Been a while but I do have something to show for it.
I’m pretty happy with this piece and hope you like it; please do comment either way.
Funny thing, I posted the link on Facebook then made the mistake of changing my profile photo and that was “all she wrote” –sort of speak.
Back to work now; new story and more to come…..
Shannon Ward invited me to participate in The Next Big Thing–an interview with a set of questions that goes around from writer to writer. You can find more info on Shannon’s award-winning poetry at her website: www.shannoncamlinward.com
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had been writing poems about Latinas and also about Cubans and Cuban Americans so I thought I’d put a few of them together and send out as a chapbook and wouldn’t you know, it won the 2010 Longleaf Chapbook Award.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
For sure, Michelle Rodriguez would have to be in it because she is so great; Jersey girl tough and just beautiful and talented. Would love to see more talented latina actors get a shot at films–undiscovered young women.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A collection of free verse poems about the lives of latinas.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Hard to say because some poems were written many years ago. But to put them all together in this order, a week.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I said recently that when I get mad, I often write a poem and that injustice was one of the things that made me mad. There are poems in the collection that was motivated by ignorant people. I’m also inspired by reading the work of other poets such as Judith Ortiz Cofer, Ana Castillo and also music motivates me.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It led to the release of a spoken word CD with all the poems from the collection, a short story, and other selected poems–all set to music, mostly Cuban folk and Puerto Rican music. It includes two original songs by Kevin Meehan and Jorge Milanés (yup, my husband); the musicians who accompanied me on this project.
It’s been a while, I know but wanted to share the news of my featured speaker session at CCCC (Conference on College Composition and Communication) on Thursday. Check out the blurb on my session.
Looking forward to visiting with friends I haven’t seen in a couple of years and because my mom is coming with me, we’ll be seeing family too. Who knows, I might even get a chance to play in the casinos.
Hello all and happy new year!
I wish you all much good health, happiness and joy in this new year. At the close of 2012 I had sent out a poetry manuscript to various competitions; it is called Niñas de Casa. I’ll be updating this page when results start coming in.
This year I’m going to work hard to get more new work out. Last year I wrote three new stories and would very much like to place them. I tried a few places but no bites thus far.
I’m happy to share a link with you to an essay I was asked to write in the summer musing on reading and writing. It is in the second issue of Words Apart and I’d love to hear what you all think of it. Here it is.
From mid September through mid October, UCF (and other places) celebrate Hispanic Heritage. As advisor to the Hispanic American Student Association (HASA), I am always happy to suggest events such as the October 1st screening of the documentary Cuban America by Adelin Gasana. HASA members and the public were invited to view this fascinating film that describes the impact Cubans and Cuban Americans have had on Miami. Among the very many interviewed, Gasana contacted me to relate the Miami of the 1980s when the Mariel Boatlift exiles arrived in an already very challenging era–the height of the cocaine cowboys, the aftermath of the McDuffie Riots etc. Check this film out and invite Adelin Gasana to come to your school for a screening. Here’s the link to the FB page of the director.
And some very exciting news–a new and wonderful review of my chapbook Everyday Chica published in Wisconsin Verse by Lucia Cherciu, a Professor of English at SUNY / Dutchess and author of two books of poetry: Lepădarea de Limbă (The Abandonment of Language) and Altoiul Râsului (Grafted Laughter).
Chircu’s review notes the significance of the longest piece in the collection:
The focal point of the chapbook is “Cuban American Manifesto,” in which Rodríguez Milanés declares “I want to write a Cubaniche poem / full of rhumba, conga y chachacha / con azúcar sazón café Tabaco y salsa / a Cuban poem for those over there / a Cuban American poem for those over here” (22). The poet uses long sentences, drops punctuation, and develops her voice along the seven pages of the poem in an enumeration of contradictions, inner conflicts, nostalgia, and celebration of being Cuban American. Her poem combines the major themes of the chapbook and demonstrates Rodríguez Milanés’s voice as an authentic source of power. The accusatory tone of the poem asks for freedom: “liberate us from consumer-fascism / excess-access and Tommy Hilfiger / liberate us from unpopular public opinion” (25).
Sorry I’ve been so remiss in updating but I can happily report that I had a productive summer of writing. I finished two new stories–”Big Difference” (a Glimmer Train honorable mention) and “Love and Punishment at the Clerk of the County Court’s Office.” I also wrote some new poems and totally reorganized my collection and renamed it–Niña de Casa. I submitted it to a few competitions and have a couple more in mind–fingers crossed.
I also collaborated with two colleagues on an essay based on a large-lecture class of Women In Literature that I taught in the spring semester 2012. There were 100 students and it took two part-time Graduate Teacher Associates, an instructional designer, online technical support, and faculty development specialist to make the class successful (for me that means an engaging class fostering learning that also valued student input). Right now I’m working on weaving our three essays into one piece; as soon as I upload the revision, I’m going to get on the submission process again.
Oh, yea, another thing I did this summer was that we went on a family vacation to beautiful Puerto Rico. Folks, if you have never been there, you should go! We visited eight beaches in nine days, saw a great exhibit at the Ponce Museum of Arts, went to the Arecibo Observatory, walked in a bambo-lined river and much more.