

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Dreamers, Librotraficantes y Rebeldes

Angelo J. Sandoval
(c) 9-22-2012

The sound of the musica
could be heard in Burque’s South Valley
as musicos entertained those who
gathered at Los Jardines
where Dreamers, Librotraficantes y Rebeldes
gathered, shared words of truth,
Drink Cultura, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
words from the pages of Jimmy Santigo Baca to Rudolfo Anaya.

Burque’s Underground Library securing
Banned books,
books of truth and
revolution.

La musica filled the air,
la comida, deliciosa.
Dreamers, Librotraficantes y Rebeldes
de Nuevo Mexico
joining
Dreamers, Librotraficantes y Rebeldes
from Las Angeles to Nueva York.

50 for 50 States came together in
solidarity with each other
with our Hermanos y Hermanas
in Arizona,
racist laws like SB 1070 y 2281
Targeting our raza
banning our history.

September 21, 2012
history was made across this nation
when Dreamers, Librotraficantes y Rebeldes
made there voices heard.

In solidarity we came together
we came as one,
la lucha sigue
The revolution has gained momentum
Justice and Equality is our goal.

Librotraficante Caravan Alburquerque, Hispanic Cultural Center

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Dreamers
(c) Angelo J. Sandoval

Like all Dreamers
High school students
In Arizona had dreams,
Dreams of learning the truth
La verdadera historia de su gente

En un momento de racismo
Todo esto se perdio
En una elecion llena de racismo.
The racist politicios in the words embeded in legislation that contradicts the law of the land el Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Constitution of The United States grants these Dreamers the right to learn there history, allows all to learn history from the views,
Perspectives
Of the oppressed,
Those who, ” lost the war”
The conquered.

In those banned books
Are the keys to events
That have and will continue to create a change so powerful
That the fascist, racist
Fear, fear that one day those they oppress will become leaders, the leaders who will lead with
Heart, compassion, equality, justice.
Librotraficantes have come together to help the Dreams reach the dreams they hold dear to there hearts.
Un sueño Que es Esperanza
A nuestra comunidad.
Gentes de todos rumbos
En la guerra para la justica.

Librotraficantes en in viaje des de
Houston a Tucson,
Llegando a Mesilla y Burque
Nuevo Mexico.
Nuevo Mexicanos
Siempre en la lucha dando
Esquina a sus compadres y comadres en la lucha por la justcia.

Nuevo Mexicanos siempre en el corazon los derechos encerados en esos documentos de libertar y justica.

The Dreamers in Az and the rest of this land will make this dream come true.

In the words of Corky,
“We shell endure, we will endure.”

Declamacion II Symposium at Northern New Mexico Collage

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