In the beginning, there was the word, an idea, and a Chilean immigrant. (2016)
Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes a Latin American poet, feminist and political activist born in Chile, came to England with her young son to start a new life, teaching Spanish and Women’s studies at Lancaster University. At the age of 65, in 2016, Consuelo retired from the Open University where she lectured in Social Sciences and Spanish and decided that she wanted to delve into the world of publishing. She went back to study a new degree at university— for the 4th time— having already done a PGCE in English at Concepcion University, Chile; an MA in Sociology and Women’s Studies at Lancaster University, UK, a PhD in Women’s Studies, also at Lancaster University and then finally an MA in Publishing at the University of Derby. This later leads Consuelo to found Victorina Press in the summer of 2017.
Our first publication was a bilingual anthology, Spanish/English, about memories. Desentrañando Memorias ~ Unravelling Memories1, published in 2017 just before she finished her MA in Publishing. This taught Consuelo that publishing is not an easy job, if it is to be done well. The challenges of producing a bilingual anthology with many poets were many, but the book was born in August that year. The difficulties she faced on her own did not deter her resolve to ensure that literature was accessible to all and was diverse in style and genre. A close friend of Consuelo’s, Susan Hawthorne, introduced her to the idea of Bibliodiversity.2 This became the all-encompassing idea behind Victorina Press, i.e., that for us to be a publisher we needed to ensure our literature was wide and diverse, to maintain a healthy ecosystem of books and authors; this is very important and close to the heart of our founder.
The name of Victorina Press was inspired by Consuelo’s mother, Victorina Fuentes Díaz. Her love and support started Consuelo’s passion for reading and books. It only felt right that in this last job for Consuelo, her mum took her rightful place, ensuring her presence is always with us and forever surrounded by literature that she too, loved.