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AWP 2020 San Antonio, Texas

February 21, 2020

Going for a week to one of my favorite cities in the world, SanAnto!
Here’s a list of some of the panels and readings you can find me at during the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference.

You can also find me hanging out at the book fair with Libro Mobile, Macondo, Women Who Submit, Letras Latinas, the Latinx Caucus and more. Hope to see you there!

March 4–7, 2020 San Antonio, TX
Henry B. González Convention Center
#AWP20 #SanAntonio

Queer Voices:
Nuestra Voz, Nuestro Cuerpo, Nuestro Tiempo—Our Voice, Our Bodies, Our Time
Friday, March 6, 7pm-10pm@Esperanza Peace & Justice Center 922 San Pedro Ave

Join us for an AWP20 off-site reading for evening of #QueerVoices from Everywhere!

Featured readers include:
Kay Ulanday Barrett, Edyka Chilome, Maya Chinchilla, Anel I. Flores,
Jo-Reyes Boitel, Six Gawd, Ire’ne Lara Silva, Gume Laurel III, Miguel M. Morales, Jesus I. Valles, Saul Hernandez, Roy G. Guzman, Pablo Miguel Martinez, Raquel Gutierrez, Carla Trujillo, Kate Carroll de Gutes, and Virginia Grise.

Writing Medicine:
The Role of Artists in Cultural & Community Healing

AWP Conference Roundtable Reading and Discussion (badge most likely required)
Saturday, March 7
12:10 pm- 1:25 pm
Room 213, Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

In November 2018, the FBI reported that hate crimes increased for the third consecutive year. Writers and artists build resilience and help communities heal, not only through our work on the page, but through our work in the world. Panelists offer reflections on their healing practices, from hosting pláticas following the Pulse Nightclub shooting, to working with Central American migrants at the border, to rewriting the centuries-old proclamation for the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
w/ Michelle Otero, Valerie Martínez, Anel I. Flores,
Chasity Salvador, Maya Chinchilla

Indigenous/Xicanx/Latinx Writers Read-In & Mitote

Saturday, March 7, 5pm-6pm
Courtyard, River Level Market Street entrance
Outside of the Convention Center
900 E. Market St. San Antonio, TX

Cost: Free
A call to action to all the Indigenous, Xicanx, Latinx, AfroLatinxs, Boricuas, Caribeños, Central/South Americans, los de las Américas, color de la tierra, the ohs, the ahs, and the exes, those trans to gender and/or genre, the rowdies and sucias, the falsas and for-reals, Todos, todas, todxs. YOU.
Share your stories with US at a free mass Read-In & Mitote.

Contact: Juan Tejeda
Organization: Organized by Alazan Arts Stories and Letters, a todo dar productions, Aztlan Libre Press, Books in the Barrio and Teatro

Currently Scheduling for 2020!

January 14, 2020

Let’s work together.

I can create a reading or workshop to your needs. I’ll post a list of topics I am working on for 2020 soon.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Maya Chinchilla

Maya Chinchilla, author of “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética,” is a queer femme Guatemalan writer and cultural activist. She gives readings, lectures, writing workshops and is a lecturer at UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, Contra Costa College in Chicana/Latino/a/x Studies, creative writing and LGBTQ studies. She is the editor of the forthcoming “CentroMariconadas” inspired by Horacio Roque Ramirez, an anthology of queer and trans Central American writing. She is currently working on new writing and a forthcoming CentAm podcast, conducting writing workshops on Central American Feelings, and assisting and bearing witness on monthly humanitarian efforts in Tijuana. Maya writes and performs poetry that explores themes of historical memory, heartbreak, tenderness, sexuality, and alternative futures. Her work —sassy, witty, performative, and self-aware— draws on a tradition of truth-telling and poking fun at the wounds we carry.

Remember Los Siete: Poetry Of Resistance and Remembrance

April 8, 2019

remembering los siete.jpegSo honored to be a part of this event “Los Siete Poetry of Resistance and Remembrance” Saturday April 13, 2019 6-8pm which is a part of several events honoring the history, art and movement building around the trial of Los Siete de La Raza who were falsely accused of shooting an officer, that left a huge impact on the Mission district in San Francisco . I recently went to the opening of the exhibit at Acción Latina which highlights the art, imagery and organizing that went on in support of Los Siete. 


Photo with artist and comadre Yolanda Lopez by Rio Yañez

I was incredibly impressed at how organizers and artists worked together with a multiethnic coalition of activists including the Black Panthers, yet made sure that the leadership elevated Latinas to the front of the leadership in their fight to free seven Central American young men in 1969. Check out all the links above and below and hope to see you at one of  the exhibit and upcoming events this month including this SATURDAY at Paseo Artistico.

This Saturday!
Brava Theater Cabaret 2781 24th Street (in the Cabaret)

6:00PM-8:00PM “Los Siete Poetry of Resistance and Remembrance” with Original members of Los Siete de La Raza Organization and poets including Donna James Amador, Cathy Arrellano, Josiah Luis Alderete, Maya Chinchilla, Judy Zalazar Drummond, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Prado Gomez, Leticia Hernandez-Linares, Maria Ramirez, Joe Navarro, Andrea “Buddafly” Rodriguez, Roberto Ariel Vargas, Norman Zelaya and DJ Leydis.

54385183_1990381034600028_5053568411506835456_oPASEO ARTISTICO
Make it an all day event in the mission with these other events earlier that day:
“Acción Latina & Calle 24 Cultural Arts District organizations are excited to announce the festivities lineup for a new installment of Paseo Artistico, the Mission’s Free Art community stroll which will take place on Saturday April 13, 2019 from 11AM-7PM.

The next Paseo Artistico will take place April 13, 2019 and will celebrate “La Voz del Pueblo/The People’s Voice” with a schedule of fun and empowering activities that lift the beauty and struggle of the 24th Street neighborhood through the voice of its artists. This month’s Paseo Artistico will connect the fight for justice, labor and immigrant rights with poetry, music, and visual artists whose work reflects solidarity with social movements. In the spirit of solidarity, Paseo Artistico is joining forces with several events happening on 24th Street on April 13. To recall the community’s fight to free seven Central American immigrants from the Mission who were falsely accused, imprisoned and eventually freed through community organizing in 1969, Paseo Artistico and Brava Theater are co-presenting the 40th Anniversary of Los Siete de La Raza. Brava Theater will host members of Los Siete Organization including Donna James Amador and Maria Ramirez, along with poets Cathy Arellano and Tongo Eisen-Martin, DJ Leydis and others. In honor of Cesar Chavez Day Parade, which is also happening April 13th on 24th Street, Acción Latina will host La Colectiva de Mujeres: Baile Colectivo, a group of women from the SF Day Laborers Program in collaboration with Dance Mission, who perform stories with dance about their experience working and living in the Mission. Paseo Artistico will also coincide with the Flor y Canto Poetry Festival organized by SF Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia and will feature more poets and a special Word Jazz collaboration with jazz musician Marcus Shelby and his trio at Mission Cultural Center.

As always there will be several arts classes and free workshops for all ages and experience levels including screen printing workshops with graphic artist Calixto Robles, and Kate Razo printing Michael Roman’s screenprints on paper, as well as clothing and textiles. We encourage community members to bring their extra clothing to print amazing colorful indigenous and liberation themed designs right on their shirts. Paseo Artistico will also offer a free sculpture class for all ages and levels at Mission Cultural Center. Looking forward to seeing you on 24th Street/Calle 24 Latino Cultural District.

Paseo Artístico is a community collaborative proudly produced and managed by Acción Latina.

All activities FREE and for All Ages.”

PASEO Schedule of Activities April 13 from 11AM-7PM

Precita Eyes 2981 24th Street
11:00AM-1:00PM Bilingual Mural Tour (sign up at Precita Eyes store front at 11AM)

Alley Cat Books 3036 24th Street
11:00AM-1:00PM: Screen Printing Workshop with Kate Razo featuring Michael Roman’s art (screen printing on shirts and paper)

Mission Cultural Center Studio D, 3rd Floor 2868 Mission Street
1:00PM-3:00PM Sculpture with clay class and workshop with Alejandro Meza (clase de escultura para todos)

Evolved SF 3067 24th Street
2:00PM-4:00PM Sew Frisco hosts arts and crafts workshop with thread embroidery onto patches and photos of murals of The Mission.

Calle 24 Latino Cultural District Main Office 3250 24th Street @ Capp Street
2:00PM-3:30PM Calixto Robles Screen printing Workshop (bring shirts and clothing to screen designs on)

Acción Latina 2958 24th Street
3:00PM-5:00PM Dance Mission Presents: La Colectiva de Mujeres: Baile Colectivo, women’s dance performance with Andreina Maldonado, Stella Adelman and women from SF Day Laborers.
Horizons Unlimited: The DJ Project Youth DJ’s and Hip-Hop Cypher (4PM-5PM)

Mission Cultural Center Theater 2868 Mission Street
3:30PM-5:00PM Word Jazz Poets & Musicians with the Marcus Shelby Jazz Trio featuring poets Thea Matthews, Paul S. Flores, Kata Militech (LoCura) and Tureeda Mickell.

Adobe Books 3130 24th Street
4:00PM-5:30PM Children’s Book Author Reading (Author TBA)

Brava Theater Cabaret 2781 24th Street (in the Cabaret)
6:00PM-8:00PM “Los Siete Poetry of Resistance and Remembrance” with Original members of Los Siete de La Raza Organization and poets including Donna James Amador, Cathy Arrellano, Josiah Luis Alderete, Maya Chinchilla, Judy Zalazar Drummond, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Prado Gomez, Leticia Hernandez-Linares, Maria Ramirez, Joe Navarro, Andrea “Buddafly” Rodriguez, Roberto Ariel Vargas, Norman Zelaya and DJ Leydis.

For more info please email

or visit

Central American Social Media & Organizing 

April 11, 2018

On my way to Providence, Rhode Island for this event tomorrow bringing together a powerhouse panel of Central American Creatives who use social media to ask questions and create more visibility for Central Americans in the Diaspora. Reminds me I need to write more about my experiences I’ve been thinking about this topic since before everyone had email and a social media account. I’m excited to build and connect with folks across the country. Thanks to the organizers for coming up with  such a fascinating topic. You got me inspired! Now the question is what’s next? How do we harness this energy further? Come say hi! See you soon!

“Central Americans/Not Your Tragic Other” Reading and Writing Workshop at DePaul University 10/12/17

October 11, 2017

Come! Click here for more info

Beast Crawl Today! 

September 2, 2017

TURTLE ISLAND TO ABYA YALA began as a vision to unite Indigenous women from North and South America through art, poetry, and song. This began through the creation of the The Xochiquetzalli Award for Poetry and the anthology, Turtle Island to Abya Yala. This event will feature our community of women. All are welcome to attend and this is a free event.
BEAST CRAWL is Uptown Oakland’s annual free literary festival featuring more than 200 writers in a single night, in dozens of events, spread out over four hours and thirty-seven local galleries, bars, restaurants, cafés, performance spaces, and storefronts.
Poets and Performing Artists:
Nizhoni Ellenwood (NiMiiPuu Nez Perce/Apache/Italian), Artist, educator, dancer, singer, performer, and Mother from the Bay Area; BFA from San Francisco Art Institute; Co-Founder of the Indigenous Arts Coalition.
An artist, academic, and athlete, Tria Blu Wakpa is a 2017-2018 President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance at UC Riverside. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.
Maya Chinchilla is a queer femme Guatemalan writer and author of “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética.” She is a lecturer at UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and SFSU.
Moon Flower won the 2015 Robert D. Phelan Award for poetry. Her first book, Love and the Lost Nation, will be published in 2017. She enjoys the ocean, forest, and painting.
Poet, Naomi Quiñonez is the author of Hummingbird Dream, The Smoking Mirror and The Exiled Moon. She edited an American Book Award anthology, Invocation L.A. She teaches Ethnic/Women’s Studies.
Hablo Rodriguez-Williams is a Colombian/Mexican genderqueer warrior, intersectional feminist, published poet and organizer. Hablo’s work is featured in La Bloga, Mills College’ 580 Split and The Huffington Post.

The Literary Festival at a glance:

Each leg of The Beast lasts one hour, and offers a dozen different readings to chose from. There’s a half hour break between literary legs for socializing and relocating to a new venue before the next reading begins. We recommend choosing one reading per leg. You can even plan your route in advance.
Crawl maps, curators, readers, and venues are all searchable on
This show “Turtle Island to Abya Yala and Beyond” is from 5-6pm, Creative Growth Art Center

355 24th St, Oakland, California 94612

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: CentroMariconadas: A Queer & Trans Central American Anthology

August 22, 2017

image by Dichos de un Bicho

Por favor de compartir y contribuir!  (El link en Español –>

Kórima Press is accepting submissions from Queer and Trans Central American writers for the forthcoming anthology CentroMariconadas, edited by Maya Chinchilla. The title of this volume is inspired by the work of the late queer Salvadoran oral historian and author Dr. Horacio N. Roque Ramírez. CentroMariconadas seeks to honor and continue Horacio’s tireless pursuit of affirming community scholarship and queer storytelling.

Horacio coined the term “CentroMaricón” as a conversation starter and as a way to find each other, no matter what we’ve been called by others or would come to call ourselves. Using the irreverent wordplay Central Americans are known for, he saw a need to give a name to the world-making we have long been engaged in as a matter of survival and creation. We continue this work by calling this collection forth to document our Central American Queer joy, resistance, poetics, and the intellectual and artistic movements we are a part of in the face of silence, violence, and heartbreak.


Answering the call to build, document, and create our worlds as we see them, we invite Queer and Trans Central Americans to submit poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, short essays, and testimonio that (re)imagine/celebrate/bear witness to queer, cuir, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or non-binary Central American experiences. Recognizing that these words and identities may not encompass the entirety of our experiences, we offer them as a starting point for the stories that need to be told.


We welcome writing that explore themes of loss, joy, survival, danger, identity, hybridity, love, sex, sexuality, gender and gender expression, immigration, education, humor, language, pain, family, solidarity, inter- and intra-cultural bonds and ruptures, latinx-ness, separation, trauma, healing, domesticity, labor, parenthood, (chosen) family, faith, machismo, feminism, community, self-care, and alternative futures. We welcome lush, honest, descriptive writing that invites us into the world(s) you are crafting.

Writings may be in English, Spanish, and Spanglish. If your submission uses other languages, please contact for further instruction. Central America encompasses peoples from the seven countries of the isthmus (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize) and their diaspora.

  1. Send submissions to: submissions [at] korimapress [dot] com
  2. In subject line, write: “CentroMariconadas Submission: YourFullName”
  3. Attach a single Word (.doc or docx) document with the following:
    1. Up to 10 pages of poetry or prose (500-750 words, max. [Contact editor for longer submission inquiries.] )
    2. include your last name in the file name (e.g. “ramirez.doc”)
    3. Bio (include how you identify. 300-word max)
    4. High resolution photograph of yourself
DEADLINE TO SUBMIT: October 23, 2017

Compensation: As a small press, Kórima Press is unable to provide monetary compensation for submissions. Contributors will receive 3 copies of the anthology and opportunity to purchase additional copies at-cost (cost to be determined upon publication).

About the Editor: Maya Chinchilla is an Oakland-based Guatemalan femme writer, video artist, educator, and author of The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética (Kórima Press). Maya writes and performs poetry that explores themes of historical memory, heartbreak, tenderness, sexuality, and alternative futures. Her work—sassy, witty, performative, and self-aware—draws on a tradition of truth-telling and poking fun at the wounds we carry.


Born and raised in Long Beach, CA, by a mixed class, mixed race, immigrant activist extended family, Maya has lived and loved in the Bay Area for the second half of her life. Her work has been published in many anthologies and journals and has received several awards and grants for her work. She is a founding member of the performance group Las Manas, a former artist-in-residence at Galería de La Raza in San Francisco, CA and La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, CA, and is a VONA Voices, Dos Brujas, and Lambda Literary Fellow. Along with Karina Oliva Alvarado, Maya co-edited Desde el Epicentro: An Anthology of Central American Art and Poetry. As a lecturer she teaches creative writing, literature and Latinx Studies at SFSU, UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis.


Lit Hop in Fresno

April 2, 2017

I will be participating on this lovely panel as part of Lit Hop Fresno, an all day Lit event, on Saturday April 29, 2017

Pintura Palabra: Packinghouse Review

3:00 p.m.-3:45pm | Hart’s Haven | feat. Javier O. Huerta, Maya Chinchilla, Nancy Aidé González, Maceo Montoya
LitHop is a Fresno Poet Laureate initiative, and donations are welcome to help sustain poetry programs from the Fresno Arts Council, a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to support and foster the arts in Fresno.

UCSC Women’s Center Celebration today 4-7

October 18, 2016

Unicorn sighting!

Donate to Maya’s Recovery Fund

June 27, 2016

Donate Here

The lovely Guatemalan-American queer femme unicorn writer Maya Chinchilla, author of The Cha-Cha Files: A Chapina Poética (Kórima Press, 2014) was in a car accident on October 28,2015. She has multiple fractures in her legs and will have a long recovery involving several orthopedic surgeries and months of rehab.

To give Maya the time and care she needs to recover from the accident we, her family, friends and fans are coming together to raise enough money to cover living expenses, costs related to the accident, and additional therapy for a year. The funds raised will be managed by Brava Theater and will not to be used for any other purpose.

Maya has inspired us with her strong heart, her kindness, her unicorn wit and commitment to social justice. Now we are gonna inspire her to keep going through these tough times, to frolic and, one day, to dance in cute heels. Go Maya!

Si se puede!

The Maya Chinchilla Support Fund is being administered by Brava! For Women in the Arts, a San Francisco-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that produces, presents, and cultivates the artistic expression of women, people of color, youth, LGBTQ and other underrepresented voices. All donations to the fund are tax-deductible.