Author Archive

Trauma and Humanity in Lion Cross Point

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Girding Masatsugu Ono’s novel is what seems to be a single question: Does family (or community) exist without trauma? 

Inking Well: An Interview With Jasminne Mendez

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If you’re at all alive in the Houston arts scene, chances are you’ve crossed paths with Jasminne Mendez in one of her capacities: as a poet, as an actor, as an educator, as a podcast host, or as a community organizer and programmer (sometimes all of these things in

What We Talk About When We Talk About Humanizing People In Literature

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In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision ruling that immigrants, documented or not, can be detained indefinitely without right to a bond hearing, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way we produce and consume narratives about class and race in contemporary American literature.

Cultural Legibility in America’s Dark Chapter

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What does it mean to be culturally legible? And what does cultural legibility mean with regard to writing about or from within one’s own culture?

Can Twitter Make Trauma Generic? And If So, What Should We Do About It?

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As a writer, I've been thinking about the importance of our trauma—the needle-pushing trauma of the #MeToo movement, of the interrogation of "post-truth," of the existential crisis necessary for confronting something like climate change, or the stories beyond the body counts of the drug war in Mexico.

Rodrigo Hasbún’s Affections: Identity in a Post-Truth Era

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It’s perhaps because of the invisible currents that inform "post-truth" that I’m finding myself reading and rereading Rodrigo Hasbún’s Affections, which is hands down my favorite book of 2017.

Reading Baldwin after Harvey: Why Climate Change is a Social Justice Issue

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Of course, the circumstances between Hurricane Harvey and the 1943 Harlem riots are different, but the fault lines exposed by those events are not.

Before the Storm and After, Houston Still a Poet’s City

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Houston is a poet’s city. I’d say more so than a fiction city, or a playwright’s city, or even a petroleum city for that matter (though, of course, it’s all of those things too).

Why Culture Cops Are Bad for Writers of Color

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The biggest fear of most professional writers I know is drawing the ire of the internet. This is especially true among writers of color I know. Our literary communities are no exception to the dark allures of destructive, righteous outrage.

You Can’t Trust Anybody in Elvira Navarro’s A Working Woman (And What That Says About Us)

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Elvira Navarro’s A Working Woman, translated by Christina MacSweeney, interrogates the psyche of characters mired by the Spanish economic crisis and the realities and lies they build around themselves in search of catharsis.