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Hispanics share culture through writing

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Colorado State University-Pueblo has an outlet for writers in the community.

The Hispanic Cultural Experience Literary Showcase is a Web-based magazine by the English and foreign languages department at CSU-Pueblo.

Alegria Ribadeneira is the assistant professor of Spanish at the university and is in charge of the magazine. Ribadeneira said the magazine showcases experiences people have had in the Hispanic culture.

“Our main goal is to explore the diversity of the Hispanic experience by inviting students, staff and members of the community to submit poetry, essays and short stories,” Ribadeneira said.

She said a writing showcase was the best way to explore the diversity of the Hispanic experience.

The showcase, which was established in 2006, has an issue published every year and includes work from local high school students.

Even though the magazine is about the Hispanic experience, students from all ethnicities can submit their work.

“I want all students to be inspired to write, Hispanic and non-Hispanic.  You don’t need to be Hispanic to write about a Hispanic experience,” Ribadeneira said.

“We have had non-Hispanic students who are studying Spanish and have traveled abroad contribute to the magazine. Living in a community like Pueblo can inspire anyone to write about a Hispanic experience.”

“I want students to have a chance to tell their stories, have an opportunity to share with others and realize the diversity of the Hispanic experience,” she said.

Ribadeneira said she wanted the Hispanic community to benefit from having this kind of outlet for its writing.

“First, I want them to have a chance to tell a story and second, to have a chance to be exposed to the stories of others,” Ribadeneira said. “The idea is to show how diverse the Hispanic community really is in our community. We also want to extend the experience outside the Hispanic community.”

“We believe anyone in Pueblo, because of the strong Hispanic culture of the town, can speak of a Hispanic experience,” she said.

Submissions for next year’s issue will be accepted at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month on September 15. Works are later published on the Web site. Currently, there are no plans to have this showcase in a print form.

The magazine also holds an event every year.

“At the beginning of Hispanic heritage month we invite people who were published the year before to do a reading,” Ribadeneira said. “We’ve had two public readings already, and they have been wildly successful.”