A Call to Poets!

The Coiled Serpent: Poets arising from

the cultural quakes and shifts of Los Angeles

For national distribution, with a launch planned at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in early 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Tia Chucha Press is publishing an anthology of new and veteran Los Angeles-area poets, focusing on the city’s grand mosaic of voices and flavors in the first 15 years of the 21st century. AWP hosts the largest gathering of writers and teachers of writing in the country, with upwards of 14,000 participants.  This anthology will introduce the world to the vitality and variety of verse in the City of Angels, a city of poets.

Los Angeles has close to 60 percent people of color, 225 languages spoken at home, and some of the richest and poorest persons in the country.  TCP plans to capture the contrasts, divisions, but also the fusions and interlocutions that have created this most global of cities.  With an expansive 502.7 square miles of city (and beyond, including the massive county of 4,752.32 square miles), the poetry should draw on imagery, words, stories, and imaginations that are also vast, encompassing a real “leaves of grass.”

Tia Chucha Press is one of the country’s leading small cross-cultural poetry presses, now in its 25th year.  Now the publishing wing of the nonprofit Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley, TCP books are distributed by the prestigious Northwestern University Press.  TCP authors have gone on to win a National Book Award, a Jackson Memorial Award, a Paterson Poetry Prize, a PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, and have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award.  They run the gamut of works by Elizabeth Alexander (President Obama’s first inaugural poet), Terrance Hayes, (National Book Award winner), Virgil Suarez, Kyoko Mori, Tony Fitzpatrick, Patricia Smith (National Poetry Slam Champion), Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Alison Luterman, Chiwan Choi, and Deborah A. Miranda, among others.

The image of the coiled serpent appears in various forms in mythologies throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, India, and the Americas.  In pre-conquest times, Quetzalcoatl—the Precious Serpent—served as a leading personification of earth-bound wisdom, the arts and eldership.

Deadline July 1, 2015, sent to Coiled Serpent Anthology, c/o Tia Chucha Press, 13197-A Gladstone Avenue, Sylmar CA 91342.  Hard copy or digital delivery is acceptable.  Any questions please leave message for Liana Cabrera at 818-939-3433 or write TCPress@tiachucha.org.

Poets are asked to send up to ten one-page poems. Shorter poems will allow us to have more poets represented.  TCP hopes to publish up to three of each poet’s best work—this may change to one poem depending on the number of quality submissions.

Payment will be in copies. The books will be distributed to bookstores, libraries, colleges, universities, the Internet, and other outlets.  The book will be 6 x 9, with a full color cover, 80 to 120 pages, permanent bound.

Editors for this anthology are:

Neelanjana Banerjee, managing editor at Kaya Press and co-editor of the award-winning “Indivisible: An Anthology of South Asian American Poetry” (University of Arkansas Press). Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Pank Magazine, The Rumpus, World Literature Today, the Literary Review, and more.

Daniel A. Olivas is the author of seven books including the award-winning novel, “The Book of Want” (University of Arizona Press). His first nonfiction book is “Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature through Essays and Interviews” (San Diego State University Press). Olivas is also the editor of the landmark anthology, Latinos in Lotusland (Bilingual Press).

And Luis J. Rodriguez, founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and current Los Angeles Poet Laureate, who will also write the introduction.

Healing HeARTs: Gathering Our Medicine



We are all healers. The will to heal is a bud in the heart, the act the flowering of love. Each can be medicine to themselves and others. The medicine is multiform; precise like acupuncture and boundless like a meditation session. It is the joke that incited riotous laughter among friends and family or the wailing of a wound stirred at the telling of your story. It is the yerba growing in your back yard plucked and made into tea or an ointment. It is danza, sage, copal, fire and smoke.

Yes. Healing happens everywhere and in many ways.

All are invited to gather info, witness demos, and connect with community-based healing practices.

This area is rich in caring hearts that give of themselves for the love of creating wellness.

Tap into the medicine! Open up your world! Options make a difference!

When: Saturday, February 28 from 2-5pm

Welcome 2015!



“Tia Chucha Press last year celebrated 25 years of publishing the best of cross-cultural poetry, including such award-winning writers as Terrance Hayes, Virgil Suarez, Kyoko Mori, Elizabeth Alexander, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, and Patricia Smith. In October of that year, founding editor Luis J. Rodriguez, yours truly, was selected as the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles by Mayor Eric Garcetti. No, not “poet illiterate,” as one of my so-called friends said. This is a great honor for a local Valley poet who has helped carve a special place for powerful voices in poetry that may not have been seen otherwise. I take this responsibility seriously, like I took the creating and organizing of this small press, now part of the nonprofit cultural space, Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore of Sylmar. Please celebrate with me this year as I do readings, workshops, presentations, and more throughout the L.A. area.”  – Luis J. Rodriguez

Season of Giving!

Dear friend,

Have you had the good fortune of being at Tia Chucha’s

  • to participate in an amazing workshop on healthy eating, yoga, or Reiki?
  • to witness “kids” of all ages growing up to the music in them?
  • to connect to the innate seeds of ancestral indigenous knowledge?
  • to relish the creative community-building that is open mic nights?
  • to open your heart at a writing circle?
  • to be touched by the truths of teen spoken word?
  • to watch the unfolding of women’s empowerment through deep sharing?
  • to feel the spirit that is mexica ceremonial dancing?
  • or to tap into the art inside you with a brush, a book or a discussion?

If so, you know the power of healing and transforming community through the arts.

We rely on your gifts of time and money to keep Tia Chucha’s alive and well. This season I invite you to celebrate the creative capacity of this unique space by adding us to your holiday gift list. Please consider a one-time gift, or pledge a monthly gift of $20, $50, $100—or any amount you are moved to contribute. Your tax-deductible donations will help us keep giving the gift of the arts year-round at this valuable space.

Thank you and enjoy this season of giving! –

Trini Rodriguez –

Operations Director

Donate Here

Eclectic Offerings, Episode 1: Matt Vibes (Brown Soul)


Tia Chucha’s in the past couple years has been an essential part of my growth In various aspects of my life. Spiritually & Consciously have been the biggest parts of my life where it’s helped me grow. Tia Chucha’s provides an environment to artist, poets, musicians, confused youth & misunderstood souls like open arms from a mother to a child in need of her care. It makes you feel home away from home & if you never felt home anywhere, I truly believe it sparks an idea in your mind, heart & soul of what warmth a real home should have. I’d like to think I had always been somewhat of a conscious person even in my youth, but perhaps too scared to share my consciousness w/ others In fear that they would not want to hear me out, or that they simply would not understand. I never had been mentored into thinking the way I was thinking so I had no Idea how to go about developing my thought. Tia Chucha’s and all of the wonderful community that unites there helped me get rid of that fear & give birth to strength through self realization, self appreciation & self love. I begun to see that there was many misunderstood, in fear of, nervous souls, just like me there as well but, they were using that fear as a drive & eventually ridding themselves of that fear entirely and transforming it into song, poetry, stories, film, various forms of inspiration for others to feed their conscious minds & loving souls, Allowing themselves to become a tool to move someone else’s heart, letting them know through their creativity “it’s ok, Be you, there is nothing wrong w/ that. In fact, that is a beautiful thing to be.” Tia Chucha’s for me signifies movement, Love, unity & staying strong through the toughest of times because within you there has always been present a strength you had, but may have not been able to understand yourself enough to acknowledge it’s presence. It is a Vision. It is a Dream come Reality. It is a Community giving birth to Opportunity. It’s Tia Chucha’s & I’m glad it’s been a part of my growth. -M.E (Matt Vibes/Brown Soul)

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