This post was written by Program Intern Olaya Barr.
For our May CHAPTERS Reading, Girls Write Now is thrilled to welcome the multi-talented Ana Castillo to the stage. Ana is a Chicago-raised Chicana whose impressive literary career spans from writing plays, novels, short stories and essays, to composing poems and translating from Spanish. Her most recent novel The Guardians was described by Booklist as having “earthy sensuality, wry social commentary, and lyrical spiritualism.”
Castillo’s work pairs politically relevant content with beautiful language, and gravitates towards the topics of racism, classism, and gender identity. She even created her own term, “Xicanisma,” to signify a Chicana feminism that exists beyond the strict binaries of gay and straight, black and white. Castillo’s essays and stories demonstrate that a singular label cannot encapsulate identity.
Castillo has used her writing and activism to encourage women to reclaim their unique identities. She vocalizes that psychologically, physically, and spiritually, women have been denied agency through oppression and patriarchal structures. Especially in the popular culture of the United States, ethnic, racial, sexual and geographical borders are underlined as if with a thick permanent marker.
But this is just a method of neatly boxing in identity. And that simply can’t be done! We have Ana Castillo to thank for bringing these issues to the forefront.
Ana Castillo reminds us that we are strong women, and we have strong agency. She knows that we are a made up of a sum of parts, not a single label.
Women Are Not Roses
Women have no
Though rivers flow
women are not
Women are not
they are not oceans
I would like to tell
her this but
I think she
- Join us at CHAPTERS and get to know Ana for yourself. It’s free for teens with a suggested donation for adults – RSVP now!