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“Arte Público Press and the Legacy of Latino Publishing in the U.S.” (exhibit)

Illustration [detail] by José Ramírez

Dates: April 2, 2012 - June 12, 2012

Location:   Main Library

Contact: Bob Diaz


A new exhibit at the UA Main Library explores the history of Latino literature in the United States and chronicles a national movement to recover the Hispanic literary tradition. On display from April 2 – June 12, 2012, “Arte Público Press and the Legacy of Latino Publishing in the U.S.” showcases one of nation’s oldest and most esteemed Hispanic publishing houses. Nicolás Kanellos, director of Arte Público Press, will deliver the opening lecture titled “From the Latino Archive to Your PC or Laptop or Hand-Held Device: EBSCO Partners with Hispanic Recovery” on April 4 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. in UA Special Collections.

Nicolás Kanellos, founding publisher of the noted Hispanic literary journal The Americas Review (formerly Revista Chicano-Riqueña), established Arte Público Press in 1979. As that nation’s oldest and largest non-profit publisher of literature of U.S. Hispanic authors, Arte Público Press showcases Hispanic literary activity, arts, and culture. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the customs, characters and themes unique to Hispanic culture in the United States.

In his ongoing efforts to bring Hispanic literature to mainstream audiences, Kanellos also initiated the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project, started in 1992 by Arte Público Press. This ten-year multimillion-dollar project represents the first coordinated, national attempt to recover, index and publish lost Latino writings that date from the American colonial period through 1960.

“Arte Público Press and the Legacy of Latino Publishing in the U.S.” showcases a sampling of Arte Público’s non-fiction titles, novels, children’s books, young adult titles, and publications in the areas of drama, theatre and poetry. A selection of publisher’s catalogs, book covers and photographs—all on loan from the press—complement the items from Special Collections. The exhibit also includes material preserved through the efforts of the “Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project” and documents Kanellos’s more than four decades of professional contributions to the field.

In 2011 the University Libraries purchased the electronic database of the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project. Funded through the Dick & Susan Imwalle Library Endowment, the Arch & Laura Brown Library Endowment, and with support from the UA department of Spanish and Portuguese, the database makes available historical content pertaining to U.S. Hispanic history, literature and culture. The database is searchable in Spanish and English and the majority of the collection is in Spanish.