Professor Takes Helm of Major Latinx Literary Journal

Launch Event Next Saturday at TANA

man in blue clothing sitting at UC Davis outdoor spot
Professor Maceo Montoya has taken the helm of "Huizache: The Magazine of a New America." A faculty member in Chicana and Chicano studies and the creative writing program in English, he is a writer and artist.

Launch event

A relaunch event will take place Friday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. at Taller Arte Del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA) with readings by six writers. TANA is the artmaking outpost of the Chicana and Chicano studies department at 1224 Lemen Ave., Woodland.

Maceo Montoya is a UC Davis professor, writer, artist and scholar, and recently made his first film. He’s also added editor to his many titles, leading the highly regarded Huizache: The Magazine of a New America. Montoya recently piloted the relaunch of the journal with a new issue coming out this month.

Cover of a white and orange journal with the word Huizache across the top and artwork of a girl wearing a dress covered with watermelons.
The new issue of "Huizache" will be released at a Dec. 2 event.

“Huizache serves as an exciting dialogue between generations and also provides a point of continuity across them,” said Montoya, a professor in the the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and the Department of English Creative Writing Program “Being published in it can be an important validation, especially for emerging writers. It’s a place where writers who are now well known were first published.”

The publication is a place for pioneers, prominent contemporary voices and new unpublished writers from diverse backgrounds working in many styles. Although the word “magazine” is in its name, at 275 pages and 45 writers and artists in the upcoming issue, Huizache would be more properly called a “book.” Previously called Huizache: The Magazine of Latino Literature, the annual journal was founded in 2011 and has been on hiatus since 2018 as a new editor and hosting institution were located.

Nearly all the poems, stories and essays in the forthcoming issue were recent submissions with a few solicited from more established writers. This issue also includes a dozen works from visual artists living in the U.S.-Mexico border region. The journal always has a cover image created by a noted artist.

While the publication celebrates Latinx literature, it also strives, Montoya said, “to take risks, challenge our own expectations and point in new directions.” The new subtile, The Magazine of a New America, also reflects that. "What binds the writers we publish is not their ethnic identity, but that their writing pushes a new definition of what it means to live in the Americas," he said.

Covers of two journals. The one on left is a black and white drawing of a woman and on the right a brightly colored forest painting.
Previous "Huizache" covers by Lalo Alcaraz (left) and Patssi Valdez (right).​​​​​

The forthcoming issue contains work by well-known writers, including Juan Felipe Herrera, former U.S. Poet Laureate; Willie Perdomo, State Poet of New York; and Luis Valdez, founder of theatre company El Teatro Campesino, writer of the play Zoot Suit and winner of a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Cover artist Ester Hernandez’s art is in the collections of the National Museum of American Art – Smithsonian Institution; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, Mexico City; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

“From the start, Huizache was something that looked and felt different and was a beautiful object,” Montoya said. “There is very much this aesthetic awareness in every aspect — the cover, text, design, paper, even the ads. People recognize the importance of Huizache and I got so much positive feedback when people learned it was back in operation. They’ve missed it.”

Read more about the upcoming issue here.

Media Resources

Media contact:

  • Jeffrey Day, College of Letters and Science,

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Society, Arts & Culture