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Central American symposium at UC Davis-today!

April 29, 2015


Today at UC Davis Chicana/o Studies Symposium Discussions on Central America & Cultural Identity Formation 12-3pm with Maya Chinchilla and Yvette Flores Multi-Purpose Room (2nd foor)

Student Community Center. 

Wednesday April 29, 2015

I got selected as a LAMBDA literary fellow

April 8, 2015

Help me get to the Lambda Literary retreat for emerging LGBTQ Writers!

I have the incredible honor of being selected as a Literary Fellow to work with Cherrie Moraga as part of Lambda’s Summer Writing Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. This will be my first opportunity to develop my playwriting in a professional and intensive setting.

As many of you know I published my first book of poems and stories “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética” last year and have been teaching part time and seeking new job prospects while touring my book. Teaching is incredibly rewarding but in order to take my work to the next level, I need to take advantage of this opportunity to spend focused time with gifted master writers. The space and time to write in a dedicated community of writers is a precious gift and necessary investment in the work I want to keep producing.

I was awarded a partial scholarship but I cannot go to this retreat without your support. I am looking to raise $850 for tuition, room, board and travel.

THANK YOU I made my first goal to pay for my tuition room and board! *To help get me there click here:

Now, as they say, making a donation is easy and safe – simply click here and choose a perk or simply donate any amount.

Thank you for supporting my work over the years and for taking the time to help me on my next challenge. As Walter Mercado says, “paz, dinero y mucho, mucho amor.”

With lots and lots of love,


Femme on Purpose: Queer Latina Solidarities

April 3, 2015


 Excited to perform at Spanish Matters Colloqium, Queer Geographies: Remapping Hispanic Studies April 3 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington! I am the closing performance keynote on the final day Friday April 3 at *2pm 

I will be selling books and buttons. Come say hello.  Tell your Seattle/Tacoma People! It’s free and open to the public.


Sign up to my mailing list

March 9, 2015

Click here for my mailing list!

Maya by Rio

Click the image or link above to sign up for messages and updates about my events and happenings.

Central American Unicorn

March 8, 2015

Tonight at the Mujeres de Maiz international women’s day event I will be selling books and limited edition Central Anerican Unicorn buttons. I am taking donations to raise money to go to the Lambda Literary writing retreat this summer. Check it out here:

Upcoming Performances

February 25, 2015

I have two really fun and amazing performances coming up.
This Friday February 27 in San Francisco I am reading as part of

Radar & Galeria de la Raza Present: Banned Book Book Club: POC Edition

and on Sunday March 8 in Los Angeles I am a featured performer as part of the annual
MUJERES DE MAIZ 18th Anniversary Live Art Show Festival

I am so excited for both! I have so much love for the work for both of these organizations. RADAR is so dreamy in all the work they do to support queer writers and Mujeres de Maiz, based in Los Angeles, will be a bit of a home coming for me. I once performed at a Mujeres de Maiz event with my teatrista crew “Las Manas Tres.” I can’t remember the date at this moment but it was long enough ago that we were doing an epic piece about MYSPACE. It was an incredible event and it is such an honor now to be coming back as an author and poeta. I will be there performing my heart out and selling books.
Please come say hello at either one of these dates.
More info about both of these amazing events below:

“Celebrating banned books gives us the occasion to recognize books as the radical and subversive things that they are.”
-Michelle Tea

The Banned Book Book Club celebrates the rich history of banned and challenged book! Each month Radar chooses a theme and asks some of our favorite artists to read from their favorite banned or challenged books. For the month of FEBRUARY, RADAR partners with Galeria de la Raza to bring you some of our most beloved writers who will read from banned or challenged books written by people of color!

Join us…
February 27, 2015
Galeria de la Raza
2857 24th Street in San Francisco
Hosted by Virgie Tovar

Featuring readings by…
Juliana Delgado
Mason J
Maya Chinchilla

mujeres de maiz

The highly anticipated Annual Intercultural, Interdisciplinary, Intergenerational Mujeres de Maiz Artivist concert, ceremony and festival featuring womyn of color and Q/T performers honoring our 18th Anniversary, International Womyn’s Day and Womyn’s Herstory Month and the coming of Spring & Mexica New Year since 1997.

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

(6:00-9:00pm) *Marketplace opens at 5:30pm

Legacy LA
1350 San Pablo Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(behind General Hospital and near Hazard Park)

$10-$20 Donation at the door, sliding scale.
Credit Cards and exact change accepted.
*This is also our 1 big fundraiser of the year to provide free and low cost programming and to fund our soon to be non-profit!

Spoken word,
Political speakers
y mas!

3 Generaciones
Destani Wolf
Get Lit – Words Ignite Youth Poets Tashi & Camille
Maya Chapina
Mujeres en Resistencia
and more announced every week!

Opens at 5:30pm with over 20 womyn & Q/T vendors selling artesania, jewelry, books, holistic health items, art and much more. Mujeres de Maiz t-shirts, past and NEW Zines will also be available!
*Vendors please fill out this form to be considered:

-All Ages w/ Limited Seating.
-Event is wheelchair accessible.
-Please inbox us for accommodation needs.
-Free parking on surrounding streets.
-This is an alcohol and drug free Event for the health of our communities and families.
-Healthy food will be available for purchase.

The Cha Cha Files: From Oakland to New York City

February 4, 2015

Author and poet Maya Chinchilla reads from her new book “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética” with special guests Sabina Ibarrola, Mariama Lockington, Liz Latty and Ynanna Djehuty

Sunday Feb. 15, 2015
$5-10 donation
*No one turned away for lack of funds.

Join us for an afternoon filled with stories of heartbreak, tenderness, heavy breathing and delivering the goods. Poet Laureate of rainbows and alternative futures, Chinchilla brings her visions of revolution, survival, and Central American unicorns to New York City joined by a powerful line up women writers, poets and performers.

YNANNA DJEHUTY is an Afro-Quisqueyana born and raised in the Bronx. She is a midwife, doula and writer. The focus of her work is the empowerment of women and people of the African Diaspora. She utilizes her experience as a midwife and reproductive health advocate to raise awareness on maternal and reproductive health for women, highlighting the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States for women of color. She is pursuing certification to receive her midwifery so she may continue to serve women in New Jersey and New York.

LIZ LATTY is the author of Split (Unthinkable Creatures Press, 2012). Her poetry and nonfiction can be found in make/shift magazine, The Feminist Wire, Jupiter 88, HOLD: A Journal, and the Seal Press anthology We Don’t Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists, among others. She is a Lambda Literary Fellow and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, as well as the Jackson, Phelan, and Tanenbaum Literary Awards from the San Francisco Foundation. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Goddard College, teaches in Manhattan, and lives in Brooklyn.

MARIAMA LOCKINGTON calls many places home but currently lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. She is published in The Comstock Review poetry journal (2009), Sparkle and Blink Issue 3.8 (July 2012), and is a San Francisco Literary Death Match champion (Episode 46).
Mariama performs her work around the country and teaches writing workshops for various youth organizations. She holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and an MFA in Poetry from San Francisco State University. When she is not writing or teaching, you’ll find Mariama singing Karaoke, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or re-reading her favorite book, Sula by Toni Morrison.

SABINA IBARROLA is an artist and budding herbalist. This bruja finds the meat and magia of her work in the natural world and urban ecosystems of Brooklyn, New York. Inspired by a brilliant galaxy of queer femme artists and instigators, she explores themes of love and heartbreak, mixed-race ancestry, apocalypse and faith. Sabina’s collaborations include Heels on Wheels Glitter Roadshow, EmergeLAB@BAX, and The Femme Show, and she apprentices with Robin Rose Bennett of Wisewoman Healing Ways. Sabina works as a lead facilitator for Digging Deep, Facing Self online writing course.

MAYA CHINCHILLA is a Guatemalan, Bay Area-based writer, video artist, educator and author of “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética.” Maya received her MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College and her undergraduate degree from University of California, Santa Cruz, where she also founded and co-edited the annual publication, La Revista. 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.

Her work has been published in anthologies and journals including: Mujeres de Maíz, Sinister Wisdom, Americas y Latinas: A Stanford Journal of Latin American Studies, Cipactli Journal, and The Lunada Literary Anthology. Maya 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 Letras Latinas alum. She is the co-editor of “Desde El Epicentro: An anthology of Central American Poetry and Art” and is a lecturer at San Francisco State University, UC Davis and other bay area universities.

UC Santa Cruz Living Writers Series 2015 in honor of Anzaldúa

January 7, 2015

Dear Santa Cruz I will see you on January 29,2015 6pm sharp!
It’s an amazing honor to be a part of this reading series.
Check out this amazing line up of the Living Writers series at UC Santa Cruz in honor of Gloria Anzaldúa. I’m an alum of UCSC and I met Gloria when I was there as a youngin. It will be a sweet homecoming. Would love to see you there!
All events are free and open to the public
from 6:00-7:45pm in Humanities Lecture Hall 206 at UC Santa Cruz
for more information email

(Click on the flyer to see more detail)


Here’s the flyer for my reading.


Today at 5pm at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA

December 21, 2014

I’m honored to be reading in Venice, CA, for Hitched, at Beyond Baroque. The incredible Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is hosting! Sunday, December 21st, 5pm. Come on out!

December’s HITCHED will feature Kundiman poet CATHY LINH CHE with Cave Canem poet DOUGLAS BROWN, and VONA poets VICKIE VERTIZ, ANDREA GUTIERREZ and MAYA CHINCHILLA.

Please come out and help us celebrate these poets and their amazing work on the page and in the community.

HITCHED is a quarterly reading series that features established poets and writers with newer voices as a way of celebrating the relationships we build as writers that are integral to our success and the successes of those around us.

HITCHED began at Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center in December 2010 as a monthly reading, and it continues today as a quarterly featuring mentors and mentees, teachers and students, collaborators and colleagues, and friends and cheerleaders.

Hosted by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

$5 suggested donation.
Members FREE.

Pitzer and the Claremont colleges TODAY!

December 4, 2014

My workshop is today at 1:15
Performance tonight at 7pm at the Benson Auditorium
free and open to the public.
See you there!