Cuentos y Resilience: An Afternoon with Christopher Carmona
4:00 – 6:00 PM: Telling Cuentos: Workshop: [RSVP for workshop; Free and open to the public email: [email protected]]
This workshop institutes a cultural aspect to the writing of historical stories that challenges the traditional linear and formalist approaches to writing “history”. Following the influence of Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton, this workshop will work toward being able to incorporate cultural, family, and personal stories into a new way of writing prose or poetry.
6:30-7:30 PM: Resilience in a Time of Terror: Writing El Rinche and the Telling of the Unrecorded History of La Matanza 1910-1920: Presentation & Book Signing
Christopher Carmona will discuss the history of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas from 1905-1920 during the time known as the Matanza, where hundreds of Mexican Americans were killed in a large land grab that help create the RGV. He will also discuss writing about intergenerational trauma passed down through oral stories and how he was able to create a superhero story that not only challenges the narrative of ‘American Exceptionalism,’ but also questions how we think about memory and reality.
About the author:
Christopher Carmona is the author of The Road to Llorona Park, which won the 2016 NACCS Tejas Best Fiction Award and was listed as one of the top 8 Latinx books in 2016 by NBCNews. He was the inaugural writer-in-residence for the Langdon Review Writers Residency Program and a finalist for Texas Poet Laureate in 2016. He has three books of poetry: 140 Twitter Poems, I Have Always Been Here and beat. He co-edited The Beatest State In The Union: An Anthology of Beat Texas Writings with Chuck Taylor and Rob Johnson and Outrage: A Protest Anthology about Injustice in a Post 9/11 World with Rossy Evelin Lima. He has co-written a scholarly conversation book about Chicanx identities called Nuev@s Voces Poeticas: A Dialogue about New Chican@ Poetics. Currently, he is working on a series of YA novellas featuring a Chicanx superhero fighting Texas Rangers in the Rio Grande Valley from 1905-1920 entitled El Rinche: The Ghost Ranger of the Rio Grande.
As an educational activist, Carmona is the Chair of the NACCS-Tejas Foco Committee on Implementing Mexican American Studies in preK-12 Education and has served on the Ad Hoc Committee for the TX State Board of Education for approving MAS textbooks. He was on the REST (Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbooks Committee) that was awarded the “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” award for excellence in educational leadership from the Mexican American School Board Association (MASBA).
About the book:
El Rinche: The Ghost Ranger of the Rio Grande
is a reimagining and flip of the script of an American popular culture icon. This novel tells the story a light-skinned Mexican American named Ascencion “Chonnie” Ruiz de Plata. He disguises himself as the ghost of a Texas Ranger on the South Texas border of Mexico now known as The Rio Grande Valley between 1905-1921. Together with his partner, the Native American Tal’dos, a Japanese ninja master, and the most successful U.S. Marshall of all time, Bass Reeves (the real lone ranger), Chonnie takes on the superhero persona of “El Rinche” to fight the villainous Texas Rangers and save the local peoples of the area.
This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com