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“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.

I’ll be a guest speaker at the University of Arizona this Thursday

October 14, 2015

Tomorrow at the University of Arizona I get to share space with the lovely, multitalented, fierce femme Dulce Garcia. Lucky lucky me! I’ll be speaking/reading at 12:30 in the MLK building rm 100. Thanks to professor Galarte and Professor Cardenas for making this happen. Then Friday and Saturday to AJAAS in Phoenix.     

My upcoming Fall events

September 2, 2015

Here are a few upcoming events I will be featuring at and as always I should have some books to sell. (Now’s a good time to contact me if you want to book an event or want me to extend my stay somewhere so I can make flight arrangements and such.) Hope to see you around!

Fall 2015

Maya Chinchilla at UMD-1 copy image001


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

Tonight! Pan Dulce Poets: Harina, Agua y Corazon 5/14 at la Reyna Bakery on 24th St.

May 14, 2015


SF International Flor y Canto Literary Festival May 14-16, 2015. 

Pan Dulce Poets: Harina, Agua y Corazon 5/14 at la Reyna Bakery on 24th St. For info on events visit:

    Featuring: Edward Rarneri, Giulio Sorro, Maya Chinchilla, Joseph Rios, Miguel Robles