A Canadian Thanksgiving, by Daniela Lara Serna

The United States isn’t the only country in the world where people celebrate Thanksgiving. Here are five others: Canada, Liberia, (one town in) the Netherlands, Grenada, and the Australian territory of the Norfolk Island. According to Zack Beauchamp, “Canadian Thanksgiving is about the 1578 voyage of Arthur Frobisher, a British explorer who threw a meal for his crew when they (barely) made it to Canadian shores alive.” Today, Daniela Lara Serna, who now lives in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, reminisces about her Canadian Thanksgiving. Letter from Canada, 2013 At six in the morning, my friend Kristen and I started on the main dish: the magnificent turkey.…

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A Classic with a Twist, by Milena Gigliotti

Apple pie is a regular guest at Thanksgiving parties across the U.S. In Bolivia, this dessert is not as popular, but those who enjoy it wish it were available in more coffee shops and bakeries. My cousin-in-law, Eliana, is the creator of one of the best apple pies I have tasted in Santa Cruz. These are the ingredients in her recipe: 250 gr. of flour 50 gr. of butter 370 gr. of condensed milk 4 big apples (red or green) 4 tsp. of cold water 1 tsp. of salt 2-3 lemons 1 tbsp. of cinnamon Eliana said that before working on the filling of the pie, the dough…

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Evil, Blessings, Grace, and Solace: Beverly Donofrio at the Miami Book Fair

One of the authors who gave us a great blurb for BADASS, Beverly Donofrio, is presenting at the Book Fair on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Donofrio is the author of RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS, a best-selling memoir that was turned into a movie starring Drew Barrymore in 2001. When she was 55, Donofrio was attacked at knifepoint by a serial rapist.  In her new book, ASTONISHED, she writes about that experience and how it led her on a spiritual quest that changed her life. “It’s a beautiful story,” says Nicholas Garnett, editor at Sliver of Stone Magazine. “Beverly is presenting with two other wonderful and accomplished writers, Janet Burroway and John…

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Nobody go run me, an interview with Joanne C. Hillhouse

I had a little chat with Antiguan and Barbudan author, Joanne C. Hillhouse. We talked about her exciting new book, Musical Youth, and a little bit about Joanne’s own journey. Joanne’s writing has been described as “honest,” “real,” “poetic,” and “lyrical.” Her culture is at the heart of her writing: “Obvious is the ‘writer’s ear’ for effective characterization and narrative that stays true to Caribbean island experience” (Island Where, St. Lucia). So, Joanne, Musical Youth… What is the book about? Okay, the book is about a girl who is a loner, a girl who plays guitar, a girl who doesn’t believe in herself, who kind of wants to…

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Writing in Non-Traditional Settings: Exchange for Change!

After 4 months in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, teaching Writing to a group of dynamic students, it’s time to say good bye. I’m looking forward to returning to Miami because I’m going to work as a writing instructor for the nonprofit Exchange for Change, recently started by South Florida writer Kathie Klarreich. Echange for Change, which is an outgrowth of a writing exchange that Kathie was doing in the prisons with local universities and high schools, now has a live website! “Although I have spent most of my career as a journalist, working in correctional institutions and partnering with our ‘outside’ classrooms for the last several years has been the most interesting, fulfilling…

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Miami Vs. Orlando

Mark your calendar, Miami: Thursday, November 20, at 6:00pm As Orlando-based Burrow Press expands its 15 Views Anthology Series to the 305, come celebrate the release of 15 Views of Miami with a head-to-head, bracket-style reading that pits Miami and Orlando writers against one another in a veritable inkbath of words. This free event is located at THE SWAMP venue within Miami Book Fair International: Look for the big tent at the southeast corner of N.E. 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue. Presented by Burrow Press. Hosted by 15 Views of Miami Editor Jaquira Díaz. Judged by… you! Repping the 305: J.J. Colagrande, Jennine Capó Crucet, Phillippe Diederich & Ryan…

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I would be an excellent X-rated film critic (Anyone hiring?)

This Q&A with M.J. Fievre is part of  Badass, Lip Service: True Stories, The Double Album, edited by Andrea Askowitz. Click here to buy the book. Don’t miss the launch of the story collection on Wednesday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m. on the grounds of the Miami Book Fair International. Corner of NE 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue. The launch is just one of a series of Book Fair-sponsored Florida-themed events presented at The Swamp, a week-long celebration of everything that’s wonderful and wacky about South Florida. (A note from Nicholas Garnett, contributor: “Denise and I went down to the Fair last night to hear Ira Glass.  Super cool.  And The…

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Dariel Suarez in Search of Genuine Thought and Emotion

Dariel Suarez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He lived there until 1997, when he immigrated to the United States. He’s the author of the chapbook In the Land of Tropical Martyrs, upcoming from Backbone Press. It is available for pre-order until November 20th. You should get it. Writer Michael Hettich notes, “Though In the Land of Tropical Martyrs is a chapbook, it has the heft and authority of a full volume of poetry. Each of these poems is rich with the ache of urgent memory, living memory, memory that sings as the opposite of nostalgia and wakes us more fully to our own lives.”   “With sure, unassuming…

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Badass chicks

Sarah Klein and Andrea Askowitz were pimping Badass last night, telling people about our debut at the Miami Book Fair International. At The Swamp, Wed. November 19, 7 p.m. Corner of NE 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue. The show they were on is called Only in Miami Show. I’m proud to have a story included in this fine collection! Featuring stories by Sarah Klein, Christina Freedman, Maureen Daniel Fura, Esther Kenniff, Doug Shear, Nicholas Garnett, Aaron Curtis, Manny Martinez, Karen Sabine, David New, Inessa Freylekhman, M.J. Fievre, Cathi Hanauer, Mary Rae Smith, Brenda Mezick, and Daniel Jones (The New York Times – Modern Love) Click here for more about this!

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15 Views of Miami

Edited by Jaquira Diaz and published by Burrow Press, 15 Views of Miami is a literary portrait of the Magic City told in fifteen loosely linked stories by fifteen Miami authors. Sprawling from Hialeah to Homestead, from Wynwood to Stiltsville, these stories cover a range of cultures, languages and lives, reflecting the diversity and drama of a large and often misunderstood city. Contributors include Phillippe Diederich, M. Evelina Galang, Melanie Neale, Lynne Barrett, Susanna Daniel, Corey Ginsberg, Geoffrey Philp, Leonard Nash, M.J. Fievre, J. David Gonzalez, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Ian Vasquez, Patricia Engel, Jennine Capó Crucet, and John Dufresne. I can’t wait to receive my contributor copy! My story, Sinkhole, was featured on Burrow Press Review as a preview to the collection. 15 Views…

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What a Badass!

In honor of its eight-year-anniversary, Lip Service is launching Badass, Lip Service: True Stories, the Double Album (Lominy Books, 2014) edited by Andrea Askowitz.  This anthology is a collection of some of the best of Lip Service’s first eight years. Lip Service is a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation award-winning organization and a Miami institution. “We are a night of true stories out loud.  But we are more than a show.  Lip Service is an experience of community connecting like nothing else in South Florida. Lip Service typically features eight true stories, but as the title suggests, Badass is a double album, so you get two shows in one book, featuring 16 stories in all.  The stories are…

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