Even as it proved to be an ugly year for politics, LGBTQ+ people and celebrities we will miss, 2016 didn’t destroy us. For my work, it was actually a pretty decent year.
Reading and writing made a lot happen for me, from publishing my first chapbook of poems to expanding my MFA thesis to a book-length manuscript that I will be trying to get in front of agents and small publishers early this year. I continued to write, revise and submit poems for publication, and I also turned an occasional writing gig with Baltimore City Paper into a semi-regular column on LGBTQ+ life.
Here’s a full roundup of 2016:
- In 2015 I began writing an occasional column for Baltimore City Paper, and I continued to expand Wide Stance – my column on LGBTQ+ life, politics and culture in Baltimore – in 2016. As I did so, I found also found myself in the alt-weekly newspaper’s pool on regularly contributing writers.
- For some reason, late 2015 also saw me returning to graduate school. Though I have an MFA in creative writing & publishing arts (ostensibly a terminal degree), I decided to pursue a PhD in English at Morgan State University too. There, I am focusing on poetry, Queer studies and popular culture.
- I published my first chapbook of poems, Go to the Ant, O Sluggard. It’s a “concept album” of fib poems about the modern workplace, and it’s available now from Akinoga Press.
- I was featured in Incoming: Veterans Writing on Coming Home, an anthology of veterans’ work.
- As part of the promotional push for Incoming, I read one of my stories on KPBS San Diego.
- I was accepted to present at my first academic conference, the NeMLA conference. I will present briefly on a paper I wrote about Queering the academy.
- I taught a course on ekphrastic poetry at the National Portrait Gallery for Knowledge Commons DC.
- I appeared on the poetry podcast “So… Poetry?” with Mychael Zulauf.
- I published some poems in the Avenue and the Minetta Review. (In print, which makes it impossible to share them here.)
- Hosted the second installment of Literary Roulette, and judged two Slam Competitions.
- I continued to teach at the university of Baltimore, meeting and working with amazing students of all ages and backgrounds.
I’m sure that I missed some stuff, but that seems like a strong roundup for what turned out to be an incredible year. Here’s to hoping that 2017 proves even bigger, and somewhat less ugly.
To anyone who has read or listened to my work in the last year, and to all of my current and former students, thanks for all your support!