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“The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética” Kórima Press, June 2014

May 27, 2014
June 4, 2014 7:30 at the Mission Cultural Center for the Arts

June 4, 2014 7:30 at the Mission Cultural Center for the Arts

cha cha files banner

cover art by Rio Yañez and Yolanda López

cover art by Rio Yañez and Yolanda López

Join us for a night of pageantry and poetry for “The Cha Cha Files,”a multi-media performance extravaganza and book release! 

Bay area Guatemalan-American cultural worker, educator and poet Maya Chinchilla celebrates her cultural and political muses in her new impassioned book of poetry and stories. Featuring Central American feministas, Long Beach rockers, and the glitter, fluidity and heartbreak of joteria, machas y mariconadas, in honor of this must-have book for students of the struggle, women of color and femmes all over.

Exploring queer femme Chicana and Latina identity through poetry and multidisciplinary performance, The Cha Cha Files features Maya’s performance work and her film “Solidarity Baby” along with special guests including San Antonio based “bearlesque” performer and author of When the Glitter Fades, Dino Foxx and California desert flower and songstress, Liliana Herrera. More than your average book release, this is a night of performance art, a celebration of triumph, a glimpse into heartbreak and a realization of all emotions in between.

Buy your tickets now!

June 4, 2014 7:30 with reception

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts San Francisco, CA

for more info about preorders:

(available for order after June 10)

Book Description: The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poetica is a timely debut by Maya Chinchilla that makes visible the Central American-Guatemalan diaspora and disentangles the myths from the mayhem of civil wars, urban wars, and the wars raging in young hearts. Part memory, part queer imaginary, the Cha Cha Files honors Central American feministas, Long Beach roqueras, families divided by war, lovers separated by borders, and celebrates the pleasure and heartbreak of femmes, machas, y mariconadas.  These poems, stories, and snapshots traverse California coastlines and southern borderlines, cut across tense multi-culti high-school hallways, sing Solidarity Movement songs, mosh through tribal slam pits, and find home in the vibrant Bay Area where radical activists and lovers alike come of age.  Chinchilla’s hopeful and uniquely Chapina voice emerges as a significant contribution to U.S. Latina literary works.  

Advanced praise:
 “Here is a shifting memoir, a futurized holographic lexicon of multi-Guatemalas, a “rough” Now-edged literary explosión from the center of a Chinchilla-Centro-América. A refigured California, Borinquen, Caribe floating, flayed and frayed and fractal slivers of faces, bodies, intimacies, word flow encycloGuatepedia in volcanic rupture, out and “under the Huipil,” ripped and dressed up herstory-skirts, skin, skinless, that is, Latina, Queer, borderless Letters – Maya’s undulating “third eye.” It is all a ferocious seeing motion – deep knowledge, open diary, activist journal, a burning vermillion life-scape over Kahlo’s bed, Anzaldúa’s unloosened workshop, María Sabina’s black splattered visions, a Golden Gate bridgless. A first of its kind – Brava, bravissima, GuateBrava power. A game changer.”
– Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of California

Maya Chinchilla’s collection documents and dialogues with identity, home, remembering, and belonging in a syncopated dream language. You don’t know whether to surrender to its perfect lyricism or pour meticulously over every word contemplating the layered meaning in the metaphors and memories. She writes with vulnerability and intention on the politics and inestimable complexities of Latinidad and indigenismo, queerness, gender, borders, and love. Finally, her work is a call to action to those whose stories remain untold: “Unless we document ourselves we are invisible!”
-Virgie Tovar, author of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion

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