I recently became a fellow for the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program conducted by the New York Foundation for the Arts, where I am paired with the Iranian writer Poupeh Missaghi as my mentor for the next four months. This was the first non-science-fiction-related break I have had in this country, although Poupeh also wants to look at my magical realism writing, so that’s pretty cool.
This is also the first group of artists I have met that is largely international. (I have my People of Colour writers’ communities, and they are lovely and supportive, but they don’t always share the burden of immigration that has suddenly become so much heavier under the current US government.) It’s also the first community I have met where many members are primarily performing artists, because all my life I have really only known writers and readers. (And, well, amateur musicians when I was much younger, but that was back in Calcutta, and most of those friends no longer perform.) This fills me with excitement for the kind of perspectives and possibilities it may bring up! I will wait to see what new places it takes me.