Yea, I meant to write more about AWP because it really was awesome and I am still reaping the excitement I experienced there by encouraging my students to submit proposals and have already met with a couple to plan on some sessions. I hope to get to AWP in Boston next year and every year after. But got overwhelmed with work.
April, besides being National Poetry Month, is also a very very busy one in my family. We have several birthdays, including mine and my daughter’s, a week apart with my wedding anniversary in between. Tax day is also very stressful because my significant other prepares ours and others’. Plus it is the end of the spring semester when all papers are due, final exams etc. Crazy times, we try to get through without too much fallout.
But that being said, I have managed to get in some writing and am happy to report that I finished a new story and will be sending it out soon; it’s called “Love and Punishment at the Clerk of the County Courts Office,” set in suburban Orlando. I’ll let you know how it is received. I actually debuted it at a reading for the UCF McNair Scholars on the day I finished it–nothing like a deadline to get me going.
So, in honor of National Poetry Month I had a reading at the Orange County Public Library, downtown branch where I was happy to perform after the wonderfully talented Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz. I know I have sung her praises before but if you haven’t already done so, check her out on YouTube and/or Facebook; I know you’ll become a fan.
Happy April all! Read a poem or two; heck buy a book of poetry!
Just returned from Chicago and the Associated Writing Programs Conference and it was soooooooo impressive. I hadn’t been to one in many years and I am going to make it a habit of returning every year. I was on a panel coordinated by poet/memoirist Mia Leonin, faculty at my alma mater, University of Miami. She asked me to participate on “Beyond Bilingualism: Teaching Creative Writing to Monolingual and Multilingual Students,” along with her students Mariam Zafar and Nicole Hospital-Medina. I asked María Elvira Vera Tatá to speak about her Honors in the Major Creative Writing thesis, a wonderful (and already award-winning) novella written with a great deal of untranslated Spanish. It was a great session and we had really interesting questions and productive conversation in the Q & A. Well done! And many thanks to Mia for thinking of me for this panel.
How amazing were these artists? VERY.
Below is the information for a reading/performance to be held on Friday downtown. Performance artist and colleague Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (aka Chuleta–pictured below–and Wepa Woman) of the Art Department is the coordinator and I will be participating too.
I will read from Everyday Chica and Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles; if you are the Central Florida region Friday night, please stop by. I’d also appreciate any help friends can offer to promote/publicize this event. It would be lovely to see some friendly faces there.
Calling all friends, fans, readers and even the mildly curious:
Friday night, I’ll be on the Cubanarama Blog Talk Radio-we’ll be chatting about my recent trip to Cuba in August 2011 as well my writing and spoken word/performance poetry.
Call in number to speak with me and the host, Marta Sosa at (347) 843-4717.
Feliz Año Nuevo! Hope this new year brings you and yours an abundance of blessings. I will strive to post more often and keep folks updated. For the last few months, I’ve been focussed on my teaching at the University of Central Florida. In November, in celebration for the Day of Dead, students in Latin American Popular Culture and Art class created an ofrenda–a beautiful display of assorted items significant to people in their lives.
Later on in November, I attended the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Convention in Chicago to present on a couple of panels, one was with current and former students. Our topic was on Teaching Latino/a Literature Twenty-Five Years After Fronteras/Borderlands and to discuss the possible impact of the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature.
- Discussing the impact of Latino/a Literature
It was a busy semester, but to be honest, I can’t recall a semester that wasn’t. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my classes, the students and look forward to the spring semester. I will be teaching a large section of Women in Literature–100 students! This promises to be an adventure and I hope to make it enjoyable and productive for all. I leave you now to finish preparing for my classes. Below is a photo of another one of my former students, Bronwen West, who invited me to visit with her English and Creative Writing Classes at Wekiva High School in December. We had a grand time and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share my writing with young writers.
- After a day of visiting with Bronwen’s students
Just wanted to let you know that the publisher of my chapbook, Everyday Chica and the spoken word CD Everyday Chica, Music and More, has finally updated its website. It has a few kinks in it but at least my book is on the homepage–yea! And, no, that cover image is not me; it’s my daughter though we do look alike.
I will be adding audio links to this blog as soon as W.W. Norton completes its website for the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature–there may be as many as three pieces by me on the site! The launch date keeps getting postponed.