Talented Latino and Chicano Authors in Colorado Form CALMA

Founders and members of the CALMA Steering Committee pose with Latino/a authors attending the association’s first public event, including 2021 Colorado Authors Hall of Fame inductee Manuel Ramos, second from left. At far right is legendary Chicana legislator Polly Baca who plans to release her memoir later this year. Photo by Steven Abeyta

Somos CALMA. We Are CALMA.

After a pandemic-long startup of meeting online, members of the Colorado Alliance of Latino Mentors and Authors (CALMA) met in person on Saturday, July 17, at the Bar at Plaza38 in North Denver. Approximately 50 combined members and guests attended the public launch of the alliance.

Kim Sanchez, Frank Davila and Ricardo LaFore—three of the group’s co-founders—welcomed those attending. In his public comments, LaFore announced the induction of CALMA member Manuel Ramos to the Colorado Authors Hall of Fame this year. Ramos is the author of numerous mystery novels and is credited with creating the Chicano Noir genre of mystery books.

“Manuel Ramos is an American original!” LaFore said. “He is the first of his kind, a pioneer, a trailblazer, a leader in the literary arts. He is the creator of Chicano Noir”

“Manuel Ramos is an American original!” LaFore said. “He is the first of his kind, a pioneer, a trailblazer, a leader in the literary arts.  He is the creator of Chicano Noir, a literary style and technique reminiscent of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, except the protagonist is a Chicano and walks the mean streets of Denver. 

DESPERADO: A Mile High Noir by Manual Ramos is a fast paced contemporary crime mystery through the streets and changing landscape of Denver’s North Side.

His vision and commitment combined with his talent and body of work has lifted him to the Colorado Authors Hall of Fame. When one of our own rises he lifts us all with him.”

Co-founder Sanchez praised the event and those attending. ”We were honored to host a mixer for our fellow Colorado Latino authors! The authors had an opportunity to meet face to face, talk about their books and just have a good time chatting with one another. We shared our mission and vision for the future, which includes hosting more events and sharing our work with the community. We have some exciting things coming up.”

Co-Founder and Steering Committee member Davila added, “CALMA is committed to lift and share the voice of our amazing and talented Latino and Chicano authors in Colorado.  We will seek opportunities to celebrate and showcase their unique writings.”

The primary event planned is the CALMA Fall Book Fair, scheduled to be held at Raices Brewery in Denver on September 25—with 10-15 authors manning tables with their books on display. The event will be open to the public.”

For additional information, email info@calmaco.org