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Literary El Paso

Marcia Hatfield Daudistel

Publication Year: 2009

The fourth in the successful literary cities series by TCU Press, Literary El Paso brings attention to the often overlooked extraordinary literary heritage of this city in far West Texas. El Paso is the largest metropolitan area along the U.S.-Mexico border and geographically isolated from the rest of Texas. It is in this splendid isolation surrounded by mountains in the midst of the beautiful Chihuahuan Desert that many award-winning writers found their literary voices. Daudistel uses her years of publishing experience in El Paso to gather the works of past, present and emerging writers of the Borderlands. Historical essays, fiction, journalism and poetry portray the colorful history and vibrant present of this city on the border through the works of sixty-three writers. Once a backdrop to the Mexican Revolution, El Paso was also home to infamous outlaws. Historians C.L. Sonnichsen, and Leon Metz write on the gunmen and lawmen of El Paso such as John Wesley Hardin, Dallas Stoudenmire and Bass Outlaw. There are feature stories from award-winning journalists Ruben Salazar early in his newspaper career, Ramon Renteria with the last interview of poet Ricardo Sanchez and Bryan Woolley on the 1966 UTEP Miners and lively South El Paso Street. Many groundbreaking Chicano writers who began their work in El Paso, such as Jose Antonio Burciaga, Abelardo Delgado, Estela Portillo Trambley and Arturo Islas are featured. The works of Tom Lea, the stories of Amado Muro, Dagoberto Gilb, Rick DeMarinis, Pat Littledog, the inimitable word sketches of Elroy Bode and the poetry of Benjamin Alire Saenz, Pat Mora, and Bernice Love Wiggins, one of the first African-American female poets published in Texas, explore the experience of life in El Paso. In addition, previously unpublished works from John Rechy, Ray Gonzalez and Robert Seltzer are included. Literary El Paso features bilingual selections for the first time in the series to reflect the bicultural environment of the region and the state.

Published by: TCU Press

Title Page

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Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-xv

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

Editing Literary El Paso confirmed my belief that writers are the most generous of souls. Nearly all the writers in the book were quick to suggest their own favorite El Paso writers and the writers who influenced their work. It was their enthusiasm and belief that this would be an important book that made this experience so enjoyable. During my years as Associate Director of Texas Western Press...

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Introduction

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pp. xix-xxiv

Called El Paso Del Norte, the Pass of the North, and finally, El Paso, this region was the dark-eyed exotic stranger abducted into Texas by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. El Paso is part of the Chihuahuan desert and the adjacent Franklin Mountains are nearly the southernmost tip of the Rocky Mountain range. We are a far West Texas high-desert city with a...

Part I. Revolution at the Pass of the North: The City Emerges: La revoluci

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Tom Lea

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pp. 2-7

Widely acclaimed artist, muralist, illustrator, and novelist Tom Lea (1907-2001) was born and raised in El Paso. Tom Lea Sr., his father, was the mayor of El Paso during the Mexican Revolution. At the age of seventeen, Lea studied under the muralist John Norton at the Chicago Art Institute and became his apprentice. He worked as a mural painter and commercial artist in Chicago until 1933 when he moved to Santa Fe, New...

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Carl Hertzog

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pp. 8-13

Internationally known book designer and typographer Jean Carl Hertzog (1902-1984) was born in Lyons, France, while his father was touring as a concert musician. He was raised in Pittsburgh after the death of his father. Tom Lea wrote of Hertzog, “When he was eight years old, he stuck his nose in the neighborhood print shop and smelled that printer’s ink and it got him just like linseed oil got me when I was young.” By the...

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Owen White

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pp. 14-21

Native El Pasoan Owen Payne White (1879-1946) graduated from El Paso High then attended the University of Texas at Austin, but returned to El Paso after only a few months. He attended New York University to study law and served in World War I as a sergeant. In 1920 he became a columnist for the El Paso Herald. Out of the Desert, his first book, came to the attention of H. L. Mencken, then the editor of the...

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Dale L. Walker

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pp. 22-35

Dale L. Walker, a freelance writer since 1960, is the author of many historical books, biographies and literary studies, including Legends and Lies: Great Mysteries of the American West; The Boys of ’98: Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders; Bear Flag Rising: The Conquest of California, 1846; Pacific Destiny: The Four-Century Journey to the Oregon Country; Eldorado: The California Gold Rush; The Calamity Papers: Western...

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Charles Leland Sonnichsen

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pp. 36-50

Charles Leland Sonnichsen (1901-1991) was born in Fonda, Iowa, and raised in Minnesota. He earned his B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1924, his M.A. from Harvard in 1927, and then taught English at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. After two years, he returned to Harvard and earned his Ph.D. in English Philology. “At that time Harvard offered no Ph.D. in English or...

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Leon Claire Metz

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pp. 51-56

Historian, lecturer, and writer Leon Claire Metz was born and raised in Parkersburg, West Virginia, but made El Paso his home after his military service as a staff sergeant stationed here. He has worked in law enforcement, served as a public affairs officer for a bank, university archivist, and assistant to the University of Texas at El Paso President Dr. Haskell Monroe. C. L. Sonnichsen was a literary mentor to Metz and the editor...

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Nancy Hamilton

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pp. 57-67

Native El Pasoan Nancy Miller Hamilton received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso. Following a career in newspaper reporting for both the El Paso Times and the El Paso Herald-Post, she was the first head of the media relations department of the El Paso Independent School District. She retired in 1990 from her position as associate director of Texas Western Press. Hamilton edited and wrote for...

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W. H. Timmons

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pp. 68-80

Borderlands historian Wilbert H. Timmons (1915-2008) was born in Springfield, Missouri, and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. He received his B.A. at Park College in Missouri, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Latin American History after his service as a naval officer during World War II. In 1949, he joined the faculty of Texas Western College, now...

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David Dorado Romo

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pp. 81-84

David Dorado Romo was raised in both El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. He earned a degree in Judaic Studies from Stanford University and has studied at the Centro d’Attivitá Musicale in Florence and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Historian, essayist, cultural activist, translator and musician, Romo published Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juárez: 1893-1923 in 2005...

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Cynthia Farah Haines

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pp. 85-93

Cynthia Farah Haines, raised in El Paso since the third grade, received her B.A. from Stanford University and her M.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso. A photographer, film critic, and scholar, she retired as an associate professor of film studies at UTEP after ten years. Haines is the author and photographer of Literature and Landscape: Writers of the Southwest, which received the C. L. Sonnichsen Book Award...

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Frank Mangan

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pp. 94-97

Native El Pasoan Frank Mangan (1921-2009) served in the air force in England, France, and Germany during World War II. He earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri and went on to work for twenty-eight years in advertising and public relations for the El Paso Natural Gas Company. After his retirement, Frank and his wife, Judy Peterson Mangan, founded Mangan Books in 1979 and published...

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John O.West

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pp. 98-105

John O. West was born in El Paso and received his B.A. from Mississippi College, an M.A. from Texas Tech, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught English and folklore at the University of Texas at El Paso for thirty-nine years. He collaborated with the artist José Cisneros on the books Riders Across the Centuries and José Cisneros: An Artist’s Journey, which won the Twitchell Award from the New...

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Bill Wright

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pp. 106-112

Born in Abilene, award-winning photographer and writer Bill Wright began a successful business career after receiving his B.B.A. in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. After thirty-two years as co-founder of Western Marketing, he sold the business to his employees and began his second career as an author and photographer. A familiar face in El Paso during his first career, Wright worked among the Tigua Indians for six...

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Robert Seltzer

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pp. 113-116

Award-winning journalist Robert Seltzer was raised in El Paso. He has worked for the El Paso Times as a sports writer, feature writer, metro columnist, and writing coach. Seltzer has also worked at the Houston Chronicle, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has won state and national awards for his news and sports coverage, including two Texas Headliner awards and four Associated Press Managing Editors Association...

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Amado Muro

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pp. 117-130

Amado Muro (1915-1970) is the pseudonym of writer and newspaperman Chester Seltzer. Raised in Cleveland, he was the son of Louis B. Seltzer, the influential journalist and editor of the Cleveland Press. Muro attended the University of Virginia and Kenyon College. He rode freight trains, worked in labor camps, lived in the Fruit Pickers Cothouse, Red’s Flophouse, and was, for a time, a seaman. While a newspaperman in Bexar County, Texas...

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Maceo Dailey

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pp. 131-137

Historian Maceo C. Dailey was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and received his Ph.D. from Howard University. Presently, he is associate professor in the history department and director of African American Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. He has taught at Smith College, Howard University, Brown University, Boston College, and Morehouse College, among others. Dailey is the co-editor of the books Wheresoever My...

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Bernice Love Wiggins

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pp. 138-141

Bernice Love Wiggins (1897-?), living far from the centers of literary activity during the era known as the Harlem Renaissance, was encouraged by her teachers as a child to write poetry. Her poems were published extensively in newspapers across Texas. Tuneful Tales is her self-published book of poetry that gives voice to the small, but active and distinguished African American community of El Paso during the 1920s...

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Mimi Reisel Gladstein and Sylvia Deener Cohen

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pp. 142-156

Mimi Reisel Gladstein was raised in El Paso. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and is a faculty member at the University of Texas at El Paso. She is the author of five books, including The Ayn Rand Companion and In Search of Steinbeck: A Continuing Journey, and co-editor of The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: Selected Works of Jos

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Mario T. Garc

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pp. 157-165

Native El Pasoan Mario T. Garc

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Ruben Salazar

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pp. 166-172

Pioneer journalist Ruben Salazar (1928-1970) was born in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and raised in El Paso. In 1946, he enrolled in the Colleges of Mines and Metallurgy, now the University of Texas at El Paso, but left to serve in the army. He returned to school in 1953, earning his B.A. in journalism from Texas Western College, now University of Texas at El Paso, in 1955 while working as a reporter at the El Paso Herald-Post. Salazar’s...

Part II. Two Countries, One River: The People: Dos pa

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Tom

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pp. 174-183

Tom

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Abelardo “Lalo” Delgado

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pp. 184-190

Considered one of the grandfathers of the Chicano literary revival of the 1960s and 1970s, poet, writer, activist, and community organizer Abelardo “Lalo” Barrientos Delgado (1931-2004) was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, but moved to El Paso at the age of twelve where he lived in a tenement in Segundo Barrio. After graduating from Bowie High School in 1950, he worked in local restaurants and construction. In 1955...

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Ram

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pp. 191-194

Born in Valentine, Texas, Ram

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Ricardo S

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pp. 195-203

Poet, activist and academic Ricardo S

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John Rechy

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pp. 204-220

Native El Pasoan John Rechy is the author of the groundbreaking and controversial novel City of Night, the story of a gay hustler and the society that marginalizes those who are perceived as “the others.” Continuously in print since 1963 and considered a modern classic, City of Night was published to great acclaim and outraged criticism; it has remained a bestseller. Rechy has written twelve novels including Numbers...

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Bryan Woolley

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pp. 221-237

Native Texan Bryan Woolley was raised in Fort Davis, Texas, and began his award-winning career in journalism as a stringer for the El Paso Times while a student at Fort Davis High School. Continuing to work for the Times, Woolley earned a B.A. from Texas Western College, now the University of Texas at El Paso. He holds a Master’s degree from Texas Christian University and a Master of Theology from Harvard...

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Rick DeMarinis

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pp. 238-248

Award winning novelist and short story writer Rick DeMarinis was born in New York City. He taught fiction writing at San Diego State University, Arizona State University and at the University of Texas at El Paso from 1988-1999, where he retired as full professor. DeMarinis is the author of the novels A Lovely Monster; Cinder; The Burning Women of Far Cry; The Year of the Zinc Penny, named a...

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Dagoberto Gilb

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pp. 249-260

Dagoberto Gilb is the author, most recently, of the novel The Flowers. His previous books are Gritos, an essay collection that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award; Woodcuts of Women; The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acu

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Arturo Islas

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pp. 261-273

Arturo Islas (1938-1991) was born in El Paso and graduated from El Paso High, earning a Sloan Scholarship to Stanford University. Although he planned to become a neurosurgeon, Islas soon realized his talent for language and literature and went on to earn a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford, becoming one of the first Chicanos in the United States to earn a doctorate in English. Islas remained to teach at Stanford, where...

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Denise Ch

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pp. 274-289

Novelist, short story writer, playwright, and actor Denise Chávez has her roots in New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. Born in New Mexico, she calls Las Cruces and El Paso her “two home towns.” Chávez received an M.F.A. in Drama from Trinity University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico. Her novels include Face of an Angel, which won the 1995 Premio Aztlán and the American Book Award...

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Ana Castillo

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pp. 290-304

Poet, novelist, essayist, and short story writer Ana Castillo was born and raised in Chicago. She earned a B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University, an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Bremen, Germany. Her most recent academic appointments were the 2001-2005 La Sor Juana In

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Manuel V

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pp. 305-307

Poet Manuel V

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Alicia Gaspar de Alba

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pp. 308-314

Alicia Gaspar de Alba was born and raised in El Paso, receiving a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English-Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. She earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. In 1994 she began her academic career at UCLA and was a founding faculty member of the C

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Abraham Verghese

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pp. 315-323

Born and raised in Ethiopia, Abraham Verghese immigrated to the United States after obtaining his medical degree. He has served on the faculty at East Tennessee State University; the University of Iowa; Texas Tech University in El Paso, where he was Professor of Medicine and Chief of Infectious Disease; and at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio...

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Lee Merrill Byrd

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pp. 324-335

Born and raised in New Jersey, Lee Merrill Byrd has made El Paso her home since 1978. She is the co-founder of Cinco Puntos Press, established in 1985, a publishing house with the mission of bringing the multicultural literature of the American Southwest, the U.S./Mexico border region, and Mexico to a national audience. Cinco Puntos publishes nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and children’s literature. Byrd...

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Estela Portillo Trambley

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pp. 336-357

Estela Portillo Trambley (1936-1999) was born and raised in El Paso. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in English at the Texas College of Mines, now the University of Texas at El Paso. She is considered a pioneer in Chicana literature with her themes of women rebelling against male domination, and her writing has been the subject of scholarly and critical study. Her play...

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Sergio Troncoso

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pp. 358-372

Born and raised in El Paso, Sergio Troncoso graduated from Harvard, was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico, and studied international relations and philosophy at Yale University. In 1999, his book of short stories The Last Tortilla & Other Stories won the Premio Aztl

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Tanya Maria Barrientos

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pp. 373-385

Born in Guatemala, Tanya Maria Barrientos came to El Paso with her family in 1963. After graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she was a reporter, editor, and columnist for twenty-five years at the Dallas Times Herald and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She has taught writing at the Stonecoast MFA program in Maine, Bryn Mawr College, and the University of Pennsylvania...

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Christine Granados

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pp. 386-392

Born and raised in El Paso, Christine Granados is a graduate of University of Texas at El Paso and the MFA creative writing program at Texas State University at San Marcos. The 2006 winner of the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation Award, a grant given by Sandra Cisneros to further the aspirations of new writers, Granados is the author of short fiction that has been featured...

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Octavio Solis

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pp. 393-405

Playwright and director Octavio Solis was born and raised in El Paso. He earned a B.A. and M.F.A. from Trinity University in San Antonio. Solis has received a National Endowment for the Arts 1995-97 Playwriting Fellowship, the Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center, The Will Glickman Playwright award, the 1998 TCG/NEA Theatre Artists in Residence Grant, the...

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Daniel Chac

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pp. 406-412

Daniel Chac

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Pat LittleDog

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pp. 413-420

Novelist, short story writer and journalist, native Texan Pat LittleDog spent her teenage years in Wiesbaden, Germany. She received both an undergraduate degree and masters from the University of Texas at El Paso. As Pat Ellis Taylor, she published the novels: Border Healing Woman: The Story of Jewel Barr, the winner of a 1981 Southwest Book Award; Tonics, Tears, Roots and Remedies...

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Lex Williford

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pp. 421-427

Born in El Paso, Lex Williford holds an M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas and has taught at Southern Illinois University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Missouri, St. Louis. His book, Macauley’s Thumb, was co-winner of the 1993 Iowa School of Letters Award for Short Fiction. Both his fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such publications as...

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Richard Ya

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pp. 428-438

Richard Yañez was born and raised in El Paso. He received an M.F.A. from Arizona State University and teaching fellowships at Colorado College, the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at Saint Mary’s College, Indiana, and was a visiting writer at New Mexico State University. El Paso del Norte: Stories on the Border, his first book, was a finalist for the Texas Institute...

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Sheryl Luna

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pp. 439-442

Born and raised in El Paso, Sheryl Luna holds a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of North Texas and an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her first poetry collection published in 2005 by Notre Dame University Press, Pity the Drowned Horses, won the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the national poetry series and the Colorado Book...

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Pat Carr

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pp. 443-453

Novelist and short story writer Pat Carr was born in an oil camp in Wyoming, but grew up in Texas. She earned a B.A. and M.A. from Rice University and received a Ph.D. from Tulane. Carr taught literature and creative writing in several universities and taught for ten years at the University of Texas at El Paso where she became a full professor of English before she left academia...

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Lucy Fischer-West

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pp. 454-465

Born in Catskill, New York, Lucy Fischer-West was raised in El Paso and attended school on both sides of the border, receiving her B.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso. A career educator, Fischer-West has taught classes at the university and high school level and was a finalist for the Mary Jon and J. P. Bryan Leadership in Education Award for the Texas State Historical...

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Gloria L

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pp. 466-475

Gloria L

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Selfa Chew

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pp. 476-478

Selfa Chew is a poet, playwright, translator, graphic artist, cultural promoter and teacher, who was born in Mexico City and raised in the El Paso/Ciudad Ju

Part III. This Favored Place: Este lugar favorecido

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Jos

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pp. 480-487

Jos

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Benjamin Alire S

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pp. 488-492

Benjamin Alire S

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Tom Lea

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pp. 493-494

I first wrote this in order to speak it on a radio broadcast in December of 1951. Two years later I revised it a little, to accommodate the speaking to the requirements of television cameras which had joined the microphones at KTSM. Since then the words here written seem to have become an invariable part of an annual ceremony, an affectionate...

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Elroy Bode

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pp. 495-503

Native Texan Elroy Bode was raised in Kerrville. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin and serving in the military, he made El Paso his home in 1959. He taught in the Texas public schools in Kingsville, Garland, Bandera, and El Paso for forty-eight years, more than thirty years at Austin High School in El Paso. While stationed in San Antonio as a second lieutenant...

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Pat Mora

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pp. 504-511

Poet, writer, and literacy advocate Pat Mora was born and raised in El Paso and received a B.A. from Texas Western College and an M.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso. Mora held the Carruthers Chair, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of New Mexico. Recipient of a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship in 1986, she also received a 1994 National...

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Ray Gonzalez

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pp. 512-521

Ray Gonzalez was born and raised in El Paso. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including five from BOA Editions: The Heat of Arrivals, a 1997 PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award; Cabato Sentora, a 2000 Minnesota book Award Finalist; The Hawk Temple at Tierra Grande, a 2003 winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry; Consideration of the Guitar: New and Selected Poems...

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Bobby Byrd

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pp. 522-528

Bobby Byrd grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, but made El Paso his home in 1978. In addition to his numerous books of poetry including Get Some Fuses for the House; On the Transmigration of Souls in El Paso; and The Price of Doing Business in Mexico, he is also co-editor of two award-winning non-fiction border anthologies: The Late Great Mexican Border: Dispatches from a...

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Leslie Ullman

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pp. 529-532

Poet Leslie Ullman was born in Illinois and graduated from Skidmore College. She received an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa and is the author of three poetry collections: Natural Histories, winner of the 1979 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award; Dreams by No One’s Daughter; and Slow Work Through Sand, co-winner of the 1997 Iowa Poetry Prize. Recipient of two National...

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Marian Haddad

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pp. 533-542

Marian Haddad was born in El Paso to Syrian immigrants, growing up between three languages and cultures: English, Arabic, and Spanish. She earned a B.A. in creative writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and an M.F.A. in creative writing from San Diego State. As a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, she pursued further graduate...

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Beatriz Terrazas

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pp. 543-546

Born in El Paso, Beatriz Terrazas received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Texas at El Paso. She began her career as a writer and photographer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, then at The Dallas Morning News. In 1994, she was part of a team of journalists at the News that won a Pulitzer for a project on violence against women. Her work has won first place in contests sponsored...

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Howard McCord

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pp. 547-550

Poet, novelist and essayist Howard McCord was born and raised in El Paso. After his service in the navy during the Korean War, he received a B.A. from the University of Texas and an M.A. from The University of Utah. McCord has taught at Washington State University and at Bowling Green State University, where he directed the creative writing program for many years. McCord...

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Carolina Monsiva

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pp. 551-554

Carolina Monsiva

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Duane Carr

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pp. 555-556

Born in eastern Kansas, Duane Carr left for Colorado at the age of eighteen to work as a telegrapher on the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. He moved to El Paso in 1969 to begin his graduate work at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the author of the novel The Bough of Summer and the nonfiction book A Question of Class. He has published numerous articles, poems, and...

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Robert Burlingame

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pp. 557-559

Robert Burlingame was born and raised in Kansas. Educated at Wichita University and the University of Arizona, he received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of New Mexico and his Ph.D. from Brown University. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Queen Mary College, the University of London. After teaching at the University of New Mexico, Brown University...

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pp. 560-565

Index

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pp. 566-572


E-ISBN-13: 9780875654843
E-ISBN-10: 0875654843
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875653877
Print-ISBN-10: 0875653871

Page Count: 600
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1
Series Title: Literary Cities Series

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Subject Headings

  • El Paso (Tex.) -- Literary collections.
  • American literature -- Texas -- El Paso.
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