Community Comes Together to Celebrate Late Author Michele Serros and Her Influence • Long Beach Post

Photos by Angela Truong.

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Uptown Word & Arts hosted an event that celebrated author Michele Serros and her work on Saturday at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library.

Serros, who passed away from cancer in 2015, was known for writing non-fiction stories on growing up Latina and bicultural life. Writer and producer Frankie Hernandez said she remembered Serros’ writing as always being poignant and humorous.

“She was very serious about her work,” said Hernandez. “She just really dived into everything she did with such passion and fun.”

Uptown Word & Arts founder and director liz gonzález and writer Lucy Ramirez-Hanley brainstormed together about whom to invite. Ramirez-Hanley suggested names of writers who were influenced by or had interacted with and loved Serros, including journalist Adolfo Guzman-Lopez who gave a beautiful tribute to the writer at KPCC, said gonzález.

“I wanted writers who knew Serros at different times in her life and presented well, such as Frankie Hernandez, who knew Serros in the early 90s when Serros was becoming a big hit in the poetry scene and beyond, to Isabel Quintero who interacted with her at the end of her life,” said gonzález.

Five authors came together to present their own work but to also read a piece of Serros’ work. The event began with a screening of The Big Deal, a short film based on a short story by Serros, which was written and directed by Rodriguez-Hanley. Hernandez said it was great to see her film and to know that other people were inspired to become writers themselves.

“What I love was that when people read her work, I remember being at events with Michele and her reading those pieces and it’s just so moving to hear it now,” said Hernandez.

La Poeta Violeta, an 11-year-old published poet read her favorite work from Serros and continued to read some of her own works about herself and politics. Author Isabel Quintero talked about being inspired by Serros even though she was unable to meet her. Poet and journalist Adolfo Guzman talked about his relationship with Serros and read his favorite work written by her.

Jorge Martin, program assistant for Uptown Word & Arts ended the tribute by playing Attention Shoppers, a segment of Serros’ spoken-word CD, Chicana Falsa. The event concluded with book signings from Violeta and Quintero and attendees conversing with the authors and poets.

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