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...
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
Email submissions should include the word "otherican" in the subject line and should
be sent to email@example.com
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.
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.
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?
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
How has your family/community mixed Puerto Rican and other cultures?
(ukulele-cuatro music, Mexi-rican food, African American-Boricua religious
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
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