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Together We'll Be a Song: A Celebration of Andrés Montoya

The Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, in collaboration with Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies, hosts a national symposium on the life and work of the late poet, educator, and Fresno State alumnus Andrés Montoya.

April 13, 2018
Arte Américas, 1630 Van Ness Ave., Fresno, 93721

April 14, 2018
Inside the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State


Symposium registration details to come by the end of February.

Featured Appearances

David Campos, Gabe Gomez, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Juan Felipe Herrera, Sheryl Luna, Paul Martinez Pompa, Emma Trelles, Felicia Zamora, and more to be announced.

Hotel Info for Out-of-Town Guests

Out-of-town guests can book a two-night stay, April 13 and 14, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 520 W. Shaw Ave., in Clovis, about 1.5 miles east of campus.

The rate is $129 per night, plus taxes. Ask for the Fresno State  rate for the Montoya symposium. Our group code is DOE1. 

Call 559.299.2203 for reservations. Deadline to make reservations at the Fresno State rate is March 30.

Conference Schedule

Friday evening opening celebration will be held at Arte Américas in downtown Fresno. Saturday daytime panel discussions and evening closing celebration will be inside the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State.

Friday evening - Opening Celebration

Location: Arte Américas

6 p.m.
Social hour

6:45 p.m.
- Opening remarks: Daniel Chacón
- Welcome: Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State
- Keynote: Juan Felipe Herrera, introduced by Lee Herrick

7:15 p.m.
- Readings by winners of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, introduced by Francisco Aragón
- Featuring: David Campos, Gabe Gomez, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Sheryl Luna, Paul Martínez Pompa, Emma Trelles, Felicia Zamora

8:45 p.m.

Saturday morning - Panel Discussions

Location: Henry Madden Library at Fresno State

9 a.m. (HML 2108)
Registration, check-in, coffee & pastries

9:45 - 11 a.m. (HML 2206)
Panel A - Poetics: Responding to the Poems of Andrés Montoya
Featuring Stephanie A. Fetta, Anthony Cody, Erin L. Álvarez, Ronald Dzerigian

11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (HML 2206)
Panel B - The Gift of Poetry: Teaching the Poems of Andrés Montoya
Featuring Juan Luis Guzmán, Nancy Hernandez, Teresa Tarazi, Cynthia Guardado

Saturday afternoon - Panel Discussions

Location: Henry Madden Library at Fresno State

12:30 - 2 p.m.
Lunch on your own

2:15 - 3:30 p.m. (HML 2206)
Panel C - Remembering Andrés Montoya: Personal Testimonials
Featuring Daniel Chacón, Corrinne Clegg Hales, Lee Herrick, Maceo Montoya

3:45 - 5 p.m. (HML 2206)
Panel D - Revisiting Pákatelas: The Ongoing Influence of Andrés Montoya
Featuring Marisol Baca, Kenneth Robert Chacón, Monique Quintana, Joseph Rios, Tim Z. Hernandez

Saturday evening - Closing Celebration

Location: Henry Madden Library at Fresno State

5 - 6:30 p.m.
Dinner on your own

7 p.m. (Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room)
- Winners of Your Song: Student Poetry Contest read their poems inspired by Andrés Montoya
- Remarks from Montoya family members
- Remarks from Maceo Montoya

7:30 p.m. (Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room)
Readings of select Andrés Montoya poems by community members

8:30 p.m. (Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room)

Your Song: Student Poetry Contest

As part of the symposium, the Creative Writing Program is coordinating a poetry contest for Central Valley high school and college students, celebrating poems inspired by the work of Andrés Montoya.

Deadline: Feb. 22, 2018

General Information

Download flyer

A $100 prize will be awarded to each of 3 winners, and winning poems will be published in this year’s issue of Flies, Cockroaches and Poets, the literary journal produced by the Chicano Writers and Artists Association. Winners will also be invited to read their winning poems on April 14 at the Montoya symposium at Fresno State.

Submissions are invited from currently enrolled Central Valley high school students, community college and university undergraduates, and graduate students. Each of the 3 levels will be judged separately. Submissions will be accepted from individual writers, or from teachers (with written permission of the student author).

The judges will be poets Marisol Baca and David Campos.

About the Judges

Marisol Baca is the author of Tremor, a full length collection of poems forthcoming in January 2018 from Three Mile Harbor Press. Marisol’s work has been published in Narrative NortheastRiverlitShadowed: An Anthology of Women WritersThe Acentos Review, and many others. She was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up around generations of family in an old adobe house. Her family later settled in Fresno, California. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and won the Robert Chasen poetry award for her poem, Revelato. Currently, Marisol is an English instructor at Fresno City College, and lives with her husband in a house in the center of town. She continues to write and teach, and is busy working on her second book.

David Campos, a CantoMundo Fellow, is the author of Furious Dusk, from University of Notre Dame Press, 2015. It is the winner of the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize 2014. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Luna Luna, Prairie Schooner, QueenMobs Teahouse, and among many others. He co-founded, alongside poet Michael Luis Medrano, the Pákatelas literary radio show on KFCF 88.1 FM Fresno in 2009, and he served as a co-host and editor until 2011. David earned an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside in 2013. He earned his B.A. in English - English Education Option from California State University, Fresno in 2010. Currently, he lives in Fresno and teaches English at Fresno City College and College of the Sequoias.

Submission Guidelines

Each writer may submit up to 3 poems (no more than 5 pages total).

Each poem must be written in response to, or influenced by, a poem by the late Fresno poet Andrés Montoya.

Poem must be the original, unpublished work of the writer.

How to Submit

Complete an online form with your personal info:

Email your poetry submission to with the poem(s) as a single PDF or DOC attachment. The file name should include your last name.

Online Resources

Visit our Facebook event page for the most current symposium updates.

About Andrés Montoya

Official Website

Andrés Montoya is the author of two books: a jury of trees, published posthumously in 2017 by Bilingual Press (in conjunction with Letras Latinas, Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame), and edited by writer Daniel Chacón; and the ice worker sings and other poems (Bilingual Press, 1999), which won first prize in the 1997 UC Irvine Chicano Latino Literary Prize (selected by Francisco X. Alarcon), and also won the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. His play, El Muerto: Three Conversations, was produced in 1994 (University of Oregon), and his poetry won the 1993 AWP Intro Award.

Andrés graduated from Fowler High School and then graduated from Fresno State, where he served as student body president (1991-92). He earned his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon in 1994, and he went on to teach writing at several colleges and universities, including University of Oregon, Chabot College, Fresno City College, as well as Fresno State. Andrés was a gifted poet and prose writer, a generous and devoted teacher, and an energetic community and campus leader. He died of leukemia in spring of 1999.

During his years as a student at Fresno State, Andrés was one of the co-founders of the Chicano Writers and Artists Association (CWAA), a student-run organization that sparked a blossoming of Chicano arts at Fresno State and continues to publish a journal, organize readings of prose and poetry, and encourage artistic expression of the Chicano experience. He was a founding editor of the CWAA journal Pachuco Children Hurl Stones (also known as Flies, Cockroaches and Poets) which continues to be a successful annual literary arts journal at Fresno State.

Books by Montoya

the iceworker sings and other poems, 1999, Bilingual Press, ISBN-13: 978-0927534864

a jury of trees, 2017, Bilingual Press, ISBN-13: 978-1939743190

Poems by Montoya

Montoya legacy

Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize at the Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame

El Tocolote: Chicano poet's family artistic legacy celebrated