Before Night Falls

nightI have put off writing about this amazing movie D and I watched a few weeks back–if you could see the stack of literary analysis papers on my little desk you would understand. I saw this film before but D had not. I first saw it on the Independent Film Channel and I was taken by the story of the young man’s creative literacy development–the young writer developing and learning about his craft.

The film is based onthe life of Reinaldo Arenas and his upbringing during very turbulant times in Cuba–around the time of the revolution. The beauty of the land and the beauty of the words worked so well in my viewing. Also the cameos by Sean Penn and Johnny Depp were pretty interesting.

I also appreciated the narrativity or the movements back and forth in time as the older Reinaldo puts together thoughts and tries to understand his past experiences. The way the narrative returned to his mother and his grandfather.  I am hoping to write more about this film and also the life of Reinaldo Arenas as I just ordered his first book Singing from the Well and soon I want to order his memoir–I found the book online for 9 dollars and I have a long 7-10 days to wait before I can read.

I am always struck at literacy narratives but also creative literacy narratives–stories highlighting writers, artists and poets.


I have been trying to get used to WordPress. I am certain most of the sites I manage and update will soon be moved over to WordPress because it just looks better. I spoke to a student the other day who swears by Worpress but I have found a couple of bugs and after spending the last 4 years on Blogger I find I am a slow learner at a new system. But the pages just look so much better and the interface is fairly easy to use.

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john paul jaramillo

John Paul Jaramillo’s debut story collection The House of Order was named a 2013 Int’l Latino Book Award Finalist, and his most recent work Little Mocos is now available from Twelve Winters Press. In 2013 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read. He is currently a professor of composition and literature at Lincoln Land College-Springfield, Illinois.

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