Writing Activity, February 2021

As I wrote last month, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep a list of my writing activity for each month. I do so partly as a form of encouragement for myself–to show that I am still able to do some writing despite the energy-sucking terrors of the pandemic–and partly as an archive that I can look back on in the future. As such, I will include negative happenings (e.g., receiving rejections), not just positive ones.

I think that it is important for me to share my list publicly as a queer writer of color because mainstream discourse tries to either pretend voices such as mine do not exist or actively tries to suppress them. Whether one is part of a marginalized group or not, writing is an essential act of resistance in these terrible times, so I hope that my list offers encouragement to others.

Here is the list for February, which is basically in chronological order:

1. Wrote at least one senryu or haiku almost every day in my journal. I ended up taking a few days off here and there as necessary because it was a stressful month.

2. Made some revisions to a book manuscript I’m working on.

3. Began putting together a chapbook manuscript of my haiku and senryu.

4. Helped write a call for papers for an MLA 2022 session on protest poetry.

5. Submitted ten poems to Kingfisher, and had one accepted for the next issue.

6. Attended the February virtual meeting of the Haiku Society of America (HSA) Social Club.

7. Finished an essay and submitted it to an anthology project about Latinx pain.

8. Submitted fifteen poems to Modern Haiku, and had one accepted for the next issue.

9. Read and accepted some scholarly pieces for an anthology I am co-editing about Dungeons & Dragons, and also sent some rejections. We are still accepting submissions of creative writing until June 15!

10. Submitted three poems to Hobart for their annual baseball issue, and haven’t heard back about them yet because the submission deadline has not yet passed.

11. Revised and resubmitted a journal article for a journal that had asked for some revisions.

12. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies website.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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