MUJERES QUE ESCRIBEN™, a Latina writers’ group, was founded in 1991 by playwright and poet, Silviana Wood, and a small group of writers. The group began by meeting in each other’s kitchens where the rich aroma of frijoles or caldo on the stove nurtured countless works of poetry and prose. Some of these endeavors have since been published as individual works.
You can find them in Cantos Al Sexto Sol (Wings Press); Southwestern Women New Voices (Javelina Press); Concrete Wolf (Amherst, New Hampshire); Sandscript (Pima College); Sahuaro Journal (University of Arizona); Poder (Hunter College); Full Moon Rising (Code Switcher Press); Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts; Spiral Orb; The Drunken Boat; This Piece of Earth (University of Arizona); Label Me Latina/o (Georgian Court University); Tongues on Fire (The Women Press, Canada); New to North America (Burning Bush Press); and Hot and Bothered (Arsenal Pulp Press, Canada) .
MUJERES QUE ESCRIBEN™ members have read at many venues including the University of Arizona Poetry Center, the UA Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs, National Hispanic Women’s Conference, Raices Taller Gallery, KXCI community radio, the Tucson Poetry Crawl, Tucson Festival of Books and Tumamoc Hill.
Silviana Wood has over thirty-five years of experience as a bilingual (Spanish and English) writer, actor, playwright, director, collective-script coordinator, storyteller, theater workshops’ facilitator, and facilitator for creative writing and journal-writing workshops. In 2016, the University of Arizona Press published Barrio Dreams, Selected Plays by Silviana Wood. In addition to principal roles in productions by Teatro del Pueblo, Teatro Libertad, and Borderlands Theater in Tucson, and by Teatro Esperanza in San Francisco, she appeared for over fifteen years in a television segment on the bilingual program “Reflexiones,” KUAT-TV, PBS, University of Arizona as Doña Chona, a seventy-year-old social and cultural activist. Silviana awards include two playwriting fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts; two playwriting residencies from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations Gateway Project (to write bilingual, binational plays for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio) and the 1993 Artist Award from the Southern Arizona Community Foundation.
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 Cantos al Sexto Sol; Concrete Wolf; Saguaro journal; Spiral Orb Five; Proximities; This Piece of Earth—Images and Words from Tumamoc Hill and most recently, The Sonoran Desert, A Literary Field Guide. She has a Master’s degree in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. As a result of receiving her certification in the expressive arts, Valerina is exploring other modes of storytelling.
M.E Wakamatsu is an award-winning teacher-poet. She is recipient of the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Mary Ann Campau Fellowship Inaugural Award and a Southern Arizona Teacher of the Year Scarlet & Gray Award from The Ohio State University Alumni of Southern Arizona. Her work appears in The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide, This Piece of Earth: Images and Words from Tumamoc Hill, Spiral Orb, Cantos al Sexto Sol, Southwestern Women New Voices, Drunken Boat, Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts, Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island and Edible Baja Arizona.
Estella Gonzalez was born and raised in East Los Angeles which inspires her writing. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in Puerto del Sol and Huizache and have been anthologized in Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature by Bilingual Press and Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse by Lost Horse Press. She received a “Special Mention” in The Pushcart Prize XXXVIII: Best of the Small Presses 2014 Edition and was selected a “Reading Notable” for The Best American Non-Required Reading 2011. Her short story “Matadora” is forthcoming in Southwestern American Literature journal. She holds an MFA in fiction from Cornell University.
Monique Soria has been a member of the writing group Mujeres Que Escriben since 2010. Her poems are included in Spiral Orb Twelve, Spiral Orb Five: A Poetic Inventory of Saguaro National Park, in the book “This Piece of Earth: Images and Words from Tumamoc Hill,” and in “Journal of the Southwest” Volume 57 Summer-Autumn 2015. Monique was born and raised in Cleveland, where her father came from Bolivia to study and her mother’s family came from Belgium after World War II. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Monique served as director of public relations for the Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson and was inducted into the Sunnyside Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2011. Her self-description: a mix of chutzpah, joie de vivre and la creencia que somos todos una familia..
Born from sand, sun, water, and waves in the island of Cuba and raised between Venezuela and the United States, Mariel Masque concocted a hybrid literary style, Lucid Surrealism (LS), where multiple realities coexist. LS blends creative non-fiction, poetry, and fiction to frame her Latina, Spanish, and Moorish Mestiza Queer surreal world and uses Spanglish, Spanish, and English to weave her fiction and creative non-fiction. In her cuentos, her diverse ancestral cultures, religions, and ideologies peacefully coexist. Mariel served on the editorial board of two Latina magazines: “Esto No Tiene Nombre” and “Conmoción.” Anthologized in the U.S. and Canada and a featured reader at various national venues, Mariel’s short story Birth of a Poet, recently appeared in Label Me Latina/o, an online, refereed international academic e-journal that focuses on Latino Literary Production in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A member of the Latina writers group, Mujeres Que Escriben, she reads poetry and fiction in a variety of venues. Mariel lives in the Sonoran Desert in Oro Valley, Arizona, with her gatos Magia, Oráculo y Aragon. Samples of her writing are available on this website. Mariel is the owner of Poet and Muse E-Press.