A few years ago, I learned that my father spent a few months in a Cuban military prison while my mother was pregnant with me. The reasons behind it, and how everything ultimately played out seemed Kafkaesque, so I decided to write a somewhat fictionalized version of the events. The result was a story titled, “Deceased,” which I workshopped in my MFA program and continued revising on and off for years. “Deceased” has just been published in Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, and it is also forthcoming in my story collection. Huge thanks to Lee Hope for liking this piece enough to accept it, and to everyone who’s helped me improve it along the way. I’m also super stoked that it is appearing alongside three short pieces by the ridiculously talented, and my desk buddy at work, Sonya Larson!
I’m really excited and honored to have been a finalist for a Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellowship! I’ve been getting a lot of love and support lately for my work, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I’m also very happy to see so many talented local Boston artists, including a few GrubStreet instructors and students, recognized for their wonderful work!
I was delighted and honored to learn yesterday that the last short story I wrote, titled “Protest,” has been accepted for publication by The Bare Life Review, a new journal that focuses on work by immigrant and refugee writers. They have a kickass list of editors and an important, timely mission. They also do a wonderful job supporting their contributors by paying a good amount for the work they accept. I’m excited to see this new story–which is set in Madrid in 2011 and follows a day in the life of a young Cuban immigrant whose views and feelings are tested during a protest–alongside what I’m sure will be some excellent writing.
Earlier this year, I decided to write a story that dealt with how outsiders exoticize and romanticize Cuban people and the country’s crumbling infrastructure when traveling there. The story became, among other things, about a woman and her journey to keep her dilapidated building from collapsing while the American President’s impending visit looms over the country (this was inspired by Obama’s historic visit and the hope that it brought to the island at the time). It was a story that, more than any other I’ve written, made me feel like a real writer as I worked on it. Last night, the story was accepted for publication by one of my favorite literary magazines, The Kenyon Review.
Because my process has become a kind of communal endeavor, big thanks must go out to a list of people: Alina, Artem, Jonathan, Lauren, Shubha, Alison, Shuchi, and Sean: thank you all for your feedback and support!
The story is tentatively scheduled to come out next fall.
I’m immensely excited and honored to have been selected as one of City of Boston’s inaugural Artist Fellows! The fellowship award includes $10,000 and the opportunity to collaborate with the city on a public display of my work. I am incredibly grateful for the support Boston is showing its artists, and for the ways in which this fellowship will help me work on my second novel over the next year. Oh, and I got to meet the Mayor!
I’m participating on a panel with some fellow Latina/o writers at the Connolly Branch of the Boston Public Library in Jamaica Plain this coming Monday, October 2nd at 6pm. We will be discussing our paths to publication as a way to inspire new Latina/o writers to reach their own publishing goals!