Writing Activity, January 2023

Since January 2021, I’ve been keeping a list of my writing activity for each month (here’s last month’s). 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 (Which is still going on! Keep wearing masks!), 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 disabled 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.

The list is basically in chronological order.

1. Wrote a haiku or senryu on most mornings.

2. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies.

3. Had a personal essay rejected by a journal, and submitted it to another journal.

4. Finished and submitted a commissioned book review to a journal in one of my fields.

5. Finished a draft of my memoir!

6. Submitted a pitch for my memoir to a contest.

7. Read a personal essay as part of a reading by Paragraph’s MFA fellows at KGB Bar in Manhattan.

8. Began my last semester of MFA coursework.

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Books Acquired Recently

Chen, Chen. Explodingly Yours. Syracuse, NY: Ghost City Press, 2023.

I love Chen’s poetry, so I bought this chapbook as soon as it was available for preorder, and it arrived a few days ago.

Erano, Paul. Fountain Pens Past and Present: Identification and Value Guide. 2nd ed. Paducah, KY: Collector Books, 2007.

I have become obsessed with fountain pens recently, so I bought a used copy of this book as a way to get introduced to the various vintage brands out there even though the book’s values are now way out of date.

Books Acquired Recently: Disability Justice Edition

One of my favorite queer presses, Arsenal Pulp Press, recently had a 30% off sale, so I used the opportunity to pick up a few disability justice titles that I’ve been wanting to read.

Kafai, Shayda. Crip Kinship: The Disability Justice & Arts Activism of Sins Invalid. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2021.

Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshmi. Tongue Breaker: Poems and Performance Texts. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019.

Books Acquired Recently: Haiku+1

I’ve been reading as much as I can lately as part of my continuing explorations of haiku. To that end, I bought these three books:

Bashō. Bashō and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary. Edited and Translated by Makoto Ueda. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1992.

Goldberg, Natalie. Three Simple Lines: A Writer’s Pilgrimage Into the Heart and Homeland of Haiku. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2021.

Wojnicki, Tad, ed. Sucking Mangoes Naked: Erotic Haiku. Los Angeles: Writers & Lovers Studio, 2022.

+1

Indermaur, Katherine. IǀI. Geneva, NY: Seneca Review Books, 2022.

I recently read an article about this hybrid memoir in Poets & Writers. It sounded intriguing enough that I decided to buy it.

Books Acquired Recently

Butler, Octavia E. “Bloodchild” and Other Stories. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2022.

I was browsing in Little City Books recently and they had this new compilation on the front table. I couldn’t resist buying it because I love Butler’s work.

Horwitz, Jay. Mr. Met: How a Sports-Mad Kid from Jersey Became Like Family to Generations of Big Leaguers. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2020.

I’ve been meaning to pick up this autobiography for a while, and decided to finally do so because I am seriously missing baseball right now. Spring Training can’t come soon enough!

Writing Activity, December 2022

Since January 2021, I’ve been keeping a list of my writing activity for each month (here’s last month’s). 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 (Which is still going on! Keep wearing masks!), 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 disabled 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.

The list is basically in chronological order. It was a good writing month!

1. Wrote a haiku or senryu on most mornings.

2. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies.

3. Read a personal essay at a reading at Bird in Hand bar with some of my MFA classmates.

4. Submitted a personal essay to a journal and had it accepted.

5. Peer reviewed three articles for a journal in one of my fields.

6. Had the ten poems I sent to Frogpond last month rejected.

7. Signed a contract for my next book, a hybrid of literary criticism and memoir tentatively titled Getting the News: Theapoetic Ethics for Apocalyptic Times, with Penn State University Press. The book should be out by mid-2024.

8. Submitted a presentation proposal to a haiku conference.

9. Submitted another personal essay to a journal.

Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Edition

Here are the books I got as gifts for the holidays:

Brody, Leslie. Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of “Harriet the Spy”. New York: Seal Press, 2020.

Huber, Sonya. Voice First: A Writer’s Manifesto. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2022.

Rosenow, Ce. Lenard D. Moore and African American Haiku: Merging Traditions. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2022.

Books Acquired Recently

Reed, Sabrina. Lives Lived, Lives Imagined: Landscapes of Resilience in the Works of Miriam Toews. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2022.

With the publication of this book, Toews becomes only the third Mennonite writer (after Rudy Wiebe and Patrick Friesen) to have a scholarly book devoted entirely to their work.

Vizcaíno Rivera, Yamilette. Little, Little, Little, Big, Big, Big. Sacramento, CA: Hellebore Press, 2022.

One of my classmates just published this memoir chapbook, and my pre-ordered copy recently arrived.

Writing Activity, November 2022

Since January 2021, I’ve been keeping a list of my writing activity for each month (here’s last month’s). 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 (Which is still going on! Keep wearing masks!), 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 disabled 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.

The list is basically in chronological order.

1. Wrote a haiku or senryu on most mornings.

2. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies.

3. Submitted ten poems to Frogpond.

4. Submitted ten poems to Modern Haiku and had one accepted for the next issue.

5. Had two poems published in the October issue of Kingfisher, which arrived mid-November.

6. Continued my MFA coursework and had my antepenultimate workshop in the program, which went well.

7. Got asked to do a book review for a scholarly journal in one of my fields and said yes.

8. Had an anthology that I have a personal essay in become available for pre-order.

Books Acquired Recently: Canadian Mennonite Edition

Books published in Canada have been much harder to acquire in the U.S. since the pandemic started. Shipping fees have gone through the roof. But there are a few recent Mennonite books that I’ve been wanting to buy, so I made an order from McNally Robinson that arrived earlier this week.

Brandt, Di. The Sweetest Dance on Earth: New and Selected Poems. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2022.

Brandt has been one of my favorite poets since I first encountered her work in 2001. I am very glad that she is still writing and that she now has a Selected Poems that encompasses her entire career.

Byggdin, K.R. Wonder World. Winnipeg: Enfield & Wizenty, 2022.

Queer Mennonite novels FTW!