On the Poetry of Isaac Brock

Thursday, October 18, 2018

For this week’s post on literary influences, I’m republishing an essay I wrote about the intersection between song lyrics and poetry and how an unlikely rock band influenced a younger version of myself to think and read differently. The essay, On the Poetry of Isaac Brock, originally ran on Vol. 1 Brooklyn. When I was a freshman in high school, I had one of those rare things that stay with…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Under the Influence

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This week the Debs are to discuss the books & authors that most influenced us. And this is especially difficult, since I love to read, and I am fond of both fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, forms both hybrid and pure journalism. So many authors, so many books. So little time. But I will try to thank them and tell you why. With regard to my forthcoming debut novel,…

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Ivelisse Rodriguez on Latinx literature & writing new models of love + GIVEAWAY of LOVE WAR STORIES

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Please welcome Ivelisse Rodriguez to the Ball this week! Ivelisse’s debut short story collection, Love War Stories, came out this July to much acclaim, and was named one of the most anticipated books of 2018 by Cosmopolitan, The Root, and Bitch Media. Bustle called it an “exceptional debut” and as soon as I read the description of the book (and saw it was published by Feminist Press, one of my favorite small presses!),…

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On Drafting

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I get easily excited about ideas. If you sit me in front of a computer long enough, I will inevitably start writing. Drafting is the fun part. Drafting should be the stream of consciousness part, the unfiltered part, the part that is done out of joy. In drafting, there is no judgment, only indulgence. One is able to describe a house or a room or even a bowl of soup…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Ode to the First Draft

I really want to write a rant to all the devastations of the day: the Kavanaugh vote in the Senate, the FBI’s incomplete investigation, the senator from Maine’s weak speech justifying her vote against women, the Senate’s dismissal and nullification of Dr. Ford’s courage. But I have to write for the Debs, it’s that time of the week where the Debs must cull their thoughts for the topic at hand….

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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The Myth of Having Thick Skin

Friday, October 5, 2018

    A couple of weeks ago, when we were all writing about our path to publication, the subject of rejection and failure had to come up. I shared the fact that I’d sent out one hundred and nine queries before landing an agent, so if you think about it, that’s one hundred and eight rejections. I had failed that many times.  But I don’t think I really wrote a…

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Three Steps to Make Failure Suck Less

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The first time I ever felt crushed by rejection was in high school. I was somehow nominated for a months-long mentorship with an established poet, and as part of the decision process, I was invited to Scholastic HQ in downtown Manhattan to meet the other poets in the running. When I was called to read my poem in front of the group, I flailed my hands in passion, the plastic…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Chronicles of an X-American (part 1)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

  Chronicles of an X-American (part 1) The best training is to read and write, no matter what — Grace Paley I’ve always been a poet, and it’s always some tributary of poetry that I return to when I have my teeth, metaphorically, kicked in. I started writing poems, mostly nature poems, when I turned nine. I was fast with my first drafts and slow to revise. Only my fifth-grade…

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It’s all life, it’s all writing

Thursday, September 27, 2018

It has been a rough week in the news, and I imagine that I don’t speak for just me when I say that what’s playing out in the screens is also affecting us in our hearts. On weeks like this, writing feels like looking up to the sky, lifting my face towards a God I don’t believe in, waiting for an answer. What can I possibly write to make anything…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: An Abridged Autobiography, in Books & Comics & Such…

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

This week’s theme: “balancing writing and work and life” has led me to write: an abridged autobiography, in books and comics and such   Don’t remember much before 1970, when I was about four. I watched The Bugaloos, the bug rock-n-roll band who lived in the forest and had to outwit an evil witch. I loved them so much I got the official Bugaloos lunch box and matching thermos, to take…

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