DAVID RICE splits his time between writing short stories about growing up and living in the Rio Grande Valley, mentoring and teaching students at Edcouch-Elsa High School as part of the Llano Grande Center for Research and Development, and helping to advise Cine Las Americas Media Arts Center in Austin. His latest collection of short stories, Crazy Loco (Dial Books, 2001), received the American Library Association “Best Books for Young Readers 2001” Award. Mr. Rice cites among his influences Rolando Hinojosa, a fellow Mexican-American author from the Rio Grande Valley. Rice’s work, which has drawn praise from Hinojosa, has been anthologized in Bilingual Review Journal, Fantasmas, New World Latino Writers, Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories about Guns, and Working Days: Short Stories about Teenagers at Work.
XAVIER GARZA is both an artist and a writer whom works with subject matters such as cultural icons, the Virgin Mary, El Cucui, El Huevo, refried beans and flour tortillas and Mexican Wrestling. He has performed his stories and exhibited his art in the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Austin as well as various points in between. His stories and illustrations have been featured in such magazines and newspapers as El Mañana, The Monitor, TABE, The Mesquite Review, The Corpus Christi Caller Times and the Milwaukee Spanish Journal. He is scheduled for inclusion in a forthcoming new book by Bilingual Review Press chronicling current contemporary Chicano/Chicana artists. He is the author of the self-published books Jesus Wore A Zoot Suit and Adventures in Mexican Wrestling. Mr. Garza received his BFA from the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg in 1995. Born in the city of McAllen and raised in Rio Grande City, he has made San Antonio his home since August of 2000.
RENÉ SALADAÑA, JR., grew up in South Texas. His young adult novel, The Jumping Tree (Delacorte Press, 2001), follows Rey Castañeda from sixth through eighth grade in Nuevo Penitas, Texas. One side of Rey's family lives nearby in Mexico, the other half in Texas, and Rey fits in on both sides of the border. As Rey begins to cross the border from childhood into manhood, he turns from jokes and games to sense the meaning of work, love, poverty, and grief, and what it means to be a proud Chicano-moments that sometimes propel him to show feelings un hombre should never express. Mr. Saldaña is a former middle school and high school English teacher. He is now in the doctoral program in creative writing at Georgia State University.
DON TATE is a Austin-based commercial artist and the illustrator of several popular books for children, including Say Hey! A Song of Willie Mays (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books, 2001), a Texas Library Association Bluebonnet nominee. His newest work includes The Legend of the Valentine (Zonderkidz, a division of Zondervan, January 2002) and Summer Sun Risin’ (Lee & Lowe, April 2002). Mr. Tate works full-time as a news graphic artist for the Austin American Statesman.