AWP2016 Los Angeles style

Panel Session Report

Rewriting the Iconic West: Native and Latino Writers on
Crafting Change.
In trying to do the right thing or in acting out of lazy tropes, some writers tend to rely on the obvious cartoons seared into years of collective misinformation and misattribution. These authors set the record straight by relating experiences in their own writing and perception of the work they should or shouldn’t be producing.


From the cowboy on horseback to the detective on the dark city
streets, the fictional icons of the West loom both familiar and large.
Their stories have the ease of familiarity, but what if the stories
you want to tell shift the vantage point? What if your hero is the
one shot by the cowboy, the man turning the corner to avoid the
detective? A diverse set of writers discusses strategies for telling
the West’s iconic stories through a wide range of viewpoints and in
diverse cultural contexts.
Tweet by @thepoetmendez  capturing  Ito Romo’s advice: A profound sentiment about owning your narrative
The talented cast of characters:  (Stephen Graham Jones couldn’t make it)
Check out the work of these fabulous authors:
  • Working against stereotypes is the job.
  • As a writer work to create a reality of ethnic characters that don’t have to play to a rule of expectations.
  • It is crucial to understand what is already embedded in history and literature about characters of color to tear apart and give truth to. There is a prevalence of misconceptions seared in the mind of the readers.  Tim Hernandez spoke about “Terry the Mexican girl.” Bea Kozera, was her real name and her life story had been miscast, unbeknownst to her, in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Tim found Bea (Terry). You can read the incredible story here published after Bea’s death at the age of 92.

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