Posts Tagged ‘multicultural’

  • Alternative Approaches to Creative Writing (now titled: How Dare We! Write

    Date: 2017.05.07 | Category: Book in Progress 2016 | Response: 0

    Alternative Approaches to Creative Writing:  a writer’s journey Or, perhaps Alternative Text for Creative Writers: a university instructor’s curriculum, or perhaps any number of titles I’ve conjured.  For several years I’ve been asking the question what colorful writer has written a book about writing.  Recently I discovered Black Lightning:  poetry-in-Progress, edited by Eileen Tabios, an excellent anthology containing interviews of Asian American writers of poetry and working drafts of their poems.  My publisher was willing to, with permission, republish the now out-of-print anthology, but it would have been a tremendous undertaking in terms of practicality; instead, he said “write the book.”

    Anyone who knows me knows that anyone that says I can do something knows I am going to say, “But I can’t.” Self-deprecation.  “What do I know?”  But I clung to the idea. Recently I read Tiger Writing, by Gish Jen, but, even though I’m an academic, I felt I had to work too hard to make use of it.  I wanted a book about the craft of writing that was accessible, yet dispelled various myths of what it takes to be a creative writer, that could also be used as a classroom text book.

    Now that I’ve put it out into the world that I am going to write this book myself (though I hold my breath patiently knowing David Mura is working on a creative writing text that I know will make me weep with joy), a friend said that Jewel Parker Rhodes (Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons For Black Authors  and The African American Guide to Writing & Publishing Non Fiction and Walter Mosley, Black writers, have also written books about writing and their books are now on my wish list!   But, there’s room for many more creative writing texts, especially by writers of color and any writers who just might have “alternative” views about writing.

    I told my publisher “I can’t” until I decided one day that I could, inspired by thoughtful questions participants in the 2015-2016 Loft Mentorship Series asked me about my writing, that despite my initial hesitation and self-talk (what do I know, even about my own writing)I was able to answer with astounding confidence and credibility.  I told Victor, maybe I do know something.  He said, “It’s about time you acknowledge it. Write the book.”

    Afterword:  it’s been three months since my publisher, Victor Volkman, Modern History Press, said, “write it.”  For three months I’ve been mulling over a book title and chapter titles, and have written nothing.  But, as 2015 came to a close, a friend and former student and I discussed the book she’d been re-visioning for a number of years.  Our discussion motivated me to write what might be the last chapter, or not, in this book which for now will continue to be aka (also known as).  My friend, who actually named one of my earlier books, suggested The Problem with Convenience-which I love, and with a more specific subtitle just might work.

    To end this too lengthy introduction, my publisher and I agreed that posting chapters, as I write them, on my much too ignored, blog,, would be worthwhile.  In this regard, know that the chapters are drafts (grammar and punctuation are not necessarily skills honed by me and will take time to perfect).  But, eventually, my copyrighted posts will transform into a publishable book.  (By the way, I got this idea from a former student who has been blogging every day for several years and her blog posts became chapbooks published by Red Bird Chapbooks-  I’m a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due, and acknowledge that I learn from my students, and I’m motivated by them.)

    ©Sherry Quan Lee, January 9, 2016

  • Excerpt from How Dare We! Write

    Date: 2017.03.23 | Category: Writers Who Dare | Response: 0

    “The tinikling offers a visual explanation of how bilingual writing
    works. Like the agile dancing feet of a tinikling dancer, a bilingual
    writer’s mind is connected to her feet at all times, transferring and
    translating the beat of clapping bamboos from a hearing experience to
    a whole body experience. Living in a predominantly English-speaking
    culture means you cannot stop to think or even attempt to explain
    your actions and your meanings, or you will lose track of the dominant
    beat and find yourself caught in the thorns of misunderstanding. I can’t
    help but relate this to the spate of recent attacks on black bodies we
    have witnessed. There is never time to explain your black skin or your
    brown skin to someone intent on eradicating your black or brown
    body because he or she feels threatened by the mere sight of you. You
    have to keep dancing between the clapping bamboos of race
    perception. Those who tried, hands up or not, have ended in tragedy.
    Is this a far-fetched metaphor? If it is to you, you’ve never had to
    dance/write between bamboos.”–Marlina Gonzalez, How Dare We! Write

  • Excerpt from How Dare We! Write

    Date: 2017.03.23 | Category: How Dare We! Write a multicultural creative writing discourse | Response: 0

    “I would add that many programs do not even offer courses dealing
    with race and writing as an elective. I didn’t know such a thing existed.
    Over the duration of my program, my writing became less race conscious
    instead of more. Sure everything thing I do and say leaves the
    mark of blackness behind. However, instead of drawing a circle around
    the mark, expanding it, aiming the camera directly at it, I placed
    translucent covering over it, not completely hiding race, but placing it
    in the background. Without knowing it, I was learning to write like a
    white woman because I must have believed that they knew what they
    were doing. They were award-winning authors. They were where I
    wanted to be. They were my teachers.”–Sherrie Fernandez-Williams, How Dare We! Write

  • Excerpt from How Dare We! Write

    Date: 2017.03.23 | Category: Writers Who Dare | Response: 0

    “You start to find your body again. Notice your feet on the ground.
    Walk barefoot in the grass and scrunch your toes into the cold soil.
    You eat full meals sitting down without your computer on or a chapter
    in front of you to edit. You watch movies at the two-dollar theater,
    attend Lynx games, play soccer, and work out with friends. When
    people talk you actually listen to them. Your mind does not keep the
    running list of the next project, the email that wasn’t sent, the citation
    that needs to be added to the footnote on page forty-three. You start to
    recover. Even your breath is different. Lungs expand more. Instead of
    short shallow breaths, air now moves from your core. It’s not about
    anxiety, you realize. It’s the weight of centuries, of doubt, of other
    people’s stories. If you do the work, write, most importantly listen to
    your research participants, to your family, your breath comes more
    easily.”–Jessica Lopez Lyman, How Dare We! Write

Artist Statement

Sherry Quan Lee approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. Lee is a Community Instructor at Metropolitan State University (Intro to Creative Writing, Advanced Creative Writing), and has taught at Intermedia Arts, and the Loft Literary Center. She is the author of A Little Mixed Up, Guild Press, 1982 (second printing), Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse, published 2002 by the Asian American Renaissance, republished 2008 by Loving Healing Press, and How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman’s life, Loving Healing Press, 2008.





Septuagenarian by Sherry Quan Lee


Goodreads Book Giveaway

How Dare We! Write by Sherry Quan Lee

How Dare We! Write

by Sherry Quan Lee

Giveaway ends June 09, 2021.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Love Imagined book by Sherry Quan Lee


Chinese Blackbird Book by Sherry Quan Lee


How to Write a Suicide Note by Sherry Quan Lee

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