Happy Hispanic Heritage Month

¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana! Hispanic Heritage Month is observed each year from September 15 to October 15. Want to know why does Hispanic Heritage Month start on September 15? It’s the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Here’s a list of suggestions of books, music and tv/programs to help with celebrating the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the country’s history, heritage and culture.

¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana! El Mes de la Herencia Hispana o Mes de la Hispanidad en Estados Unidos, se celebra cada año del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre. 

Es una celebración sumamente importante, ya que se evocan los logros, aportes y contribuciones de la presencia hispana en nuestro país. ¿Desea conocer por qué se celebra el Mes de la Herencia Hispana o Mes de la Hispanidad iniciando el día 15 de septiembre? Porque celebran su independencia los países de México, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala,  y Nicaragua. 

Les presentamos la siguiente lista de sugerencias en libros, música y programas de televisión para que nos acompañen también ustedes a rendir honores a los grandes hechos culturales y las tradiciones de los países de habla hispana de México, Centro y Sudamérica.  

Children’s Books

Miguel Y La Gran Armonía
By Matt de la Peña

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Round is a Tortilla
By Roseanne Greenfield Thong
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Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
By Carlos Hernandez

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The Piñata That The Farm Maiden Hung
By Samantha R. Vamos

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Young Adult Books

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas Pt.1)
By Zoraida Cordova

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Secrets of the Casa Rosada
By Alex Temblador

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The Truth Is
By NoNieqa Ramos

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With the Fire on High
By Elizabeth Acevedo

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By Rudolfo Anaya

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Blue Label
By Eduardo Sánchez Rugeles

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The House on The Lagoon
By Rosario Ferré

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The Sisters of Alameda Street
By Lorena Hughes

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Nonfiction & Memoirs

Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina
By Raquel Cepeda

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Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
By Jose Antonio Vargas

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In the Country We Love: My Family Divided
By Diane Guerrero

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Perfectly You
By Mariana Atencio

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Los Ángeles
By Rosalía

By J. Balvin

The Last Concert
By Selena
By Luis Fonsi



The Latino Americans – Season 1
The Queen Of Spain
We Like it Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo Music
Who Is Dayani Cristal? Stories of Crossing the Border

New Memoirs come to the Pratt

Everyone has a story to tell. And memoirs do just that, highlighting the author’s experiences while inspiring, informing, and expanding their readers’ thinking. Don’t miss out reading some of the latest memoirs to hit the Pratt’s shelves.

Know My Name
By Chanel Miller

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement inspired changes in California law and thousands to share their own experiences of assault. Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words.

Coming soon on September 23!

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Permanent Record
By Edward Snowden

In 2013, Edward Snowden shocked the world when he revealed that the United States government was attempting an unprecedented system of mass surveillance. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it. Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online—a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience.

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Standing Together: The Inspirational Story of a Wounded Warrior and Enduring Love
By Carlos R. Evans

When US Marine Corps Sergeant Carlos Evans stepped on an IED during his fourth deployment, his life was forever changed. After losing both legs and left hand, Carlos and his wife, Rosemarie, went through the rehabilitation process together for two years. With the help of family, friends, and–most importantly―a strong faith, they’ve built a solid marriage and discovered a ministry they never expected.

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No Tougher Duty, No Greater Honor: A Memoir of a Mortuary Affairs Marine
By L. Christian Bussler

In 2002, Christian Bussler was an everyday postal letter carrier in Springfield, Ohio. With a single phone call, his life changes to being an active participant on the frontlines of the Iraq war. Don’t miss this truly unforgettable autobiographical account from the perspective of a Marine Reservist assigned to recover our fallen service members off of the battlefield and send them home with honor.

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Eight Questions for Tanya Olson

Poet Tanya Olson reads at the Pratt Wednesday, September 25, with Jona Colson and Edgar Kunz.

Which writers inspire you?
When my first book came out, I did not want to have it blurbed—I find blurbs totally unhelpful. They don’t help me find new good books and let’s be honest; they are often a pack of lies. But YesYes Books asked me to think about who I thought of as my poetic family, which is a really helpful concept that I continue to cling to. So I think of my poetic family as Dorothea Lasky, CAConrad, and Susan Howe. Now, just like blood family, they don’t have any say in that and the feeling may not be mutual. But, also like blood family, they inspire me to write the poems I need in the way I need.

What’s the best advice about writing you’ve ever received?
Eloise Klein Healy gave me a lot it—when I was frustrated, felt like I was writing good poems but wasn’t getting anywhere with them—publications, books, readings—she noted my problem was I kept knocking on the front door of poetry’s house and poetry was never going to let me in the front door. But, she reminded me, there are lots of ways in the house and once you are in the house, it matters a little less how you got in. I’ve found that to be true. I didn’t come to poetry through what is now the traditional course—young, MFA, literary journals—so trying those ways of getting the door opened was frustrating. But, I snuck in and people do tend to forget that you didn’t walk in the usual way.

When did you write your first poem, and what was it about?
I came to poetry later than a lot of folks—I took a creative writing class as an undergraduate and liked it but didn’t feel particularly good at the three weeks we devoted to poetry. I started writing seriously when I was late 30s? Early 40s? I went to an art event regularly in Raleigh called Stammer! and saw several artists regularly there—Langston Fuze, Lisa McCool, Dasan Ahanu—that made me want to do what they did. I remember reading at an open mic there and being super nervous but have no memory of what I read.

Do you have any rituals or practices that help you write?
No. I usually follow the same pattern; I read, listen, and watch a ton of things that are related in some way to what I’m thinking about. I take notes and write scraps in a notebook during this. Then I become ready to write; I write a lot during this time. Some poems come out whole, others are partial. I start to think about how the poems will go together while I polish the finished and finish the unfinished. Poems are magic, but like most magic, making them is just hard work.

Imagine you get to take a writing workshop with any famous writer, living or dead. Whom do you pick? 
Gertrude Stein and we are working on repetition. It’s one of my favorite toys to play with in a poem or a book and why not learn from the best.

Which poem by another poet do you most wish you had written yourself?
The list is long! One time at a reading we “swapped” poems and I got to read Ocean Vuong’s “Of Thee I Sing,” which is one of my favorites of his. I wish I could title like Aziza Barnes;  “i could ask, but i think they use tweezers” is a great poem whose title works so hard. Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas is the smartest book I’ve read in a long time and by the time you get to “38,” that poem just knocks you down.

How did you choose the title of your new book?
I like one-word titles and titles that prepare you for the book. I kept thinking what it cost to leave a place, idea, identity and what it cost to remain in those same things. So Stay;  I also like that it sounds like both a plea and a command.

Which of your poems do you most enjoy reading to an audience, and why?
There are a lot I love to experience an audience hearing;  out of the new book “Other People Call It America” and “54 Prince” are two of my favorites to read aloud.

Ten Questions for Jona Colson

Poet Jona Colson reads at the Pratt Wednesday, September 25, with Edgar Kunz and Tanya Olson.

Which writers inspire you?
There are so many. Marie Howe, Elizabeth Spires, Kaveh Akbar, Jericho Brown—I admire their craft and imagination. Many more.

What was the last book you loved?
There are two that really knocked me out. One was Less by Andrew Sean Greer and the other was Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous

What’s the best advice about writing you’ve ever received?
That you will always have that first draft. If you are tentative about changes, or about going in an entirely new direction, try it. You will always have the first draft to return to;  you can think of your first draft as a safety net. 

When did you write your first poem, and what was it about?
I probably wrote what was considered a poem in high school. I don’t remember what it was about. I had a few early poems that dealt with sexuality and identity. 

Do you have any rituals or practices that help you write?
I have a long list of phrases and starts and stops of poems. I often begin a poem by revisiting the document and developing longer phrases until it takes its own shape and content.

What’s one of your favorite lines of poetry or sentences from a poem?
Some of my favorite lines of poetry come from the poem “Lastness” in Galway Kinnell’s The Book of Nightmares. The narrator describes the birth of his son, and the first moment he held him:

I took him up in my hands and bent
over and smelled
the black, glistening fur
of his head, as empty space
must have bent
over the newborn planet
and smelled the grasslands and the ferns.

Imagine you get to take a writing workshop with any famous writer, living or dead. Whom do you pick?
Anne Sexton! I would be really curious to hear what she was like in person and in workshop. 

Which poem by another poet do you most wish you had written yourself?
Anne Sexton’s “The Truth the Dead Know.” The poem has such an emotional truth combined with craft. A perfect poem.

How did you choose the title of your book?
My first book, which was published last year, is called Said Through Glass. This title comes from a line in the book. The original title was Everybody Has a Heart, Except Some People, but I changed it based on the editorial advice from the press, and thoughts from friends. 

Which of your poems do you most enjoy reading to an audience, and why?
I enjoy reading my dialogue poems and the poems that have more of a narrative thread. I love reading the poem “Lesson,” which is a very short poem, and one of my favorites from the book. I sent this poem out to lots of journals, but it never got in;  however, it reads so well and always garners a response from the audience.

Thrillers that will give you chills this September

The arrival of cooler weather and the return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes only means one thing: Fall is on the way! Bundle up with a blanket and enjoy one of the mysteries new to the Pratt. They are sure to be thrilling and chilling.

The Third Mrs. Durst
By Ann Aguirre

To outsiders, it seems that Marlena Altizer Durst leads a fairy-tale life. In reality, she lives in her husband’s shadow and under his control. Marlena has traded freedom and safety for luxurious imprisonment, and most days, that seems like a bad bargain. Death may be the only exit she’s allowed like his first two unless she flips the script.

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By Steve Cavanagh

It’s the murder trial of the century. And Joshua Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house – and to be sure the wrong man goes down for the crime. Because this time, the killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury.

Former-conman-turned-criminal-defense-attorney Eddie Flynn doesn’t believe that his movie-star client killed two people. He suspects that the real killer is closer than they think – but who would guess just how close?

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The Birthday Girl
By Melissa De La Cruz

On the cusp of Ellie’s 40th birthday, it looks like she has everything she’s every wanted. But the glamorous fashion designer has secrets and hiding skeletons comes at a cost. It all comes to a head the night of her fabulous birthday party in the desert—where everyone who matters in her life shows up, invited or not. Old and new friends and frenemies, stepdaughters and business partners, and the glittering facade of Ellie’s life begins to crumble.

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Also new in fiction:

Heaven, My Home
By Attica Locke

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Supernova Era
By Cixin Liu

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The Bus on Thursday
By Shirley Barrett

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The Secrets We Kept
By Lara Prescott

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The Shadow King
By Maaza Mengiste

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Vendetta in Death
By J.D. Robb

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