Recovery Program Receives NEH Challenge Grant

HOUSTON, TX—Arte Público Press’ long-term project to locate, preserve and disseminate the written legacy of Latinos in the United States from the Colonial Period to 1980, the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program, has received a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to raise funds to improve the digital infrastructure of its US Latino Digital Humanities Center (USLDH). Dr. Gabriela Baeza Ventura, the primary investigator for the grant, co-director of the USLDH Center and executive editor of the press, said: “This support from the NEH will be critical in generating additional funding to create a customized cloud-based digital repository of texts and content management system, all with the long-term goal of making the hundreds of thousands of Latino texts already preserved by the Recovery Program accessible to scholars and community members.” Currently these recovered documents are stored in several different servers and are not …

New Book Named a Finalist in the Texas Institute of Letters Award

HOUSTON, TX—The Texas Institute of Letters (TIL) announced Jasminne Mendez’s new young adult memoir, Islands Apart: Becoming Dominican American, is a finalist for its 2023 Jean Flynn Award for Best Young Adult Book. Founded in 1936, The Texas Institute of Letters is a nonprofit honor society which celebrates Texas literature and recognizes distinctive literary achievement. Each year, the organization recognizes the best of Texas writing in a variety of genres including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, design, short form and scholarly writing. In Islands Apart, Mendez writes about her experiences growing up Afro Latina in the Deep South and feeling torn between her Dominican, Spanish-speaking culture at home and the American, English-speaking one around her. She didn’t speak English when she started kindergarten, and her young, white teacher thought the girl was deaf because in Louisiana, you were either black or white. The teacher didn’t know that a black girl could be …

Three Arte Público Titles Named 2023 Southwest Books of the Year

HOUSTON, TX—The Pima County Public Library and the Friends of the Pima County Public Library in Arizona have named three Arte Público Press titles to their Southwest Books of the Year: Best Reading 2023 list. The eight-person review panel recognized Jimmy Santiago Baca’s No Enemies: Poems in the Poetry category and Raulito: The First Latino Governor of Arizona / El primer gobernador latino de Arizona by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford in the Children’s/Young Adult category. Diana J. Noble’s Chances in Disguise was also selected for the Children’s/Young Adult category and was named a Top Pick by the review panel. In No Enemies: Poems, Jimmy Santiago Baca writes urgently about the most important themes of our generation, including education, justice, the environment and even the coronavirus. While many of his poems are stinging rebukes against the wealthy and powerful and their disregard for children living in poverty and for the environment, others …

Bank Street College of Education Recognizes Three Piñata Books as Best of 2023 in Spanish

HOUSTON, TX—The Bank Street College of Education Children’s Book Committee named three Piñata Books to its Best Children’s Books of the Year in Spanish list for 2023. El cumpleaños de mi hermana Dulce / My Sister Dulce’s Birthday by Erika Said, El niño de maíz / The Boy of Maize by Mario Bencastro and Viento, Vientito / Wind, Little Wind by Jorge Argueta were all recognized, and Bencastro’s book was highlighted with a star as an exceptional book for cultural authenticity in text and artwork, among other characteristics. In El cumpleaños de mi hermana Dulce / My Sister Dulce’s Birthday, Erika Said tells the story of six-year-old Dulce, who loves sweets. Vibrant illustrations by Claudia Navarro show Dulce and her sister as they search for the perfect candies to go inside the traditional Mexican birthday piñata. Midwest Book Review called it “a charmingly entertaining bilingual (Spanish/English) picture book” and “an …

Trilingual Children’s Book Receives the 2022 Premio Campoy-Ada Award

HOUSTON, TX—The Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (ANLE) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) awarded Jorge Argueta’s picture book, Viento, Vientito / Wind, Little Wind, the 2022 Premio Campoy-Ada Award in the Children’s Fantasy-Fiction Picture Book category. A poetic ode to the refreshing but sometimes dangerous force of wind, Viento, Vientito / Wind, Little Wind reflects the author’s indigenous roots and his appreciation for the natural world. Gorgeous illustrations by Felipe Ugalde Alcántara complement the text, depicting birds and dandelion seeds floating on the breeze and trees bent under strong gusts. Written from the perspective of a mischievous youngster in English, Spanish and Nahuat, this is the third book in a four-part series about Mother Earth. It has been lauded as a Junior Library Guild selection. Critics have praised Argueta’s previous two books in the series: “A lyrical journey through the water cycle, sure to inspire …

US Latino Digital Humanities Summer Workshop

Hands typing on a laptop

The US Latino Digital Humanities Center (USLDH) at the University of Houston announces its annual Manos a la obra digital humanities virtual summer training course. The course will take place June 12-14, 2023 via Zoom. Participants will learn about US Latino digital humanities methods and theory, community archiving, metadata creation and free digital tools such as how to create interactive timelines, digital archives and maps. The course will be taught by USLDH team members, Dr. Gabriela Baeza Ventura, Dr. Carolina Villarroel and Dr. Lorena Gauthereau. No prior experience is required. Anyone with an interest in US Latina/o studies and digital studies is welcome.  This course is based on the work of the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage program located at the University of Houston, one of the premier research programs for US Latina/o scholarship with a trajectory of more than 30 years of locating, preserving and making available the …

La patria perdida now available on APPDigital

Engraving of a man in a suit, leaning over a woman in bed

The University of Houston’s US Latino Digital Humanities Center (USLDH) announces the digital publication of La patria perdida (1935) by the acclaimed Mexican journalist, Teodoro Torres (1888–1944) on APPDigital. This Spanish-language novel describes Torres’ first-hand experience as a Mexican immigrant to the United States as well as that of many immigrants in his community. The novel first appeared in the San Antonio newspaper, La Prensa, accompanied by engravings by the artist Fulgencio Corral. The digital version includes a scholarly introduction by Ethriam Cash Brammer translated into Spanish by Elías David Navarro. La patria perdida makes an excellent addition to US Latino, Mexican American, Ethnic, and American studies, history or literature courses. This digital novel offers a virtual option for content and assignments. Educators and students can create free accounts on APPDigital, which gives them access to highlighting, annotating and sharing capabilities. Educators can create a private reading group and share …

Children’s Book Awards Support Latino Kids and Authors

HOUSTON, TX—Generations of Hispanic children in US schools had to do without books reflecting their culture and heritage. In 2021, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only 311 of the 3,183 children’s books published were written by Latinos (9.8%); only 234 were about Latinos (7.35%). To fill that gap, Arte Público Press is accepting children’s book manuscripts to be considered for two awards: the Salinas de Alba Award for Latino Children’s Literature and The Reyes-Olivas Award for Best First Book of Latino Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Both seek to stimulate the work begun by Arte Público Press and its imprint, Piñata Books, which is dedicated to the publication of children’s and young adult literature that authentically and realistically portrays themes, characters and customs unique to US Hispanic culture. In addition to the publication of the book and royalties from sales, the winning authors will receive a $5,000 prize. …

2023 USLDH-Mellon Grants-in-Aid

The US Latino Digital Humanities (USLDH) Grants-in-Aid program, funded by the Mellon Foundation, is designed to provide a stipend of up to $7,500 to scholars for research and development of digital scholarship in the form of a digital publication and/or a digital project. Congratulations to the 2023 Grants-in-Aid Recipients: Gabriela Barrios (University of California, Los Angeles), Sonia Del Hierro (Rice University) and Sophia Martinez-Abbud (Rice University), Señora Power: A Chicana Mapping Project Maribel Bello (University of Houston), The Cristino Garza Peña Papers: From U.S. Expulsion to Leadership in Rural Mexico Maya Chinchilla, MFA (Independent Scholar), Precursors of leadership to the Central American Solidarity Movement in the United States Marisa Hicks-Alcaraz, PhD (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Reclaiming Film Histories of the U.S. Civil Rights Era: The Latina Film Recovery Project Mary Okin, PhD (Independent Scholar) with Olivia Bowman, BA, March With Us! Lessons in Activism from San José State Paloma Vargas …

James L. Novarro Digital Collection

The University of Houston’s US Latino Digital Humanities Center (USLDH) announces the release of the James L. Novarro digital collection. This digital collection includes a sampling of archival photographs, flyers, posters and news clippings from the James L. Novarro Collection. Reverend Novarro, a pastor of Houston’s Kashmere Baptist Temple and state chaplain of the Political Association of Spanish-speaking Organizations (PASO), was a civil rights activist, League of the United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) member, editor of the Spanish-language newspaper El Sol, and host of the first Spanish-language and longest-running radio program, La hora bautista. This project seeks to make Novarro’s contributions to the Houston and Latino communities visible to a larger audience. This collection is a useful teaching and research tool for educators, students, researchers and community members interested in Houston history, civil rights activism, religious studies and Latino studies. UH undergraduate student Alejandro Aguilar had the opportunity to work …