Tucson Festival of Books

Reyes Ramirez



Romeo Harrell

Sponsored by Friend of the Festival

Reyes Ramirez (he/him) is a Houstonian, writer, educator, curator and organizer of Mexican and Salvadoran descent. He authored the short story collection "The Book of Wanderers," a 2023 Young Lions Fiction Award Finalist, from University of Arizona Press’ Camino del Sol series and the poetry collection "El Rey of Gold Teeth" from Hub City Press. His latest curatorial project, "The Houston Artist Speaks Through Grids," explores the use of grids in contemporary Houston art, literature, history and politics. Ramirez has been honored as a 2020 CantoMundo Fellow, 2021 Interchange Artist Grant Fellow, 2022 Crosstown Arts Writer in Residence, 2023 Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellow, 2023 Dobie Paisano Fellow and awarded grants from the Houston Arts Alliance, Poets & Writers and The Warhol Foundation’s Idea Fund.

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Communities: Hispanic or Latinx


Scheduled events:
Dual Identities In the Americas
Three experimental poets discuss how their Salvadoran, Paraguayan, and Mexican heritage has impacted their poetry and their lives.

Student Union Kiva (Seats 100)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Poetry
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA Bookstore, Main Floor (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Diego Báez, Manuel López, Reyes Ramirez
Moderator: Estella González
Reyes Ramirez
The Book of Wanderers What do a family of luchadores, a teen on the run, a rideshare driver, a lucid dreamer, a migrant worker in space, a mecha soldier, and a zombie-and-neo-Nazi fighter have in common? Reyes Ramirez’s dynamic short story collection follows new lineages of Mexican and Salvadoran diasporas traversing life in Houston, across borders, and even on Mars. Themes of wandering weave throughout each story, bringing feelings of unease and liberation as characters navigate cultural, physical, and psychological separation and loss from one generation to the next in a tumultuous nation. The Book of Wanderers deeply explores Houston, a Gulf Coast metropolis that incorporates Southern, Western, and Southwestern identities near the borderlands with a connection to the cosmos. As such, each story becomes increasingly further removed from our lived reality, engaging numerous genres from emotionally touching realist fiction to action-packed speculative fiction, as well as hallucinatory realism, magical realism, noir, and science fiction. Fascinating characters and unexpected plots unpack what it means to be Latinx in contemporary—and perhaps future—America. The characters work, love, struggle, and never stop trying to control their reality. They dream of building communities and finding peace. How can they succeed if they must constantly leave one place for another? In a nation that demands assimilation, how can they define themselves when they have to start anew with each generation? The characters in The Book of Wanderers create their own lineages, philosophies for life, and markers for their humanity at the cost of home. So they remain wanderers . . . for now.

The University of Arizona Press, Booth #242 (Seats 1)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Fiction / Literature

Author: Reyes Ramirez
Voices from the North American South
Two vibrant new voices from the North American South discuss how the region has shaped their work and identities.

Student Union Kiva (Seats 100)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 10, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Poetry
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA Bookstore, Main Floor (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Gabrielle Bates, Reyes Ramirez
Moderator: Cameron Louie
What's New in Latino Poetry?
In this session we will invite three popular poets to discuss their approach to contemporary themes of Latino identity.

Student Union Kiva (Seats 100)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 10, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Poetry
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA Bookstore, Main Floor (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Diego Báez, Tim Z. Hernandez, Reyes Ramirez
Moderator: Paola Valenzuela

Books:
El Rey of Gold Teeth
Poetry
Hub City Press
January 2023
ISBN 9798885740197
120 pages

The Book of Wanderers
Fiction / Literature
University of Arizona Press
March 2022
ISBN 9780816543274
192 pages