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In May 2019, I was shortlisted as a finalist for the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Artist in Residence Program in September 2019. Fingers crossed! 🤞
Darien Goes Back to School
In the summer of 2017, I enrolled in a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. I had a few books under my belt, was turning 50, and it seemed like a good time to go for it and try something new. I graduate in August 2019. 🎓
Under the guidance of my first mentor, Rigoberto González, and influenced by the work of RWW founder Judith Kitchen, I began writing what I called “micro narratives” — creative nonfiction documentary prose of 250 words or less based on evidential, factual or familial truths. I decided to write about the women in my matrilineal line, including my grandfather’s three wives, as a prose chapbook.
In the spring of 2018, I was awarded a fellowship and residency at the Vermont Studio Center, which gave me the gift of time to continue my work on these narratives. My current thesis year mentor, Suzanne Berne, is helping me finalize the collection.
In November 2018, I received a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, for which I am still giving thanks.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following journals for publishing early versions of these narratives/micro essays:
CALYX Journal (forthcoming): “lullaby,” “groundwork,” “taxonomy,” “banquet,” “small histories” (under the collection name, “American Born”)
Delmarva Review: “daybreak,” “par avion,” “obeisance” (under the collection name, “A Chinese Great Grandmother, Name Unknown”)
New Delta Review: “woman’s work,” “some stars,” “year of the pig,” “testimony,” “punctum”
Tupelo Quarterly: “totem,” “courtyard,” “first position,” “your husband’s second wife’s granddaughter has some questions for you,” “grave,” “a woman of god considers her husband’s first wife,” “rumor,” “likeness,” “hospital corners,” “an act of repair,” “at the quay,” “lucky number,” “afterlife,” “a night at the movies,” “fairy tales and ghost stories” (under the collection name, “Three Wives”)
The Tupelo Quarterly narratives were a finalist for the 2018 TQ16 Open Prose Prize. The New Delta Review narratives were runner-up for the Ryan R. Gibbs Flash contest.
Other work has appeared in the Shanghai Literary Review, the Columbia Review, and the Foreign Service Journal.
Yes, I’m Still Writing Novels
In addition to all these changes, I’m still writing novels, including a new Friendship Bread book. Fiction is, and always will be, my first love. ❤️