Letras Latinas

Letras Latinas

Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), strives to enhance the visibility, appreciation and study of Latinx literature both on and off the campus of the University of Notre Dame—with an emphasis on programs that support newer voices, foster a sense of community among writers, and place Latinx writers in community spaces.

Letras Latinas is proud to be a founding member of the Poetry Coalition, a group of organizations working together to promote the values poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.


Current Programs

Letras Latinas Blog publishes author interviews, photos of our events, and other mission-driven content. It serves as a resource for information about our programs. The blog also provides an opportunity for Notre Dame students and Letras Latinas interns to acquire and hone their skills in literary journalism.



The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, in collaboration with University of Notre Dame Press, supports the publication of a first book by a Latinx poet in the United States. The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize Initiative (AMPPI) is a campaign that helped underwrite the publication of, A Jury of Trees—a posthumous book of poetry by Andrés Montoya co-published by Bilingual Press and Letras Latinas, as well as a symposium on Andrés Montoya slated for April of 2018.

The next deadline for the Prize is January 15, 2018. Judge: Ada Limón.



The Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, in collaboration with Red Hen Press, supports the publication of a second or third book of poems by a Latinx poet in the United States.

The next deadline is January 15, 2018. Judge: Carmen Giménez Smith



“PINTURA : PALABRA” is a multi-year initiative that encourages new Latinx writing inspired by art, above all the Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibit, Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art. Aspects of the initiative included ekphrastic writing workshops; inviting writers to engage with the exhibit; and partnering with literary journals to publish portfolios of ekphrastic writing. The exhibit debuted its national tour in 2013 and concludes in 2017. The six resulting portfolios are currently part of a book arts project to mark the conclusion of the initiative.



The Letras Latinas Oral History Project is a collaborative effort with the ILS librarian/archivist and produces video interviews of Latinx 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 Latinx writing. The name of the series recalls the groundbreaking, bilingual poetry book from the eighties by distinguished Chicanx writer Juan Felipe Herrera.



The John K. Walsh Mentorship Essays, named after Notre Dame alum (‘61) and distinguished hispanista, John K. Walsh (1939 – 1990), is an online series hosted by ORIGINS literary journal that recognizes and highlights the indelible role mentors play in the lives of emerging Latinx writers.



Letras Latinas is under the direction of ILS faculty fellow Francisco Aragón, who founded the initiative in 2004. For more information, contact: faragon@nd.edu