Emily Romero- Demetria Martinez, activist author, poet, columnist lecturer, and master storyteller

      Martinez Finds Her True Calling

      By Emily Romero

     “Demetria Martinez is an activist author, poet, columnist, lecturer, and master storyteller.  She has written serveral highly acclaimed books, THE DEVILS WORKSHOP (University of Arizona Press), and CONFESSIONS OF A BERLITZ-TAPE CHICANA (University of Oklahoma Press), a book that that has garnered her many presitgious awards.”

      “The book that put on the map, however, is MOTHER TONGUE (Ballantine), the award-winning (Western States Award for Fiction) love story of a refugee from El Salvador, a novel written during the height of the U.S. wars in Central America.”

      “Martinez was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  In 1960, she earned her BA in public policy from Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.  She currently lectures at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  At one point, Martinez was determined to find out what her true calling in life was, so she decided to join the Sagrada Art School in New Mexico, a school that encourages artist to stay away from full-time jobs and encourages their creativity.”

      “She has been writing a column for the Independent Progresive Weekly, and for the National Catholic (http://ncronline.org) since 1988.  She writes on many controversial issues such as abortion and immigration, and works with a group that fights for immigrants’ rights.  In addition, she works with Spanish-speaking survivors of domestic violence.”

       “Martinez also writes poems that are mainly about people she has encountered throughout her life, nature and her lifetime experience.  Her book MOTHER TONGUE is loosely based on the story of when she was accused of conspiracy against the United States government for smuggling Salvadoran refugee women into the United States.  These are charges that could have gathered her a sentence of 25 years in prison.  The government intended to use one of her poems, “Nativity for Two Savadoran Women,” against her.  She was prompty acquitted based on her First Amendment rights.  Martinez had accompanied a Lutheran minister who was helping two women cross over into the United States as part of the Sanctuary Movement.  The governor of New Mexico had approved her act of kindness and compassion.”

      “This same tipic inspired BREATHING BETWEEN THE LINES, an inspiring book of poetry.”

      “Martinez has dedicated her life to helping people who need her most people that for many are invisible.  However, through her work, she has helped to make them visible to the world and taught others to be more compassionate.  You can learn more about her at: htt://www.demetriamartinez.com/.”

      “”‘Demetra Martinez is one of the best, the most poetic, and most passionate writers of her generation.”  John Nichols, author of THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR.”

      Taken from EL CORAJE LA NUEVA GENERACION, developed from Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriquez’ Red-Brown Journalism Mexican American Studies Class  University of Arizona.

1 Comment

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One response to “Emily Romero- Demetria Martinez, activist author, poet, columnist lecturer, and master storyteller

  1. Pingback: Posts about Mexico Violence as of June 15, 2009 | EL CHUCO TIMES

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