Mission and Goals
The mission of Mujeres Que Escriben a Latina Writer’s Group is to provide support and encouragement to develop as writers. Our goals are to develop our craft by writing, editing, publishing, studying, performing; to share our work with the community through public readings and presentations in schools and to foster a unified group by supporting individual endeavors and group activities.
The mission and goals were written to acknowledge that the creative work we do as writers is, indeed, an individual and solitary one, but in belonging to a writers group, much like belonging to our families, we also become part of an identity that is bigger than our own—with responsibilities, as well as privileges.
Mujeres Que Escriben was founded in 1991 by Silviana Wood. True to our Latina culture, we could not meet without a bocadito to initiate our coming together. After introductions and a cafecito con pan dulce, a general discussion began about the need for an organization of women writers that nurtured and supported the development of creative literary expression. At that first meeting, the structure of the organization and requirements for membership were not strictly defined but were developed later on according to membership needs and growth.
Over the years, new members were invited and meeting times changed to accommodate schedules. Café con pan dulce gave way to the rich aroma of frijoles or caldo, and finally, a three course meal which also nurtured the development of countless works of poetry and prose.
E. Liane Hernandez is the Education Director of Stand Together Arizona Training and Advocacy Center (STAT) of the YWCA Southern Arizona in Tucson. In her capacity at the YWCA, she works at building coalitions, producing events around justice, sustainability, feminism and advocacy, as well co-producing inclusion trainings, videos and social media content around civic engagement, oversees the arts programming of the Center, helps to facilitate the Advocacy Education Board Committee and coordinates the ongoing Changemaker Race to Justice Book Club.
She is a convener and works to create space for individuals and organizations to do the work of inclusive community building. Trained as an art historian, chef and cultural anthropologist she is a student of the questions of what is community, who gets to participate and how.
A member of the Tucson nonprofit arts community for many years, she has served on boards, committees, grant review panels and was a founder of Raices Taller 222. She currently sits on the Bond Oversight Commission and is a member of the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival as the City of Gastronomy Culture Kitchen Coordinator. Formerly, Liane was a member of the Tucson Voices Op Ed Project 2016, and the Latino Graduate Training Seminar on Qualitative Methodology at the Smithsonian Institute. She was recognized as the Adelita Del Año by Las Adelitas PAC in 2015.
A native of Arizona, she lives in her beloved city of Tucson, Arizona with her partner, Peter, their two dogs and a cat.
Rita Maria Magdaleno grew up in South Phoenix with a war-bride mother and a GI father who was a dreamer. He was granted citizenship post WWII in Frankfurt 1946 for his military service. Rita’s writing reflects issues of immigration, identity and what it is to “be an American.” She is the author of Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, & My Mother, a poetic narrative of war, family and migration (University of Arizona Press, Camino del Sol series). Her poetry appears in The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press). Rita is a registered nurse whose prose appears in a new anthology, Learning to Heal: Reflections on Nursing School in Poetry and Prose. This collection was recently posted on the NYU Literature Database, a resource for the Medical Humanities. Recent awards include a fellowship at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Mariel Masque. Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Venezuela and the U.S., Mariel Masque is the creator of Lucid Surrealism. This hybrid writing style stitches creative nonfiction, poetry, and fiction to frame her mestiza queer multidimensional reality. Mariel received the 2007 Merit Award in Poetry from the ASTRAEA Foundation and served on the editorial board of two Latina magazines: Esto No Tiene Nombre and Conmoción. Anthologized in the U.S. and Canada by Arsenal Pulp Press, the Women Press, Burning Bush Press, Revista Mujeres, and others, she has been a featured reader at the National Association for Chicano Studies, National Library Association Conference, The National Hispanic Women’s Conference, Resistance on the Border, Reforma National Conference, Raices Taller, the Edge Series sponsored by the University of Arizona Poetry Center and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Valerina Quintana was born and raised in a small town in southern Colorado. As a child, her mother told her wake-up stories rather than the usual bedtime stories. Through these stories she came to know the grandmothers and the great-grandmothers. These wake-up stories serve as the basis for some of her writing included in her books, Full Moon Rising and Recalling Home, A Poetry of Remembrance. Her poems have been published in Counternarratives (Four Chambers Press); Cantos al Sexto Sol (Wings Press); Concrete Wolf; Saguaro journal; Spiral Orb Five; This Piece of Earth—Images and Words from Tumamoc Hill and The Sonoran Desert, A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press).
M.E. Wakamatsu was born in San Luis R.C., Sonora. Her work appears in Cantos al Sexto Sol (Wings Press); Counternarratives (Four Chambers Press); Southwestern Women New Voices (Javelina Press); The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press) and Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island (Wilfrid Laurier University Press). Her work can also be found in Edible Baja Arizona; The James and Loma Griffith Arizona-Sonora Digital Folklore Archives; This Piece of Earth–Images and Words from Tumamoc Hill; Spiral Orb;Drunken Boat; Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts and VOCA the University of Arizona Poetry Center Audio Video Library. She is the recipient of the University of Arizona Poetry Center Mary Ann Campau Fellowship Inaugural Award.
A native of Tucson, Arizona, Silviana Wood received her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arizona and has been involved in the local theater community since the 1970s. She is known for her bilingual comedies and dramas as well as for being a professional storyteller, actor, director, and teacher of literature and Chicano theater. Silviana has twice won the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize from the University of California, Irvine: once for short story and once for drama.
She has also received playwriting fellowships and done several residencies at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio. She has been a member of TENAZ (El Teatro Nacional de Aztlán), Teatro del Pueblo, Teatro Libertad, and Teatro Chicano and is a founding member of Mujeres Que Escriben. Silviana is the author of many plays, including Anhelos por Oaxaca, Amor de Hija, and A Drunkard’s Tale of Melted Wings and Memories and most recently Barrio Dreams, Selected Plays (University of Arizona Press).