ABOUT CONTRATIEMPO Founded in 2003 by a cohort of Latino writers in Chicago, Contratiempo nfp is a literary center with a mission to preserve and highlight the cultural identity and contributions of the Spanish-speaking Latino population in the United States. As immigrants, we frequently wonder what of ourselves we have left behind and what new self we have become, and we search for answers through reflection and dialogue, civic engagement, and artistic and cultural expression. Contratiempo endeavours to contribute to building these answers together. Such is our challenge and our goal.
Contratiempo has created a space for dialogue which develops writers in the community; gives them a publishing outlet; presents their work to the public; and fosters literary, humanities and journalistic exchange across cultural and national borders. Issues of identity, immigration and assimilation are discussed alongside creative writing and literature. In its simplest expression, our motto could be: Why wait? Why wait until immigrant writers can achieve the kind of fluency in English that is necessary to write creatively and be published? Why not weave these writers right into the cultural fabric of Chicago so that their exploration serves others in the community to find their new paths and identity. Why wait to celebrate the cultural gifts they come bearing to their new country?
We achieve our mission through four main initiatives:
- Teaching the next generation of Spanish language writers in Chicago at El taller, our free creative writing bi-weekly workshops in Pilsen;
- Publishing our monthly cultural and opinion magazine, revista contratiempo ;
- Publishing the best Spanish-language Chicago authors in our book imprint, Ediciones Vocesueltas;
- Engaging in Collaborations with other cultural, literary and educational organizations to present events relative to our mission.