Rubén Martínez
Rubén Martínez

A native of Los Angeles and the son and grandson of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador, Rubén Martínez is a writer, performer and teacher. He holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University, and is an artist in residence at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts.

He is the author of: "Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail, The New Americans and The Other Side: Notes from the New L.A., Mexico City and Beyond". His new book, "Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West" will be published in August, 2012.

He hosted and co-wrote the feature-length documentary film, "When Worlds Collide," shot on location throughout Latin American and Spain, for national PBS.(http://www.pbs.org/
kcet/when-worlds-collide/).

As a musician, he has collaborated with the likes of The Roches, Los Illegals and Concrete Blonde. He is the host of the VARIEDADES “performance salon” in Los Angeles, interdisciplinary shows that focus on topical themes. He has been active for over two decades in the spoken word and performance art scenes.

Q&A

WHAT INSPIRES ME: músicos, poetas y locos

FAVORITE PLACE TO GET AWAY IN THE AREA: the desert.

FAVORITE WRITERS: At the moment, one: Mexican poet and peace activist Javier Sicilia, leader of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity.

ARTIST/CREATIVE YOU'D WANT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH: Roque Dalton

PERFECT SOUNDTRACK FOR WRITING: silence.

WHY I LOVE WHERE I LIVE: because the ground – literally and metaphorically – is constantly shifting under my feet.

Recent Articles
My (Almost) Conversation With Gabriel García Márquez
My (Almost) Conversation With Gabriel García Márquez
Rubén Martínez recalls his near conversation with Gabriel García Márquez, who died this week at age 87.
La Guerra de Los Dos Lados: Arte, Violencia y Sanación en la Guerra Contra el Narco
La Guerra de Los Dos Lados: Arte, Violencia y Sanación en la Guerra Contra el Narco
Artistas de Los Ángeles viajan a la Ciudad de México para reunirse con sus homólogos y plantear una sencilla e impactante pregunta: ¿Cuál es el papel de la comunidad creativa en el contexto de la guerra del narco que ha cobrado un precio devastador en ambos lados de la frontera entre México y los Estados Unidos?
The War on Both Sides: Art, Violence, and Healing in the Drug War
The War on Both Sides: Art, Violence, and Healing in the Drug War
What is the role of the creative community in the context of the drug war that is taking such a horrific toll on both sides of the Mexican-American border?
Assembly Required: The Transformative Art of Noah Purifoy
Assembly Required: The Transformative Art of Noah Purifoy
Noah Purifoy spent the final years of his life in Joshua Tree creating the monumental "Outdoor Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Sculpture" made from tons of discarded materials.
All Things Must Pass: House of the Moon (Coda)
All Things Must Pass: House of the Moon (Coda)
In the final installment, we come full circle, back to Fred Drake, the "gay cowboy rocker" who led us into the House of the Moon.
Shooting The Desert: House of the Moon, Part VII
Shooting The Desert: House of the Moon, Part VII
In the penultimate excerpt, we remain beyond the buzz and speculation of the real estate boom of the 2000s, hanging with the scruffy bohemians that helped to pioneer the art colony, and at Al's Swinger, the working-class watering hole, where an elder's passing marks an important transition.
An American Carnival: House of the Moon, Part VI
An American Carnival: House of the Moon, Part VI
Rubén returns to Al's Swinger, a hangout for Marines and the High Desert working class, which suddenly find themselves wondering about whether the new arrivals to the desert are a harbinger of gentrification and its discontents.
Civilians on the Battlefield: House of the Moon, Part V
Civilians on the Battlefield: House of the Moon, Part V
Last week, Rubén visited the high art scene of the desert, which had a distant view of the Marine Corps training base north of Joshua Tree. In this installment, we get a close-up of the battlefield, via a young desert denizen's journey onto the California sand dunes that serve as a simulacrum of the Persian Gulf.
High (Desert) Art: House of the Moon, Part IV
High (Desert) Art: House of the Moon, Part IV
In this week's installment of "House Of the Moon," the arrival of a renowned artist to the scene reveals the fault lines all the more intensely (and ironically).
Local Colors: House of the Moon, Part III
Local Colors: House of the Moon, Part III
This weeks' excerpt of Rubén Martínez's upcoming release, DESERT AMERICA, the new desert denizens learn about their new home and the complex social geography set amid the iconic vistas. The more the newcomers explore the Mojave, the more they came to realize there were many deserts within the desert.
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Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

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Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

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Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

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Literature

Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

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Multi-Disciplinary

Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

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Music

A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

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Performance

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Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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