Writing prompts for poets : Coronavirus edition

Either you are able to write or you are not. To presume quarantine allows writing time is classist, among other things.

But poets know the writing will show up because poets show up. Aren’t we the first artists to be called in times of tragedy?

So here are some writing prompts to help ease you in when everything is circling your mind at once. To center you. Or allow you to express what you need.

If they help you let me know or send me a poem. I’ll post a portion of your piece/a quote here.

:: Hand washing is the most important thing to maintain. What do you think about as you are washing your hands? What secret or feeling do you have that only your hands can hear? Whisper it to your hands. Let the bubbles envelop it. Rinse it off. Let it go down the sink.

:: Write an ode to hands. The things they touch. The things out of reach.

:: Now is not the time to lie to yourself. What is the schedule you actually maintain versus the one you hope(d) to maintain? What does this say about humans? What does this say about how far ahead you see this schedule having to be maintained?

:: Write about one beautiful thing you’ve discovered while in quarantine. It can be a moment, a person, an idea.

:: Walk through your home as a walking meditation. With your new vision what understanding do you have about the space you occupy? How are the outside and inside related or not related?

:: Consider that we are all linked. If these are tangible threads and you could send a message, like a vibration on this thread, what are the words you would send? Are they words at all?

Abrazos de lejos ,


Supporting Creatives during quarantine and other times

I am no good at asking for support. I have found myself in a lucky moment in my daily life supporting job but, like many other artists, the current environment has changed how we deal with getting our work out into the world and how we reach others and support their work.

I have used the last year to change the scope of how I view my creative work in the world, and to solidify goals for my work’s contribution to that larger world. As always I am a gentle, quiet voice but one that burns low and hot.

If you are able, consider supporting my efforts through Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/joreyesboitel.

‪‬I want to be clear, this Patreon page if for when this crisis is over. I know folks are working on their art now if the quarantine allows them to do so without interruption or stress about finances. I am tight but healthy and with food, a place, two cats who sometimes adore me, and a kid I’m super proud of. My job has assured us we are okay. I’ll be okay. Others will not and need your support right now. Give what you can. Even a few dollars to the food bank helps. Or, barter for services with friends and neighbors. Or cook a meal.



#DignidadLiteraria Read-In & Mitote at AWP 2020 : March 7, 2020

Text from the Facebook invitation post:

50 Writers. Free Event. Free Parking. Handicap Accessible.

The first week of March, San Antonio will host the most famous writers in the country. The AWP, the acronym for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, will offer a week-long conference for stellar local and national writers alike to share books and readings, alongside literary agents, publishers, and editors. When thousands of writers converge in San Antonio in March, we want to celebrate the dignity of Latinx stories.

Indigenous/Xicanx/AfroLatinx/Boricua/Caribeñx/Centro y Sur Americanx writers, poets, essayists, novelists, theatre artists, and children’s authors will read short excerpts from their work, filling the courtyard with their words, a mitote of books and stories. Music by Juan & Armando Tejeda, Tallercito de Son & DJ De La O.

Saturday, March 7th, 2020 5-6pm
Courtyard by the Grassy Slope
(River Level) Market Street Entrance
Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center
900 East Market St. San Antonio, TX 78205

Participating Writers as of 2/26/20:
Pat Alderete, Janie Alonso, Marisela Barrera, Xochit-Julisa Bermejo, Irene I. Blea, David Bowles, Violet Castro, Ari Chagoya, Edyka Chilomé, Maya Chinchilla, Bonnie Cisneros, Araceli Cruz, Cesar L. De Leony, Anel Flores, Olga Garcia Echeverria, Maribel Garcia, Tammy Gomez, Elizabeth Gonzalez James, Guadalupe Gonzalez, Virginia Grise, Raquel Gutierrez, Missy Jane, Rossy Lima, Roberto Lovato, Rita Maria Martinez, Pablo Miguel Martínez, Robyn Medina Winnett, Julie Marin, Jasminne Mendez, Maria Minguez Arias, Ed O’Casey, Amalia Ortiz, Deborah Paredez, Emma Pérez, Emmy Pérez, Barbara Renaud Gonzalez, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Aida Salazar, Janette E. Schafer, Juan Tejeda, Jenna Marie Torres, Jesús I. Valles, Stalina Villarreal, Helena Maria Viramontes.

Free Parking
There are two surface parking lots (CSF 1 & CSF 2) behind the Convention Center, located at 637 Tower of the Americas Way (off of Montana Street). Parking there will be free March 7, from 4-7pm. First Come First Served.

Organized by Alazan Arts Stories & Letters, a todo dar productions, Aztlan Libre Press, Books in the Barrio and Teatro San Antonio, with support from the San Antonio Public Library’s Latino Collection and Resource Center, San Antonio Convention Center, Office of Councilwoman Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4, and Terra Advocati.

New Workshop, November 2019

If you wondered about the novel in verse, wonder no more! I will be teaching a novel in verse course over 4 weeks at Gemini Ink. “Notes to Gilgamesh: Crafting a Novel in Verse” is a wonderful starting point for understanding the form, its history, and its use in modern storytelling. The class will also let you get started on your own novel in verse. Don’t miss this class!

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