Named One of Chicago’s 25 Writers to Watch by The Guild Complex!

Our 25th Anniversary benefit, REVEAL, is just two weeks away. Originally, we thought we’d wait for the big day to announce our 25 Writers to Watch—a collaboratively-assembled list of 25 emerging-to-mid career writers whose works are making waves in both Chicago, and around the country. These are some amazing writers, so please join us in congratulating:

Click here for the complete list!

Profiled in the Chicago Sun-Times!

Chicago women who have a lot to say in 140 characters or less

Here is the excerpt:

@erikalsanchez

Feminism. Poetry. Chicago. Celebrating the life of being a brown girl in the city. These are topics near and dear to Erika L. Sánchez, aka the “Latinamisfit.” Like others here, the 29-year-old from West Town is a writer. Her timeline offers a much-needed diversity of perspective. And mirth.

Twitter philosophy: “I like interacting with other women on Twitter. It’s a way to engage in conversations with people who are afar. I talk about food constantly because I’m always hungry. And I do like to promote what I think are important articles about immigration and women issues.”

Poetry Night in Pilsen on 12/19 presented by Gozamos

Poetry Night in Pilsen on 12/19 presented by Gozamos

On December 19, 2013 7:30 pm at Gozamos in Pilsen
Address: 1900 S. Carpenter., Chicago, IL | Cost: Free

Gozamos.com is proud to host a night of poetry at our new space in Pilsen. We’ve invited three Chicago poets to share their words, so come join us in celebrating local artists and their work. The night will be hosted by Hector Luis Alamo Jr. This is a free event and refreshment will be available with a donation.  Doors open at 7:30pm, the first reading will begin at 8:00pm.

About the Poets

Erika L Sánchez is a poet and writer living in Chicago. Her nonfiction has been published in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, NBCLatino, Truthout, Salon, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and other publications. Her poems have appeared in Pleiades, Witness, Hunger Mountain, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Copper Nickel, and others. She is a CantoMundo fellow, recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, and winner of the 2013 “Discovery”/Boston Review poetry prize.

Jacob Saenz is a CantoMundo Fellow whose poetry has been published in Poetry, Great River Review, OCHO and other journals. He has been recipient of a Letras Latinas Residency and a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, and he currently serves as an associate editor for RHINO.

Denise Santina Ruíz is a Puerto Rican writer, mother, designer and agitator. She was a two-time finalist for the annual Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Competition, and has featured in such events/venues as the Annual Barrio Arts Festival, the Athenaeum Theater, Batey Urbano, Ponce-at-night, Guild Complex’s Palabra Pura and Columbia College’s 2nd Story among others. Denise recently wrote and performed in the performance piece, “Unnatural Spaces,” from the Guild Complex’s Poetry-Performance Incubator. She has also taught poetry and creative writing to youth in the Humboldt Park community where she was born and raised and is the owner of “Madre de Perla Designs.” She believes in real talk, revolution and statement earrings.

Article on HIV/AIDS Stigma on Al Jazeera

US Latinos struggle with HIV stigma

Chicago, United States – Maria Mejia grew up in an abusive household, so at the age of 13 she ran away from home and joined a gang in search of a sense of family. Soon after, she began dating the leader of the gang, a drug user, who infected her with HIV.

Mejia estimates she was infected between 1988 or 1989, when she was about 15 or 16 years old. She says she was diagnosed by sheer coincidence. Tired of the gang life, she decided to move back home and then joined the Job Corps in Kentucky, which required routine medical tests. A week before her 18th birthday, a doctor incorrectly informed that she had AIDS when she was, in fact, HIV-positive.

Distraught and confused, Mejia says she moved back home to Miami to die. Her mother, whom she describes as an “ultraconservative Catholic Latina”, told her, “We’re going to put this in God’s hands”, and asked her not to tell anyone in the family. Even though her mother’s shame was hurtful, Mejia said she was only trying to protect her.

Please continue reading on Al Jazeera.

Appearance on Latino USA on NPR

I’m so pleased to have been interviewed by Maria Hinojosa for Latino USA on NPR. Please listen to our conversation about Latina Sex Stereotypes:

For Latina women it can often seem like there are only two types of representation they see in the media. They’re either sexy and “spicy” or religious and family oriented. But is that really the case?

Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa speaks to writer, poet, and sex columnist for Cosmo for Latinas, Erika L. Sánchez about growing up in a “traditional” Mexican family while being an American girl, feminism, and facing fear.