Texas A&M University-San Antonio and Nuestra Palabra Sign MOU to Bring Macondo Writers Workshop to Campus

By University Communications

Monday, 04 22 2019

SAN ANTONIO — On Monday, April 22, Nuestra Palabra and Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) signed a memorandum of understanding, bringing the nationally renowned Macondo Writers Workshop to A&M-SA’s campus for the next three years. A&M SA will host the exclusive workshop during the week of July 23-28, 2019.

The agreement between A&M-SA and Nuestra Palabra essentially establishes a partnership in which A&M-SA hosts the Macondo Writers Workshop, while Nuestra Palabra, working with the Macondo Ad Hoc Advisory Board, organizes and sponsors the workshop’s independent study retreat, seminars and faculty.

“This agreement marks a pivotal time for the Macondo Writers Workshop and its relationship with A&M-San Antonio and we are thrilled to bring this creative collaborative back to A&M-San Antonio,” Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, A&M-SA president said. “This is A&M-San Antonio’s second consecutive year hosting the Macondo Writers Workshop, and we are hopeful this agreement lays a strong foundation for building a permanent home for Macondo. A&M-SA is honored to be hosting the workshop and we are proud to be a part of the vibrant and socially engaged creative arts community in San Antonio,” she added.

Tony Diaz, founder and director of Nuestra Palabra, said, “Nuestra Palabra is thrilled to link Macondo and Texas A&M University-San Antonio under our Cultural Acceleration Program to take this cultural capital to even more people. Texas will be known as the leader for delivering our community’s art at the highest level and for the greatest good. We are honored to unite to change the world.”

The Macondo Writers Workshop, now in its 24th year, has been a transformational experience for many of its participants. An all-star faculty has been assembled to lead this year’s session. Sherwin Bitsui will lead the poetry workshop; Helena Maria Viramontes will lead the fiction workshop; Joy Castro will lead the creative nonfiction/memoir workshop; and Cisneros returns to the faculty working with Ruth Behar to lead a special section.

The Macondo Writers Workshop is a master’s level workshop, meaning that participants are expected to be established writers capable of reviewing each other’s work with compassionate rigor and vision.

Cisneros, acclaimed writer, MacArthur Fellow and author of “The House on Mango Street,” founded the workshop in 1995. Macondo gathers writers from all genres, who work on geographic, cultural, economic, gender and spiritual borders. The program, named after the town in Columbian author Gabriel García Marquez's 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude is an association of socially engaged writers working toward non-violent social change. They seek to advance creativity, foster generosity, and serve community.

About Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Established as a standalone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in South San Antonio, A&M-SA is a Military EmbracingTM institution offering more than 40 undergraduate programs to 6,600 students. Visit tamusa.edu for more information.

Nuestra Palabra
Tony Diaz founded Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say (NP) in April of 1998. NP’s mission is to promote Latino literature and literacy. The group began as a monthly reading series featuring nationally published and community-based Latino writers performing their work live in English, Spanish, and Spanglish. NP went on to organize the largest books fairs in Houston and create the Nuestra Palabra weekly radio show on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston. During its second decade, NP organized the 2012 Librotraficante Caravan to Tuscon to defy the state’s banning of Mexican American Studies and also fueled the struggle for Mexican American Studies in Texas. As NP enters its third decade, its Cultural Accelerator Program will aggregate the efforts of organizations to create structural change through the arts. NP also is advocating for equitable and sustained funding for Latinx art groups. www.NuestraPalabra.org.

Macondo Writers Workshop and Ad Hoc Advisory Board
Founded in 1995 by writer Sandra Cisneros, the Macondo Writers Workshop is an association of socially-engaged writers working to advance creativity, foster generosity, and serve community. The Macondo Ad Hoc Advisory Board includes Pat Alderete, Miryam Bujanda, Alex Espinoza, Anel Flores, Natalia Treviño, Carla Trujillo and Viktoria Valenzuela. This board primarily consists of long-time and new Macondo Members from Texas and California who volunteer to maintain the collective and produce this high caliber writer’s workshop open to dedicated writers.