Richard Vargas, Margaret Randall, and Demetria Martinez
Sunday, July 24, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
Richard Vargas was born in Compton, CA. He earned his B.A. at Cal State University, Long Beach, where he studied under Gerald Locklin. He edited/published five issues of The Tequila Review, 1978-1980, publishing early works by Jimmy Santiago Baca, Alberto Rios, Nila Northsun, and many more. His first book, McLife, was featured twice, during Feb 2006, on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. A second book, American Jesus, was published by Tia Chucha Press, 2007. His third book, Guernica, revisited, was published April 2014, by Press 53, and was featured once more on the Writer's Almanac. Vargas received his MFA from the University of New Mexico, 2010, where he workshopped his poetry with Joy Harjo (our current national Poet Laureate.). He was recipient of the 2011 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference’s Hispanic Writer Award, was on the faculty of the 2012 10th National Latino Writers Conference and facilitated a workshop at the 2015 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. Vargas also edited/published The Más Tequila Review from 2009-2015, featuring poets from across the country. He has read his poetry to audiences in Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, Madison, Albuquerque/Santa Fe, Indianapolis, and Boulder. His fourth book will be published this summer by MouthFeel Press. Currently, he resides in Monona WI.
Demetria Martinez is a poet, writer and activist based in La Cienaga, New Mexico. Her books include a collection of essays, Confessions of a Berlitz Tape Chicana, and short stories, The Block Captain's Daughter. Her books of poetry include The Devil's Workshop. She co-authored the ebook, Let Them Work, about immigration, with former Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris. Her novel, Mother Tongue, is based in part upon her 1988 federal conspiracy trial; she was charged with smuggling Salvadoran refugees into the United States as part of the Sanctuary movement. She faced a potential 25 years in prison and 1.25 million in fines. Martinez, a reporter at the time covering the movement, was acquitted on First Amendment grounds. She is currently at work on a collection of poetry, For English Press One (A True Story).