Festival de la Palabra Returns to NYC!


Salón Literario Libroamérica, a not-for-profit organization that promotes reading and literary arts in Puerto Rico and the United States, announced the celebration of its third annual edition of  Festival de La Palabra (Written Word Festival) in New York.

The event will run from October 23rd thorough 26th, 2014, at El Museo del Barrio and the New York Public Library.  Events will include authors’ panels, readings, a book fair, and other functions for people of all ages. Admission is free.

“Festival de La Palabra” is a 4-day long literary conference.  Participating authors, educators and journalists from 21 Spanish-speaking countries, the United States and France, include Esmeralda Santiago (When I Was Puerto Rican, Almost a Woman, Conquistadora - Puerto Rico/EEUU), Sonia Manzano (The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano - EEUU), Pastor de Moya (Dominican Republic), José Manuel Fajardo and Rosa Montero (Spain), Alvaro Enrique, Rosa Beltrán and Carmen Boullosa (Mexico),Sylvia Molloy (Argentina), Daniel Shapiro (EEUU), Veronique Ovaldé and Paola Olaixarac (France), among others.

The 2014 edition is dedicated to Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos (1914-1953) in celebration of her centennial.

Info: festivaldelapalabra.net

“Festival de La Palabra NY 2014″

(Written Word Festival)

Event Description:

Third Annual Edition in New York of the celebrated international literary conference originated in San Juan, Puerto Rico, featuring writers from the United States, Latin America, Spain and France.

Events Calendar:
Free Admission.  Some events require RSVP and/or tickets

Thursday, October 23rd

6:30 – 8:00 PM: Opening Ceremony and Special Presentation. “Life, Legacy and Centenary of Julia de Burgos”, a talk with Esmeralda Santiago and Consuelo Saez-Burgos.

(Place: El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio)

To Reserve Tickets Click Here 

8:30 – 10:00 PM: Welcome Reception.
(La Casa Azul Bookstore)

Reservation is required: rsvp.lacasaazul@gmail.com
(Please write down date and hour of the event in this email)

Friday, October 24th

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Book fair.

(Main lobby in El Museo del Barrio)

5:00 PM – 6:00PM: Panel, “Exiles, Migrations and Literature”.  Panelists: Pastor de Moya, Yara Liceaga, Karla Suárez and Francisco Goldman.

(Black Box Theater, 3rd floor, El Museo del Barrio)

6:15 PM – 7:30 PM: Master Panel: “Por Qué/Why Julia?, Women in Latin American Literature”.  Panelists:  Myrna Nieves, Mayra Santos-Febres, Liliana Ramos Collado, Sandra García and Wilda Rodríguez.

(Black Box Theater, 3rd floor, El Museo del Barrio)

8:00 PM – 9:30 PM: Film Screening:  “200 Letters/200 Cartas” (starring Lin Manuel-Miranda, Jaime Camil, Dayanara Torres and Monica Steuer; with Luis Raúl, Iris Chacón and Juan Manuel Lebrón). Written and directed by Bruno Irizarry. 98 minutes.

(Black Box Theater, 3rd floor, El Museo del Barrio)

To Reserve Tickets Click Here. 


Festival de La Palabra in French

Friday, October 24th

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM: “Sous joins autre peau ” (Under another skin). A special panel in French with authors Véronique Ovaldé, Karla Suárez and José Manuel Fajardo. Co-presented by the French Alliance and the French Embassy in New York.

(Bookstore Albertine Books in French and English/Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 972 Fifth Avenue and 79 street.)

Saturday, October 25th

12:00 Noon – 5:00 PM: Panels / Book Presentations

(New York Public Library, Mid Manhattan Branch)

* 12:00 Noon – 1:00PM: Panel hosted by the America’s Society. Participating authors: Mayra Santos-Febres, Yara Liceaga, José Rabelo, Alejandro Álvarez and Carlos Vázquez-Cruz.  Moderador:  José Manuel Simián.

* 2:00 – 3:00 PM: “Spirituality in Caribbean Literature”. Panelists Marta Moreno-Vega and others TBA.

* 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: “Rebellious and Damned: Lilith’s Daughters”. Featuring authors Liliana Ramos Collado, Véronique Ovaldé and Pola Olaixarac.

* 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: “Digital publications and New Multimedia Platforms in English and Spanish”. Panelists: Wilda Rodríguez, Asdrúbal Hernández (Sudaquia Editores) and others TBA.

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM: Master Conference, “The writer and his/her ghosts”.  Noted author and journalist Rosa Montero (Spain) discusses the literary creative process.

(El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio)

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM: “Look Who’s Reading”, personalities and participating authors in “Festival de La Palabra NY 2014) get together for an evening of reading the poems of Julia de Burgos.  Featuring actress and author Sonia Manzano (The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano).

(El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio)

To Reserve Tickets Click Here. 
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Latin American Unity Reception.

(La Casa Azul Bookstore) Reservation is required: rsvp.lacasaazul@gmail.com

(Please write down date and hour of the event in this email)

Sunday, October 26th

Children and Family Day

12:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Children’s/Family Book Fair.

(El Café at El Museo del Barrio)

12:00 AM – 2:00 PM: “Look Who’s Reading to the Kids”, children’s short story readings by noted personalities.  Featuring Luis Salgado (actor/director, Broadway’s In The Heights, Rocky; Founder of R.Evolución Latina), Manuel A. Morán (actor/director, founder of the Latino Children’s Theater of NY – Teatro SEA), Esperanza Ceballos (news reporter, Univision 41), Edwin Fontanez (Children’s Author).

(El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio)

To Reserve Tickets Click Here.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Panel, “Cultivating Children’s Imagination Through Literature”, featuring José Rabelo, Carlos Vazquez Cruz and Willie Perdomo.

(El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio)

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Closing Event/”La Palabra Cantada” (Sung Word)/Musical Performance.

(El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio)
Festival Venues:

El Museo del Barrio / 1230 5th Ave at E. 104 St.

New York York Public Library Mid-Manhattan Branch /455 5th Ave at E. 40th St.

La Casa Azul Bookstore / 143 E. 103rd Street, at Lexington Avenue.

Albertine Books in French and English / 972 5th Ave at E. 79th  St.
Public Information:  www.festivaldelapalabra.net

Press Contacts:
Javier E. Gómez - (917) 533-1247 / javier@highpitchpr.com

Michelle Vélez  - (347) 345-6758 / michelle@highpitchpr.com

Writing the Detective – The Emotional “Drop”!


Hello family and friends:

I’ve had the fortune of working with many writers across different genres and of varying skill levels over the years. And I’ve discovered that the mystery of storytelling, the art of writing itself, is something that not only mystifies those of us who dabble in this special brand of pleasant madness, but also the folks who experience it all from the other side of the page. The spectator or reader…

“Where do you get your ideas for stories?” is something I’ve been asked more often by non-writers than my fellow moon people.

So I’ll share a little bit about where I am right now with my latest endeavor, technically my third novel. The first one was such a completed disaster (I did “finish” it after all), that this one feels more like my second in regard to knowledge of craft. My second, Contraband, was a move in a more sensible direction.


My latest novel (which I’ll reveal more about as I get closer to completion) is a paranormal investigation story set in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico–a treasure box for speculative tales, as I discovered by reading Puerto Rican writers on the island publishing in Spanish, which I read better than I speak (still trying to figure that one out). But I do. Thank you, Universe!

My story deals with a very conflicted protagonist, a detective who is forced to change his views on the world and spirituality due to the complex nature of a crime (an assault) he’s been assigned to investigate. When all of his time-tested methods fail him and he feels as though he’s about to lose his mind (and he will), he also arrives at a crucial crossroads and accepts these changes as something positive and necessary. A happy ending? I can’t say.

I must say that it’ll be a relief to spend time away from him as his Creator, to be honest. I enjoy certain aspects of him and hope that others relate to him similarly. The paranormal investigation genre itself appealed to me for its fictional possibilities more than writing through the eyes of a calculating sleuth did, so I’m stuck with him for now. That’s life. The book is hovering at around 55,000 words and grows at a rate of 5-10 pages with each edit, which it will require three or four more of–at least.

So writers: How do you balance the forces of this strange and emotional place, the “drop” many of us go through psychically upon the completion of a large and emotionally-draining work?

I’m dying to know!

Non-writers: Are there any questions you would like to ask writers about writing? Fire away.


Cousin Charlie

On Being Honored by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer for 2014 Hispanic Heritage Month…

Hello friends and family…

It began with a surreal email message that arrived a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t know what to think. With so many people doing wonderful things out there, so many others more deserving than myself. But sometimes we need to kick our self doubt out of the way and accept what is offered to us. So it’s off to the former Five Points district next week to accept this recognition…

Someone out there decided I was deserving of such an honor. By the highest financial office in the City of New York. Very surreal, indeed. So I’m going next week, to accept it, and wanted to share this with all of you. The honor is all mine. Truly. Helping people shouldn’t always feel like work and I love what I do…I thank the universe every day for this.

Photo by Ricky Flores…at the Bronx Artist Documentary project opening recently with photographer David González…


Mr. Vazquez,

My name is Shane Braddock, and I am the Director of Special Events for NYC Comptroller Stringer.  Thank you for accepting his invitation to join us at his Hispanic Heritage Month celebration as an honoree. At the event you will be given the opportunity to give brief remarks (2-3 minutes).  Any further questions please don’t hesitate to give me a call at my office.

My BronxNet Interview with Rhina Valentin and More

The lovely Rhina Valentin invited me to speak about my work as a writer and editor on her BronxNet show “Open”. She surprised me by going ALL the way back, to the roots of it all. Wonderful lady, wonderful energy, wonderful show and crew. Make sure to check her show out!

Plus, tonight we will be at Chips N Salsa in Manhattan to celebrate the e-book release for Odilia Rivera Santos’ “Love When You Say Love”, a fantastic collection of Afro-Puerto Rican feminist poetry. 43 W 46th St, upstairs. 5-8pm.

Click Here to Watch My BronxNet Open Interview with Rhina Valentín







Love When You Say Love, the Poetry E-book by Odilia Rivera Santos, is Out Now

Marlena Fitzpatrick and I–Editorial Trance–are thrilled to unveil Odilia Rivera Santos’ poetry e-book Love When You Say Love, dozens of free verse and haiku pieces that address relationships, philosophy, culture, race, gender and, of course, love. All of this through a cultivated and streetwise Afro-Puerto Rican Latina lens, from an artist born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and raised in the Bronx.


Odilia’s work masterfully addresses each facet of her identity and life experience with the brutal honesty and music of a true literary artist. Words are Odilia’s clay, paint, ink, musical instruments, and her compositions made with them transform her poems into memoir-like vignettes of the contemporary artist’s outer and inner lives. We hope this is just the beginning of our relationship with her.

For she, like we, is not afraid to stand on her own.

Click here for Kindle.

Click here for Nook.

(I-Book still pending.)

New Beginnings at the Bronx Writers Center

Great news! – I’ve just accepted the position of Director of the Bronx Writers Center and look forward to continuing and developing all the wonderful projects and objectives put in place by my predecessor Maria Romano, as well as initiating new ones in the near future. Below is the official press release that went out today.

I’ll write more about this soon, but in the meantime there’s a lot of work to be done! Here I go…





Bronx Writers Center Announces Author, Publisher, and Festival Organizer Charlie Vázquez As New Director

(Bronx, NY) The Bronx Writers Center (BWC) has announced that Charlie Vázquez—author, editor, publisher, and the New York organizer for Puerto Rico’s Festival de la Palabra literary celebration—has accepted the position as its new director. BWC serves the borough with workshops, consultations, book presentations, and the Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Awards, announced each June. The BWC is the literary wing of the Bronx Council on the Arts.

“I’m thrilled to bring all of my experience to the Bronx Writers Center and to the Bronx itself because it inspires me more than any other place in the world—it’s where I was born and raised. I feel honored and excited to serve my people, to help launch new and serious writers of fiction and poetry,” says Vázquez.

Charlie Vázquez will lead a free two-hour workshop—“Activating Scenes”—on Monday, January 13, at the Bronx Council on the Arts’ future home at 2700 E Tremont Avenue near Westchester Square. Info: www.bronxarts.org Contact: bronxwriters@bronxarts.org or 718-931-9500 (x21)

Contact: Phil Cardone

718-931-9500 X 33

The Bronx Writers Center supports and develops the appetite for writing and reading in the Bronx, and searches for and promotes new community voices and audiences via literary and literacy programs. The Bronx Council on the Arts is celebrating 50 years as a private, non-profit membership organization that is the official cultural agency of Bronx County. Recognized nationally as a leading arts service organization in providing cultural services and arts programs, BCA serves a multicultural constituency of almost 1.4 million residents. BCA provides an array of services to 5,000 artists and more than 250 arts and community-based organizations.

The Bronx Writers Center, a program of the Bronx Council on the Arts, is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Robert A. Bowne Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts’ Literature Program, NYC Council Member James Vacca,  New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, Arts Midwest, the Scherman Foundation, the Lambent Foundation, NYC Department of Small Business Services/Avenue NYC and the Westchester Square Branch of the New York Public Library.

Demystifying a Diva: The Truth Behind the Myth of La Lupe


Demystifying a Diva: The Truth Behind the Myth of La Lupe is Editorial Trance’s first official e-book release. We’re extremely excited to have worked with the sensational Latin entertainment journalist and biographer Juan Moreno-Velazquez for this e-book title, which was originally published in Spanish by Editorial Norma in Puerto Rico in 2003.

People kept demanding an English version and we are thrilled to announce that this detective-like investigation into one of Latin music’s most controversial legends is now available in English with a full artist discography, featured photo credits, and interviews with some of the biggest names in New York City Latin music entertainment, regarding the life of this enduring enigma–from her sudden rise, to her brilliant peak, to her tragic fall.

This e-book is available now online:

To purchase for Kindle, click here.

To purchase for Nook, click here.

To purchase for iBOOK , click here.

Below are the official press releases in English and Spanish (along with web and high-res media files)




Editorial Trance

2300 5th Ave

NY, NY10037

Contact: Marlena Fitzpatrick


Editorial Trance Launches the English-Language Biography, Demystifying a Diva: The Truth Behind the Myth of La Lupe

New York, NY – Acclaimed Latin entertainment journalist and author Juan Moreno-Velázquez originally published the revealing salsa biography Demystifying a Diva: The Truth Behind the Myth of La Lupe in Spanish, but demand for an English version prompted Editorial Trance—a new bilingual Latino digital publishing platform—to finally publish it as an e-book (in English) for the iBOOK, Kindle, and Nook platforms.

“Musicals and a movie project in the works…the enigmatic La Lupe endures to this day as any brilliant artist should. She was a very independent woman and much of her legacy has been scarred by slanderous, vicious rumors. Juan interviewed the people closest to her—her children, her best friend from childhood, and her salsa musical collaborators, even her lovers. If anything this biography restores to her much of the respect and dignity she was denied while she was alive, and expertly demystifies her mythical demonic side,” says editor and Editorial Trance CCO Charlie Vázquez.

“We need more daring female voices in literature, in art, in music, in politics and in life. Juan Moreno-Velázquez brilliantly captures La Lupe’s feminist struggles in the New York salsa movement in this biography, finally giving her the justice she deserves. La Lupe broke many barriers for Latinas like myself, inspiring us to be who we want to be in spite of controversy,” adds Editorial Trance CEO Marlena Fitzpatrick.

Juan Moreno-Velázquez will present the book next Friday, November 15th at 7:00 pm at Camaradas El Barrio, in New York City.

Editorial Trance is a bilingual digital publishing company (created in 2013 by Marlena Fitzpatrick and Charlie Vázquez) that seeks to expand the Latino presence in electronic publishing by producing compelling, high-quality digital books with historical and pop cultural appeal.

For more information visit www.editorialtrance.com


-PARA PUBLICACION INMEDIATA-                                                     11/08/2013

Editorial Trance

2300 5th Ave

NY, NY10037

Contact: Marlena Fitzpatrick


Editorial Trance publica biografia de La Lupe en inglés: Demystifying a Diva: The Truth Behind the Myth of La Lupe

Nueva York, NY – El aclamado autor y periodista de entretenimiento latino, Juan Moreno-Velázquez originalmente publicó la reveladora biografía sobre salsa:  Desmitificación de una diva: La verdad Sobre La Lupe, pero la demanda de una versión en Inglés impulsó a Editorial Trance- una nueva casa Latina de publicación digital bilingüe-a publicar finalmente dicha versión como un libro electrónico para las plataformas de iBook, Kindle y Nook.

“Entre musicales y un proyecto cinematográfico en pre-producción,  el enigma de La Lupe perdura hasta nuestros días como un artista brillante debería. Ella era una mujer muy independiente y gran parte de su legado ha sido marcado por calumnias y  rumores maliciosos. Juan entrevistó a las personas más cercanas a ella- sus hijos, su mejor amigo desde la infancia, sus colaboradores musicales de la salsa, e incluso sus amantes. En todo caso esta biografía restaura la dignidad y respeto que se le negó cuando estaba viva, y expertamente desmitifica su lado mítica demoníaco,” dice el editor y CCO de Editorial Trance, veterano autor Charlie Vázquez.

“Necesitamos voces femeninas más atrevidas en la literatura, en el arte, en la música, en la política y en la vida. Juan Moreno-Velázquez capta brillantemente las luchas feministas de La Lupe dentro del movimiento de la salsa en Nueva York en esta biografía. Finalmente le da la justicia que se merece. La Lupe rompió muchas barreras para Latinas como yo, inspirándonos a ser lo que queremos ser, a pesar de la controversia,” añade CEO de Editorial Trance Marlena Fitzpatrick.

Juan Moreno-Velázquez presentará el libro el próximo Viernes, 15 de noviembre a las 7:00pm en Camaradas El Barrio, Nueva York.

Editorial Trance es una editorial digital (creada en 2013 por Marlena Fitzpatrick y Charlie Vázquez), que busca ampliar la presencia latina en la publicación electrónica mediante la producción de libros digitales de alta calidad con un atractivo cultural, histórico y pop.

Para obtener más información, visite www.editorialtrance.com