The Taco Shop Poets
Updated Web page (as of 11/26/99) -
With feet on both sides of the border we declare that
Cappuccino and poetry are no more! Long live salsa and the spoken
Taco shops are places where people eat, talk, and leave behind
social and class barriers in search for the perfect carne asada
burrito. Taco shops have become the new meeting places for a cross- section
of society. But taco shops don't just have a culinary
function any longer.
Taco shops are cultural centers, they are the the cultural
crossroads for the new millenium.
As Taco Shop Poets we are the cultural workers at these
crossroads. As of August of last year we have been cultural
guerrillas, taking over taco shops in San Diego, Tijuana, Los
Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose, taking poetry to an audience
not usually exposed to the spoken word and taking the usually jaded spoken
word audience to a new environment for poetry. Our onda is the combination of
the different spaces in our community: the taco shop space, the poetry space,
the border space, the music space, the perfomance space, the nationalist
space, the gender space, the sexuality space. Our work can be found where
these areas intersect.
We are a group of accomplished Southern California performers
who have converted taco shops into temporary cultural centers. Our
performance consists of music, poetry, prose, storytelling, and ritual.
Reviews have appeared in major publications such as the Los
Angeles Times (p. A-3, 9-4-94), La Tarde Newspaper in Tijuana, the San Diego
Reader, and through The Associated Press news service.
Poets and Performers That Have Participated as Cultural Guerrillas:
Support for Taco Shop Poetry has been given by the Centro Cultural
de la Raza in San Diego, the Foundation for Arts Resources, Self-
Help Graphics, Plaza de la Raza, the University of Santa Clara,
Chacho's Restaurant in San Jose and Jorge Sánchez, the Steamed Bean in
National City, and Pan Handler Production.
Adela Carrasco, Roberto Castillo, María Figueroa,
Alfonso García Cortéz, Ryk Groetchen,
Adolfo Guzmán López,
Waldo López, Manuel Mancillas,
Gerardo Navarro, John Nielson,
Victor Payán, Elías Ramírez, Fermín Robles, Olympia Rodríguez,
Miguel Ángel Soria, Alejandro
Stuart, Regina Swain,
For general information about the Taco Shop Poets and future dates please
contact the group at:
Taco Shop Poets
PO Box 126531
San Diego, CA 92112.
All work included here is copyright by each author, so don't
plagiarize it because there are a lot of us and we will find you.
Photography by: Valerie Tevere, Abdur, Rudy Rodríguez.
ADOLFO GUZMÁN LÓPEZ
Adolfo is a border boy. He was born in the pugilistic México
City neighborhood of Peralvillo in 1969. He was there just long
enough to learn to walk and take in the air when it was still
clear. He then moved to Tijuana for several years with his mother
to a hillside house with a view of the nightly border patrol sweeps
by helicopter. Soon after they moved to National City across the
border where he grew up. His first readings as a youngster took
place at the houses his mother used to clean, in the upper middle
class neighborhoods of La Jolla. They included all the volumes of
various editions of the World Book encyclopedia and several decades worth of
His influences include the literary pop-hallucinations of
Parménides García Saldana and José Agustín, as well as the
Americana mantras of Jack Kerouac, Oscar Zeta Acosta, Hunter S.
Thompson, and poet Marisela Norte.
His Chicano college days were spent learning about the Chicano
student movement as co-editor of the newspaper Voz Fronteriza, and then as
producer of the public affairs radio program Radio Califas, both at the
University of California, San Diego. He created and organized the Taco Shop
Poetry readings that have taken place in taco shops in Los Angeles, San
Diego, Tijuana, San Jose, and San
Francisco in the last year.
He is currently a free-lance arts critic for the San Diego
Union-Tribune and other publications, and does feature stories for
KPBS-FM, the NPR station in San Diego. He hopes to write good prose and
poetry in spite of himself.
- dos de lengua para llevar
- press the online
- better git it in charley's soul
- a brain is a brain is a brain
- the fish
- a taco shop canto for war-town san diego
- un día vas a perder la cabeza y no te vas a dar cuenta
Selected Biogaphical Information on the Life of Jackolean López.
Rivers run up inside down, mountains stand solid sound and sitting now
close with a window to see I know that echoes ricocheted walls and insides to
bring stages and dances in my life-to bring new writings. For the years of
past (four ) I have lived as a Chicana poet in San Diego, teaching, writing a
book of poems, traveling, researching, temping, protesting for raza rights,
and recently accepted to the Historical Studies graduate program at the New
School for Social Research in New York. I intend to continue my research in
historical studies as well as everything else. Emissions of
Victor Payán is a San Diego-born poet and writer. His e-mail
address is Vpagan@aol.com.
to force a rhyme
to a cholo dying young
ALFONSO GARCÍA CORTÉZ
Egresado de la Licenciatura en Comunicación de la Universidad
Iberoamericana Noroeste, y profesor de asignaturas de la misma. Ha publicado
- en ese golpe ronco de las palmas
alta luna en la noche de tijuana
ELIZABETH E. BARRÓN
I was born in San Jose, California on September 29, 1966 but
I shall not die here. My writing began out of a lack of creativity.
In 1989, I was attending city college, pursuing a Fine Arts degree.
One of our assignments was to keep a sketchbook. Needless to say I wrote in
mine. For me writing is the images that my mind couldn't paint or draw. My
desire is to possibly write a short story, or something longer. Problem is, I
like to do everything quickly.
Having the chance to read with the Taco Shop Poets has been a
great happening in my life. Now that sounds goofy, but it is true.
Much of this writing is reality as I see and mostly feel it. My
words are usually hand written, and typing for me is hell. I am
realizing this now as I try to type. Enough of this.
i said no!
Born and raised in México, D.F. Completed education in Los Angeles,
at Cal State University. Began writing in the sixth grade and has
continued to do so as a community worker within the Juvenile
Justice System and as the Mother of a 22 year-old daughter,
presently attending U.C.L.A.
Has performed in California and México.
Published in various Chicano literary journals.
Happy Songs Bleeding Hearts- Chapbook published by the Centro
Cultural de la Raza.
Neighborhood Arts Project Teacher.
Poem-College Workshop Teacher.
Taco Shop Poet.
Word Sound & Power Collective.
Creator Flying Heart Productions.
- ondas chicanas
man y festo
who invented the first taco?
born in the desert fishing town of iquique, chile in 1971.
uncles taken away into prison camps after coup in 1973.
parents see official chile doesn't want us there. moved
from chile to joplin, missourah, usa in 1976. culture shock
ensued; couldn't deal with saltine crackers and sliced white
bread. finally moved to los angeles in 1980. once there
realized was latin, country bumpkin latin, but nevertheless
latin. 2 years later made it to san diego. have lived
there since. took a two-year exodus for uc berkeley.
became politically and socially conscious once there. had
to return to diego to help family out. began writing
poetry. found poetry in hip-hop, swapmeets, pan, salsa, and
must find hands to feel poetry grasshopper.
- can i slip an S
oj oj oj oj
another brother died
Adela Carrasco was born in Los Angeles, raised in San Jose,
California, and educated in Northern California. Adela currently
resides in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles, and is a
practicing attorney in downtown Los Angeles.
- king and story collage
Lalo Alcaraz, native of the San Diego Tijuana border, is the
creator of L.A. Cucaracha, an editorial cartoon which appears in
weekly newspapers, magazines and on refrigerator doors. L.A.
Cucaracha skewers Gringo and Latino politics and culture from a
wildeyed Chicano viewpoint. Under the pseudonym Lalo López, he is
best known as the co-founder of the infamous agit-prop comedy
troop, CHICANO SECRET SERVICE and the co-editor with Esteban Zul of the
irreverent satire 'zine POCHO MAGAZINE, "Mad Magazine for Mad Chicanos." Sr.
López also wrote the essay, "Generation MEX," trashing the Gringo Gen X fable
in a self-serving manner for
Norton's NEXT: Young American Writers on the New Generation," which was
published in 1994. Lalo's latest project is a full blown media hoax/political
satire performance piece created by Pocho Magazine's parent company, the
National Pochismo Institute titled "Hispanics For Wilson," in which the Pocho
staff impersonate fanatical self-deportationist supporters of anti-immigrant
California Governor Pete Wilson. Lalo wishes one day to be Minister of
Culture of Free Aztlan. Not only is he a fervent fan of Taco Shop Poetry, he
indulges in hot manteca tacos when nobody is looking.
- 98.6 in My Mouth
- EDDIE "LOCK JAW" DAVIS
- FUCK IT
- Bong Fire
Man-Tek-Ozo is a music and text ensemble. It started working
together on May 1993 performing Waldo López's "Canto Negro." The
name came later that year for a performance at RUSEFEST. On January 15, 1994,
Man-Tek-Ozo performed at El Sótano in Tijuana the piece "Primero Chiapas,
Luego Tú," a piece relating to the recent rebellion in Chiapas. For this
performance Man-Tek-Ozo premiered Waldo López's piece "El Canto del Jaguar,"
and another piece by Chiapas poet Efraín Bartolomé. Several musicians have
played with Man-Tek-Ozo: Jorge Peña, Erik Grizwold, Ulfar Haroldson, George
Lewis, Scott Walton, Rik Groetchen and Zopilote. The group has performed
several times in El Café Café in Ensenada, La Casa de La Cultura-Tijuana, El
Lugar del Juglar, and most recently with the Taco Shop Poets.
Manuel Mancillas "Zopilote" is a native Tijuanense. His parents
have owned a carnicería, tortillería and small grocery since 1950,
and continue to do so, since they migrated to San Ysidro Califas in
1964. He received a BA in Anthropology from UCLA in 1972, an did
his M.A. studies at SDSU from 1977-78. He lived and worked with
highland Mayas (Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabal y Chol) in the state of
Chiapas from 1970-1976. For the last 20 years, he has worked in
the social services field throughout San Diego and Tijuana.
Currently, he is a founder-director of RUSE, a multinational
artist's collective and alternative performance theatre in San
Diego, also a member of Man-Tek-Ozo, with poet Waldo López and
guitarist Rik Groetchen.
- él, contrabajos, yo, clarinetes
- pincelando el alma
Alurista has been called the poet laureate of Aztlán. He is the
author of the Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, one of the definitive
texts of the Chicano Movement, and of numerous books of poetry. He is the
co-founder of the Centro Cultural de la Raza and the Mexican American Studies
Department at San Diego State University.
- las faldas de mexicali
Gerardo Navarro was born on December 8, 1963 in Chula Vista,
California of Mexican parents, grew up in Tijuana, México and was
educated on both sides of the border. He initiated his artistic
development in San Diego while collaborating with the Border Arts
Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo from 1985 to 1991.
For more that ten years he has worked in painting,
performances, and installations, as well as in public and
collective art projects. Above all, Navarro's most valuble and
acclaimed contribution to art is his ability to expand the border
discourse beyond geography and into "the virtual village of the
Navarro's written work is characterized by hyperreal narrative
(video-stream of consciousness), driven with passion, humor, and
wit. It is a travel log that pictures the world with the kinetic
eye of the troubadour that brings past and future into the present.
- i am a man
- no whites allowed
- global overture
MIGUEL ÁNGEL SORIA
Miguel-Ángel Soria is a Tijuana born, San Ysidro poet and Xicano
political activist. He is one of the founding members of Izcalli
(the Náhuatl word for House of Reawakening), La Escuela de la Raza, a
Xicana/o Saturday cultural school. He has been telling stories and writing
since his earliest memories.
- sueño #4
- sueño #9
* Nacido en Tijuana en 1975
* Laboratorios Cinematik
* Segundo lugar de video fronterizo nivel secundaria
* Mención honorífica en el concurso de novela de jóvenes
* Feria internacional del libro infantil y juvenil en 1993
* Contra-Cultura (menor)
Cybercholo de nacimiento. Considera que debe continuar la
revolución de los colores que sus padres dejaron inconclusa y
llevarla hasta los máximos límites de la autotrascendencia zen. Con
su literatura pop pretende capturar la esencia de la vida, las
sensaciones que atacan sus sentidos y todo lo que puede reciclar y
decifrar del terrible information overload. Desde la vaka house
envía su mensaje de amor-vida-evolución mientras bebe
religiosamente un vaso de cal-c-tose por las mañanas. Y recuerda
que la vida que se ha escogido fue iniciada bajo la ambiciosa
educación anarquista a la Sumerhill mezclada con las calafias de la
5 y 10, la oración universal, el manifesto del partido Comunista,
y su hermanita Sol.
- ni lo intentes
- la pesadilla del dj
- una beatnik a destiempo
Performing at Roberto's Taco Shop, San Diego.