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Atlantic Center for the Arts

October 11, 2010

Friends, I had a lovely time last week giving a presentation at the beautiful artists-in-residency community in New Smyrna Beach.  Visit their site and peruse descriptions and deadlines for the upcoming residencies; I encourage those of you who want to devote three intensive weeks to art–writing, music, sculpture, kite-making, graphic novels etc etc–to apply. 

In 2000 I was chosen to participate in a poetry residency directed by the great Quincy Troupe; the experience was life-changing.  Besides being an important poet, Quincy is a wonderful storyteller and teacher.  He often performs with music and as a result of the workshop, I pushed myself to incorporate music in my own work.  The poem “Cuban American Manifesto” was born at the ACA and nutured by Quincy.  Last week I performed the piece to an audience of UCF Town and Gown members.  I began to take myself seriously as a poet in that workshop.

In 2008 I was selected to participate in the poetry residency led by Chase Twichell; by this time I had lost confidence in myself as a writer and feeling very discouraged but Chase’s lessons and feedback helped me get back on track.  During that residency I wrote poetry and prose and “Failed Secrets” was produced.  I polished and refined many poems that became the core of Everyday Chica.  Chase is an outstanding poet and even more remarkable teacher.

A big thank you to all the staff, benefactors and supporters of the Atlantic Center for the Arts.  It has made a tremendous difference in my life life and work as well as that of scores of others.

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