The Chills at Will Podcast podcast

Episode 164 with Yasmin Ramirez, Author of ¡Ándale, Prieta! and Professor and Writer of the Sensuous, the Personal, the Profound, and the Unique

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Episode 164 Notes and Links to Yasmin Ramirez’s Work


   On Episode 164 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete welcomes Yasmin Ramirez, and the two discuss, among other things, her early reading and music loves, her unique and powerful relationship with her beloved “Ita,” her family dynamics, teenage rebellion, the power of Nirvana, the power of her classes at UTEP, and issues and themes revolving around her magnificent memoir.


   Yasmin Ramirez is a 2021 Martha's Institute of Creative Writing Author Fellow as well as a 2020 recipient of the Woody and Gayle Hunt-Aspen Institute Fellowship Award. Her fiction/CNF works have appeared in Cream City Review and Huizache among others.

She is an Associate Professor of English, Creative Writing, and Chicanx Literature at El Paso Community College. She stays active in the Borderplex arts community and serves on the advisory board of BorderSenses, a literary non-profit. Her memoir ¡Ándale, Prieta!, by Lee and Low Books, is now available.



Buy ¡Ándale, Prieta!: A Love Letter to My Family


Yasmin Ramirez's Website


Hip Latina Article about ¡Ándale, Prieta!: A Love Letter to My Family

At about 6:50, Yasmin describes the multiple meanings of “Andale, Prieta” in context of her book 


At about 7:50, Yasmin shouts out upcoming virtual and in-person Washington Library and Él Paso (UTEP) events, as well as a book club with Las Comadres 


At about 8:30, Yasmin highlights her contact and social media info as well as bookstores that she recommends for buying her book


At about 9:55, Yasmin and Pete discuss her early relationships with language and reading


At about 11:55, Yasmin references formative and transformative reading, including some Anne Rice works


At about 14:30, Yasmin responds to Pete’s questions about her ideas of representation in being able to read borderland-inspired books; she cites “The Danger of a S


At about 17:35, Pete and Yasmin discuss cliques from their adolescent years and Yasmin’s love of Nirvana and music’s role in that part of her life


At about 20:00, Yasmin lists some writers she has taught at the college level, like José Olivarez, Luis Alberto Urrea, Maria Hinojosa, Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera, and Black Flamingo by Dean Atta


At about 22:00, Yasmin notes how a reliance on the unchanging “canon” dissuades students from reading


At about 22:55, Yasmin shouts out memoirists, like Sonya Livingston, Joy Castro, and Nick Flynn, who inspire and thrill her


At about 25:05, Yasmin talks about seeds for the book and how it seemingly had a mind of its own in directing her 


At about 26:20, Pete asks Yasmin about the role of Dr. Abarca’s UTEP class on food and writing and some of her takeaways from the class and the feedback she received from Lex Wiliford


At about 28:15, Pete notes Yasmin’s skill in making her child’s POV “authentic” and how her book starts in the “middle” with a resonant line regarding breast cancer and her grandma (“Ita”)


At about 29:30, Yasmin discusses meanings of “prieta,” both in the outside world and in her life


At about 31:50, Pete cites Yasmin as her Ita’s “sombra,” and talks about time spent with her as her mom worked “at the bridge”-Yasmin talks about how it “clicked” that her mom had a dangerous job


At about 34:10, Pete asks about what made Yasmin’s mom and Ita clash at times


At about 37:10, Pete reads a moving quote from the book that relates to the significance of scars, and Yasmin talks about the genesis of a part of the book that catalogs her Ita’s scars 


At about 40:00, Yasmin thinks of who might play her Ita in a movie version 


At about 40:40, Pete references a particularly personal memory from Yasmin and a beautiful passage about her relationship with her Ita


At about 42:20, Pete notes the power and writerly skill that makes up the last part of the book’s Part I; Yasmin gives background on this part and her rationale


At about 45:00, Pete and Yasmin discuss the beginning of the book’s Part II and Yasmin describes her “distancing” from her father and “feeding the wrong wolf”


At about 48:15, Yasmin talks about awkward teenage visits to see her father to try to rekindle something 


At about 50:00, Yasmin describes her time working in retail in Dallas and the resulting events in El Paso; she describes how everything was “muted” upon her Ita’s death


At about 53:40, Yasmin talks about the “hambre de Dios” in context of the book


At about 55:25, Yasmin discusses the “rejuvenation” that came with her return to El Paso


At about 59:25, Yasmin describes the true enthusiasm shown by Lex Wiliford and the ways in which 


At about 1:02:50, Yasmin and Pete discuss the “heaviness” from a powerful dream and the significance of Yasmin’s mammogram and this revelatory dream


At about 1:06:40, Yasmin describes a future project-YA!-that plays with ideas of music’s influence in an adolescent’s life 


At about 1:08:05, Pete compliments the book’s allusions to music that reminds Yasmin of her grandma

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   Please tune in for Episode 165 with Anna Hogeland. She’s a psychotherapist in private practice, her novel The Long Answer, has been described by Kirkus Review as “A startling meditation on grief and family and betrayal.”   

The episode will air on February 7.

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