Tag: writing


We loved Matt de la Peña when he came to Whidbey as guest faculty in 2015. The news that he won the Newbery for Last Stop on Market Street came while we were at our January 2016 residency. Carmen burst into our Workshop class to tell us. It was kind of awesome, that sense of our little MFA program being connected to wider world.

Winning the Newbery When Diversity Matters by Pat Enciso.

“Positive” Stereotypes. Asian Americans. Pressure. Invisible.

Writing the Other: The book and more background

So we started the semester by reading Writing the Other by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward. It’s a slim volume with several essays, actually. There’s a useful discussion about the “unmarked state,” and a trip into the reptile brain:

The reptile brain will always remember the…bigoted information it learns, even when our conscious minds know the information is false.

(I’d give you the page number for this quote but I read it on my phone. It’s about 12% of the way through.)

The only caveat in my recommendation is the book’s assertion that class is not considered an important marker in America. I don’t know. All I ever heard is that poor people are leeches and if you don’t have resources it’s your own fault. Job creators are awesome, etc. Maybe it’s a generational thing and that’s why I don’t get the argument. It seems to me that class doesn’t matter in America in the same way that people claim to “not see color.”

But still, a useful and even reassuring place to start contemplating a trip out of your comfort zone.