“We first met, appropriately enough, at the only independent bookstore in Austin focused on Chicanx, Latinx and Native American literature: Resistencia Bookstore. We met next to a mural depicting an indigenous warrior posed under a brick wall, a pierced heart and handcuffs, symbolizing colonization, cultural oppression, and incarceration.
Three of us, current and former students, came to share our experiences, away from the frustrations and heartbreak we’d been through.
Together, we searched for literature that gives space for racialized communities of women who have been silenced by the color-blind whiteness of academia, of the mainstream publishing industry, of America itself. Resistencia is filled with bold names like Castillo, Silko, Erdrich, Butler and Davis.
We picked up A House of My Own, Sandra Cisneros’ latest book. Someone remembered that Texas State recently acquired her literary archives, yet none of us had read her while in the MFA program. On the next shelf, we found a collection by poet Laurie Ann Guerrero, a Tejana who lives just 50 miles south of San Marcos. While getting my Texas State MFA, I never heard her name mingled with Hemingway and Munro and O’Brien until I organized an event that brought her to the university’s Wittliff Collections in fall 2014, specifically to counter the all-white visiting writers’ list.”