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Sit Down with Ana Castillo

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On Feb. 4, 2014, poet/author Ana Castillo came to the Little Theater of Chabot College in Hayward, Calif. to read her recents works to high school and college students. [Arianne Arciaga/Staff Photo]

On Feb. 4, 2014, poet/author Ana Castillo came to the Little Theater of Chabot College in Hayward, Calif. to read her recents works to high school and college students. [Arianne Arciaga/Staff Photo]

Ana Castillo, award-winning author and poet, appeared on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, to speak of her experience with writing and reveal her upcoming book, “Give It to Me.”

She began immediately with a reading from one of her books – a poem called “El Chicle.” She continued by reading an excerpt from “Give It to Me,” which depicted a woman in her 50s living in America, and whose brother was attempting to smuggle out of Mexico.

The story involved the philosophical and detrimental aspects of people currently in the same position. For instance, it spoke of having to do business with a smuggler who insisted that he should be paid more than previously arranged.

This is the type of writing that Castillo can attribute her fame to; the story speaks of the struggles faced today by many Latinos who are all just looking for a chance.

“Writing a novel in most cases begins with a question,” she said. “It could take a year, it could take ten years.”

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to ask Castillo a few questions.

Q: Why did you start writing?

A: When I was 9, I started writing with my grandmother’s death. That’s really what triggered it.

Describe your writing process.

I write all the time. I’m writing in my head now as we speak.

Q: Who has inspired you to write?

A: Pablo Neruda was an early poetic inspiration, but all the good ones – Dostoevsky, 20th century authors, I would say.

Q: What is your own favorite work?

A: I consider my books like children; you never say which one is your favorite. I love them all in their own special way.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Rewrite, rewrite.

Q: Could you tell us about the book you are currently working on?

A: It’s called “Give It to Me,” and you can get an advance copy on Amazon now, but it’ll be in stores in May.

Q: Your work reflects the Chicano experience, but what other themes do you think is important to get across?

A: Trying to reflect true women in the world, and anything that has to do with humanity, social justice, environmental issues, spirituality – all of those things have been touched throughout the years, I think.


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Poetry Reading in Library

[Brian Chua/Staff Photo] Billy Johnson, presenting his story called “Knightly Regimen” in the library.

Three writers presented their stories and poems in the Library last Thursday as they shared their writing with fellow students. The stories/poems were “Family Recipe” by Ann Seitz, “Knightly Regimen” by Billy Johnson and “The Locket” by Jennifer Richardson. Read the full story

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Guide to summer fun

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Sitting with Dr. Stacy Thompson VP of Academic Services of #chabotcollege in Building 200, on April 9, 2014.

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Kemba Smith, spoke with #ChabotCollege students in Building 700 about domestic violence on March 27, 2014. [photo credit: @theworldofours ]
A Day of Action Against Modern Day Slavery with guest speaker Angela Irizarry, at Chabot College in room 2611 on Mar. 25, 2014. #chabotcollege
Donald Pearson seen here took 6th overall at the Sacramento State Hornet Invitational for the long jump with a distance of 6.89m on Mar. 22, 2014, Sacramento CA. Pearson jumped against 30 other athletes that include a few NCAA D1 athletes. Photo by David Soriano @runthatdistancetf
Daniel Estrada of Chabot (8) outkicks the field with a time of 1:58.75 during the Hornet Invitational on Mar. 22, 2014 at Sacramento State. Estrada is the first Gladiator to break the 2:00 mark this year, just 3 weeks ago his personal best was a 2:10!! #tracknation #chabog #track
Choral spring concert as they sing The Terrible Tale of Tom Gilligan at bldg. 1200 on Mar. 20, 2014.
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San Francisco Koto Ensemble were among one of the performers who entertained attendees at the Cherry Blossom Festival Preview Day.
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