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CDCR Conversations to host playwright Garcia, poet Rios

April 18, 2011

The Center for Community Development and Civil Rights announces the topic of the April CDCR Conversations will be "Amexica: Tales of the Fourth World," presented by James E. Garcia and Alberto Rios. On April 21, the authors will discuss their collaboration.

"Amexica" is the story of a promising poet, Javier Arturo Puente, who is told on his 21st birthday by his parents that he was adopted from an orphanage in Nogales, Mexico. Javier decides to put off graduate school to explore his cultural and ancestral roots by traveling the U.S.-Mexico border from San Diego Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. A multidisciplinary narrative, the work crosses time, culture, and geography, affirming the border’s rich and complex heritage, its evolving society, and the fate of the region and its people.

Alberto Alvaro Rios is the author of ten books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir.  His books of poems include The Dangerous Shirt and The Theater of Night. His most recent collection of short stories is The Curtain of Trees. His memoir about growing up on the Mexico-Arizona border is called Capirotada. Rios is a Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University, where he has taught for 27 years and holds the further distinction of the Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair in English. His work is regularly taught and translated, and has been adapted to dance and popular music.

James E. Garcia is a playwright, journalist, university lecturer, and owner of Creative Vistas Media, a Valley-based media-consulting firm. He also serves as the director of communications at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and as a writer, researcher and policy strategist at Urias Communications. He has taught writing, theater and ethnic studies courses at Arizona State University since 2003. Garcia is the founder and producing artistic director of New Carpa Theater Co. in Phoenix. He has written and produced more than a dozen plays.

The Center for Community Development and Civil Rights hosts this series of lunchtime events to enlighten, entertain, and encourage thoughtful conversations on topics important to our community. CDCR Conversations will take place monthly from noon to 1 p.m. in the Community Room, Center for Community Development and Civil Rights, ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus-Mercado at 542 East Monroe Street, Suite D100. All events are free and open to the public. ASU students, faculty, staff and members of the community at large are invited. Parking validation is not provided.