Feliz New Year!

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!


  1. Stacia Celaya Pfeifer

    Just finished reading “Mexican Enough” which I picked up on discount at a local book store. I am also half mexican. I really enjoyed reading about your discoveries of mexican heritage and the plight of the mexican people. I don’t consider myself to be a very political person, but am becoming more involved as I get older. It is one of our rights that most Americans take for granted. Thanks for shedding light on our heritage and our neighbors. I plan to pass the book along.

  2. Wow! Congratulations on the new blog, Stephanie! It looks beautiful– just right for such a beautiful person!

    Love, Keith

  3. Rose Castillo Guilbault

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m looking forward to meeting you in Tucson.


  4. Kerri

    Hola! Cool blog – the only perfect name for your Around The Bloc fans to follow:)

  5. B.A. Acevedo

    Hola Stephanie,

    I forwarded your most recent news item to my son Chris and his wife, Sharon. They live in Albuquerque and extended an invitation to them to go to your summer event.Sharon edits an online periodical which publishes short stories and her blog is http://www.reflectionsedge.com/

    I hope that they get to meet you and that you continue to be successful with good health, exitos, and safety in your travels.



  6. Stephanie, so glad I ran into your blog. Are you planning a trip to CChristi anytime soon? We’d love to have you at a SAGA meeting.
    Sara, SAGA president

  7. I will try to make the Vromans talk. Would love to connect with you.
    I have a travel collection of my own coming out soon!

  8. Rosemary Colón

    Anything in the Bay Area? I missed out last spring at your event in San Jose. I have been reading Mexican Enough on and can identify with some of your experiences having lived a few months in Oaxaca. I have also explored other parts of the country as well.

  9. susanvanallen

    Beautiful celebration last night at Vroman’s! It was a great night with an enthusiastic audience–we all loved hearing the stories. Thanks for it all!
    Susan Van Allen

  10. Que fantastico! You and the excellent author-contributors deserve it! Please know that your fans and fellow writers in Santa Fe, NM (Jann Huizenga, Richard Seager and myself) often recall with fondness your inspirational memoir/travel writing course at the Santa Fe Writers Workshop in 2007. We all agree that your material, preparation, enthusiasm and inclusion made your course the best we ever attended. Keep writing, editing, traveling and teaching, and know you are much appreciated!

  11. Loved watching the speech. My grandfather and his family are from Eagle Pass and never taught my half-Mexican mother Spanish because he wanted her to be “American.” I’m grateful that we’re starting to realize that “American” reaches beyond baseball and apple pie and I’m looking forward to the day that I can teach my daughter about her heritage.

    Speaking of my daughter, she kept saying “hi” to you while I had the video playing, so hi from Ava! 🙂

  12. Jean MacRobbie Manor

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Your vibrant words are like a huipile connecting mud and blood and body to the inspiration from spirit. And thank you for opening and expanding my awareness with your “literary textile”. I am a Celtic gringa whose father studied in Mexico in his youth and shared the language, the power and the beauty of Mexico with me in my childhood. I grew up near the Tijuana border and was sensitized to the cultural bordello created there. At the same time my friends and I drank the margaritas to liberate ourselves from the boundaries of our middle class upbringing. How ironic, as I see it now, that so many people have died trying to cross the border to get what my friends and I were so deliriously happy to escape from. And thank you for weaving the thought into my heart: that the Mexican people are resilient. They will endure.

  13. Hola Stephanie,
    I just finished reading your awesome and awe inspiring book Mexican Enough, and loved every minute of it!!!!I hope you will be back in San Antonio some day, since I had not discovered your books before you cam to Gemini Ink. I would even travel to Corpus Christi if you came again to see your family. In San Antonio, “mi casa es su casa”. My husband and I both love entertaining friends and family, and you indeed feel like family after reading your fantastic book. I was pleasantly surprised that there was only one translation that was not exact, unlike many other bilingual books I have read. Felicitaaciones, ole!

    Maria Zambrano

    • Hola dear Maria,
      Thank you so very much for your kind words! They mean the world. I’ll definitely drop y’all a line next time I teach at GI. It would be lovely to meet! Til then, my best wishes to you and your familia.

  14. Loved listening to your talk. Even digitally, you come across alive and fascinating. Also, congrats on the MFA

  15. Cornelia González Levy

    Dearest Stephanie,

    I have been avidly reading your Blog and I can’t stop. What a wonderful life you are living as a writer who explores the problems, the injustices, the best of the best in writing and ideas of so many places around the world. My heart expands with joy to know the beautiful, creative, passionate young lady I met so long ago has taken her place among my favorite writers of this generation.


  16. Stephanie, I’ve nominated your blog for a One Lovely Blog Award at http://paper-pencil-pen.blogspot.com/2012/09/one-lovely-blog-award-paper-pencil-pen_11.html. I first heard you speak at Left Coast Writers–you’re such a powerhouse that it’s no wonder you’re so accomplished. I tried to track you down to say hello at AWP in the marketplace, to no avail. Thanks for all the awesome writing/work you do!

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