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516 Words 8 pm Saturday March 7

February 18, 2009

516 ARTS and the UNM M.F.A. in Creative Writing program present a reading celebrating Hispanic poets in conjunction with the exhibition Chicana Badgirls: Las Hociconas. UNM MFA student Richard Vargas and Creative Nonfiction Instructor Michelle Otero read with Levi Romero, Jessica Helen Lopez, and Socorro “Cora” Romo at 516 Arts, the museum-style gallery at 516 Central.

Jessica Helen López was a member of the 2006/07 City of Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team and is a current member of the national champion winning, College Unions UNM Lobo Slam Team. She is studying Creative Writing and Communications at UNM. Her poems have appeared in New Mecca: An Anthology, Open Mic America, Feminist Now, Instant Puss, Chicago Open Mic America and A Bigger Boat.

Michelle Otero is the author of Malinche’s Daughter (Momotombo Press, 2006), an essay collection based on her work with women survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Oaxaca, Mexico. She is a founding member of The Women Writers’ Collective, an El Paso-based group that raises awareness of women’s issues. She holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Vermont College.

Levi Romero is the author of two collections of poetry: A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works (UNM Press) and In the Gathering of Silence (West End Press). He served as co-editor on the women’s Spanish language anthology Metamorfosis. He has taught creative writing in the UNM Creative Writing Program and is currently a Research Scholar at the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Socorro “Cora” Romo is a writer/poet, activist organizer and a traditional healer. She has been writing poetry since she was 12 years old, was the first Chicana poet to participate in the First Annual Latino Festival in Asheville, North Carolina in 1998 and is the recipient of numerous poetry awards.

Richard Vargas was born and raised in Los Angeles and graduated from Cal State University Long Beach. He is the author of two books: McLife (Main Street Rag Press, 2005) and American Jesus (Tia Chucha Press, 2007). He was featured by Garrison Keillor on Writer’s Almanac. He is currently enrolled in the UNM M.F.A. in Creative Writing program.

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