Call for Submissions

Imagen de Idalia Massa, Ph.D.


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS OtheRicans: Voices of the Greater Puerto Rican Diaspora Edited by Aurora Levins Morales In 2004, Puerto Ricans in the United States finally outnumbered Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico, but at a time when more than 70% of US Puerto Ricans live outside New York State, published writing by US Puerto Ricans is still overwhelmingly focused on New York writers. There are Puerto Ricans in every state, and new generations of Puerto Rican writers are emerging from places far beyond the borders of Nuyorican sensibility. OtheRicans: Voices of the Greater Puerto Rican Diaspora will be the first anthology to reflect the real contemporary diversity of US Puerto Rican experience, combining poetry, short personal narratives and photographs from places like Orlando, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Holyoke, Honolulu, Houston, Atlanta, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Raleigh, Arlington... Please include: Contact info: Full name, street address, email address, fax, and all phones. In order to help us make the collection fully diverse: please include your birthplace, birth date, and gender(s). A one page bio. This should include: 1) Your writing background and publications, if any. 2) Where you consider yourself to be from, where you currently live, and in what kind of community. A snapshot of what makes you geographically OtheRican. 3) Anything else you want us to know about your OtheRican identity, which could include other ethnicities, sexual orientation, occupation, disability, religion, activism, art forms, etc. Just keep the whole thing to one page. I prefer to receive submissions via email, but will accept hard copy manuscripts if necessary. Email submissions should include the word "otherican" in the subject line and should be sent to Hard copy submissions may be sent to OtheRicans, c/o Historica, 2425 California Street, Berkeley, CA 94703 As of September 2006, I am only accepting submissions from outside the North East and Northern California. I am especially interested in work from Florida, other parts of the Southeast, the Southwest and Chicago, but will also consider work from other places. Please contact me immediately either with full submissions or to let me know you will be submitting something soon. What I'm looking for: Poetry: in any form, up to ten pages. Prose: Personal, non-fiction narratives, including autobiography/testimonio, and excerpts from oral history interviews. No scholarly articles. Up to 1500 words in length (approximately 5 pages). I will consider previously published material. Please include date, publisher, publication date, and who holds copyright. Oral history excerpts must be accompanied by written permission from the person interviewed, or if the subject is deceased, a copy of the original interview release form--contact me regarding special circumstances. Writing must be by people who were raised, or spent a significant part of their lives, outside of Puerto Rico or the New York area, (including in other countries) and whose work expresses that identity in some way. I will also include work by Nuyorican writers who have lived and worked for a long time in a different part of the US or in another country. If you have a story to tell, and don't see yourself as a writer, I encourage you to work with someone else to get your story or that of someone you know, into writing, and submit it to us. I'm interested in collecting personal stories that show the variety of diaspora lives, and in encouraging emerging writers. I accept submissions in English, Spanglish and Engañol. In other words, feel free to mix it up, but keep it more or less accessible to English speaking audiences. I do not accept work in Spanish. Content I am interested in work that expresses what it means to have grown up or lived a large part of our lives as Puerto Ricans outside both the island and the historical center of the diaspora. The list of questions that follows is meant to inspire and provoke, not limit your submissions. MIGRATION When did your family come from Puerto Rico? Who came? How many generations ago was that? Where did they come to first? Do you live in the same place, or somewhere else? How much has your family moved around? What is the story of your family's journey? What were the factors that led to you/your family migrating when and where you did? [Contract labor programs, relatives who sent for you, school, military service, job opportunities, homophobia in PR, politics, family issues, poverty in PR, religion, loss of land, health, incarceration...] Did being Puerto Rican influence where you and/or your family ended up settling, by your own choice or someone else's (for example, through military service or incarceration, because you sought out or avoided other Puerto Ricans, etc.)? If so, how? What pushed and what pulled you and/or your family to where you are now? Where do you call home? GEOGRAPHY & IDENTITY Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? Is it rural, urban, suburban, small town? How similar or different is it to where your parents/grandparents grew up? Who else lives there? How far away is the nearest large concentration of Puerto Ricans? Do Puerto Ricans have a particular slot in the local economy? Is there a kind of work that many Puerto Ricans tend to do? What kind of work did your family members do when they first arrived? How has that affected you? How has your physical location (now or when growing up) impacted your identity as a US Puerto Rican? Have you lived around many other Puerto Ricans or few? What is your community like? How do you find other Puerto Ricans? Are there many other Latin@s or few? What nationalities? What has been the racial make-up of the communities in which you've lived? What types of relationships have you, your family or other Puerto Ricans established with other Latin@s? With other immigrants and/or people of color? With white/Anglo people? Where do Puerto Ricans fit into the social structure of the place where you live? Who do you see as your allies? What are the best and worst things about living where you do? What are the specific challenges? How do you handle them? What do you want other Puerto Ricans to know about what it's like growing up where you did/ living where you do? What are your other identities besides Puerto Rican? CULTURE How did you come to learn about your puertorriqueñidad? From your family, other young people, books, college classes, political activism, community social events, commercial popular culture, hip hop culture? Are there particular people or events that shaped your understanding of your Puerto Rican-ness? What is your perception of/response to the way Puerto Ricans are portrayed in the mainstream media/pop culture? Alternative media and culture? In what ways to you feel connected to, or separate from, island-based Puerto Rican people, culture, and politics? In what ways do you feel connected to, or separate from, New York Puerto Rican people, culture, and politics? Do you ever question or doubt whether you're a "real" Puerto Rican? (I don't dance salsa, I don't speak Spanish, I like bluegrass music, I speak like a Chican@, part of my family is Chinese, Jewish, Irish, Filipino...) How do you deal with it? Are there times when you feel more, or less, Puerto Rican? Are there times when another identity becomes more central to you? Are there things about yourself that people ask you explain a lot? Do you ever play down your Puerto Rican identity in order to avoid racism? To fit in with other people of color? For other reasons? Do you ever play up your Puerto Rican identity in order to get a specific response (hot Latin lover, naturally good dancer, most revolutionary, scary gangster, culturally chic)? How has your family/community mixed Puerto Rican and other cultures? (ukulele-cuatro music, Mexi-rican food, African American-Boricua religious practices...) How is Puerto Rican identity expressed and/or celebrated in your community? Is it mostly through family? Social groups/events? Political organizations? Community service organizations? Religion? What roles do language, music, food, literature, political activism, dancing, or symbols (flags, coquis, palm trees, roosters) play in how you express your Puerto Rican identity? Thank you, PRSA Secretariat Marti Dense Program Administrator Latino Studies Program Cornell University 434 Rockefeller Hall Ithaca, NY 14853 Phone: 607-255-6173/3197 Fax: 607-255-2433