Literary Bridges: A dive into Spanish literature

CALS invites you to join us for a new limited event speaking series, in partnership with the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock, this program is part of Literary Bridges (Puentes Literarios Arkansas-Mexico). This four-part series will be bilingual and cover a variety of literary topics.  Dina Cisneros on April 6; Dr. Tony Zavaleta on May 4; Carlos Cisneros on June 1; and Talia and Mariela Pedraza on July 6.  

Dina Cisneros headshot and book coverThe first event, featuring Dina Cisneros, will highlight her book Simona Gallo, a reflective look at her work history and the displeasure her career had caused her, as a result she decided to put her energy into painting and writing.  This event will be moderated by Guillermo Martínez-Sotelo, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultural Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Tony Zavaleta headshot and book coverOn May 4, Dr. Tony Zavaleta, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Historian at the University of Texas Rio GrandeValley will present a synopsis of the constant political upheaval and warfare that plagued Mexico after the expulsion of the Spanish in 1820. Dr. Zavaleta will provide an overview of the social and political circumstances that fueled the conflict including the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 which has come be known as the Cinco de Mayo. 

Carlos Cisneros headshot and book coverOn June 1, Carlos Cisneros, a practicing lawyer turned award winning author will be discussing his collection of books. In 2013, Cisneros’ novel The Land Grant won 1st Place at the 2013 International Latino Book Awards in New York. His latest novel, The Paper Lawyer was published in 2019. 


book cover for the pedrazasSisters Talia and Mariela join us on July 6 to discuss the digital, non-profit magazine they started during the pandemic. Antenas Culturales, was created as an alternative for young adults to learn about Latin American personalities and their impact on the history, culture and arts of Mexico. They are using Facebook and Whatsapp as a means of distribution.  

“For many years Mexico and the United States have enjoyed a very close relationship: either political, economic, or historical, that have allowed each country and, by extension, its citizens to share the essence of culture, through its people and its institutions.said Rodolfo Quilantá Arenas, Mexican Consul from Little Rock. 

The relationship can be said to be getting stronger in every way and today, with the collaboration between the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock and the Central Arkansas Library System, we have demonstrated that the bridges are not just political or economic, they are also ethnic and educational. They are figurative bridges that, regardless of borders and language, allow us to display, exchange, and better understand the cultural and literary wealth of each country, showing that education will forever make us better citizens regardless of our race, color, or language.” 

Este programa es parte de Literary Bridges/Puentes Literarios Arkansas-México, una colaboración entre el Sistema de Bibliotecas de Arkansas Central y el Consulado de México en Little Rock para fomentar el intercambio cultural y bilingüe entre nuestros usuarios.