La Inmensidad II by Maceo Montoya

La Inmensidad II, Acrylic on canvas, 2007, 48" x 36"

I grew up surrounded by fields and the valley landscape can be almost oppressive in its unending flatness, but there are times - whether because of the weather, the clouds, the light - where I'm overwhelmed by its immense beauty, by its ability to catch me off guard even though I've lived there my entire life.


Contributor Notes

Maceo Montoya grew up in Elmira, California. He graduated from Yale University in 2002 and received his Master of Fine Arts in painting from Columbia University in 2006. His paintings, drawings, and prints have been featured in exhibitions and publications throughout the country as well as internationally. Montoya’s first novel, The Scoundrel and the Optimist (Bilingual Review, 2010), was awarded the 2011 International Latino Book Award for “Best First Book” and Latino Stories named him one of its "Top Ten New Latino Writers to Watch." In 2014, University of New Mexico Press published his second novel, The Deportation of Wopper Barraza, and Copilot Press published Letters to the Poet from His Brother, a hybrid book combining images, prose poems, and essays. Montoya also collaborated with poet Laurie Ann Guerrero to create a series of paintings based on sonnets dedicated to her late grandfather. The resulting book, A Crown for Gumecindo, was published by Aztlán Libre Press in April 2015. His most recent book, You Must Fight Them: A Novella and Stories, has just been published by University of New Mexico Press.

Montoya is an assistant professor in the Chicana/o Studies Department at UC Davis where he teaches the Chicana/o Mural Workshop and courses in Chicano Literature. He is also the director of Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA), a community-based arts organization located in Woodland, CA.