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.
Letras Latinas will be celebrating its 20th anniversary throughout calendar year 2024.
Letras Latinas 20th anniversary, year-long celebration
Throughout calendar year 2024, Letras Latinas will be holding nine multi-city events marking this special anniversary. The first took place last January 25 at the Arts Club of Washington in Washington, D.C. The next two events, which will both be livestreamed, are taking place on February 22 at the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona, and on March 21 and March 23 at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. For more information visit the websites of the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona and the Poetry Foundation. To learn about future events, please visit the schedule at Letras Latinas Blog 2.
Thursday, Feb. 22nd at 7 PM MT: a reading with Edgar Garcia, Sheila Maldonado, and Gina Franco at The University of Arizona Poetry Center
Thursday, March 21st 7 PM CT: a potery reading featuring Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta, Diannely Antigua, Jasminne Mendez, and Yesenia Montilla at the Poetry Foundation.
Saturday, March 23rd 2 PM CT: a panel on Afro-Latinx Poetry Now featuring Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta, Diannely Antigua, Jasminne Mendez, and Yesenia Montilla at the Poetry Foundation.
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: writer.org/curatedconversations/
Letras Latinas Blog 2
(LLB2) offers insight and commentary on contemporary letters, especially poetry. We aspire to publish reviews, interviews, brief essays, and roundtable discussions. We also occasionally re-frame material presented elsewhere on the web, including past collaborations. LLB2 is the next iteration of , which functioned between 2007 and 2022.
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.
The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, in collaboration with University of Notre Dame Press, supported the publication of a first book by a Latinx poet in the United States between 2004 and 2024. The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize Initiative 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 at Fresno State University.
Letras Latinas, in partnership with University of Notre Dame Press, is currently preparing an anthology based on the first ten editions of the Prize. Meanwhile, the Huizache literary initiative at UC Davis has recently facilitated the following press release: https://lettersandscience.
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.
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.
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 currently underway.
For more information, please visit:
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. He now counts on the crucial collaboration of Letras Latinas associates Brent Ameneyro and Laura Villareal.
For more information, contact: email@example.com