Arte Latino Now - Meet the Writers

ARTE LATINO NOW  is an initiative of the Center for Latino Studies at Queens University of Charlotte that seeks to highlight Latino artists living and working in the United States. Meet the Writers is the product of students who independently interviewed Latino authors about their life and work.

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Rafael Ortiz Calderón

Rafael Ortiz Calderón is a writer, teacher, and researcher. His passions stem from language, especially Spanish and Spanish Literature. He was born in Tehuixtla, México, obtained his early education in Cuernavaca, México and obtained his higher education at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He moved to the United States in the 1980´s, without any knowledge of the English language. He continued to teach in Chicago and opened his own language school to teach Spanish to professionals and adults and obtained his BA in Spanish at Northeastern Illinois University. He is working on his PhD at Michigan State University. Read More


Michael M. Pacheco

Michael M. Pacheco is a Hispanic author who writes in English. Born in a small town in northern Mexico, Michael, a child of migrants, grew up in the South Western United States. A lawyer by training, Michael enjoys his writing and uses everyday experiences and fantasy to describe everyday events. His aim is to encourage people to change their perspective. Having been brought up as a Catholic, religious and family values are strong for Michael. His background and education has combined to make him a recognized American writer and poet of Hispanic origin. Read More


Margarita Pignataro

Margarita Pignataro grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts surrounded by family, love, food, and music. She currently resides in Walla Walla, Washington where she has a teaching position at Whitman College. Margarita is of Chilean descent and is fluent in English and Spanish. Her highest degree is a Ph.D in U.S. Latino Studies from Arizona State University in 2009. Read More


Diane Solis

Diane Solis was born and raised in East Los Angeles in the suburb of Rosemead. She is a writer and is currently working on a novel. Solis enjoys many hobbies such as music, hiking, cooking, and fly-fishing. She frequently travels around the world and writes about her experiences in her blog. She describes her writing style as “ocean” because “it's all a process of flowing and letting it flow.” Read More


Ariana Salazar

Ariana Salazar-Newton, a student of religion from southern California, studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is a third generation Mexican American who focuses on many of the political issues facing those of Mexican descent in the United States today, and enjoys using poetry as an outlet to address these issues. Read More


Rosario Toledo

Rosario Toledo was born and raised in Mexico City to a self-made real estate king. She attended a prestigious private school in Mexico City along with her four older sisters. Toledo immigrated to the United States when she was twenty in order to pursue a higher education at the University of Texas. She graduated with a degree in journalism, and eight years later pursued another degree from University of Tennessee and received her MFA in Creative Writing from NYU. Today, Toledo is pioneering her career as a creative writer, her favorite literary themes being love, alienation, marginalization, and memories of Mexico and her Hispanic heritage. Read More


Juan Alvarado Valdivia

Juan Alvarado Valdivia is a young author from San Francisco. Juan’s life began in Guadalajara, Mexico and he later grew up in San Francisco. After attending San Francisco State University and working as an HR coordinator, he wrote stories, blogs, and is working on a memoir. Juan used his graduate studies at Saint Mary’s College of California to help his battle with lymphoma. Today, he lives in California, is working on his memoir and hopes to write a collection of short stories. Read More

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