Homepage of Demetria Martinez Author, Activist and Creativity coach

About Demetria

Demetria Martinez is an author, activist, creativity coach and journalist based in New Mexico. For Martinez, writing and activism are ways to explore---and bridge—borders between people of different nations, languages, spiritualities and life experiences.

Demetria Martinez, Creative Writing CoachMartinez’s widely translated novel, Mother Tongue, is based in part upon her 1988 trial for conspiracy against the United States government in connection with allegedly smuggling Salvadoran refugees into the country. The charges carried a 25-year prison sentence. A religion reporter at the time, she was covering the Sanctuary Movement, activism by citizens who defied immigration law by aiding refugees fleeing Central America. A jury acquitted her on First Amendment grounds. Mother Tongue, published by Ballantine in 1997, won a Western States Book Award for Fiction.

In The Block Captain’s Daughter, activists in Albuquerque, draw on the wisdom of their multiethnic/multinational roots in their struggle to better the world. Published by the University of Oklahoma Press, it won a 2013 American Book Award. It also won the International Latino Book Award for best Latino focused fiction the same year.

In 2013, she co-authored an e-book with former Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris, These People Want to Work: Immigration Reform. It describes the plight of five undocumented women who live and work in the United States, followed by an analysis of immigration reform.

Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana, a collection of autobiographical essays, includes columns that first appeared in the National Catholic Reporter. Topics include such far-reaching subjects such as the church’s treatment of women, Latina identity in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as well as personal vignettes. Published by the University of Oklahoma Press, it won the 2006 International Latino Book Award for best biography.   

Martinez has published two books of poetry, Breathing Between the Lines (1997), and The Devil’s Workshop (2002), both with the University of Arizona Press. She also co-authored a bilingual children’s book, Grandpa’s Magic Tortilla, with Rosalee Montoya. Published by the UNM Press, it received the 2011 Young Reader’s Book Award from New Mexico Book Awards.

She works as a creativity coach with clients writing in all genres. She has taught fiction at the Taos Writers Conference, and memoir at the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She presently teaches poetry workshops at a youth detention center as part of her work with the Coalition for Prisoners’ Rights.

“Being an activist is where I find meaning. Involvement with something larger than myself compels me to write.”

Creativity Coaching with Demetria Martinez


“I do not believe writing should be painful; quite the opposite, it should be a joyful experience. This is the only way to get results.”

Click to read more about designing a writer's life...

Two New Titles by Demetria Martinez 
The Block Captain’s Daughter

Guadalupe Anaya, a waitress, is pregnant. She is also the newly elected block captain of Sunflower Street, in charge of raising awareness of safety in her Albuquerque, New Mexico neighborhood. Her campaign platform... (more)

Grandpa’s Magic Tortilla
with Rosalee Montoya-Read

When Alejandra, Daniel and Bejamín go to visit their grandparents in Northern New Mexico, a strange thing happens. Grandpa burns a tortilla. When the children look at it, each one sees a different animal... (more)

Click here for additional Books by Demetria on this website

Click here to read an Interview with ForeWord Reviews...

Access Martinez’s books in translation, columns, and more on Amazon.com

Readings and Presentations by Demetria Martinez
Readings and Workshops with Demetria Martinez

Demetria Martinez has been reading and discussing her work at universities and other venues for over 25 years.  She also offers both a fiction and a creativity workshop.

Click to read more about readings/workshops with Demetria...


Many thanks to Fabian "Spade" Debora, artists and muralist http://nuai.org/spade,for allowing us
to use details from "My  Version of Mary" and other incredible works. Definitely a homeboy.

Demetria Martinez
— Author, Activist, Creativity Coach — demetriajuly@aol.com
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