Angie Cruz: This issue was anchored by a conversation we had with Sandra Cisneros when she visited Pittsburgh, and she spontaneously had us draw maps at the dinner table. How we quickly could see by looking at our maps where we have been and even where we wanted to go. Some of us were very good at it, some of us couldn't barely orient the cities we live in. We understood it was a rare occasion, eight Latino/as, all writers at different stages of our careers, all very much committed to making this world a better place. I think this conversation is the heart of the issue... All the pieces air some dirty laundry. All the pieces in some way share an intimacy between women, between fathers and sons, lovers, friends, mothers and daughters. All swing open the door and allow us into the devastation of loss, what we desire, what we are capable of. Don't you think?
Adriana E. Ramírez: Absolutely! One of the things I love about the phrase "la ropa sucia se lava en casa," is that there is an inherent contradiction to it--when I think of dirty clothes, I imagine laundry lines, with all the linens on display. Yet, the way the phrase is used, dirty clothes are meant to be hidden, obscured--the mystery preserved. I think this tension/contradiction is helpful, even going back to our maps. Mine was so detailed--anally correct, even. I felt the need to hide it, afterwards. Because there was a shame in being so exact, so nerdy, so eager to show o what I knew. Other people at the table did the opposite. Only three states would be labeled, but the person describing the drawing would boast of their lack of knowledge, root their minimal geographical knowledge in a story, a personal history. Being a little wrong cartographically didn't matter, what mattered was the story. Hence, my shame at hiding my perfectly crisp and white laundry--there's no story there. I wanted the story. That mood, the desire for the imperfect but powerful histories we carry, informed this issue.
Featuring work by: Norma Liliana Valdez, Joe Jiménez, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, Gessy Alvarez, Li Yun Alvarado, Lizz Huerta, Sandra Cisneros, Ivan Velez, Laura Winther Galaviz, Josefina Báez, Marigloria Palma, Carina del Valle Schorske, and Melanie Márquez Adams.
Dirty Laundry: An Aster(ix) Anthology, Fall 2017
Cruz, Angie (Editor)