Guide to the Ana Castillo Papers, 1953-

Project archivist: Salvador Güereña; processed by Rosemarie León; machine-readable finding aid created by Michael C. Conkin
Department of Special Collections
Davidson Library
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Phone: (805) 893-3062
Fax: (805) 893-5749
Email: special@library.ucsb.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucsb.edu/speccoll/speccoll.html
© 1998
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Ana Castillo Papers, 1953-

Collection number: CEMA 2

California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives



Donald C. Davidson Library

Department of Special Collections

University of California, Santa Barbara

Contact Information:

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Davidson Library
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93106
  • Phone: (805) 893-3062
  • Fax: (805) 893-5749
  • Email: special@library.ucsb.edu
  • URL: http://www.library.ucsb.edu/speccoll/speccoll.html
Project Archivist:
Salvador Güereña
Processors:
Rosemarie León
Date Completed:
November 1995
Encoded by:
Michael C. Conkin
© 1998 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ana Castillo Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1953-
Collection number: CEMA 2
Creator: Castillo, Ana
Extent: Seven linear feet
Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Provenance

Donated by Ana Castillo, June 1990

Restrictions

Three subseries designated confidential at request of donor

Publication Rights

Copyright resides with donor

Comments

Processed as part of the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA). Funded in part by the Office of the President, University of California, under the provisions of Senate Concurrent Resolution 43.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ana Castillo Papers, CEMA 2, Special Collections, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Biographical Sketch

Ana Castillo (June 15, 1953-) is a celebrated poet, novelist, short story writer, and esaayist. Castillo was born and raised in Chicago. She has one son, Marcel Ramón Herrera, born in Evanston, Illinois, on September 21, 1983. In 1993, Castillo married George R. Esenwein, an associate professor of history at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Long considered one of the leading voices to emerge from the Chicana experience, Castillo is a prolific author whose work has been critically acclaimed and widely anthologized in the United States and abroad. Ilan Stavans writes "She is the most daring and experimental of Latino novelists." Castillo's books include the novel, The Mixquiahuala Letters (Bilingual Review Press, 1986; Doubleday, 1992), for which she received the Before Columbia Foundation's American Book Award in 1987. Sapogonia (Bilingual Review Press, 1990), is a complex and engaging novel and a literary triumph, according to the renowned Chicano novelist Rudolfo Anaya who calls Castillo "one of our finest Chicana novelists." Her more recent books include the novel So Far From God (Norton, 1993), which earned her both the Carl Sandburg Literary Award in Fiction of 1993 and the Mountains and Plains Bookseller Award of 1994, and a work of non-fiction, Massacre of the Dreamers: Reflections on Mexican-Indian Women in the United States 500 Years After the Conquest (University of New Mexico, 1992). Michael Sinayerson writes in Vanity Fair that her essays "make the case for a new, agggressive brand of feminism she calls Xicanisma, to win brown women a place in a black-and-white country." The 1991 edition of Hispanic Writers describes Castillo's epistolary novel, The Mixquiahuala Letters, as a probing description of the relationship between the sexes that encompasses both Mexican and United States Hispanic forms of love and gender conflict. That work has been hailed as having "ushered the Chicana voice into the feminist discourse with a bang." One critic of Chicana literature, Norma Alarcón, has identified the deft use of irony as one of Castillo's trademarks. Another, Alvina Quintana, believes that "her style reflects the influence and power of many of Latin America's greatest writers."
As a poet Castillo is the author of several works, including the chapbooks Otro Canto (1977) and The Invitation (1979); these were followed by several volumes of poetry which include Women Are Not Roses (Arte Publico, 1984), and My Father Was a Toltec (West End Press, 1988). In reference to Women Are Not Roses Marisa Cantu writes, "Castillo's artistry lies in her ability to discover the meaning in the random experiences that fill our lives and communicate directly to us in sensuous, heartfelt bursts of revelation."
Currently (1995) Castillo is coordinating an anthology on la Virgen de Guadalupe entitled La Diosa de las Americas/Goddess of the Americas (Riverside/Putnam, 1996). She has also signed a three-book contract with W. W. Norton: one of new poetry, another a collection of short fictions, and the last one a novel.
Castillo, along with Norma Alarcon and others, co-founded the literary magazine Third Woman; she has since been a contributing editor to Third Woman and Humanizarte magazines. Castillo's speaking engagements are extensive and have been internationally sponsored, including the Sorbonne University (1985-1986), and a Germany reading tour (1987) sponsored by the German Association of Americanists. In 1988 Castillo was honored by the Women's Foundation of San Francisco for her "pioneering excellence in literature." She was featured, along with three other renowned Chicana writers Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, and Denise Chávez, in Vanity Fair (September 1994) and Hispanic (March 1995).
Castillo's education was in Chicago. Following her graduation from Jone's Commercial High School, she attended Chicago City College for two years before entering Northeastern Illinois University, where she received a B.A. in 1975, majoring in Art and minoring in Secondary Education. Castillo then relocated to Sonoma County, California where she taught Ethnic Studies at Santa Rosa Jr. College in 1975-76. Between 1977 and 1979 she was a writer in residence for the Illinois Arts Council. Due to her keen interest in Latin America, she became a Graduate Fellow in 1979, earning an M.A. degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies in the Social Science Division at the University of Chicago. She was a community activist throughout the 1970s. Throughout this period, Castillo taught English as a Second Language, Mexican and Mexican American history in community colleges in the Chicago and San Franisco areas. She returned to California from 1986 to 1990, where she taught feminist journal writing, women's studies, creative writing, and Chicano literature at various colleges and universities.
From 1989 to 1990 Castillo was a Dissertation Fellow in the Chicano Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It was there that she continued her work on a new collection of poetry, I Ask the Impossible, her collection of essays and Massacre of the Dreamers. From 1989 to 1994, she taught fiction writing and Latina literature at several colleges, including the University of New Mexico, Mill College of Oakland, CA, and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. Supported partly by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in this period, Castillo finished So Far from God: OK in 1993. It has been also published in Great Britain, Germany, and elsewhere. Castillo received a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Bremen, Germany, in 1991. In 1995, Castillo won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for creative writing (fiction).

SCOPE NOTE

The contents of the Ana Castillo Collection represent the beginnings of a prolific Chicana writer and teacher, whose body of work is expected to grow significantly as her career continues to develop. The material in this collection provides much insight into the formative processes in the evolution of a writer. The writings in the collection date back to Castillo's college years; at the time, Castillo was active in organizing Latino artists, the Association of Latino Brotherhood of Artists was one such group. Her first major work, Otro Canto (1977), reflects the socio-political themes of oppression of Third World men and women. With the publication of The Invitation (1979), the thematic emphasis in her poetry is on feminist and Latina sexuality. The Castillo Papers consist of daily journals, personal and professional correspondence, files documenting Castillo's professional activities, a few photographs, silkscreen drawings, and manuscripts to her published and unpublished writings. The records date from 1973 to 1990 and are housed in sixteen archival boxes spanning seven linear feet. The collection will be augmented on a continuing basis.

Note

The collection is arranged into five series described as follows:

Series Description

 

Series I-Personal and Biographical Information, 1974-1990

Scope and Content Note

This series, consisting of four subseries, is contained in ten archival boxes and is the largest series in the Ana Castillo Papers. The first subseries, Journals, 1988-1990, consists of twenty journals primarily from 1989, which are arranged chronologically. These journals represent the time period when Castillo was teaching at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Journal writing naturally reveals the personal thoughts, opinions, life experiences and creative ideas of the writer at that given time. Journals provide insight on the writer's life experiences and possible connections between the creative writings that may result, in part, from them. In addition, the journals have been personalized further with dried flowers, photographs, newsclippings, letters, postcards and other memorabilia. Because of the highly personal nature of these journals, they are classified confidential at this time, at the request of the donor. The journals will be accessible ten years after the donor's death or the year 2038, whichever comes first. The journals represented in the collection, at this time, reflect only a small time period in the life of Castillo.
The second subseries, Personal Correspondence with Family, 1985-1990 is of a personal nature, and to ensure the privacy of the persons involved, is designated confidential and subject to the restrictions stated above. Included in this subseries are mostly greeting cards celebrating Castillo's and her son's birthday and holidays. There are also some correspondence and note cards from parents, and family members. This incoming correspondence is arranged alphabetically by sender, with envelopes immediately following the corresponding letter or card. Blank sheets of paper separate the items when there is no envelope.
The third subseries, Personal Correspondence with Friends, 1985-1990,is also designated confidential to ensure the privacy of the persons involved. This correspondence is incoming only and is arranged alphabetically by the sender's last name. A large portion of the correspondence is primarily from two individuals. There is some overlap in that some of the correspondence found in this series is with other writers, of which there is a separate Series II, specifically for correspondence of this type. Materials, for the most part, are organized according to Castillo's original filing order. The files take up four boxes with an average of ten folders per box.
Professional Activities, 1974-1990, is the fourth subseries. The types of material included are Castillo's membership in associations, letters of recommendation, correspondence related to fellowships received, teaching activities, and other professional activities in relation to her work as a writer and teacher. This subseries takes up one box of fourteen folders and is arranged chronologically, with contents of each folder in their original filing order, retaining the same file headings for the container listing. Of special interest, photographs of Ana Castillo and other performing artists, such as the Association of Latino Brotherhood of Artists (1974), and the Gypsy-flamenco group, Al-Andalus (1980) can be found in folders 1 and 4. In respect to the latter, Castillo recited her poetry and that of famous Spanish writers, with vocals and music performed by Pepe Culata and Tomás de Utrera; the trio performed in honor of a Day of the Dead Exhibition in Chicago. Folders 6 and 7 contain a variety of material, including an original manuscript, flyers, photographs, publicity, personal correspondence and reviews pertaining to the musical production of Castillo's work, "The Invitation," directed by Delfor Peralta at the Soho Arts Festival in 1982. In addition, two folders on California readings provide an indication of the variety and level of activities in which Castillo participated.
 

Series II-Correspondence with Poets and Writers, 1973-1990

Scope and Content Note

The material in this series is especially insightful to her creative process. Castillo's correspondence reflects an ongoing exchange of literary ideas, includes samples of other writers' works, and illuminates her thinking on the themes of the relation between poetry and social/political involvement, Chicana writers, women writers, and in general, the development of contemporary literature. Two folders of correspondence from Carol Maier include copies of some writings analyzing Ana Castillo's work. The correspondence is all incoming and arranged alphabetically by sender's last name. This series takes up one box of 12 folders
 

Series III-Correspondence and Contracts with Publishers, 1977-1990

Scope and Content Note

The material in this series is organized in the folders according to provenance, which maintains their original order. Folders with miscellaneous correspondence/contracts from various publishers are arranged chronologically, followed by one folder of miscellaneous submissions for publication. These files reveal the publishers Castillo was in contact with during this time period. After that, Castillo ordered her material alphabetically by title of work and all correspondence, publicity, contracts, etc. relating to that particular work are in one folder. Works included here are: The Invitation, My Father was a Toltec, Otro Canto and omen are not Roses. Included is correspondence with Nicolás Kanellos of Revista Chicano-Riqueña, the journal in which Castillo's work first appeared in a national publication (1975). Kanellos gives editorial criticism on a draft of The Invitation, as well as feedback on Castillo's development a writer. This series takes up one box of twelve folders.
 

Series IV-Writings, Published and Unpublished, 1973-1990

Scope and Content Note

This series contains poems, short stories, plays, manuscripts, lectures, and articles for journals and books. There are two folders which contain at least thirty or more different titled and untitled works of fiction; these are arranged chronologically as Miscellaneous Fiction, 1979-1985, followed by Miscellaneous Poetry and Writings, 1973-1985. There are seventeen folders of over 100 original poems and writings that are the creative core of the Castillo Papers. It is revealing to examine the early drafts of her works and note their evolution. These two subseries take up one box. Inside the folders, any correspondence, contracts, and publicity relating to that work was left ordered as found. Folder titles in the container list, largely follow Castillo's original file folder headings. Following the miscellaneous poetry, are Titled Works, 1975-1990 which takes up two boxes of eight folders each, arranged alphabetically by title of work. Included here are several play manuscripts from the early 1980s and an unpublished bilingual poetry manuscript titled "Pajaros Engañosos/Deceitful Birds," which was submitted to Cross-Cultural Communications in 1982, with correspondence. In this manuscript is at least one poem that was later included in Women Are Not Roses, published in 1984 by Arte Publico Press. In addition, there is an early draft manuscript of Mixquiahuala Letters/Sapogonia from 1976-1979 that is different from the final published versions. There is a first draft book manuscript, Massacre of the Dreamers completed while Castillo was in residency at UCSB. Also found here is Castillo's first poetry manuscript, titled, "I Close My Eyes...To See" dated 1975. At least three poems, "El Ser Mujer," "Homenaje al Gato," "Mental Exercises" and others were later published in other works. In Box 15 is an original draft manuscript of The Mixquiahuala Letters and correspondence with the publisher. A decision was made to keep the manuscript in Series IV with other writings and not to separate the correspondence, even though publisher correspondence is kept in Series III.
 

Series V-Silkscreens and Offset Poster, 1987-1982

Scope and Content Note

This is the smallest series of the collection. Included is a silkscreen by Delilah Montoya which has been dedicated to Castillo by the poet/artist Alurista. Another silkscreen by R. Ayers publicizes a book award ceremony and so does an offset poster

Container List

 

Series I - Personal and Biographical Information

 

Journals, 1988-1990

Access Information

(CONFIDENTIAL)
Box 1, Folder 1

Aug. 9, 1988 -Sept. 25, 1988

Folder 2

Sept. 25, 1988 -Nov. 25, 1988

Folder 3

Nov. 16, 1988 -Jan. 21, 1989

Folder 4

Jan. 11, 1989 -Feb. 26, 1989

Folder 5

Mar. 20, 1989 -May 15, 1989

Box 2, Folder 1

May 30, 1989 -Jul. 6, 1989

Folder 2

Jul. 7, 1989 -Jul. 31, 1989

Folder 3

Jul. 31, 1989 -Aug. 10, 1989

Folder 4

Aug. 10, 1989 -Sept. 1, 1989

Folder 5

Sept. 1, 1989 -Sept. 21, 1989

Folder 6

Sept. 21, 1989 -Oct. 30, 1989

Box 3, Folder 1

Oct. 12, 1989 -Nov. 6, 1989

Folder 2

Nov. 7, 1989 -Nov. 30, 1989

Folder 3

Nov. 23, 1989 -Dec. 15, 1989

Folder 4

Dec. 16, 1989 -Jan. 9, 1990

Folder 5

Jan. 9, 1990 -Jan. 29, 1990

Box 4, Folder 1

Jan. 29, 1990 -Mar. 6, 1990

Folder 2

Mar. 7, 1990 -Mar. 25, 1990

Folder 3

Mar. 26, 1990 -Apr. 15, 1990

Folder 4

Apr. 16, 1990 -Jun. 9, 1990

 

Personal Correspondence with Family, 1985-1990

Access Information

(CONFIDENTIAL)
Box 5, Folder 1

Abuelitos-Castillo

Folder 2

Castillo-Marcel

Folder 3

Martinez

Folder 4

Martinez-Pooky

 

Personal Correspondence with Friends, 1985-1990

Access Information

(CONFIDENTIAL)
 

Correspondence, Incoming

Box 6, Folder 1

Abrego-Anaya

Folder 2

Angela-Baca

Folder 3

Belonger-Bernal

Folder 4

Bohm-Burciaga

 

Burk

Folder 5

1985-1986

Folder 6-9

1987

Box 7, Folder 1-3

1988

Folder 4-5

1989

Folder 6-8

1990-n.d.

 

Cantu

Box 8, Folder 1

1985-1988

Folder 2

1988-n.d.

Folder 3

Carlson-Cisneros

Folder 4

Corpi-Curiel

Folder 5

Dan-Eisenburg

Folder 6

Eleanor-Foster

Folder 7

Freed

Folder 8

Garza-Guitierrez

Folder 9

Guzman

Folder 10

Jose-Lawhn

Box 9, Folder 1

Maier-Miyaoka

 

Moraga

Folder 2

1986

Folder 3

1987-1988

Folder 4

1989-1990

Folder 5

n.d.

Folder 6

Morales-Moreno

Folder 7

Ponce- Quintana-Guerrero

Folder 8

Randall-Sawicki

Folder 9

Smith-Thomas

Folder 10

Tomas

Folder 11

Tony-Yoyo

Folder 12

Yvonne-Zanders

Folder 13

Unknown, 1986-n.d.

 

Professional Activities, 1974-1990

Box 10, Folder 1

Association of Latino Brotherhood of Artists. Chicago, 1974

Folder 2

Letters of Recommendation, 1975-1988

Folder 3

Illinois Arts Council, 1977-1986

Folder 4

Al-Andalus, 1980-1981

Folder 5

Outstanding Young Women of Ameri ca. 1981-1982

Folder 6

"The Invitation". Production Soho Arts Festival, New York City, 1982

Folder 7

"The Invitation". Production Soho Arts Festival, New York City, 1982

Folder 8

California Readings, 1984-1990

Folder 9

California Readings, 1984-1990

Folder 10

Women's Foundation. San Francisco, 1988

Folder 11

Sonoma State University, 1988

Folder 12

Cal State Chico, 1988-1989

Folder 13

California Arts Council Fellowship (Category: Fiction) 1989

Folder 14

UCSB Chicana Dissertation Fellowship, 1989-1990

 

Series II - Correspondence with Poets & Writers, 1973-1990

Box 11, Folder 1

Alvarez-Baca

Folder 2

Bathurst-Eisenberg

Folder 3

Espinosa-Fernandez

Folder 4

Figueroa

Folder 5

Fogarty-Lesbisch Archief Leeuwarden

 

Maier

Folder 6

1973-1978

Folder 7

1986

Folder 8

Malitz-Prele

Folder 9

Rodriguez-Ruiz

Folder 10

Sanchez-Saucedo

Folder 11

Schwartz-Thudes

Folder 12

Valpendesta-Zapata

 

Series III - Contracts and Correspondence with Publishers, 1977-1990

Box 12

Miscellaneous Correspondence

Folder 1

1977-1979

Folder 2

1980-n.d.

Folder 3

Miscellaneous Submissions for Publication, 1987-1988

Folder 4

The Invitation, 2nd edition San Francisco, 1986-1988

Folder 5

Kanellos, Nicolas/ Revista Chicano-Riquena /Arte Publico Press. 1977-1988

Folder 6

My Father Was a Toltec. Contract and correspondence, 1987-1990

Folder 7

Otro Canto. Contract with Publications, 1978

Folder 8

Women Are Not Roses. Contract and related material, 1980-1987

 

Series IV - Writings, Published and Unpublished, 1973-1990

 

Miscellaneous Fiction, 1979-1985

Box 13, Folder 1

Learning to write short fiction, 1979-1982

Folder 2

Learning to write short fiction, 1983-1985

 

Miscellanenous Poetry and Writings, 1973-1985

Box 13, Folder 3

Originals, drafts, copies-poetry, 1973-n.d.

Folder 4

Originals, drafts, copies-poetry, 1973-1976

Folder 5

Copies-poetry, 1974

Folder 6

Originals, drafts, copies-poetry and writings, 1974-1975

Folder 7

Copies-poetry, 1975

Folder 8

Originals, drafts, copies-poetry and writings, 1976

Folder 9

Drafts-poetry, 1977

Folder 10

Originals, copies-poetry, 1977

Folder 11

Drafts, originals, copies-poetry, 1978

Folder 12

Drafts, originals, copies-poetry, 1978-1979

Folder 13

Copies-fiction and poetry, 1979

Folder 14

Drafts, copies-poetry, 1980

Folder 15

Copies-poetry, 1981-1982

Folder 16

Drafts, copies-poetry, 1982

Folder 17

Drafts, copies-poetry, 1983 (includes one dated 1986)

Folder 18

Drafts, copies-poetry, 1984

Folder 19

Drafts, copies-poetry, 1985

 

Titled Works, 1975-1990

Box 14, Folder 1

"Alex's Mother," draft one act children's play, 1983

Folder 2

"Clark Street Counts," play in progress, 1982

Folder 3

"The Company of Men: Un Cliche," draft play in progress, 1982

Folder 4

"The Evolution of the Chicana Writer" Colloquium, 1989 (includes 4 pages from "Sapogonia")

Folder 5

"Ghost Talk," short story, 1983

Folder 6

"Hands Toward Venus: Excerpts from the Journal of a Chicana," developing fiction from journal, 1980

Folder 7

"I Close My Eyes...To See," first poetry manuscript, 1975

Folder 8

"Massacre of the Dreamers-Mexican Indian Women in the U.S.: 500 Years After the Conquest," first draft- essays, 1990

Box 15, Folder 1

The Mixquiahuala Letters and Sapogonia, earlydraft manuscript, 1976-1979

Folder 2

The Mixquiahuala Letters, original draft submitted to Bilingual Review Press, 1984 (includes publisher correspondence)

Folder 3

My Father Was a Toltec, early drafts, n.d.

Folder 4

"Otro Canto," original manuscript, 1977

Folder 5

"Pajaros Enga osos/Deceitful Birds," unpublished poetry manuscript for Cross-Cultural communications, n.d. (includes publisher correspondence)

Folder 6

"Rainbows, Unlimited," children's story synopsis submitted to Children's Books, San Francisco, 1983

Folder 7

"Sapogonia," sketches developing Max Madrigal, 1981

Folder 8

"Sexuality In Chicana Poetry," draft of paper, 1986

 

Series V - Silkscreen and Offset Poster, 1987-1982

Box 16, Folder 1

Silkscreen, untitled, 8/10 edition by Delilah M. Montoya, 1982. Dedicated to Ana from Alurista, signed June, 1986

Folder 2

Silkscreen, of image used on American Book Awards, 84/100 edition by Roland Ayers, 1987

Folder 3

Offset poster of American Book Awards Ceremony, 1987, Philadelphia. Designed by Roland Ayers, 1987