I published 2 new pieces in Commonweal. The first is a review of books, Chinese American fiction and memoir, called “Tales of Assimilation.” The second is a memoir piece called “Language and Conversion.”
If you’re in Chicago, come by for some poetry!
A huge thank you to Subterranean Books on Delmar, our five amazing Kundiman Midwest poets, (L to R) Mikkel Snyder, Rachel Ronquillo-Gray, Helene Achanzar, Hyejung Kook, Eugene Gloria, and myself.
Special gratitude to Katherine Witzig, our delightful accommodations host.
The reading was packed, the words were lyrical, piercing, hilarious, and breathtaking. We hope to do it again very soon!
“The Convert Wants Wounds, Not Scars,” is today’s poem on the Academy of American Poets. Thanks to Eduardo C. Corral for including me in September!
My short piece, “Why I Came,” is up at Commonweal. It’s a brief recounting of my conversion to Catholicism, and an explanation of why I stay in this faith community in this particularly difficult, troubling, and trying time. I’m grateful to Katherine Lucky for her guidance and encouragement with this piece.
My essay, “We Carry Smoke and Paper” is in the latest issue of Blood Orange Review (v. 11.1). I’m grateful to the editors, especially Laura Westerfield, Heloise Abtahi, and Kristin Becker, for their generosity in getting this piece in shape for the beautiful BOR.
My short article, “The Sense of the Story” is up on The Common Reader blog today.
Back in January, Michaella Thornton’s in-depth look into how layoffs hit women and mothers (Pinkslips: How Layoffs Create Double Jeopardy for Working Mothers) included part of my experience of getting laid off from St. Louis Community College.
“The Sense of the Story” is a response, not exactly to her article, but to the experience of telling her my story and having it included in a wider story of working women, pay inequality, and sexism. I’m grateful for Michaella’s article, the chance to share my experience, write a response, and yes, even for the layoff itself.
Rejection Slip is a series of pieces I submitted for publication that were rejected by the editors. Oh well.
I submitted the following piece to NCR in December, in response to a multi-part discussion on Catholics who have left the church. The discussion began with Melinda Henneberger’s USA Today column (November 2018) about why she left the church. Henneberger followed up in December with an article in NCR about the responses she fielded from that first article. Then, NCR published a respnse to Henneberger by a priest, Fr. David Knight, that they called “smart” and “thoughtful.” For the reasons I outline below, I found his response to be shallow, arrogant, and fallacious.