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Day 22 of 30 - March Poetry Update!

I seriously cannot believe the month is almost over! It's gone by *so* fast and I've done SO MUCH. I took a trip to sunny Los Angeles where I got to stay with a writer friend, talk about writing, write, and participate in some amazing readings with cool people like Katie Manning, Wendy Oleson, and all the awesome writers at David Rocklin's Roar Shack Reading Series.

Here are some pics from my wonderings (I won't bore you with pictures from the readings -- just yet):


a street named after my favorite food


the back of a mercado whose image makes me think of home & mi abuelita


the cafe where they film a lot of the Cracked After Hours videos (I'm kinda addicted to their dorky pop culture conversations, mostly because I want to join in).

Tomorrow I'm driving to Morgantown to read with super cool cats Laura Madeline Wiseman & Jill Khoury (their poetry is bomb!) at an Art Salon (doesn't that sound fancy!). Last week was spring break and I got to see some real WV mountains. And lastly, the thing that has taken up most of my energies (other than teaching of course - all of this is on top of teaching and grading) is my paritipation in Tupelo Press' 30/30 Poetry Challenge fundraiser. Around mid-month, I posted a mildly pathetic, yet very earnest blog plea/post discussing the need for indie publishing, but now that we're getting down to the end of the line, I wanted to share a little bit about what a wonderful experience this has been.

Firstly, I want to say thank you to those of you who have generously donated either much needed money or much needed exposure through sharing the March 30/30 Tupelo Press page on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or your blog. Of course, depending on the amount (and if you clicked my name in the poet drop down menu), you should be receiving your poetry thank you gift in the next few weeks.

These past twenty-two days have been tough, but magical. I was really nervous to volunteer, not only because writing a poem a day is a lot of pressure, but also because these young poems would be thrust out onto the web for the whole world to see. And when I saw the amazing caliber of my fellow March poets; I have to admit I was a little extra intimidated. This experience though has transformed a bit of writing insecurity to writing boldness. Rather than feeling locked up by these challenges, they have encouraged me to dig deeper, re-find that writer in me who used to write everywhere and anywhere, and feel more excited about sharing this raw work. The support I’ve received from friends and poetry readers has been a boost of confidence, making me to want to push the limits of my writing even farther.

For me, poetry has always been about connection and communication. That is one of the reasons I’m happy to have volunteered my time and energy to support a press like Tupelo. Their commitment to new and emerging writers and writers traditionally marginalized by big presses makes them a significant presence in the 21st century publishing landscape.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to donate to this worthy endeavor, it’s not too late. I, and my seven fellow March poets, will continue writing and sharing the gift of poetry with you for another eight (8) days (and if all of this is new to you, the previous three weeks of poetry is still up on the site and ready for your perusal). Not only does Tupelo offer amazing donation incentives, but for those who click my name when donating, you will receive thank you gifts born of the poems I’ve written this month. Here are the incentives below:

Ø Poetry Admirer Level: $5 - $34 – receive a personalized thank you card featuring one of my March’s 30/30 poems

Ø Pick a Prompt Level: $35 - $70 – along with a personalized thank you card featuring a 30/30 poem of your choice, you will have the option to pick the poetry topic for one 30/30 poem. This poem will not only go up on Tupelo’s website, but will also be featured on my blog “American Mestiza,” with (or without) special personalized note explaining the prompt/idea/topic or image and my writing process for that poem

Ø Poetry Enthusiast Level: $71 - $150 – along with a thank you card featuring a 30/30 poem of your choice, you will also receive a special thank you video of the writer (me) reading any poem of your choice (preferably a 30/30 poem, but any poem is eligible). The video can be emailed or posted on the donor’s social media platform of their choice, and will be featured on the March 2015 30/30 Facebook page

Ø Poetry Lover Level: $151 and up – at the end of the 30 days, the donor will receive a hand-bound bundle of all my 30/30 poems

Thank you again for all your support! As many of you know, the work of a poet doesn't often have monetary "payoff." Though we don’t write for “payoff,” seeing donations brought in as support for my work and Tupelo Press, is a humbling and gratifying experience. I can’t wait to drop a thank you poem post card in the mail for you!


Link to Tupelo Press’ 30/30 Project:

Link to Tupelo Press’ donation page:

Link to the March 2015 30/30 Poetry Challenge Facebook page:

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