Cruznotes Newsletter by Jaime Alejandro | 4.22 Recap
National Poetry Month! Yep. That's about it!
Here’s what happened in April!
I find myself in the aftermath of a wildly successful National Poetry Month Extravaganza. In case you missed it, I put out a call on Twitter seeking to interview poets to celebrate National Poetry Month on the Arts Calling Podcast. I was overjoyed to receive so many responses! And so, I prepped the booth under the stairs and started the podcasting marathon!
It’s delightful to hear what inspires a writer, what pulls them into the creative fold in the first place, and what literary works they’re into. However, I find it more remarkable to get to know the human being behind the creative: What their parents taught them, what scared them along the way, or the moment they found their guiding light. Poets, in particular, are on a unique wavelength. They dig deep into the desert of our existence and find droplets for us all. During these conversations, I encountered a deep sense of humanity and truth from these phenomenal people. Poets from all over the country and abroad, creating beautiful work about our fiery world, through a most specific, personal, and singular form. It is such a profound gift, so thank you poets for bringing this work to life!
I will say, logistically, scheduling and interviewing for two weeks straight wasn’t exactly a breeze, but I am so glad I did it. I started a new job mid-month too, just as I started interviewing. It was emotional to say goodbye to my exceptional coworkers and a job that’s given me so much. It’s been a weird time since February (see my previous newsletter), but overall it’s been a complete blessing to have these interviews to help me manage this new transition in life. But stay tuned: I have more interviews lined up this month to keep the series going!
National Poetry Month Extravaganza:
#21 Joseph Lezza | Advertising voices, lyrical confessions, and the Costco Box
#22 Christian J. Collier | Genuine impact, multiple mediums, and the gleaming of the blade
#23 Christopher Soriano-Palma | Writing for various mediums, fiction editing, and bookselling
#24 Karla Linn Merrifield | A life of art, guitar poems, and showing up
#25 Alison Lubar | Poems and philosophy, teaching, and intersectionality
#26 David Rosenthal | Writing in meter, teaching, and other misplaced things
#27 Jay Rafferty | Catholicism, culture, and a collection of holy things
#28 Saúl Hernández | Family, visceral poetry, y la Mexicanada
#29 Susan Nguyen | Dear Diaspora, zine-making, and identity through memories
#30 Lauren Theresa | Plants, poetry, and writing beyond the self
#31 Lannie Stabile | Spreadsheets, dogs named Zeus, and life stories through poetry
#32 Beth Gordon | Poetry, loved ones, and the water cycle
#33 Jared Beloff | Marvelous verses, imagery, and teaching
#34 Jennifer Schomburg Kanke | Poetry for everyone, nature, and continuing to learn
#35 Anindita Sengupta | Journalism, embracing language, and a sense of place
Bonus Episodes! Because these three interviews featured the first poets on Arts Calling!
#19 Joseph Fasano | Form is freedom, making poetry on Twitter, and a Father’s love
#8: Raegen Pietrucha | Great poetry, crafting a Gorgon, and tackling art/life balance
#5 Daniel Damiano | Poetry, Fiction, and performing your own work with Daniel Damiano
More coming soon!
Since 2017 or so, I've been gathering story prompts under the #icprompts hashtag on Instagram. These prompts have always been little reminders for me, but it's been so nice to share them with you. AND I'm pretty sure this is prompt number 200! It’s funny how things just happen, even if you don’t think you’re making progress at all.
And that’s about it for April. After a few days of ruminating on that wild month, I hope to spend some time writing and recording just a bit more. Production on The Square audio drama will pick up this month, and I kinda have to get started on writing Part II!
Anyway: I hope you’re well. May you be happy and free from suffering. Keep kicking ass and doing your thing. Much love,