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Writers Series: Helena Maria Viramontes

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Latinx Heritage Month: As I Am...I Belong

Helena María Viramontes is the author of "The Moths and Other Stories" (1985) and "Under the Feet of Jesus" (1995), a novel. Her second novel, "Their Dogs Came with Them" (2008), published in paperback by Washington Square Press, focuses on the dispossessed, the working poor, the homeless, and the undocumented of East Los Angeles, where Viramontes was born and raised. Her work strives to recreate the visceral sense of a world virtually unknown to mainstream letters and to transform readers through relentlessly compassionate storytelling.

In the 1980s, Viramontes became co-coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association and literary editor of XhistmeArte Magazine. Later in the decade, Viramontes helped found Southern California Latino Writers and Filmmakers. In collaboration with feminist scholar Maria Herrera Sobek, Viramontes organized three major conferences at UC-Irvine, resulting in two anthologies: "Chicana Creativity and Criticism-Charting New Frontiers in American Literature" (1988) and "Chicana Writes: On Word and Film" (1993).

Named a Ford Fellow in Literature for 2007 by United States Artists, she has also received the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, a Sundance Institute Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a Spirit Award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus and a 2017 Bellagio Center Residency from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2015, California State University at Long Beach inaugurated the Helena María Viramontes Lecture. Viramontes is Goldwin Smith Professor of English at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she is at work on a new novel.

In celebration of LatinX Heritage Month, Salem State University will be hosting a number of engaging events through September and October under the theme, 'As I Am... I Belong.' All Salem State University students, faculty, staff, and alumni are welcome

The Salem State Writers Series, now in its 30th year,  invites noted authors of short stories, biography, poetry, poetry, memoir and essays to share their work at free readings throughout the academic year. The series is sponsored by the Center for Creative and Performing Arts and the English Department. 

When 9:00pm
Viking Hall, Central Campus
71C Loring Avenue, Salem, MA 01970
Karen A Gahagan

For access and accommodation information, visit our page on access or email

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