All posts tagged: University of New Mexico MFA

INCOMING…

INCOMING…. Every morning, I try to remember my dreams. Chicken-scratch them down. Henpecks on the grains of eternity. Ink bound in journals to carry. Everyday, I see people I want to be, but am not. Every night, I lay my head to count blessings. I’m reading and writing and teaching and more importantly, learning.  Stepping onto campus to face the second year is nothing like the first. This time last year, read it,  I was an anxious bundle of unfocused energy, still am, perhaps more so, but I now know what to expect and in some ways the pressure is more intense, one third done. Nudge. Nudge. It took one email to find another apartment. I know the names of all the streets and department members and buildings. Easier to get into the room on time, I know where to eat and when and what to order. My office desk and bookshelves welcomed my return, old mates, sisters-in-arms. I know the bike trails. Shucks, I’m second year, I know everything and can mentor the incoming …

Renewing The Vows

As the light at the end-of-the-term-tunnel approaches, skippering half-thoughts firefly through my accordion-like mind. Not a round-up, not yet, as I am not finished, but so close. One big nagging developmental editing project to start and finish, two solid re-writes in fiction and non, a semi-ton truck load of papers and portfolios to mark, the daily slew of emails to wade through making sure the next term is more fruitful and streamlined—scheduling and course picking is a fine art, corners should not be cut. Meet the professors, read the syllabi, ask cohorts what they did and thought, spin the bottle click the plunge. But summer, ah summer and getting off campus is pounding on the door and the idea of returning seems distant. Why not just go back to where I came from and never return? Why not become a postman or a steady-salaried insurance salesman in a country where I am fully-legal and don’t have to worry about guns and healthcare and bitter slum-lords and offending new-friends with comments and feedback and how to …

Lit-Cit; a no-brainer.

  Lit-Cit; a no-brainer I’m doing laundry. I hope I have time for a haircut before my flight to L.A and AWP, baby. Excited, to say the least. Before entering the MFA world, I had no idea about writer’s conferences, let alone AWP. What’s the point? Shouldn’t all true writing be done in a garret or a remote log cabin far from the bustle locust? In our last fiction workshop, led by Lori Ostlund (read her, her writing f-ing rocks) we discussed literary citizenship. Another new concept. And lickety-split, here I am riding the catch-phrase bandwagon, ticket purchased from Ms. Google, into definitions, debates and diatribes. This search lead me back to AWP, there will be a workshop on Saturday by Lori A. May author of The Write Crowd: Literary Citizenship and The Writing Life. The tenants are surprisingly obvious: Write charming notes to authors, check. Interview literary folks you respect, check. Read journals and subscribe, check. Write reviews, check. Buy books and rave about them, check (Aaron Reeder’s first book DAWN, just out by …

GARRA

The Spanish and Portuguese word garra translates literally into English as claw, paw or talon. Figuratively is it used as courage, guts, gumption, determination, hustle, spirit or energetic optimism. If you follow football, the sport where you kick the ball with your feet, not the college social event with all the rules and tactics and special teams, you will hear the word often. The Brazilian right-backs Dani Alves and Marcelo have mas garra que talento. Spark, fire, gall, nerve, cheek–chutzpa is a good translation. Tenacity works. Get-up-and-go, if you want to be super clear. Writers need garra and god bless the five week winter break that is creeping nostalgically into a flowery and premature denouement. Christmas and New Year’s, seeing friends and family, meeting new and old folk, drinking and sleeping late, flying and reading buckets, have all filled me with an incredible amount of garra—I am ready to return. I am ready to get back at the helm. I am ready to write and MFA like the wind. Before the break, I had planned …