NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program 2017

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.

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The 2017 cohort of NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, on the first day of our meeting

Continue reading “NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program 2017”

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I have a review! – on Quick Sip Reviews

When I first started publishing seriously (i.e. not teenage-angsty poems hastily scribbled and sent off to the local newspaper), I had no idea how hard it was to find intelligent or likeminded readers. I had a poetry blog that was fairly popular with my college friends, and I respected my college friends – English or Comparative Literature students at Jadavpur University, most of them – as intelligent and likeminded readers. They were a ready readership: we all knew and occasionally checked each other’s blogs; all I had to do was put up something on mine, and the readers would come automatically. Continue reading “I have a review! – on Quick Sip Reviews”

Announcing the Table of Contents for Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler!

This went up on the website of Twelfth Planet Press a while ago, but I also wanted to put it up on my blog, because this has been a truly great set of works to edit, by writers who are friends, writers I didn’t know personally but admired, as well as writers who were complete strangers. No better opportunity than this to put their names on my blog.

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Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler
Edited by Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal

ISBN: 978-1-922101-42-6 (pbk)
ISBN: 978-1-922101-43-3 (ebk)
To be published in August 2017

Continue reading “Announcing the Table of Contents for Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler!”

Writing in 2017, and other things

uncanny16Four months into 2017, most of what I’ve written is non-fiction. A lot of that isn’t constructed writing. They are letters (including job application letters), long chat conversations, depressed rambles in my diary. These times in the United States have not been kind to me. I don’t mean the kindness of individuals – I received so many assertions of hope, encouragement, so many offers of support from friends and acquaintances that my heart brims with joy – but my general prospects in this country have gone so many shades darker. I’m not sure I like the United States, although I like so many Americans, and would love to stay around them. Continue reading “Writing in 2017, and other things”

I have a review! – On File 770

Do you regularly Google yourselves? I still find it awkward to do that, so the only times I end up doing it is on the occasional end-of-the-night/early-morning when I can’t fall asleep but am too tired to do something else more fun. (This doesn’t happen often. There are always more Buzzfeed quizzes to do, which is always more fun than Googling myself.) And that’s how I found out that there was a little one-paragraph review of my Harry Potter essay on File 770 back in December.

This is cool, because File 770 is cool. This also feels more reasonable than the five or so comments that the article got on the original site, all at different points of the scale between splaining and trolling. Online abuse still manages to make me flinch, probably because I haven’t often “put myself out there” in the truest sense of the term, even though I have existed on the Internet for more than a decade. (I existed in networks and communities that were accountable, and in which online identities often led to real-life people.) In the public sense, I am not easily trolled, partly because I absolutely disappear from the site of trollage, refusing to engage. But in the private sense, I also end up wasting an unnecessary amount of time wondering about the kind of human beings who spend most of their life saying unpleasant things to people on the Internet, and what evolutionary turn has brought us to this.

Anyway, here’s a screenshot of the File 770 review, because I would like to keep a record:

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I hope I am not beginning to seem like the obnoxious celebrity who retweets every praise, which is apparently a stereotype, someone pointed out to me recently. This may be helped by the fact that I’m not, in fact, a celebrity. That essay was my only non-fiction publication last year, and this probably my only review. That’s totally okay to feel great about.