“All They Will Call You” by Tim Z. Hernandez

In 1948 there was a plane crash in Los Gatos Canyon, California. In the plane were 28 undocumented Mexican workers who were being deported, and four Whites – the pilot, co-pilot, stewardess, and immigration agent. Nobody survived. The papers carried the names of the four Whites, but the Mexicans at first went nameless. The Whites…

The Black Renaissance

A new Black Renaissance is dawning right now. Our literature is stronger than ever. Those great, great writers who came before us all have their heirs. For James Baldwin, read Ta-Nehisi Coates. For Ralph Ellison, read Colson Whitehead. For Zora Neale Hurston, read Toni Morrison. They aren’t like-for-like, but our modern black writers are hugely…

“American Tumbleweeds” – by Marta Elva

Those of us living on or near the Mexican-American border know the themes by rote. We feel, hear, and see the dichotomies every day: the interplay of Spanish and English; the struggles between the old (Mexican tradition) and the new (North American brutalism); the familial ties loosened in the quest for a better life across…

“The Lost City of the Monkey God” by Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston’s new book is part memoir, part adventure, all thrills. The tale concerns a 500-year-old mystery in the heart of Honduras. For half a millennium, rumors have existed of the ruins of an ancient civilization hidden beneath the rain-forest, named the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Preston recounts the…

J Journal

The latest edition of the awesome J Journal – New Writing on Justice – is out. The Fall 2015 edition contains my poem “Police Report on the Death of a Black Man.” I wrote this poem for Black History Month in 2015 and performed it with the Poet Laureate of Silver City and Grant County, Elise…

RIP E. L. Doctorow, Jan 6, 1931 – July 21, 2015

E. L. Doctorow. A hell of a writer. Not familiar with his work? Read Ragtime. His fictional characters mingle with the likes of Henry Ford, Booker T. Washington, and Harry Houdini. It’s a great novel, and Doctorow was a true New York original, now gone to the great melting pot in the sky. RIP, Edgar…

Obama makes e-books available to low income kids

Barack Obama has announced a plan to put $250 million worth of e-books into the hands of low income kids. With the help of all the major publishers, 10,000 e-books for children aged 4-14 will be made available via a free app developed by New York Public Library. This initiative marks a start on closing…

National Readathon Day

Hooray for January 24th – National Readathon Day! It’s a U.S. celebration of literacy. So what are YOU reading?