Elite Writers from across the United States Bring Their Creativity to A&M-San Antonio for a Cultural Writing and Collaboration Experience

By University Communications

Monday, 07 22 2019

SAN ANTONIO-More than 45 experienced writers are bringing their talents and creativity to the Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) campus and the city of San Antonio for a one-of-a-kind writing collaboration and retreat during the week of July 23-28, 2019. Only at the 24th Annual Macondo Writers Workshop will one find assembled a group of nationally acclaimed writers who work to inspire artistic and cultural creativity.

As part of an exclusive agreement with A&M-SA, the Macondo Writers Workshop is being conducted at A&M-SA for the next three years. A memorandum of understanding between A&M-SA and Nuestra Palabra established a partnership in which A&M-SA hosts the widely recognized workshop, while Nuestra Palabra, working with the Macondo Ad Hoc Advisory Board, organizes and sponsors the workshop’s independent study retreat, seminars and faculty.

During the weeklong workshop, Macondo participants, affectionately known as “Macondistas,” will enjoy housing in A&M-SA’s Esperanza Hall, and participate in workshop sessions that involve sharing and reviewing each other’s work.

“This is A&M-San Antonio’s second consecutive year hosting the Macondo Writers Workshop,” Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, A&M-SA’s president said, adding, “We are hopeful our 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.”

Dr. Mirley Balasubramanya, dean of A&M-SA’s College of Arts & Sciences, said, “Writing as a creative expression captures not just the writer’s inspiration and sensitivity, but also the yearnings, longings and cultural moorings of their communities, often marginalized and suppressed. Macondistas provide voices that speak frankly and intimately of many a human predicament, of loss and recovery, painted with cultural experiences that are both universal and particular. We hope this workshop will be permanently anchored in our Department of Language, Literature, and Arts providing our academic community a segway to new heights in creative writing.”

The Macondo Writer's Workshop is the kind of partnership that highlights A&M-San Antonio's role as a driver for bringing socially-conscious creatives to the vibrant and engaged creative arts community for which San Antonio is globally recognized.

Sandra Cisneros, acclaimed writer and award-winning author of the “The House on Mango Street,” founded Macondo Writers in 1995 after gathering a group of writers, artists, scholars and activists around her dining room table to meet informally for rigorous writing workshops.

This 24th Annual Macondo Writers Workshop also features free public seminars and readings, three of which are being held in Room 105 of the Science and Technology Building at A&M-SA: “Writing Children’s Literature” with Amada Irma Perez and Rene Colato Laínez is 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesday, July 24; “The Author/Editor Relationship” with Leslie Larson is 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, July 25, and “Hitting Send: Literary Submission Strategies” is 4:30-6 p.m. Friday, July 26. A fan-favorite event, “The Macondista Open Mic,” is being held 8-10 p.m. Friday, July 26, in the A&M-SA Auditorium.

Two other public readings are being held off-campus: “Have You Seen Marie?” by Sandra Cisneros with guest reading by Richard Blanco is being held 7-9 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at San Antonio College’s Macalister Theater. The San Antonio Central Library Latino Collection Resource Center is hosting a Macondo faculty reading 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 24.

The Macondo Writers Workshop closes Sunday, July 28, with a farewell breakfast.

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.