Category Archives: Chicano Poetry

TSP for two dates in San Diego 10/24-25

San Diego Reader

Three founding members of the Taco Shop Poets collective join Willie Herron and Xiuy Velo of Los Illegals for to dates in San Diego this Thursday and Friday: The San Diego Reader writes:

“The Taco Shop Poets, legends in the San Diego area, will be giving a rare reading at Southwestern College on October 24.

The group’s name telegraphs the nature of their work: words written not as genteel consumables, but rather words to be performed in boisterous places where people congregate to exchange ideas, rhymes, politics, and sometimes food. The group, whose voice is at once individual and collective, formed in 1994. They expanded, shrank, and are now composed of Adrian Arancibia, Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Tomas Riley, and Miguel-Angel Soria. Their most recent joint publication is titled SugarSkull Suenos.

The work of each individual is constantly evolving, according to Adrian Arancibia. Although the poets are geographically stretched between San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, they have been united recently around the common theme of redevelopment and gentrification, and around a question: where are the working class and poor folks going to live?

Arancibia said an early poem written by Guzman-Lopez, “A Taco Shop Canto for War-Torn San Diego” presaged some of the concepts they are working on now. Here are the first two stanzas:

  • Land grants no more
  • Boom town no more.
  • The war is no more
  • War is no more.
  • San Diego, war city no more.
  • No need for the great wall of factories
  • from Pacific Highway to Kearny Mesa.
  • General Dynamics, Solar Turbines, jet hangars
  • Recruitment depots
  • Will all become artists lofts
  • Will all become free clinics
  • Or maquiladoras.

Arancibia said beyond gentrification, the poets are tangling conceptually and artistically with the difficulty of raising children with a social conscience, and the difficulty of maintaining your own identity as an activist and an artist when you have become a professor, an arts administrator, or a reporter.

The poets will perform Thursday, October 24 at 11:00am and 1:00pm at Southwestern College, room 214.

Aranciaba and Guzman-Lopez will also will also perform on Saturday, October 26 at 5:00pm on the street corner at 740 16th Street.”

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Free TSP e-Book Downloads

For a limited time the Taco Shop Poets Sugar Skull Sueños e-book is available for free download. The group and crew at Tinta Vox just ask that you let people know what you think once you’ve read it! Send us a link to your inspired blog post. Hit us with a note on Facebook. Write a thought provoking email to or post a comment on the feed here at the end of this posting. Let’s get this conversation started today! Go on and  Get Yours Here!


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TSP in Highland Park: A Performance Review

On Saturday, May 26th, three former members of the Taco Shop Poets reunited for their first reading together in more than 8 years. It was a magical sometimes emotional affair as the poets reflected on the group’s nearly 20 years of performances. One audience member took the opportunity to reflect on the event: Read On

Taco Shop Poets Today in Highland Park

The Taco Shop Poets have not staged a reading since 2004. Armed with a new chapbook and e-book from Tinta Vox Independent Books, three of the original members reunite for a one-off this afternoon 5/26 5:30 – 7:00 at Taqueria My Taco, 6300 York Blvd. Highland Park, CA 90042. Admission is free, but seating is limited. The Taco Shop Poets will have books for sale, but you can also visit our bookstore to request your copy. Hope to see you today!

Taqueros Adolfo Guzman-Lopez and Tomás Riley–Reading May 26th, Highland Park, LA

In celebration of the release of their new chapbook Sugar Skull Sueños (Tinta Vox 2011) two of Southern California’s Taco Shop Poets will reunite for special taco shop performance with Avenue 50 Studio (exact time and location TBD). Featured taqueros Tomás Riley and Adolfo Guzman-Lopez will read new work and revisit the formula that more than a decade ago was “credited with sparking the revival in Latino performance art” (SF Chronicle).