Just two years ago, the editor of a major publishing firm asked me to submit a story for a middle school reader. those readers have the power to shape how thousands of children think about mexican americans. the criteria were: "it can't have religion in it; it can't be mystical; it can't have spanish in it." everything that was in bless me, ultima was rejected out of hand before the publisher would look at a manuscript. needless to say, i did not submit a story. —"take the tortillas out of your poetry," rudolfo anaya the voice of this anecdote establish the idea that anaya is to influence middle school students by teaching them about mexican americans. disappointed because a publishing company will not accept what anaya believes is a good mexican american story. annoyed that the publishers rejected his story without bothering to read it.