Other news on the homefront - well, I am a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award (Lammie) in debut fiction. I'm very honored and excited by this! I write because I am compelled to, and it's really nice to be reminded that the world interacts with what is created and that a panel of people would read Erzulie's Skirt and say, yes - we think we'd like to suggest this for recognition. So - thank you to all the folks on the Lambda literary award panel! And a special congratulations to Ernest Hardy and Lisa C Moore for the other finalists in the RedBone Press family (Lisa - you're amazing!) - Ernest Hardy's Blood Beats: Vol 1 is a finalist in the Arts & Culture category; Spirited, edited by Lisa C Moore & Winston James is a finalist in the Spirituality category. Wow.
My niece is coming into town to do an internship on the life of a writer. What can I tell her? Not much - it's pretty much a do as you go kinda thing. But, in a staunch effort to support her development as an individual and creative participant in society, for the next week, I'm going to be taking her to classes at UT in English, Performance and Literature. And introducing her to all the amazing people I can, and taking her to the radical arts spaces around town. She'll be joining a youth workshop I'm teaching on Saturday for the Cimarron group - I'll be teaching a zine workshop with 10 young women of color, who I'm very excited to work with. And we'll be checking out some of the films from the SXSW festival - this huge film and music festival that happens in town. We missed our opportunity for purchasing tickets to the Alamo drafthouse all night Buffy sing-a-long, but hey - there's always Run Granny Run - who is our very own live-in-the-flesh-vampire slayer (Run Granny - knock those politicians in D.C. out!!).
On Friday, Red Salmon Arts and Poesia Mujer are featuring an evening of cantos celebrating International Women's Day featuring poetas/activistas de Austin. Some of the folks are: Erika Gonzalez, poet/activist and co-director of PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources), Carole Metellus (Haitian-American writer/activist), ire'ne lara silva (Xicana writer/coordinator for Sandra Cisnero's Macondo Foundation), Moises Silva (gay Xicano writer), Courtney Morris (African American co-founder of Cimarrones:Youth Building Community), Kadedra Delille (African American youth with Cimarrones), Mariposa Corona (Xicana personal trainer/owner of East Urban Fitness), Luisanna Santibanez (Xicana student/activist for immigrant rights), Denea Stewart-Shaheed (African American writer) and Yvette Rodriguez (Xicana activist with PODER's Young Scholars for Justice). And I'll be there, too, enjoying the company of some of Austin's greatest folks.
So - here's to living the life of an artist in community! Peace.