September was all about arrivals – three of them, all occurring within a ten-day span during a pandemic, with fires raging in the West, in a country swirling ever deeper into a shithole of its own making thanks to a morally bankrupt administration and, as been recently revealed though long suspected, a literally bankrupt unbillionaire…

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In less than two months, Angie Rubio will enter the world as the shero of her own relatively ordinary, yet microaggression-ridden life when Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories is released from Jaded Ibis Press on September 21. You can pre-order your copy from the terrific folks at Elliott Bay Books. Writer Kathleen Alcalá sums up…

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Without the existence of small presses, it’s pretty certain I would not have two published books and another forthcoming to my name. Small presses, some of which release only a few books each year, are run with limited resources by small, dedicated staffs. Many were established to publish books that have been overlooked (or underlooked?…

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When your grandson’s birth is preceded by eleven days of street protests in the heart of Quito, does the smell of tear gas penetrate the womb, do the whir of helicopters and the boom of explosions echo inside the uterine wall, does all of it presage more disruptive events in his life? Ilio’s was not…

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This past year I read good books and experienced good things. Here are a few of each of them matched up in a semi-random, teeny bit calculated way, introduced by a few lines from the featured book. From “1989” in How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, a deeply perceptive and intelligent collection of essays by…

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When I was pregnant with my first daughter Natalie in 1986, the Chernobyl reactor exploded and the threat of a nuclear cloud passing over the Pacific Northwest and radiating the six-month old fetus inside me freaked me out. Later, when I was pregnant with Ana in 1989, tanks rolled over Tiananmen Square, scattering protestors, killing…

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Jane Hodges picked me up at 1:30 last Thursday afternoon at my North Seattle apartment to drive me to Mineral, a small community in the foothills of Mount Rainier. In its Wikipedia entry, Mineral’s amenities are listed as “a post office, two churches, one general store, one tavern, a log lodge (in the National Register…

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