Letras Latinas

Letras Latinas Orlando Menes
Orlando Menes reads from MEMORIA in midtown Manhattan

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. We put 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

Twc Logo Red

Curated Conversation(s): A Latinx Poetry Show is a virtual initiative that features in-depth conversations between a Latinx poet and an interlocutor of their choosing. These pre-recorded discussions are posted on the web every month and involve a deep dive into a first book. A parallel activity involves monthly book club discussions on Zoom moderated by guest poets. This Letras Latinas program is a partnership with The Writer’s Center and Duende District Bookstore, made possible with funding from the Poetry Foundation and private benefaction.
For more information, please visit: https://www.writer.org/curatedconversations/

The 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 Letras Latinas Oral History Project produces video interviews of Latinx writers visiting the Notre Dame campus with the aim of making them available as an online resource for faculty, students, scholars, and the community at large.

Andre S Montoya Photo Credit Francisco Dominguez

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) was 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 that took place in April of 2018.

The next deadline for the Prize is January 15, 2022. Final Judge: Alexandra Lytton Regalado

Contact Francisco Aragón at faragon@nd.edu for more information.

Bareback Nightfall Cover R3

AKRILICA is a co-publishing venture with Noemi Press which seeks to showcase new innovative Latinx writing. Launched in 2013, the name of the series recalls the groundbreaking, bilingual poetry book from the eighties by distinguished Chicano writer and former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.


Red Hen Logo Vertical

Letras Latinas/Red Hen Collaborative is a joint effort with Red Hen Press, the literary publisher in California, that supports the publication of new Latinx titles as part of a curated series and Editor’s Choice Awards. Previously, this initiative was the Letras Latinas / Red Hen Poetry Prize, which launched in 2012, and supported the publication of a second or third book of poetry by a Latinx poet.

Fotografi A Ano Nima Mncars 4

The Lorca Latinx Poetry Prize for an emerging Latinx poet is a collaborative effort that supports the publication of an artisan chapbook by a poet with no more than one full-length book in print. It counts on the guidance of an Advisory Circle of distinguished poets. The co-coordinators of the Prize are Letras Latinas director Francisco Aragón, Esperanza Hope Snyder, and Spencer Reece.  The first iteration of the Prize was carried out in 2019. The next one is slated for 2021.

The next final judge:  Carmen Giménez Smith

Ouramerica 500

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 concluded in 2017. The six resulting portfolios are currently part of a book arts project that will mark the conclusion of the initiative.



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


Latest News