Chicano Writer to Read from His Work at A&M International April 29

A Chicano writer known for the portrayal of life influenced by two distinct cultures will visit Texas A&M International University April 29 to give a reading from his collection of short stories.

Wendell Mayo, winner of the 1996 Premio Aztlán literary prize, will read from his short story compilation, Centaur of the North , during his appearance at 7 p.m. at the Great Room of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.

The reading is sponsored by A&M International, Arte Público Press and the Texas Commission on the Arts. Admission to the reading is free and the public is welcome to attend.

Written over the course of six years, the stories in Centaur of the North represent Mayo's personal struggle to speak to the historical, cultural and individual consequences of managing two cultures, loss and recovery.

Mayo was born in 1953 at the naval base in Corpus Christi, Texas while his father was on tour during the Korean War. In Corpus Christi, Mayo spent his boyhood in a Mexican American community off Old Brownsville Road with his mother in the household of his grandfather, an immigrant from Cuba, and his grandmother, whose family came from Veracruz, Mexico.

After Mayo's father returned from duty at sea, he moved the family north to Cleveland, Ohio. From this point on, Mayo lived in a household of two cultures - the dominant one, his father's, of European origins, and his mother's more hidden, Mexican-American roots.

In 1975 Mayo received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Ohio State University and proceeded to work as an engineer. In 1980, he began to pursue his lifelong ambition to write and finished his baccalaureate studies in journalism at the University of Toledo. He published his first two short stories in 1984. In 1988, Mayo received his master's degree in writing at Vermont College. In 1991 he completed his doctoral studies in 20th century literature with a creative dissertation. Since that time, he has published more than 50 short stories in major literary magazines such as The Yale Review, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, New Letters, and Western Humanities Review. In 1995, Centaur of the North was selected as the Finalist from a field of 421 entries in the Associated Writing Programs Award Series in Short Fiction.

Awards for his work include: the Mississippi Review 1995 First Prize for Fiction, Finalist in the 1994 Faulkner Prize for Fiction and First Runner-up for the 1994 New Letters Literary Award in Fiction.

Mayo is currently a professor of creative writing at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

For further information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326-2180. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu