Spilling the Beans in Chicanolandia: Conversations with Writers and Artists

By Frederick Luis Aldama | Go to book overview

Alma Luz Villanueva

lma Luz Villanueva was born on October 4, 1944, in Lompoc, California. Raised in San Francisco’s Mission District by her Yaqui maternal grandmother, Villanueva learned early of the trials and tribulations Mexican women face within a sexist and racist society. Deeply connected to her maternal Mexican roots—she never met her father, who was of German ancestry—Villanueva came to appreciate the healing power of art and storytelling. Her maternal grandfather was also a great influence, with his love of writing and metaphysical musings. Art and storytelling would become essential to Villanueva in her post-coming-of-age struggles, as the loss of her maternal grandmother left her fending for herself in San Francisco at a young age. These difficult life circumstances prevented her from finishing high school. She married and had a son during this period. However, with three children and much life experience under her belt, Villanueva was finally able to carve out a place for herself as a writer. On a small farm in California’s Sierra Nevada, Villanueva began dedicating long hours to the honing of her creative writing skills. She was especially attuned to nature and the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. She continued to dedicate long hours to her craft—the writing of poetry, novels, and short stories—which led her to an M.F.A. program at Vermont College in 1984. She has since become one of the most productive Chicana writers in the country, publishing poetry, novels, short stories, and essays that variously explore themes of gender, race, and sexuality as they connect back to an earthly spiritual sensibility. In her first collection of poetry, Bloodroot (1977), and her first

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Spilling the Beans in Chicanolandia: Conversations with Writers and Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introducing a Second Wave of Chicano/a Visual/Verbal Artists 1
  • Francisco X. Alarcón 37
  • Alfred Arteaga 53
  • Ricardo Bracho 69
  • Denise Chávez 79
  • Lucha Corpi 95
  • Dagoberto Gilb 107
  • Jaime Hernandez (of Los Bros Hernandez) 119
  • Juan Felipe Herrera 129
  • Richard Montoya (of Culture Clash) 143
  • Pat Mora 153
  • Cherríe Moraga 167
  • Alejandro Morales 177
  • Michael Nava 187
  • Daniel Olivas 199
  • Cecile Pineda 215
  • Lourdes Portillo 227
  • Luis J. Rodríguez 235
  • Benjamin Alire Sáenz 251
  • Luis Alberto Urrea 261
  • Alfredo Véa Jr 277
  • Alma Luz Villanueva 287
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