Amalia Ortiz, Tejana actor/writer/activist. Now living in South Texas, Amalia Ortiz is the writer and composer of the new Latino musical Carmen de la Calle, coming to UT Austin in Spring 2012. Amalia is also creator and star of Otra Esa on the Public Transit. A powerful one-woman stage show about destination and destiny, performed at San Antonio's Guadalupe Theater and Talento Bilingüe de Houston. Amalia performed on three seasons of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO and the NAACP Image Awards on FOX. She also stars in the award-winning independent film Speeder Kills. This high-energy film had its national broadcast premiere on SiTV.
With Maria Ibarra, Amalia created and starred in Real West Side Story, and also Borderplex Electronica - 6 theater artists of the Rio Grande Valley, creating an activist multimedia show in 12 days. Both premiered at the Guadalupe. As a member of Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word, she co-wrote and performed the poetry/theater piece Fear of a Brown Planet, in San Francisco, Miami, Denver, and Houston.
Amalia's poem "Women of Juárez" was published in the 2006 textbook, The Line Between Us. This outstanding grade-school publication teaches the border, immigration, and globalization. From ground-breaking publisher Rethinking Schools. Latina Magazine honored Amalia for founding, co-writing, directing, and performing in Women of ILL Repute: Refute!. Raising money for the Rape Crisis Center, it was presented at the Texas Book Festival, Young Tongues Festival, San Antonio Inter-American Book Fair, Latina Letters Conference, Austin Poetry Festival, Austin Book Festival, and many universities.
Poetry awards include: team 2nd place at the National Poetry Slam; first Latina to reach the National Slam finals; San Antonio Puro Slam MVP and 3-time champion; San Antonio Current editors' "Best Local Poet"; the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Award, from Sandra Cisneros; Open Slam Champion and Tag Team Champion (w/ Gary Mex Glazner), at Taos Poetry Circus.
Her poetry is on the spoken word compilations PoetCD.com Sampler Vol. I, NYC Urbana: the Very Best of 2003, The Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word, and the upcoming Raza Spoken Here III. She performed for the First Lady at the National Book Festival in D.C. Her poetry tours include South by Southwest (twice), the Def Poetry College Tour, Slam America National Bus Tour and the documentary Busload of Poets. She coached for Brave New Voices' youth poetry camp and slam championship in San José, after touring California with MadMedia/Reset Collective's What Are You Doing Tonight?.