Lecture and Book Signing: “We Heard It When We Were Young”



Chuy Renteria's Book cover  West Liberty, Iowa: The first majority Hispanic town in Iowa. You’ve seen it in headlines, covered by media giants such as Reuters, Telemundo, NBC and ESPN. Yet, Chuy Renteria and his friends grew up in the space between these news stories, struggling to find their identities and reckoning with intergenerational trauma and racism in a town trying to do the same.

Renteria shares these stories and more in his new memoir, “We Heard It When We Were Young.” The memoir looks past the public celebrations of diversity to dive into the private tensions of a community reflecting the changing American landscape.

Join Renteria for a lecture on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Muscatine Community College Student Center. Renteria’s book will be available for sale and author signing.

The event is free and open to the public.

Questions? Call toll-free 1-888-336-3907, email eiccinfo@eicc.edu


Jesus “Chuy” Renteria is an author, dancer, artist, storyteller and teacher born in Iowa City and raised in the town of West Liberty, Iowa. A central figure in the local hip-hop dance scene, Renteria completed his Bachelor of Arts in dance from the University of Iowa as a first-generation student. His stories, featured in the Iowa Writer’s House anthology, “We the Interwoven,” are the first published collection of Iowan stories by bicultural Iowans.

Chuy Renteria

Renteria is the Assistant Director of Diversity Resources at the University of Iowa, hoping to continue his work of advocating for arts and community through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“A heartfelt and vibrant debut, We Heard It When We Were Young, chronicles an important Iowan narrative from a first-generation Mexican immigrant perspective. Chuy Renteria’s conversational storytelling is by turns funny and wrenching as he explores the cultural dissonance between neighbors and within families as one small Iowa town evolves.”—Rachel Yoder, Author, Nightbitch

“Chuy Renteria writes what no one else can. He writes as a b-boy, a first-generation Mexican American, a small-town Iowan, a friend, a son, and a brother. The result is part bildungsroman and part unique socio-cultural exploration. His writing is fascinating, moving, and full of kinetic style.”—Jennifer Colville, Author, Elegies for Uncanny Girls

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The event is sponsored by Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, LULAC, Council 371 and the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.