Label Me Latina/o Spring 2014 Volume IV

February 24, 2014 edited by Michele Shaul and Kathryn Quinn-Sánchez
Filed under: Spring 



Interseccionalidad y ruptura en The Block Captains Daughter

 By  JM. Persánch

José Mª Pérez-Sánchez (JM. Persánch), licenciado en filologías inglesa e hispánica y doctor en estudios hispánicos por la Universidad de Cádiz, con estancias de alumno e instructor en The University of Birmingham (UK) y Amherst College (MA, USA) respectivamente. Área de investigación multidisciplinar que abarcan identidades latina y blanca estadounidenses e ibéricas tanto en cine como literatura. Interesado en estudios culturales, formación identitaria e identidades comparadas, sociología, descolonización y posglobalización, lenguas, lingüística y el andaluz. Actualmente instructor de español en la University of Kentucky (KY, USA), editor de Nomenclatura, Sarasuati, Palabras Indiscretas y revisor para LL Journal –CUNY– y UDP. ///


Through a Child’s Eyes: Latin@ Resistance and Assimilation in the Works of Nicholasa Mohr

 By Daniel Arbino

Daniel Arbino is currently an assistant professor of Spanish at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He specializes in Caribbean literatures and Afro-Latin American cultures. He has previously published in Callaloo, Journal of Caribbean Literatures, Mester, and Sargasso.


Creative Non-Fiction


Spanish Classes

By Erica Garza

Erica Garza is a staff writer at the feminist magazine Luna Luna. Her essays have been published by HelloGiggles, Hot Metal Bridge, Airplane Reading and C.L.A.P. In 2010, she earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Columbia University and is now finishing her first book, a memoir about obsession called Hairywoman. Born in Los Angeles, Erica has spent most of her adult life traveling. Read her essays at




Cristina García at the 2013 Agnes Scott College Writers’ Festival

Edited by Rafael Ocasio

Rafael Ocasio is a Charles A. Dana Professor of Spanish at Agnes Scott College and the author of two books about the Cuban dissident writer Reinaldo Arenas: Reinaldo Arenas: Cuba’s Political and Sexual Outlaw (2003) and A Gay Cuban Activist in Exile (2007).  His most recent book, Afro-Cuban Costumbrismo: From Plantations to the Slums (2012), debunks the conventional motion that nineteenth Cuban Costumbrista literature reveals little about the Afro-Cuban experience. Ocasio is currently working on a book manuscript: “Franz Boas in Puerto Rico: Retention and Reinvention of Puerto Rican Folklore,” an edited, critical anthology of oral folklore documented by that reputable anthropologist in Puerto Rico in 1915.


Chronicling the New Transnational Migrant Experience: An Interview with Daniel Hernandez

By Monica Hanna

Monica Hanna is Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Fullerton. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Specializing in contemporary Chican@ and Latin@ literatures along with American hemispheric literary migrations, her work has been published in various journals including Callaloo and Quaderni del ‘900. She is currently co-editing a collection of scholarship on Junot Díaz. Another major current research focus is contemporary US Latin@ and Latin American literary journalism.





By Mark Smith-Soto

Mark Smith-Soto was born in Washington, DC, and raised in his mother’s country, Costa Rica. He is Professor of Spanish and editor of International Poetry Review at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  He has published three prize-winning chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections to date: Our Lives Are Rivers (University Press of Florida, 2003), and Any Second Now (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2006). His poetry, which has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and won him an NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing (2006), has appeared in Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, Literary Review, Nimrod, The Sun and many other publications. In 2010, Unicorn Press brought out his work of translation Fever Season, the selected poetry of Costa Rican writer Ana Istarú. His most recent works are Berkeley Prelude: A Lyrical Memoir (Unicorn Press, 2012) and the chapbook Splices (Finishing Line Press, 2013).


Poem for My Father

By Beatriz Fernandez 

Beatriz F. Fernandez holds a M.A. in English Literature and an M.L.S. in Library Science.  She is a poet by day and a reference librarian at Florida International University in Miami by night.  She grew up in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, the daughter of a Peruvian mother and Puerto Rican father.  She has read her poetry on South Florida’s NPR news station, WLRN, and in May she was the featured writer on the Latina Book Club Blog.  She was the grand prize winner of Writer’s Digest 2nd Annual Poetry Award and recently placed 2nd in Spark, A Creative Anthology’s Contest “Una Mujer”.  Her poems have appeared in various journals, among them Verse Wisconsin, When Women Waken, Spark Volumes II and III and Writer’s Digest.  Contact her at or tweet her @nebula61.


Gorilla Arms

By David Romero

David A. Romero is a proud Pocho/Chicano spoken word artist from Diamond Bar, CA. Romero is the second poet to be featured on All Def Digital, a YouTube channel from Russell Simmons. Romero has opened for Latin Grammy winning bands Ozomatli and La Santa Cecilia. Romero’s work has been published alongside poet laureates Jack Hirschman, Alejandro Murguia, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Romero has won the Uptown Slam at the historic Green Mill in Chicago; the birthplace of slam poetry. Romero has appeared in-studio numerous times on multiple programs on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and has traveled across the country performing his poetry.



 Short Story


Losing Balloons

By Angel Vargas

Angel Vargas is a Mexican-American male born and raised in Southern California. He usually tells people that he is a Mexican born on the wrong side of the border.  Anyway, he grew up in a non-practicing Catholic family who later converted to Christianity, which he ended up  abandoning. His father was born in California and his mother came to the states illegally. He grew up in poverty, yet they always seemed to have a meal and roof over them. He has a B.A. in theology and decided to get his M.Div. degree, all part of his spiritual quest, but in between he became very interested in Literature and Poetry, and tried to write his own work with the hopes that maybe one day he could have something published. He desires to have a voice, but most importantly he would like to impact lives through his writing and change the way people think. He currently works for the City of Long Beach through the Homeless Services division, and has seen a lot of what goes on in the streets. His work with Homeless Services has inspired him to write on such issues and elucidate the reality of this world through fiction. Furthermore, he has a heart for all people, but Latinos/as hold a special place in his heart. He hopes that he can contribute his part to help those in the struggle, amidst the criticism, discrimination, and attacks.


Bossa Nova

By Fabio Chee

Fabio Chee received his Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of California, Irvine and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the department of Modern Language Studies at the California State University, San Marcos. He has been the director of the literary journal Pterodáctilo from the University of Texas, Austin and the founder of Alud at the University of California, Irvine. His poetry and short stories have appeared in literary journals such as Label Me Latina/o (U.S.), Los noveles (Spain), and Palabras Malditas (Mexico). Academically, his research focuses on the study of Chicana/o literature and culture.Visit his blog at:


Reclaiming Herself

By Andrea Villa

Andrea Villa is a student at Los Angeles Southwest College.  She divides her time between being single mother, full-time worker, and full-time student.  She will be attending Cal State University-Los Angeles in the Fall of 2014 where she will be majoring in English and pursuing her passionate determination to become a writer.


De regreso

By Salvador Hernandez 

Salvador “Chato” Hernandez was born and raised in the barrio of South Omaha in the state of Nebraska.  He is the son of Victoriano and Julia Hernandez.  His cultural roots come from Guanajuato and Michoacan, Mexico, as well as Cuba.  Salvador is actively involved in his community, specifically with male involvement programming with at- risk young men.  He is currently enrolled as a full time student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha pursuing a Master’s in Social Work.  Salvador has lived in San Jose, CA and Washington D.C., where he received valuable experience in grassroots community involvement and the legislative process.  Salvador’s goal is to contribute to the development of  young men and families, with the hopes of helping to develop a stronger community.  Salvador utilizes poetry and short stories as form of healing and as a way to share the powerful stories of nuestra raza.