Connecting Latinas All Over the World through Literature

Rant. Chant. Chisme.: April 2016 Book of the Month

Rant. Chant. Chisme.
Apr BoM Outside Links: Book Author Publisher

About the Book:

Rant. Chant. Chisme.

Rant. Chant. Chisme.

By Amalia Ortiz
Published by Wings Press
ISBN-13: 978-1609404444
Rant. Chant. Chisme. is the debut collection of poetry by south Texas native Amalia Ortiz, featuring writing from the first decade of her career. This is Tex-Mex life on the border from the perspective of a young Chicana struggling to write herself into existence, giving readers a unique transcultural feminist viewpoint.

Ortiz is an award-winning performance poet, known for her dynamic delivery style. Here she relinquishes control of her writing to the reader, but not without first imparting the theatrical stage directions stated in the book’s title — Rant. Chant. Chisme. — which commands readers to recite these poems aloud in a spoken word celebration exploring culture, music, and place while encouraging the reader to embrace diversity and find their own storytelling voice. This work is a powerful call to social and political change along the borderlands.

About the Author:

Amalia Ortiz

Amalia Ortiz

Originally from the small town of La Feria, Texas, Amalia Ortiz studied Creative Writing at the University of Texas-Pan American and now lives in Harlingen, Texas. During a Hedgebrook fellowship, she wrote her poetry musical, Carmen de la Calle. In 2014, she completed an IC3 residency at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. She is also a recipient of the the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Fellowship.

Ortiz is widely known as a Tejana actor/writer/activist. She was featured on three seasons of “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” on HBO, and on the NAACP Image Awards program on FOX. She is the creator of “Otra Esa on the Public Transit,” a powerful one-woman stage show about destination and destiny, which she performed at San Antonio’s Guadalupe Theater and Talento Bilingüe de Houston. She also stars in the award-winning independent film Speeder Kills, which was broadcast on SiTV and PBS. As a member of Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word, she co-wrote and performed the poetry/theater piece, “Fear of a Brown Planet,” in San Francisco, Miami, Denver, and Houston. Latina Magazine honored Amalia for her role in founding, co-writing, directing, and performing in “Women of ILL Repute: Refute!” It was presented at the Texas Book Festival, Young Tongues Festival, San Antonio Inter-American Book Fair, Latina Letters Conference, Austin Poetry Festival, Austin Book Festival, and many universities.

Amalia Ortiz was the first Latina poet ever to reach the final round at the National Poetry Slam, where her team took the second place prize. She is a San Antonio Puro Slam three-time slam champion; an Open Slam Champion and Tag Team Champion (w/ Gary Mex Glazner) at the Taos Poetry Circus; and winner of the inaugural Ultimate Poetry Boxing Championship.

Ortiz’s poetry is included on the spoken word compilations, Sampler Vol. I, NYC Urbana: the Very Best of 2003, and The Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word. She participated in the Slam America National Bus Tour and is featured on the tour documentary “A Busload of Poets.”

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