All posts tagged: UNM

GARRA

The Spanish and Portuguese word garra translates literally into English as claw, paw or talon. Figuratively is it used as courage, guts, gumption, determination, hustle, spirit or energetic optimism. If you follow football, the sport where you kick the ball with your feet, not the college social event with all the rules and tactics and special teams, you will hear the word often. The Brazilian right-backs Dani Alves and Marcelo have mas garra que talento. Spark, fire, gall, nerve, cheek–chutzpa is a good translation. Tenacity works. Get-up-and-go, if you want to be super clear. Writers need garra and god bless the five week winter break that is creeping nostalgically into a flowery and premature denouement. Christmas and New Year’s, seeing friends and family, meeting new and old folk, drinking and sleeping late, flying and reading buckets, have all filled me with an incredible amount of garra—I am ready to return. I am ready to get back at the helm. I am ready to write and MFA like the wind. Before the break, I had planned …

HOSTING A READING AND A MASTER READING

December: The Other night I went to see Juan Felipe Herrera, the US Poet Laureate, read at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The smorgasbord from the day’s Chicano/a studies event, which included the local public schools, smouldered in the corner of the hall. Chili roja y verde, tostadas, sopapillas, carne adovada, posole, calabacitas and of course, cinnamon rolls, Doritos and donuts—fill the eager full-house, which feels more like a homecoming to abuelita’s, than a public poetry event. Senor Herrera enters to a standing ovation. He’s wearing a straw hat with a cheerful band. He roots around in his mochilla retrieving notebooks while the audience counts backwards from ten. He thanks everyone and thing under the sun, todo la gente, los ninos, la familia, la Universidad, even his driver—the man is a ray of gratitude. He commands the stage like a side-show barker, weaving seamlessly from “Inglesol” to “Espanales.” He riffs and improvises. He sings consonants and dances vowels. His love of sound is contagious. Lines spoken from his hearts: “Even the gun does not want to …

The Process is the Point

Image: moominsean I got an email from Interfolio today. My subscription is set to expire in three days, so a year minus three days, I got serious about applying to MFAs. When you put money down, you get serious, at least when you live close to the poverty line. The irony is I never logged onto Interfolio after paying. Lesson learnt. Mistake number one. But I’m not much of a tech person, I remember renting VCR tapes, learning Spanish on cassette, highlighting encyclopedias. So I learned the expensive way, Interfolio was not for me, although it sounded good, because it fed on my biggest application fear: organization. This is what I did, not to say it is the best way, but I did get one acceptance and three wait lists out of seven or nine applications. See I don’t even how many applications were even fully completed. I applied to and paid the fee for UNLV and then they never even sent an email. I feel like suing them. Being ignored is worse than being rejected. Furthermore, …

David Morgan O’Connor Introduction (University of New Mexico ’18)

Migration, emigration, re-immigration, what-have-you… I enter the immigration line at Lax. US-Resident or Visitor? First decision on terra firma. Guess which line is longer. I am somewhere in between, always. Lunch, an arepa in Bogota. No breakfast just a 5am tearfilled taxidoor good-bye in Rio de Janeiro with a magical woman. who I am crazy for and crazy to leave. How many times does true love knock on your door, enter and cook salmon with potatoes with no questions asked only warm bliss and pure connection sprinkled with kisses… in this fleeting life? Not many. Not this good. A sweet child, visas, jobs, families, money, practicalities keep her from following and me from staying. If I think about this stuff too long, I will turn around, buy a return ticket. Nobody needs an MFA to write anyway, pure vanity, yet there is time and community and new tricks to learn and new thoughts and time. I am waiting behind the yellow line. Officer Khan calls out NEXT. -I would like to apply for a TN …