On Gratitude

Since my birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year I thought I would do a post on gratitude. I have had so many breakthroughs in the last year and none of them would’ve been possible without mentors, family, and friends.

Rigoberto Gonzalez — Not only has Rigoberto been an amazing workshop instructor and thesis advisor, he’s been a great mentor and friend. I don’t just throw around the word “mentor” either. Rigoberto is one of the busiest writers I know and he finds the time to teach me about every aspect of the writer’s life.

Jayne Anne Phillips — It would take an entire post to list everything Jayne Anne has done to support my development as an emerging writer, but I will simply say that she has changed my life as a writer.

Carol Sweet-Jones — My mother has never asked me to explain or justify my commitment to poetry. She’s simply trusted & encouraged me to keep going. She flew up to New York just to see me read at KGB Bar. During the reading, I couldn’t even look at her for fear that I would get teary-eyed. Thank you so much, Mama.


I really do need to get back in the kitchen and help Mama cook. So, here’s a shout out to other people I am thankful for:

Tayari Jones, Tom Healy, David Groff, DeLana Dameron, Tara Betts, Rich Villar, Alex Dimitrov, Zachary Pace, Diego Baez, Patricia Smith, Rachel Hadas, Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Ryan Henneberry, Jaime Karnes, Chidi Asoluka, Essence Caleb, Maria Luna, Zahra Darby, Bassey Ikpi…

Who has helped you write your way into this world?

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4 responses to “On Gratitude

  1. Mothers are amazing. Mine also never asked me to defend my choice in becoming a poet. Coming from a working-class family, I often feel out of place. My mother never makes me feel so. Like yours, she just cheers me on at every turn. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Hey- I found you via Alexander Chee’s twitter (follow Friday). I just wanted to say hi. (Hi!) And that I’ve poked around and enjoyed your blog. I’ll be reading. 🙂

  3. Terrific list of thankfuls 🙂
    I always wish I could share my poetry with my mother. Just to see what she would say.

    Hope you had a great birthday!!

  4. I covet your mother’s last name “Sweet-Jones”. I’m jealous. I like the snow you have going on over here.

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