Retana, Nicolas M.

Nicolas Retana

I was blessed early in my college education to study with some of  the great Latino writers of this generation. I was a writing student of  Rudolfo Anaya, who wrote Bless Me, Ultima and many other books. He remains  an inspiration to me and served as a mentor.

At the University of New Mexico, and in Albuquerque at that time, (1975-1979), there was a tremendous collection of literary figures working with young writers like myself. I was privileged to study and be friends with: Sabine Ulibarri who wrote, Y Mi Abuela Fumaba Puros, E.A. Mares, Leroy Quintana, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Cecilio Garcia Camarillo, Spanish Poet Angel Gonzales, Jose Armas, Gustavo Sainz–renowned Mexican novelist, Denise  Chavez, Ruben D. Salas, Francisco Lomeli, and others who entered our  literary and creative circle to share, laugh, and offer criticism.

I was never as disciplined as my friends who saw writing as their primary vocation, even though I have always written poems, short stories, and plays. I rarely bothered with the publishing side of the business. I have included  on this website, under the page titled, “Published Poems,” some of the poems and books that have published my works.

I have made a career in education. I taught high school English at West Mesa High School in Albuquerque for nine years before moving on to school  administration which I have done since 1989–received my Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. I now have my own charter school in Madera, California. You can check out the school’s website at:

I hope that you enjoy the books. Remember,you will have interpretations and  insight to the works that may have escaped me. That’s the beauty of literature.

I hope that you students, who read these works, are able to analyze and interpret them via the tools and insight provided for you on this website and through your teachers. Also, take time to research your own history and  write what you are hearing–through poetry, song, dance, and any creative  medium available to you. Writing is about doing–“dale gas!”

Feel free to contact me and share your thoughts. I will make every effort to  respond as soon as possible. Un abrazo fuerte a todos!


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