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Meet Yago Cura of Hinchas Press in Mar Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yago Cura.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Yago. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
HINCHAS Press is the printing arm of Hinchas de Poesia (www.hinchasdepoesia.com), an online literary journal that specializes in work from las Americas. I started the journal after learning enough html in library school, and we are currently working on our 25th issue.

HINCHAS Press was started directly as a result of publishing, Ghazals for Foley, an anthology of ghazals and ghazal-like poetry published to honor slain American combat journalist, James Foley, who was a close, dear friend.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road at all, but having a day job as a librarian helps immensely. For one thing, I don’t have to live off of my writing, which is a perilous undertaking. HINCHAS Press doesn’t use advertising dollars to do what we do, which is limiting but also frees us up to work with who we want and publish what we want. In other words, maybe we prefer the difficult road, and maybe our small successes are because we tread on challenging terrain. Our largest struggle is distribution of the books we publish, and we hope the current conversations about people of color in publishing and the #dignidadliteraria movement highlight the difficulties many minority-owned presses must mitigate. Personally, I would like to see distributors like Small Press Distribution contribute to the conversation about minorities in publishing because they just might be the bigger impediment and not even know it.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with HINCHAS Press – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
HINCHAS Press publishes the “Librarians with Spines” series; we are currently working on volume 03. The LWS series highlights the amazing work being done by librarians all over the country and has been generously embraced by librarians all over the country. We also published a collection of poetry, “Bringer of Culture,” by Jim Heavily, the Poetry Editor for Hinchas de Poesia, “Ghazals for Foley,” and “Odas a Futbolistas,” a collection of odes written to soccer players in preparation for the last World Cup. Last, we sell zines and facilitate workshops on how to use zines as “undercover literacy tools.”

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are looking to keep publishing books, zines, and whatever else strikes our fancy. Upcoming is the “Miriam Matthews Grind Guide,” a resource compendium for women of color that allows writers, illustrators, and performers in the Los Angeles area to display their work so libraries, museums, and non-profits can hire them as teaching artists. Next is a chapbook of sonnets called, “Los Angeles County Jail Sonnets,” which is a crown of sonnets I wrote while working as an English teacher for John Muir Charter in the Los Angeles County Jail. Last, “Librarians with Spines,” volume 03.

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Image Credit:
First image (photo courtesy of Ryan Nance); Second Image (photo courtesy of Gus Harper)

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