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News — Writing Beyond Borders

A conversation at the wittliff collections


SAN MARCOS, TX—On Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 6:30 p.m., the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University bring together four distinguished authors to discuss the past, present, and future of Latina/o literature—in a world where writers are frequently moving beyond traditional borders and boundaries. Houston poet, memoirist, and editor SARAH CORTEZ, filmmaker, playwright, writer, and Wittliff donor SEVERO PEREZ, and Texas State Distinguished Alumnus TINO VILLANUEVA will engage in a conversation moderated by San Antonio’s first Poet Laureate, CARMEN TAFOLLA



The event will begin with a short casual reception. After the program, all four authors will take questions from the audience and sign books; a selection of their publications will be available for purchase at the event.
The Wittliff Collections are located on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Visitor information, including directions and parking details, is on the Wittliff Collections website.
Co-sponsors of Writing Beyond Borders include Texas State’s Center for the Study of the Southwest, College of Applied Arts, College of Education, Department of Modern Languages, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Department of English.


A Houston poet and police officer, Sarah Cortez is an award-winning author of several books, including How To Undress a Cop. As an editor, she has compiled several anthologies, including Indian Country Noir and Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery. Her most recent book, Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence, co-edited with Sergio Troncoso, received the Southwest Book Award. Cortez has recently been named to the council of the Texas Institute of Letters.



Filmmaker and author Severo Perez is best known for his movie …and the earth did not swallow him, which won top honors at film festivals worldwide and is considered a classic of Chicano cinema. As a playwright, he has collaborated with Luis Valdez’s El Teatro Campesino. As a novelist he is the author of The Challengers Aero Club, praised by Kirkus as “an engaging, thorough novel about forgotten heroes of aviation history.” Perez recently donated his extensive archive to the Wittliff Collections.


Texas State Distinguished Alumnus Tino Villanueva was born in San Marcos to a family of migrant workers. He is the author of seven books of poetry, including his American Book Award-winning Scene from the Movie GIANT. Writing in both Spanish and English, at times sliding back and forth between the two languages, Villanueva’s poems explore memory, longing, and history. His newest book, So Spoke Penelope, gives voice to the wife of Odysseus.



The internationally renowned author of more than 20 books and one of the most highly anthologized of Latina writers, Carmen Tafolla has published an impressive array of award-winning works for both children and adults. Named by Mayor Julian Castro as the first Poet Laureate of the City of San Antonio, Tafolla has been called a “world-class writer” by Roots author Alex Haley, and has long been considered one of the madrinas of Chicana literature.
As always, exhibitions and events at the Wittliff Collections are free and open to the public.