January 26, 2018
Tony Diaz
(713) 867-8943
Latina Author Fighting Cancer Inspires Her Community: 
From Write to Know to 
Write to Live 

 Celebrating 20 Years!
Houston, Texas, January 26, 2018.   Marie Elena Cortes is a writer and educator who has been a voice for Latinos and students for almost 2 decades.

She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Instead of turning inward, she is going to open up her experience with her writing to educate the community. 

"Cancer hits Latinos hard," Cortes said, "However, we don't get to talk about it. I want to spread awareness about getting check ups, living healthy, and being strong-always, but especially when you have to Write to Live. I am honored to share this struggle with my Nuestra Palabra literary family."

She currently is a grammar school bilingual teacher. Her first book was titled "My Annoying Little Brother". Her follow up book "Neglected By Two Countries" focused on the plight of immigration for children.

Marie found support for her writing early on through Nuestra Palabra. We are honored that she launches her new initiative "Write to Live" at the first monthly showcase of our 20th seasons. 

Who: Writer Marie Elena Cortes

What: Turns her struggle with cancer into an educational campaign for the Latino community

Where: Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say Monthly Literary Showcase

When: Wed. Jan 31, 2018. 7p - 8 p. Free.

Where: TBH 333 S. Jensen, Houston, TX 77040

Why: Since April 1998 Nuestra Palabra has promoted Latino writers and speakers who inspire our community in English, Spanish, and Spanglish. 

The Latino Agenda:

Surveying the Community
We are also adding the Latino Agenda. As the activists, writers, thinkers, educators, professionals and the intellectuals of the Latino community, we can't let others dictate our future or define who we are. On that note, every month we will conduct the Latino Agenda Survey at each showcase. This survey will assess which issues are the most important to our community and measure their views.
Civic Engagement: 

Nuestra Palabra Plans to Register 2,000 voters. 
We will have voter registration at each showcase. But that is not enough. 

In January, we will recruit volunteer Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrars for a workshop. Participants will then be eligible to register voters from their neighborhoods, schools, churches, quinceañeras, barbecues, pachangas, soccer matches, etc.

In February we will launch a major voter registration campaign-the likes of which has never been seen.

Wed. Jan 31, 2018 

7pm-9pm Free. TBH 333 S. Jensen
January Line Up 

Focus on Education

* Writer Marie Elena Cortes launches "Write to Live" her new literary campaign to inspire and inform our community as she battles cancer. 

* Sineria Ordóñez, Interim Executive Director at Houston Hispanic Forum

* Award-winning writer and professor Daniel Peña reads an excerpt from his new novel BANG.

* NP Alum and Librotraficante Co-founder Laura Torres shares an homage to the late education icon John Britt, Lee College, Baytown, Texas.

* Sol Creative Media founder Sol Macias, editor of the anthology Latinas Rising, shares some of her new poetry.

* Educator and writer Matt Rosas, author of The Legend of Mariquita and Other Short Stories, will share some of his new work.

* Poet Patricio Sanchez shares his lyrical poetry. 

* Poet Tasha James.

* Jerry Carrillo 

* Hosted by NP founder writer, activist, and professor Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante

* Jerry Carrillo

* And you!  Open mic to follow. 

Folks still have time to sign up for the open mic by emailing: Or sign up that night. Space is limited. Presenters may be invited to share their work on the NP Radio Show which airs Tuesdays 6p-7p on 90.1 FM KPFT.
NP History

Some Highlights
* Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say founded April 1998 in the party hall of Chapultepec Restaurant in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, Texas.

* The Nuestra Palabra Radio Show begins broadcasting on 90.1 FM KPFT in March of 2001.

* NP organized the Latino Book and Family Festival 2002-2007 -the largest book fair in Houston and one of the largest in Texas, drawing up to 30,000 people to the GRB Convention Center.

* NP has cultivated 14 Latinos who have earned Master's degrees or Master of Fine Arts in Writing.

* 5 NP alums were the founders of the 2012 Librotraficante Caravan, which joined a national movement to defy Arizona's ban of Mexican American Studies.

* Several NP alums have gone on to great careers in writing: Russell Contreras is now a reporter for the Associated Press; Alvaro Saar Rios is a professor and his plays have been produced nation-wide; Poet Carolina Monsivais is completing her PhD and has published 2 collections of poetry; Journalist and poet Icess Fernandez is a Professor of English at Lone Star College-King Wood, Lupe Mendez co-founded the Librotraficante Caravan and is founder of Tintero Proejcts; Poet Jasmine Mendez has her 2nd book coming out in March, and there are many others.