We’re back from Albuquerque, where Oscar participated as a writing fellow at the inaugural Canto Mundo writing workshops. He has a series of very good write-up’s at his blog. I did my best to be scarce, spent a couple of days viewing art exhibits and reading a lot of poetry, and so I thank the organizers and fellows for opening up their space to me. I was fortunate to attend Rigoberto González‘s talk on publishing, community and literary activism. I don’t know where I’d be in this po-biz web without him as a role model. He gives the much needed straight talk about what responsibilities we have as writers of color, as individuals and as communities. It boiled down to these three items, which I am constantly negotiating:
- Be an activist, however you define the term.
- Be generous; share your networks and resources with community. There is nothing worse than an artist who is stingy and territorial. [Addendum: he also said there is nothing worse than the artist who takes and takes from others without giving anything back.]
- Be better writers, and better readers. Read outside of the community. I interpret this as taking risks, not hiding in our cozy little safe circles.