Luis Lopez-Maldonado is a Xicanx poeta, playwright, dancer, choreographer, and educator, born & raised in Southern California; fourth child of immigrant Mexican parents. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Riverside, majoring in Creative Writing & Dance. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame.
Luis has been writing & choreographing for over 14 years. He has danced in the IVC Performing Dance Ensemble led by the late Marie de la Palme & with the Notre Dame Ballet Folklórico Azul y Oro, among many others. He has also participated in multiple American College Dance Festivals across the country; a Jacob's Pillow Alumni. His literary work has also been published in over 80 journals and magazines since 2011. He hopes to get his first manuscript published soon.
Luis marries poetry & dance to create fresh & provocative art dealing with race, displacement, gender, sex, feminism, terrorism, externalism, & masculism, & everything in-between those themes. He does not apologize. He does not conform. He uses his voice to inspire others in hopes that they too will one day use their voices to shed light on the world. Luis identifies as bisexual, gay, lesbian, gender neutral, gender queer, and gender fluid, among others!
"I am two-spirited. I have three souls, like my indigenous ancestors. I am a piñata. I am an ocean. I am mí. Because I am art, my poems are art, my dances are art. Everything is art!"
A Personal Manifesto: A NOTE To Myself, From Myself, About VOICE
Monarcas fly out of my mouth when I have something to say, black scorpions will sting when you don't like what I have to say, and that is okay. I write and move because I want to, I read and dance because I need to, and I embody the voiceless because I have to. My work will never be gray. My work seeks to make other voices uncomfortable and bothered, it seeks to make other voices stronger and more confident, it seeks to reek of cultura and glitter, of cries and lies (who doesn't), and it seeks to seek the unseekable, to speak the unspeakable. And what? You don't like your pizza with ranch? IDGAF. You don't want Hillary 2016 to happen? I don't give-a-fuck. My VOICE is present and so is yours, but I will always try to make my voice inolvidable, make the gay clouds and birds explode of joy, make the purple rain cum down on your face, make the page burn as you recite my words into the wind. I know this: I am Adam and Eve. I am ecstasy and weed. I am an awkward corner. I am a rainbow umbrella. I am the poor whores in Paris. I am a mistreated cow in Kentucky. I am the perverted priest with gold around my neck. I am a tortilla connoisseur. I am the drunk driver on the streets. I am the gun in the hand of a psycho. I am Cecil. I am Mike Brown. I am Katrina. I am the 43. I am Orlando. I am Istanbul. And I will NEVER be anything I don’t want to be. I am art, and therefore, all of this is art.
Mi voz es mas que una cancion de llanto o alegria.
Why write a manifesto? Why is it important for you to remind yourself of your worth and your attitude towards a sometimes-cruel world? How can writing guidelines for you as an artist assist your “voice” in creating art? The answer is yes, yes and yes. There will always be something to learn about yourself and others when you actually sit down and write about it. Like the fabulous Ru Paul says, “If you don’t love yourself, than how the hell are you going to love anybody else? Can I get an Amen?” I couldn’t of said it any better. No, it’s not being selfish, if that is what you think, then take a seat. Writing a manifesto is simply a public outcry for your voice to stand grounded and let other voices know where you come from and where you will go. It is quite simple.
So for me as an instructor, as a teacher, as a mentor, this is something very important to me, something that I will be teaching and making my students create. There must be a story to every single soul that sits in a seat in front of me. Actually, I know there is, I have seen it. My goal is to keep seeing them, everywhere I go…
"Something must be written on the writer that writes…"