This is the recap. I will try as best as I can to keep this section current about what is past... this is my third time since I started this blog of going back through this and making needed changes and updates.
That's me. Above. I had to take photos of myself for the Leeway Transformation Award that I won.
I borrowed a digital camera and just started shooting... and deleting. Only the serious ones looked any good. So here it is.
It was a serious honor to win. $15,000 for my work as an artist and activist. At the reading I had to follow poet Sonia Sanchez.
I also won 1st place in a fiction contest at the Community College of Philadelphia, the Judith Stark Creative Writing Award. It is nice to win the first thing you ever enter as a writer.
Simone Zelitch, my first ever creative writing teacher has been an amazing mentor to me. Check out her novel Louisa.
I decided to leave my home of Philadelphia and move to Laramie, Wyoming to attend the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Wyoming. I recently finished up and left Laramie. I continue to work on an untitled novel and a collection of short stories, Other People's Children.
At the university many people were supportive of my work: the MFA Program, the English department and the Chicano Studies Program. I was honored to get the opportunity to teach Mexican American Literature for three semesters as well as a semester of Latino Literature.
While at UW I tried to keep busy. I was awarded summer research funding from the Social Justice Research Center, the MFA program and many others. This allowed me to attend the VONA writer of color workshop in San Francisco and spend 4 1/2 weeks in Chiapas, Mexico.
I am a co-founder of the MFA reading series here as well as a new student organization that promotes the use of bicycles and wind turbines: http://uwevolverevolve.blogspot.com
Wyoming is a crazy anomaly of a state that could be a blog of its own if I were to go on. I love it there but it was not always easy. Moving from a radical queer community in Philadelphia to Laramie was a shock to the system to say the least. I still say that I moved from Philadelphia to a different planet named Wyoming. But it is beautiful. And I met some wonderful people who are dear to me.
One last thing: half-breed was/is my DJ name. I DJed primarily in Philadelphia for seven years. I am looking to get back into it now that my time in Laramie is up. This likely means investing in Serrato as I think vinyl only DJs are on some sort of endangered species list. My last trip to Amoeba records in the bay I walked out with nothing. It was amazing, so little was being put onto vinyl.
The DJ name was what I came up with when I needed one and wanted something that was personal and somewhat challenging to the audience (something bigger than DJ CoolCool). It has its origin from when my brother and I were once called "dirty mexican half-breeds" when we were kids. I shortened it to half-breed. I still like it a lot, the reclaiming. And the way that so many of us are half-breeds in that purity doesn't exist.
My DJ gigs: one was at a beautiful eco-house that overlooks San Cristobal de las Casas. A radical international crew. And then the times I've managed to hook up in Philly have sustained me and proven this DJ thing isn't over yet. No. No.
You should be able to hear it here: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=266213780
and I think you can download it too
Posted by MJV at 1:17 AM