Paso, Texas native raised in Northern California and educated
at the University of Chicago, C.M. Mayo is an independent scholar and award-winning
essayist, novelist, poet, and translator of contemporary Mexican
literature. The author of several books, most recently, Metaphysical
Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution and the novel The
Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, she is also host of the long-standing
and the Marfa
Mondays Podcasting Project. Her work has appeared in numerous literary
magazines, among them, Creative Nonfiction, Kenyon Review,
Letras Libres, Literal, and Paris Review. Her poetry
collection, Meteor, won the Gival Press Award
and will be published in 2019.
2017 she was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Her most recent
book, a paradigm-exploding and profoundly researched examination
of the esoteric philosophy of the leader of Mexico's 1910 Revolution,
Odyssey Into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and
his Secret Book, Spiritist Manual. In 2015 it won the National
Indie Excellence Award for History.
the book's webpage
METAPHYSICAL ODYSSEY INTO THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION
"In my fifteen years of researching the life of President
Francisco I. Madero, I have never read a more complete book as
the one just written by C.M. Mayo. It will simply surprise any
reader. The research is impeccable and the narrative well-rounded."
Manuel Guerra de
Luna, author of Los Madero: La Saga Liberal
"Mayo does a brilliant job combining the known facts of
the Mexican Revolution and Madero's role within it, and creates
an intellectual bridge to the president's spiritist belief structure...With
her translation of the Spiritist Manual, C.M. Mayo opened
this incredible window into the metaphysical side of the Mexican
Heribert von Feilitzsch, author of In Plain
Sight: Felix Sommerfeld, Spymaster in Mexico
"Ever astonishing are the greats whose inner tracks
wholly diverge from their renown. Such a case is Francisco I.
Madero, first president of Mexico after the 1910 revolution,
whose political genius was immersed in mysticism, and equally
extraordinary is C. M. Mayo's account of this paradox in Metaphysical
Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution. Threading the tortuous
path of Madero from birth to assassination, and culminating in
the first translation into English of the little-known Spiritist
Manual of this master of statecraft, Mayo's account brings
to life the duality of the singular founder of Mexican democracy."
Bruce Berger, author of The Telling Distance:
Conversations with the American Desert
OVER EL NIDO
remarkable literary debut... tautly fashioned prose, alive with
myriad turns of phrase as on-target as they are idiosyncratic."
Weekly (starred review)
writes some of the most exquisitely fashioned, perfectly measured
prose alive in the world today. Her stories glitter with delicious
odd details. They feel electrically charged, richly mysterious,
and rhythmic. I love her layering of cultures, her offbeat humor,
her potent instinct for voices. Bravo! Captivating! Yes, yes,
yes!" Naomi Shihab Nye
editor of Tameme, the bilingual Spanish/English)
chapbook press, Mayo is also a translator of contemporary Mexican poetry and fiction.
Her anthology of Mexican fiction in translation, Mexico: A Traveler's
was published by Whereabouts Press in March 2006. Her most
include short works by stories by Agustín Cadena, Alvaro
Enrigue, Mónica Lavín, Roe Mary Salum, and Ignacio
Mayo's stories, essays and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies
and literary magazines, including Chelsea, Cenizo Journal,
Creative Nonfiction, Kenyon Review, Literal, North American
Review, Massachusetts Review, Paris Review, Southwest
Review, Tin House and Witness, as well as the Los
Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Her most recent long essay, now available on Kindle, is "Dispatch from the
Sister Republic or, Papelito Habla," about the Mexican literary landscape
and the power of the book.
to the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, C.M. Mayo's
recognitions include include three Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism
Awards and three Washington Independent Writers Awards, most
recently for her essay, "From Mexico to Miramar
or, Across the Lake of Oblivion." She has also been awarded residencies
at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia
Center for the Creative Arts, and (for Sky Over El Nido)
fellowships from the writers conferences at Wesleyan, Sewanee,
and Bread Loaf. Her latest book, Metaphysical Odyssey into
the Mexican Revolution, was awarded the Nation Indie Excellence
Award for History.
Mayo's work has been reviewed in publications as diverse as the
Los Angeles Times, Publisher's Weekly, and Letras
Libres (Mexico's leading cultural magazine), and she has
been interviewed on National Public Radio, The Book Show on WETA,
for Inside Mexico, and elsewhere.
She has given uncounted talks over the course of five book tours,
she has given uncounted talks at venues including the Library
Angela Peralta Theater for PEN San Miguel, the US-Mexico Center at UCSD, Stanford
University's Bolivar House, noted independent bookstores such
as Austin's Book People, Silicon Valley's Kepler's, and Pasadena's
Vroman's, and book festivals (the Texas Book Festival, Fall for
the Book, and Mexico's Feria Internacional de Libros, among many
In 2015 she delivered the Centennial Lecture for the University
of Texas El Paso, "On
Writing About Mexico: Secrets and Surprises."
View her events schedule, upcoming and
One of the pioneers of
literary blogging, Mayo launched began Madam Mayo in 2006, and she continues
to post on Mondays and oftentimes more often. In 2014 she gave
a talk for the Associated Writing Programs Conference in Seattle
"Writers' Blogs: Eight Conclusions After Eight Years of
maintains a research blog on Mexico's Second
Empire / French Intervention, and has two archived blogs, Giant
Golden Buddha & 364 More Free 5 Minute Writing Exercises and Reading Tolstoy's
War & Peace.
guest-blogs have appeared in Large-hearted
to visit the main page with all podcasts
Mayo began podcasting in
with her lecture at the Library of Congress on the archival research
behind her novel, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire. Mayo
has since posted some 40 podcasts. In addition to those about
her books and for her writing workshop students, Mayo now hosts
an occasional series, Conversations with Other Writers, and the Marfa Mondays
which is apropos of a book-in-progress about Far West Texas.