How Latina Voices Enrich the American Story

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 - 6:00pm

Join us for a powerful conversation with authors Cara Lopez Lee, Michelle Otero, and Briana Muñoz about Latinas in literature. A portion of proceeds to benefit MANA de Albuquerque.

Cara Lopez Lee, Candlelight Bridge

"Cara Lopez Lee is a talented and audacious author. And Candlelight Bridge is a wonderful book, a book to savor and revisit." — Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Good Night, Irene and The Hummingbird's Daughter

"Candlelight Bridge unflinchingly illustrates the sacrifices required to make a home in an unwelcoming place. With vivid prose, Cara Lopez Lee brings to life the story of two immigrants from opposite sides of the world who form an unlikely and surprising partnership. This is a gripping tale of resilience, redemption, and survival. I highly recommend it." — Tiffany Quay Tyson, author of THE PAST IS NEVER

In 1910, 12-year-old Candelaria Rivera and her family flee across the Chihuahuan Desert to America to escape the rising violence of the Mexican Revolution. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Yan Chi Wong flees the Chinese Revolution and a shattering loss, also bound for America. They meet in El Paso, Texas, where they struggle to make a home in a world that does not want them, until a terrible desire threatens to destroy their lives.

Cara Lopez Lee is the author of the historical novel Candlelight Bridge (May 28, FlowerSong Press). She’s also the author of the memoir, They Only Eat Their Husbands, and co author of the veteran-acclaimed Unexpected Prisoner: Memoir of a Vietnam POW (with Robert Wideman). Her writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Slackjaw and Manifest-Station. In addition to writing, Lee was an award-winning television journalist in Alaska. Lee is a winner of The Moth StorySLAM and is featured in Stories from the Stage and Unheard L.A. She is passionate about traveling, swing dancing and binging stories of all kinds. She and her husband live in Ventura, California.

Michelle Otero, Vessels: A Memoir of Borders

There are borders other than those between countries, borders between man and woman, sanity and madness, living and dead. These borders shift.” Vessels dwells in the borderlands. From this place, Michelle Otero turns to the seven directions and calls on Coyolxauhqui, Malinche, and her ancestors to answer the question, How do we put ourselves back together? Through memory, ceremonia, and testimonio, Vessels guides the reader through the long shadows of war, trauma, and death, lighting the way with the promise of wholeness and healing. 

Michelle Otero is the author of Bosque: Poems and the essay collection Malinche's Daughter. She served as Albuquerque Poet Laureate from 2018-2020 and co-edited the forthcoming New Mexico Poetry Anthology 2023 and 22 Poems and a Prayer for El Paso, a tribute to victims of the 2019 El Paso shooting and winner of a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. A coach, community-based artist, and racial healing practitioner, she is the founder of ArteSana Creative Consulting, dedicated to creative expression and storytelling as the basis for organizational development and positive social change. Originally from Deming, New Mexico, Otero holds a BA in history from Harvard College and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College. She is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop.

Briana Muñoz, Everything is Returned to the Soil/Todo vuelve a la tierra

"Briana's Everything is Returned to the Soil lets the conviction of her dreams, fantasies, heartaches, darkness, prayers and experiences mirror the human side of all of us, her Poetry paints the ancestry and pain of society." — Juan Cardenas, Executive Director of Los Angeles Poet Society, Teacher with California Poets in the Schools, and author of The Beat of an Immigrant Chicano

"Briana Muñoz's poetry confronts social injustices while proving that emotional vulnerability is a requisite for true strength, rather than a hinderance. There is a quiet tenderness in her words as she examines the everyday moment, or reflects on her identity, that contrasts with a building tension of inner conflict and acceptance that explodes on the page in a rush of beauty. This collection warrants multiple reads to experience the complexity that lies beneath the layers of meaning." — Zachary Jensen, Poet, Writer, Translator, and Editor

Everything is Returned to the Soil is a bilingual, full-length poetry collection of poems on the spiritual, political, and cultural realms. Reading Briana Muñoz's poetry is like following her as she reclaims her Indigenous culture, recounts moments growing up wedged in-between two borders, all while breaking long existing patriarchal structures within her existence as a woman of color.

Briana Muñoz is a writer from Southern California. Raised in San Diego, she spent a lot of her time at her mother's Mexican folklore dance classes and at ranches where her father trained horses into the sunset. She is the author of Loose Lips, a poetry collection published by Prickly Pear Publishing (2019). Her work has been published in the Bravura Literary Journal, LA BLOGA, the oldest Chicana Chicano Literature blog in history, the Poets Responding page, and in the Oakland Arts Review, among others. In the 2016 publication of the Bravura, she was awarded the second-place fiction prize. Her poem Rebirth was featured in the Reproductive Health edition of the St. Sucia zine. Briana's work was one of ten chosen for Th e Best of LA BLOGA from 2015. When she isn't typing away, she enjoys Danza Azteca, live music, cats, and thrift shopping.


Event address: 
4022 Rio Grande blvd nw
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Candlelight Bridge By Cara Lopez Lee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781963245073
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flowersong Press - May 28th, 2024

Vessels: A Memoir of Borders By Michelle Otero Cover Image
ISBN: 9781953447869
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flowersong Press - March 13th, 2023

Everything is Returned to the Soil/Todo vuelve a la tierra By Briana Muñoz Cover Image
ISBN: 9781953447852
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flowersong Press - June 28th, 2021