CSULA Department of English | Events

Image of Helena Maria ViramontesAs part of Statement literary and arts magazine's 60th anniversary, fiction writer Helena Maria Viramontes will read from her work and discuss her experience with the literary magazine and her subsequent publishing career. The event takes place on Thursday April 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Salazar Hall E-184 on the Cal State L.A. campus and is free and open to the public.

Ms. Viramontes first published a story in Statement magazine in 1976 while a student at Cal State L.A. She eventually went on to publish The Moths and Other Stories (1985) and two novels: Under the Feet of Jesus (1995) and Their Dogs Came With Them (2008).

Her work can be found in many anthologies. She is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Sundance Institute Fellowship, and the Luis Leal Award. A teacher and mentor to countless students, Ms. Viramontes is currently Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of English at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she is at work on a new novel. She grew up in East L.A. and helped found Southern California Latino Writers and Filmmakers.

Statement co-editor-in-chief Moremi Ogbara notes, "This will be an experience to remember. Viramontes is a literary icon, and if you miss this, you would have missed a great opportunity." According to Ogbara's co-editor-in-chief, Juan Carlos Parrilla, "Viramontes is in the canon-she's an author whose work is being read and studied in classes everywhere."

Her books will be for sale at the 6:30 pm event.

Statement magazine is one of the oldest student-run campus literary magazines in the country. Many past student contributors and staff or faculty advisors have become nationally recognized writers and artists: Jim Krusoe, Sesshu Foster, Carolyn See, Ai, Helena Maria Viramontes, Henri Coulette, John Weston, Jervey Tervalon, Aleida Rodriguez, Frank Romero, Michael Shepler, Dennis Etchison, and Dennis Bartel, among many others.

Statement magazine has twice had the honor of placing in or winning the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) annual competition for member colleges' student literary magazines, competing with a couple hundred universities and colleges. In 1997, under advisors Mary Bucci Bush and Buddy Roberts, Statement was named a finalist in the content division. In 2007, under advisor Lauri Ramey, the magazine won the competition, enjoying a $500 cash prize and accolades in The Chronicle, AWP's nationally distributed journal.

The 60th anniversary issue of Statement magazine will be available at the launch Thursday May 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the University Student Union Los Angeles Rooms A, B, and C, and thereafter in the English Department. The launch is free and open to the public.

Ms. Viramontes' April 1 reading is co-sponsored by Statement and the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics.

For more information, call the English Department at (323) 343-4140.

Photo Credit:© Nico Tucci