Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the Institute for Latino Studies, enhances the visibility, appreciation, and study of Latino literature both on and off the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The initiative emphasizes programs that support newer voices and foster a sense of community among writers.
Letras Latinas Blog publishes author interviews, photos of our events, and other mission-driven content. It serves as a resource for information about Letras Latinas’ various programs, including current updates on all the projects listed below. The blog also provides an opportunity for select Notre Dame students to acquire and hone their skills in literary journalism.
The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize supports the publication of a first book by a Latino/a poet in the United States, in collaboration with University of Notre Dame Press. The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize Initiative (AMPPI) is a current campaign to bolster the prize’s fiscal sustainability. Proceeds will also help underwrite the publication of a posthumous book of poetry by Andrés Montoya, as well as a one-day symposium upon the book’s publication. The next deadline for the Prize is January 15, 2016.
The Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, in collaboration with Red Hen Press in Pasadena, CA, supports the publication of a second or third book of poems by a Latino/a poet in the United States. The next deadline is January 15, 2016.
“PINTURA : PALABRA, a project in ekphrasis” is a multi-year initiative that encourages new Latino writing inspired by art, above all a Smithsonian American Art Museum traveling exhibit titled Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art. Aspects of this initiative include ekphrastic writing workshops; inviting writers to engage with the exhibit; and partnering with literary journals to publish portfolios of ekphrastic writing. The exhibit debuted in Washington, D.C. in 2013 and concludes its tour in Sioux City, Iowa in 2017.
The John K. Walsh Residency Fellowship (formerly the Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship) is a partnership with the Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN, in which a writer working on a first book is awarded a one-month artist residency. Named after Notre Dame alum (‘61) and distinguished hispanista, John K. Walsh (1939 – 1990), this program also recognizes and highlights the indelible role mentors often play in the lives of emerging Latino/a writers.
The Letras Latinas Writers Initiative strives to forge a supportive network among Latino/a poets and writers who are enrolled in, or who have obtained degrees from, graduate programs in creative writing. Aspects of this initiative include an annual weekend gathering of MFA candidates from around the country. Also key to this initiative is collaboration with Notre Dame’s graduate creative writing program in the form of its new ILS-sponsored assistantship.
The Letras Latinas Oral History Project is a collaborative effort with the ILS librarian/archivist and produces video interviews of Latino/a writers visiting the Notre Dame campus with the aim of making them available as an online resource for students, scholars, and the community at large.
AKRILICA is a co-publishing venture with Noemi Press which seeks to showcase new innovative Latino writing. The series name recalls the groundbreaking, bilingual poetry book from the eighties by distinguished Chicano writer Juan Felipe Herrera.
Letras Latinas is under the direction of ILS assistant professional specialist, Francisco Aragón. It was constituted as a unit in 2004. To learn about past programs, please consult the Letras Latinas Blog.
For further information, please contact Francisco Aragón at email@example.com.