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By Maria Herrera-Sobek, Helena Maria Viramontes

This provocative blend of unique poetry, prose, feedback, and visible paintings files the continued progress of literature through and approximately Chicanas. via cutting edge use of language and photographs, the artists represented the following discover lady sexuality, monetary and social injustice, gender roles, and the contributions of serious theory.Chicana Creativity and feedback, first released in 1988, contains poetry by means of Lorna Dee Cervantes, Lucha Corpi, Evangelina Vigil-Pin?n, Denise Ch?vez, and Naomi Quin?nez; prose through Alma E. Cervantes, Helena Mar?a Viramontes, Roberta Fern?ndez, and Sheila Ortiz Taylor; feedback via Tey Diana Rebolledo, Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano, Norma Alarc?n, and Mar?a Herrera-Sobek; and paintings by way of Carmen Lomas Garza, Yreina Cerv?ntez, and Laura Aguilar.

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16 The poem is a tour deforce in its juxtaposition of sensuality and eroticism with the negative vectors of violence and brute masculine force which destroy a budding, beautiful life. The images and metaphors, creating an atmosphere found in the romances of García Lorca, invoke the exotic sensualness of a tropical climate: vainilla (vanilla), caña (sugarcane), canela (cinnamon), cacao (chocolate), etc. Corpi elaborates a strong linkage between woman and nature by applying the above imagery to the young woman, Guadalupe, who is luxuriously bathing in the afternoon sun in the river just before the violation occurs.

A sense of futility and inevitability pervades the poem. It is a pessimistic statement about the impossibility of breaking the chains of oppression Page 10 enslaving women. However, Corpi posits a challenge to the reader to become involved in effecting a change in the current state of affairs where rape is committed with impunity by males and with the tacit approval of other males. ) Guadalupe's hauntingly opened eyes point to the scene of the crime, to the dastardly deed left unpunished. The young woman's tragic death is a more powerful call to arms than strident rhetoric could ever be: It is very difficult, once having read the poem, to ever forget Guadalupe's accusing dead eyes.

Finally, we are grateful to the Mexico/Chicano Program for sponsoring the conference proceedings publication and SCR-43 funding for research assistance. Page xiii PREFACE Not since 1982 had the University of California at Irvine hosted such a fine gathering of Chicana/o writers and critics. At that time we were making history by being the first major University to sponsor a national conference on Mexican American women writers and thus recognize the creative efforts and the groundbreaking contributions Chicanas are making in literary circles, particularly in poetry and short fiction.

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