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Acknowledgements From The Cha Cha Files- A year later

May 26, 2015

As I look back at the incredible year of my first book I want to share my gratitude by reprinting the acknowlegements and thank yous from my book.  Thank you for witnessing this journey. As always I would love to hear from you about how you came to read the Cha Cha Files. It has been a group effort. Looking forward to what’s next.


There are many in my life without whom this book could not have been possible. I give thanks to those who came before me and to those who risked everything in the name of justice. Thanks to those who believed in me, cheered me on, gave me guidance, created art with me, provided an ear, fed me, and loved me.

I am grateful to those who invited me to speak, write, perform and share my early works—my second favorite part about being a writer, second only to the practice of writing itself. I want to thank those who engaged and wrote about my early poems before I realized I was part of a larger conversation. To the newer generation of writers, thinkers, creators: you consistently remind me this work matters and continue to blow my mind with your connections and questions. To those who crossed my path but could not stay, no scarcity politics here. I will always wish you well, for there is enough to go around for everyone.

There are too many to thank by name here; too many I will forget. I will just have to write another book and if you stick around I’ll thank you then. Regardless, know that my gratitude is never ending.

To la familia Chinchilla and the Stoltz family, to Kathy, Bill, Carmen, Kris and extended family for all things.
I especially want to thank the kind souls who read multiple drafts of this collection providing unique and invaluable feedback. There were many eyes and ears, but in particular I thank: Vickie Vértiz, a generous talent, meticulous eye and one of a kind homegirl; Wanda Alarc—ón, artist scholar conjurer, holder of femme-stories and unique insight; Amalia Ortiz, powerhouse poet and playwright with the right words at the right time; Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, muse, firebrand and visionary.

To my maestros y maestras of all ages who planted important seeds, including:

Willie Perdomo, Thomas Glave, Suheir Hammad, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Juan Felipe Herrera, Cherrí’e Moraga, and Sharon Bridgforth for craft, heart and the most life affirming and game changing workshop experiences.
To Sarah Guerra a powerful force, a creative strategist, an underappreciated, behind-the-scenes magician, a family-dinner-and-dessert for the weary and for a community of loyal followers, evil conspirators and circus queens. Amiga. Go, Spurs, go.

Rio Yañ–ez, for making every moment an art project, for Chicano-Chapina post-apocalyptic-solidarity trading cards, cartoon intellectualism, ghetto-nerd-zine guides to the universe, arguments about commas and feminism. Friend.

Yolanda López, a seer, muse, inspiration, trailblazer, funny, witty and kind. My favorite Chicana Feminist artist before there ever was such a thing.

Ana Patricia Rodrí’guez, for my first Central American literature class, for vision and understanding the hunger for justice, for critical conversations, for long distance mentoring. Your work is relevant, necessary and visionary. Gracias.

Elmaz Abinader, for tough love, poetics and the VONA community.

Patricia Powell, for generous, detailed feedback on the original thesis beast.

Rebecca Edwards, for intellectual encouragement and “queer subject time we desire.”

Truong Tran for my first graduate poetry workshop and for seeing me through to the end.

Luz V‡ásquez-Ramos, LBC homegirl, rockera aventurera, Mexico City international strategist.
Raul el Vampiro Diaz, todaví’a haciendo del Terror. Chingas mucho. Por eso te quiero. Familia para siempre.

Eddy Alvarez, for Jota poetics, for mapping LA with love, for writing dates and bringing out the scholar poet in me. You and your work are an incredible gift.

Michael Hames-Garcí’a, for refuge in Oregon to write, for profound conversations, for nourishment both delicious and inspired.

Central American filó—sofos y feministas: Leisy Ábrego, Karina Oliva-Alvarado, Suyapa Portillo, Alicia Estrada, Leyda Garcia, Arely Zimmerman, Oriel Mar’a Siu, y Arturo Arias. I am in awe of your intellect, creativity and fire. Each one of you has altered my universe profoundly.

To my creative community:

Melissa Lozano, Lisa Marie Rollins, Kenji Liu, Aimee Suzara, Sara Campos, Ruben C. Gonzales, Chino Martinez, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Julio Maga–ña Saludado, Cruz Grimaldo, Hugo Carbajal, Virgie Tovar, Julia Eden Ris, Sandra Garcia Rivera, Adilia Torres, Lito Sandoval, Chucha Marquez, Karla Marcela,Yosimar Reyes, Amir Rabiyah, Jaime Barajas, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Nancy AidŽ Gonzá‡lez, Hector Tobar, Darlene Elasigue, Nicole Griffin, Gracie Arguelles, Aleh Hurtado, Felipe Flores, Carmen Iñ–iguez, Connor Fu, Nia Witherspoon, Adelina Anthony, Dino Foxx, Anel Flores, Maricela Olguin, Madeline Lim, Kebo Drew, Liliana Hueso, Olga Talamante, Galerí’a de la Raza, La Peñ–a Cultural Center, The Chicana Latina Foundation, National Queer Arts Festival (NQAF), Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP), National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC).

To the Magic Room Poets for showing up and sweating it out. Adobe Dojo, for practicing pure joy in the desert and a return to play and paper. Friday night writers, No Trigger Warnings writing circle, the Church of Poetry, the Lunada Literary Lounge, Hybrid Performance Experiments, Epicentro Poets, End-Dependence, Rainbow Theater, Spanish for Spanish speakers, Sugarcane, Peacock Rebellion, Teatro Q, VONA Voices, Dos Brujas and especially to all the women of Las Manas: I carry your potent powers with me always.

Colegas for the opportunity to learn, teach and transform:

Clarissa Rojas, Teresa Carrillo, Nancy Mirabal, Bridgette D‡ávila, Katynka Mart’ínez, Alejandro Murgia, Luz Calvo, Catriona Rueda Esquibel, Carlos Cordova, Andrew Jolivette, Gabriela Segovia-McGahan, Alberto Ledesma, Chela Delgado, Frank Galarte, Pedro Di Pietro, Cindy Cruz, Genevieve Negró—n-Gonzalez, Sandra Álvarez, A De la Maza, Audrey Silvestre, Sara A. Ramirez, Jen Vaughn, Leis Rodriguez, Sayo Fujioka.

To the K—órima Press family: thank you for this sacred work.

Maya Chinchilla

Oakland, CA May 2014

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