Friday, June 26, 2009

Yellow Attic is born

I was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and I grew up between Isabela and Moca. I started to love books as a kid while my Mom was going to college. I thought books were quite important if she spent so much time reading them. I wrote childish poems growing up, mainly poems to my family and such. During my teenage years I wrote, guess what? poems. I burned them all because once I started to discover Neruda and Julia de Burgos I felt ashamed. Then I went to college to pursue a bachelor in Comparative Literature but my first passion, the promise that I made my grandma I was going to be a journalist and being practical made me switch to journalism. I did pretty good in my literature classes but once I got to the theory ones I was a hot mess. I wanted to spend my life writing something creative not about literary theories or analyzing other people books. I respect the people in the field but it wasn't not for me. I got my degree in journalism from University of Puerto Rico. Obtaining it was a breeze, after growing up with WKAQ radio station 24and reading the newspapers to my grandma all the classes were easy. The hard part was getting a job in the field but that is another story.
I knew my writing was more than a hobby when I met the founder of Guajana, Vicente Rodriguez Nietzche. He put me in contact with all the poets of his generation. I became an organizer of poetry events with him. Those were the years of Colectivos en Tarima, Poetry Nights at Café Cuatro Estaciones. I met other dreamers like me, those who knew the power of poetry. Just to mention a few Julio César Pol (Founder of El Sótano 00931, Raúl "Gorras" Morris, Lady Lee Andrews, Carlos Esteban Cana, Mayrim Cruz Bernal, Jorge Capiello, Amarilis Tavarez, between others. I traveled with "Gorras" Morris and Rodriguez Nietzche to La Habana, Cuba Book Fair in 2002. Seeing the lines the cubans made to buy books and other experiences made me think about how readers were still there...we just had to look for them. For some reason we I got back home the country seemed so little, so asfixiating that I took the first option I had to get away from the country...I moved to Miami, Florida to pursue a master degree in Spanish Journalism, which I finished in one year. I went back to Puerto Rico and worked like a cashier in an African art store, in a store of painted ceramic houses, dishwasher in a restaurant, organizer of poetry workshops with Instituto de Cultura, copyrights coordinator for Santillana Editores. Whatever was necessary to survive. I wrote very little during this time. The poems I produced around this time were mainly erotic, pieces to show my lovers how much I wanted or loved them. Again the feeling of running away and the itch to make the dream of my grandmother of me being a journalist were killing me.
I took an offer of being the editor for a Hispanic newspaper in Reading, Pennsylvania
That is how I got to the United States and the cold weather. I worked in the newspaper for three years. As the editor I wrote different articles in a weekly basis but the calling of writing something more was there the whole time. To calm this yearning, I started participating with the Berks Bards. Knowing how this group had been together for 10 years and seeing the amazing job Elizabeth Stanley had made organizing this group made me question my own commitment. I questioned myself why if I wanted to write I wasn't. My answer was pure laziness. I started writing again and I meet the writer, Tanya Rosado and she taught me to book bind. I started talking and reading with writers like Lamont Steptoe, Craig Czury, Heather Thomas and I decided to do a handcrafted limited edition of my first poetry book, Loneliness Country. The poems of this book are about the feeling of being an immigrant.
A few events in my life showed me my duty with my grandmother and journalism was over. So there I was without a purpose, not knowing how to continue living without a motor to move me forward. Writing again saved me from losing faith in life. I started writing again and I didn’t stop yet. I decided I had to do the switch to English. I have a weekly meeting with Marilyn Klimcho in which I read her fiction and we talk about how to tweak it and she edits my translations. Currently I’m working on a novel; a poetry book about nostalgia titled, Sepia and a collection of some rewritten erotic and love poems. I had been sending my work to a couple of magazines. I was published in the magazine Off the Coast, in the poetry anthology, Los Rostros de la Hidra. Some others liked my work but the publication is tough with this economic situations. So far I didn’t received a rejection letter…yet..
My dreams and plans? To continue reading in poetry venues around the area, to write everyday or at least think about some idea, keep submitting my work to magazines and build a name for myself. Finally I feel I’m starting to follow my path, my calling…not the one of my grandmother or my parents, but the one I feel is the right one. How I know? Because when I write everything disappears. I just feel this energy running thru me, a feeling very close to what you feel when you make love with someone good in bed. Is like a connection with a center of great energy. When I write I feel everything falls into its place, I feel finally at home. Why Yellow Attic? Because there is where I write, in my attic painted with bright yellow. This blog is me, the writer, the poet.


  1. This means that you are a multimodal writer! :) Que cool! Estare pendiente a tus sites. Abrazos!

  2. I look forward to seeing your work here!