FINALLY I CAN SHARE THIS COVER.
Christ. It’s been two years since Hurricane Maria.
Puerto Rico is still in a bit of a state. I’ve always told people to look at how the US treats its non-state territories for a good idea of how they’re going to treat the parts of this country seen as lesser, but it’s more than that. Folks should look to those places to also find inspiration in how to survive and find the little moments that sparkle in our lives.
10/28/2019 an anthology I am thrilled to share with people drops. ¡PA’QUE TU LO SEPAS! Stories To Benefit The People of Puerto Rico.
I’ve discussed this before, but it’s weird to see it out there with a cover and a street date. Like, super weird.
I hope people dig this and I hope I do my writers proud in my promotion and push of their work. I was fortunate enough to get to read 11 amazing stories. They put all the work in.
When I decided to take the jump into this project, I worried about a lot of things: time, promotion, getting answers from folks I wanted in the ToC. Most of all I worried about my motivations and how others would view them.
Let’s be real. This is a public endeavor and perception is important. You can choose to care or not care, but it’s present and should be confronted in whatever way we can confront it. In this case: was this more about me than my writers or Puerto Rico? I’ve stated before that I was hesitant as I never felt quite Puerto Rican enough to rep my people. Is that bullshit? Probably, but the doubts always linger. Just like the doubts of my motivations. Am I doing this to increase my stock; to look better to other Latinx writers and those within more privileged spheres? Is this a means to garner attention and to stroke my own ego at the expense of others in my community?
I think those are valid worries. It’s easy to slip and fall into those traps when writing is such a solitary and narcissistic endeavor. Are we ever truly capable of pushing others ahead of us without trying to catch a few drops of that sweet, sweet exposure?
I don’t have an answer. I only have what my thoughts and my words and their worth varies from person to person. End of the day, I’m trying to take a step and 11 very good humans provided their support to achieve a goal: help Puerto Rico in some small way.
Of course, we want people to see us and read us and know us. We want to titillate and terrify with our own voices. I often wonder if there’s a conditioning in some of us to feel shame at that desire. At times that feels like an excuse, though, but there’s also something to it. We’re overwhelmed with a feeling that we need to be humble in asking for such small things that are automatically provided to others.
Bluntly: I cannot imagine how much worse it is for my Afro-Latinx and Queer Latinx family.
End of the day, I want people to read these stories and get a taste of diversity WITHIN our Latinx communities. We are not a monolith. We are varied cultures with colonial bonds and beautiful roots that have nothing to do with one another. We are peoples who have had to make do with nothing and quite often make fucking miracles.
Anyway, here’s the amazing ToC too.
Bad Puerto Rican (Foreword) by Angel Luis Colón
The Bones of Rio Rico by David Bowles
Bobby’s Leave 1968 by Désirée Zamorano
Me Encanta Tu Nombre by Carmen Jaramillo
Turistas by Hector Acosta
Bobo by Richie Narvaez
Papa’s Manuscript by Chantel Acevedo
The Sundowner by Jessica Laine
La Baca by Christopher Novas
It Takes Un Pueblo by Hector Duarte Jr.
Red Zone by Alex Segura
Boricua Obituary by Cina Pelayo
Preorder ¡PA’QUE TU LO SEPAS! Now – HERE