For one month each year, the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque brings together New Mexico teens for a creative writing program that immerses them in a process of reflection and creativity while encouraging them to explore their identity as people, as a culture, as a region, and as a society. These students unite their varied experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs to form a supportive community of respect through conversation and writing.
¿de Veras? (really?) features a collection of poems, essays, and stories written in the Voces program between 2002 and 2006 that represent the diversity of perspectives and individuality of voices of the young creators. These writings reflect the authors' courage to examine their lives, their neighborhoods, their families, and their cultures. What emerges is their amazingly perceptive, sometimes damning, yet always-honest insights.
Mikaela Jae Renz has been the mentor for the Voces Program since it began in 2002. She received a B.A. in English from the University of New Mexico and works as a community planner in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Shelle VanEtten-Luaces is director of education at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of New Mexico along with twenty years of experience in education that includes public schools, universities, teacher training, distance education, and private tutoring.
V. B. Price is an award-winning Albuquerque journalist, poet, novelist, and teacher. Among his earlier books is Albuquerque: A City at the End of the World, also available from UNM Press.