July 9, 2015

What are you Reading this Summer?

In response to the lack of diversity (again) in the New York Time's summer reading list, we decided to ask a few writer friends what two books they would suggest reading this summer. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list in any way but it just goes to show - when you ask a handful of diverse artists what books they would recommend you get a diverse list. From children's books to memoirs, to poetry to novels, here is what they said:

Photo by Steven Fullwood
Sharon Bridgforth is a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2009. RedBone Press author of love conjure/blues and the Lambda Literary Award-winning the bull-jean stories, her piece delta dandi, is published in solo/black/woman, Eds. E. Patrick Johnson and Ramon Rivera-Servera, Northwestern University Press. Bridgforth, Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and Lisa L. Moore are co-editors of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project, University of Texas Press. She is one of the subjects of Dr. Omi Jones’ Theatrical Jazz: Performance, Àṣẹ, and the Power of the Present Moment, Ohio State University Press. Sharon recommended:

Emma Pérez has published fiction, essays and the history book, The Decolonial Imaginary.  Pérez’s first novel, Gulf Dreams, was published in 1996 and reprinted with Aunt Lute Books in 2009.  Her second novel, Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory, (University of Texas Press, 2009) was awarded the Christopher Isherwood Writing Grant (2009), won 2nd place in Historical Fiction from International Latino Books (2010), was a finalist in General Fiction from the Lambda Literary Foundation Awards (2010) and was a finalist in Historical Fiction from the Golden Crown Literary Awards (2010).  Her latest novel, Electra’s Complex, is an erotic mystery published with Bella Books (2015).  Currently, she is a professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Emma recommended:

Joe Jiménez is the author of The Possibilities of Mud (Kórima 2014) and Brightest Noise (Arte Público 2016). Jiménez was the recipient of the 2012 Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Prize and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. The short film “El Abuelo,” directed by Dino Dinco, based on Jimenez’s poem, has been screened in Belgium, the Netherlands, Mexico, Argentina, Ireland, and the US. He lives in San Antonio and is a member of the Macondo Workshops.  His recent poems can be found in Fourth River, Southern Humanities Review, Codex, and Borderlands Texas Poetry Review. Joe recommended: 

Carol Brochin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona. She teaches courses on queer young adult and bilingual children’s literature as well as literacy methods for bilingual teachers.  Previously she worked as a language arts teacher in her hometown Laredo, Texas. She has published research articles and book chapters on young adult literature, bilingual teacher preparation, and transnational literacies. She is currently writing a young adult novel about a queer Chicana set on the US/Mexico border. Carol suggested:

Azure Osborne-Lee is an award-winning artist and eccentric from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Driven by Aquarius rising, Azure has lived in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Austin, Houston, London, and Chiapas in the past five years. A theatre maker with an eye for detail, Azure is currently focusing on writing for the stage. He pays the bills by working as an arts administrator and freelance transcriptionist. Azure suggested: 

    How many of these 10 books have you already read?
    What are you reading this summer?