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    I’m still hyped that I got to be a part of the #hyperbole2018! Our youth are beautiful. #donotbesilent #splitthisrock ❤️ Today I ran a workshop for the #HyperBole2018. I made myself vulnerable. We opened with “Fear in a Box” where everyone, high school and college students, anonymously wrote their fears and hopes on a piece of paper. Then they crumbled the paper or made a paper airplane to fly into the box. We went around the room and opened up the fears and hopes. One girl noticed that the hopes were internal expectations and the fears related to something or someone external to us. 🤔
I shared my fear: deportation. My workshop was on immigration and immigrant poets. I am not afraid to be the immigrant in the room. I am that girl, but it don’t come easy. I ran the workshop twice, but the first time was the harder one. I have shared my story before, and yet, I never know how my heart will cope on any given day. 💔Today I had to breathe in before saying the words “my fear is deportation” because it is a very valid fear no matter what people say: I’m praying, down with Trump, it’ll be alright. I don’t know if I will stay in my America. I hope that like the fears the youth shared such as letting people down, being alone, spiders, and jellyfish, my fear can be overcome. #callcongress #saveTPS Morning hour. 😴 At a new temporary office! The life of an immigrant poet.
#workweek #before8am
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1,000 miles: step 80

2017 is here, 2017 is here. I have welcomed it with reading, pleasure reading. It’s amazing how much poetry and fiction I can take when I’m not writing weekly papers or poems. I will not think about politics right now, will not mourn over the possible setbacks of a Trump term for the immigrant student, for the woman, for the lover.

2017 is a reading year. This spring semester, I’m reading twelve poetry books for one class alone. I plan on reading more Spanish poetry, now that I have an adequate appreciation of the Spanish poetry tradition.

I also want 2017 to be the year I place my foot in the publishing world’s door. In 2016, I started submitting my work to online literary magazines and journals. There were rejections–actually, the rejections are still coming in. There were minor successes, enough to keep going. The literary world must know my name, my story.

With the goal of sharing stories with a greater audience, I can now be found on Instagram, @claudiapoet. While the poetry on Instagram is not always refined, it’s giving poetry a home in this social age. Another place to share with the world the preoccupations of my poet heart.

Onward, 2017.

Panoramic view of Georgetown

Panoramic view of Georgetown

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1,000 miles: step 52

I found Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar on my local library shelf’s today (and will be taking it off my to-read shelf shortly). I kind of wish I had come in knowing nothing about the author. Digesting an author’s work as autobiography, is a dangerous temptation. I would hate to have every single creative text I write be interpreted as a personal life experience.

I feel like gobbling up the story in one sittng. I won’t. Because if I get attached to the world Plath has created, reading the last page will crush me. Final pages are always a small reminder that good and beautiful things must come to an end.

When I was younger, such thrills over reading were frequent.

There’s something about finding in a text a little mirror to your self, that’s so very special. That those words speak to you, seem to be made for you, that somebody who has never met you wrote those words… it’s nothing short of a happy coincidence. I grew up, in part, raised by the stories I read. I don’t remember them all. I just know they’re among the reasons I see things the way I do, believe what I believe, find humor in the things I do…

Tonight, I’m thinking there’s something wrong in the way academics reduces reading into analytical work. I’ve always been good at essay writing. Though, somewhere in tackling texts for an A’s sake, I lost track of the little girl who read for leisure. I’m sure I can find her again–though she’s not so little anymore, and she’s certainty not reading children’s stories.