I write this on the last day of 2012, which was a transformative year indeed. During the spring semester, I taught a creative nonfiction class at the University of Iowa as well as an online distance-learning class that united fourteen writers from ten nations to discuss immigration in creative nonfiction, in conjunction with Iowa’s International Writing Program. I also traveled a great deal, first to AWP in Chicago (where I presented on two panels) and then to Washington University in St. Louis, U-Mass-Lowell, University of North Carolina Chapel-Hill, Florida International University, and University of Nebraska at Lincoln (where I gave talks or readings). In May, I graduated with my MFA from Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and joined Santiago Vaquera-Vasquez and Charli Valdez for a reading at the 8th International Conference on Chicano Literature in Toledo, Spain. I celebrated my birthday at the Prado in Madrid, gave a talk at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, visited a dear friend in Guadalajara, and romped around Lisbon, Portugal.
Over the summer, I taught a travel writing seminar at Pine Manor’s Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program in Boston, and then packed up my life into 42 boxes and moved 1,000 miles north and east to Canton, New York to become the Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at St. Lawrence University. This has proven to be a marvelous gig: in addition to teaching two classes a semester, my official duties include throwing literary salons and parties at the Kohlberg House (a beautiful restored Victorian built in the 1850s where the Viebranz writer lives each year). That fall, I moderated a nonfiction panel at the Comadres y Compadres Writers Conference in New York City and joined my Iowa gente for four panels at the 2012 NonfictioNow Conference in Melbourne, Australia (as well as an excursion to Sydney and the Outback).
And now it’s already 2013! I am teaching two classes at St. Lawrence University this spring: traveling writing and intro to creative nonfiction. In April, I’ll be flying home to Texas to join Manuel Luis Martinez, John Phillip Santos, and Carmen Tafolla on a panel called “Global Odyssey: From Texas to the World and Back” at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University-San Marcos; click here for details. I’ll also be giving a farewell reading at St. Lawrence on the 25th. Then at the end of May, I’ll be moving 800 miles south to become Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Here’s hoping our paths cross somewhere along the way. Gracias!