A Dialogue about New Chican@ Poetics

Over the 40+ year history of the Chican@ movements, there has been many shifting identities as well as approaches to literature and art.  In the 1960s the fledgling movement first established Chicano as an identity for Mexican Americans, then the necessary voices of Chicanas in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s emerged to helm the movement, and today a current new group has an even wider base of inclusion.  Originally, the Chican@ identity was only reserved for Mexican Americans, but as more Central and South Americans integrate into “American” society, they have begun to share an affinity with the Chican@ identity and combine their experience with the Mexican American and create a different style of poetry, literature, and art.  Also because of the current political atmosphere both in the United States (anti-Latin@ policies and sentiments) and Mexico (the Drug War atmosphere), a new poetic form has emerged.  Over the past 5 years,  Chican@ (both Chicano and Chicana combined) poetics has had a great resurgence in interest and publication.  There is a growing number of poetry readings, chapbooks, magazine publications, and CDs of Latin@ writers who have begun to identify with the political aspirations of the Chican@ movement.  This project asks the questions: What has triggered such an interest in Chican@ in recent times? What types of poetry, writing, and art is being created and what are the social factors that have led to a new Chican@ poetics?


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