Featuring Teresa Palomo Acosto, Gloria Amescua, Susana Almanza, Sylvia Herrera, Celeste Guzmán Mendoza
with Special Guest: Norma Elia Cantú
Mexican and Mexican American women have written about Texas and their lives in the state since colonial times. Edited by fellow Tejanas Inés Hernández-Ávila and Norma Elia Cantú, Entre Guadalupe y Malinche gathers, for the first time, a representative body of work about the lives and experiences of women who identify as Tejanas in both the literary and visual arts.
The writings of more than fifty authors and the artwork of eight artists manifest the nuanced complexity of what it means to be Tejana and how this identity offers alternative perspectives to contemporary notions of Chicana identity, community, and culture. Considering Texas-Mexican women and their identity formations, subjectivities, and location on the longest border between Mexico and any of the southwestern states acknowledges the profound influence that land and history have on a people and a community, and how Tejana creative traditions have been shaped by historical, geographical, cultural, linguistic, social, and political forces. This representation of Tejana arts and letters brings together the work of rising stars along with well-known figures such as writers Gloria Anzaldúa, Emma Pérez, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Carmen Tafolla, and Pat Mora, and artists such as Carmen Lomas Garza, Kathy Vargas, Santa Barraza, and more. The collection attests to the rooted presence of the original indigenous peoples of the land now known as Tejas, as well as a strong Chicana/Mexicana feminism that has its precursors in Tejana history itself.
“…the editors have brought together a truly impressive array of Tejana female artists, giving equal time to established names and rising stars. ”
Santa Fe New Mexican
“A superbly rich anthology of Tejana writings and the only one of its kind.”
Yolanda Broyles-González, University Distinguished Professor and Head, American Ethnic Studies Department, Kansas State University
Teresa Palomo Acosta is the author of more than 100 history articles and biographical sketches on Mexican Americans for the New Handbook of Texas and both editions of the Handbook of Texas Music. Acosta is the co-author of Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History, which was published by the University of Texas Press. The book was recognized with the T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award and other honors. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and textbooks, and she has published three collections of poetry, including Passing Time, Nile & Other Poems, and In the Season of Change. Her poetry has been recognized by writing fellowships and awards. Acosta taught women’s studies at the University of Texas at Austin and served as a writer at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History there, as well. She cofounded the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation for Texas Women’s History and served as its Vice President until 2013. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Gloria Amescua, CantoMundo fellow and Hedgebrook alumna, has been published in various journals and anthologies, including Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Entre Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art, and The Crafty Poet II. She has won the Austin Poetry Society and Christina Sergeyevna Awards. Gloria also received the 2016 New Voices Award Honor for her picture book manuscript in verse, Luz Jiménez, No Ordinary Girl.
Susana Almanza is a founding member and Director of PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources), a grassroots environmental, economic and social justice organization in East Austin. Susana has overcome poverty, prejudice, and segregated schools to face down some of the world’s most powerful transnational corporations. Susana is a longtime community organizer, and educator, mother and grandmother. Susana participated in the civil rights movement as a Brown Beret taking up issues of police brutality, quality education and equity in school systems and health care as a right not a privilege. Susana has served on local and national boards and commissions. She has received numerous awards and received fellowships from Petra Foundation and the Bannerman in recognition of her work. She continues her struggle for human rights demanding environmental justice and a better quality of life for people of color, for all humanity and for future generations.
Celeste Guzmán Mendoza’s first full-length poetry manuscript, Beneath the Halo, was published by Wings Press in September 2013. Her poetry and essays have been published in the following anthologies: Entre Guadalupe and Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art (University of Texas Press: 2016); Her Texas: Story, Image, Poem and Song (Wings Press: 2016); Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Rememberance (Texas Review Press: 2015); Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education (University of Nebraska Press: 2014); Telling Tongues: A Latin@ Anthology on Language Experience (Calaca Press/Red Salmon Press:2007); Red Boots and Attitude: The Spirit of Texas Women Writers (Eakin Press: 2002); ¡Floricanto Sí!: U.S. Latina Poetry (Penguin:1998), This Promiscous Light (Wings Press: 1996). Guzmán Mendoza is co-director and a co-founder of CantoMundo, a workshop for Latina/o poets. She has participated in the Macondo Writers Workshop and is a past resident of Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers.
Sylvia Herrera is a longtime community organizer and a founding member of PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources). Her community-based research has been nationally recognized on environmental health issues affecting East Austin. Sylvia identified the issue of the Tank Farm (water, air and soil contamination) in her neighborhood and was key in the closure of BFI and the Holly Power Plant. She is a PODER advisor with the Young Scholars for Justice and the Nahui Ollin-Healthy Communities and Climate Justice. Last, Sylvia, a native East Austinite, completed her Ph.D. at the University of Texas in Kinesiology and Health Education.
This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.