Autry Museum of the American West

Latino Heritage Month at the Autry: LATINOS IN LOTUSLAND



Date / Time:

Saturday, Sep 15, 2012, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


The Autry in Griffith Park

Appropriate For:



Museum Admission Rates Apply / Free for Autry Members

Through the works of over 30 authors and spanning sixty years, Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, brings to life the complex and diverse group of Latinos who inhabit Los Angeles. Join us for a panel discussion, moderated by editor of the anthology, Daniel Olivas, and featuring contributing authors Sandra Ramos O'Briant, Estella Gonzalez, Lisa Alvarez, Melinda Palacio, and Michael Jaime-Becerra.

Lisa Alvarez

Lisa Alvarez is a professor of English at Irvine Valley College.  Her stories and essays have appeared most recently in the American Book Review, Faultline, Santa Monica Review and in the anthology, Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America. For over a decade, she has co-directed the summer writers workshops at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

Estella Gonzalez

Estella Gonzalez was born and raised in East Los Angeles, which inspires most of her writing. Her work has been anthologized in Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature published by Bilingual Press and Kaleidoscope published by Pima Press.  Her writing has also appeared in Puerto del Sol, Sandscript and Huizache. She received her BA in English from Northwestern University and her MFA from Cornell University.  Currently, she teaches writing at the University of La Verne.

Michael Jayme Becerra

Michael Jayme Becerra is a native of El Monte, California, a working-class suburb of Los Angeles.  In 2004, his debut collection of inter-related short stories, Every Night Is Ladies' Night, was published by Rayo, the groundbreaking Latino imprint of HarperCollins.  Ladies' Night garnered glowing reviews from critics nationwide and was listed among the year's best books by The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle.  It was also awarded a California Book Award for a First Work of Fiction. His first novel, This Time Tomorrow, was published in 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books and was awarded an International Latino Book Award.  He also teaches at UC Riverside, where he is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing.

Daniel Olivas

Daniel A. Olivas, a second-generation Angeleno, is the author of six books, including the award-winning novel, The Book of Want (University of Arizona Press).  He is also the editor of Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature (Bilingual Press), and his writing has been widely anthologized including in Sudden Fiction Latino (W. W. Norton), and New California Writing 2012 (Heyday Books).  His fiction, poetry, essays and book reviews have appeared in many publications including the Los Angeles Times, Jewish Journal, California Lawyer, El Paso Times, Exquisite Corpse and La Bloga.  By day, Olivas is a supervising attorney with the California Department of Justice, and makes his home in the San Fernando Valley with his wife and son.

Melinda Palacio

Melinda Palacio is a 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow and a 2009 poetry alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, won Kulupi Press’ Sense of Place 2009 award. She is the author of the novel, Ocotillo Dreams (ASU Bilingual Press 2011), for which she received the Mariposa Award for Best First Book at the 2012 International Latino Book Awards. She also writes a column for La Bloga. Tia Chucha Press will publish her first full-length poetry collection, How Fire Is A Story, Waiting, (Fall 2012).

Sandra Ramos O'Briant

Sandra Ramos O'Briant's work has appeared in Café Irreal, Flashquake, riverbabble, In Posse, LiteraryMama, Whistling Shade, La Herencia,, Label Me Latina/o and The Copperfield Review. In addition, her short stories have been anthologized in Best Lesbian Love Stories of 2004, What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest (University of Texas Press, Spring 2007), Latinos in Lotus Land: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, (Bilingual Press, 2008), Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery (Arte Publico, 2009), and The Mom Egg (Half Shell Press, 2010).    Find excerpts from her novel The Sandoval Sisters’ Secret of Old Blood (La Gente Press,  August 2012) at

Following the panel discussion, hear about the new works of Melinda Palacio, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Sandra Ramos-O'Briant, and Daniel Olivas. Includes book signing and reception.   




4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462 Phone: 323.667.2000

© 2016 Autry Museum of the American West. All rights reserved.