To be a Mexican is getting more traction. So, a funny story about that one. I'm notoriously averse to checking my voice mails. Don't ask me why, it's just...I feel uncomfortable checking them. So, sometimes it takes me awhile to get through them. So imagine my surprise when I check one and it's someone reaching out to me about a piece I had submitted two months prior on a whim. The editor of HEArt said that not only did she want to run my piece, but she wanted a sound clip of me reading it. I thought that was pretty cool, I also thought it was pretty cool that Latino Rebels wanted the piece, too. So for the first time in my short poetic career, I had to ask that a piece be withdrawn, and the only reason I did so was because Latino Rebels wanted two of my other poems, Nada que declarar and SB 1128 for their anthologies. SB 1128 was my first activist poem, and became my go-to poem whenever I competed in the Word Around Town or whenever I opened for a writer like Natalia Treviño,. Not long after I sent off the piece to HEArt, Portside, a left-leaning online news site, contacted me to have it reprinted there.
It feels pretty cool that a piece like that is getting read by people and that they might get something from that. It's one of the best feelings I have as a poet, and a feeling i hope to experience soon as a writer. Like, you guys, you have NO idea how excited I am to get my fiction published. It's going to happen, and I'm going to send out several pieces until it happens. Right now I've got one piece out (the first sci-fi short story I've written in years) and am really editing the magical realistic piece I've mentioned before.
Second update is that I have another poem that has been accepted for a journal's inaugural issue, which is pretty effing rad. I'll post more details once it's finally up. :D
And a final update is I want to shout out to my friends Lupe and Jasminne Mendez and Gerard Robledo and Sarah Rafael Garcia for getting accepted into the Macondo Writer's Workshop, a four-day retreat in San Antonio, a workshop that selects: "generous and compassionate professional writers who view their work and talents as part of a larger task of community-building and non-violent social change"
Gerard and Sarah definitely deserve it, and I'm sure there are a lot of people in the MFA program at Texas State thinking "goddamnit maybe we should have listened to her" right now.
And Lupe and Jasminne are stalwarts in the Houston Latino art scene and are going to be right at home at the workshop.
I don't have the pedigree of activism that Lupe and Jasminne do, but I do have the will to one day be part of that workshop, too. I'm thankful that I can look at those people (especially Lupe and Gerard, who were part of my cohort at UTEP) and be like, hey, I can be like they are. And I know that they are immensely supportive of that, too.
So let that be another advertisement for UTEP's Online MFA. And again, if you have questions about the program, feel free to reach out to any of us!