ASTER(ix) Newsletter #5

Fall 2014

Welcome to our fifth newsletter! We’re jumpstarting our season with a new poem by Michele Lin, an excerpt from “A Cup of Water Under My Bed” by Daisy Hernandez who has written by far one of the best nonfiction books I have read this year, and an essay by Junot Diaz about his mami.

As many of you know Aster(ix) is a work of puro amor devoted to writers, artists, thinkers and activists committed to social change. It runs on crazy midnight-oil kind of energy and thrives on word-of-mouth. So thank you to all of you who tweet, tumblr, reddit, subscribe to our newsletter, who like our FB page and cite us in your work. Thank you to those who teach our writers and more.

“I’ve been trying to write since
nine, counting hours in passing
cups of steam. I give myself
a word: ethereal. As in,
in ancient times, tea leaves were
thought to be ethereal
. Wait
I meant”
From Writing Home by Michelle Lin

 

“I spent my senior year in high school pretty much fucking everything up. I stayed home when I should have been in class, I didn’t do any work, I fought with my teachers, I fought with my peers, I had a wise fucking mouth.”  
From, How (In a Time of Trouble) I Discovered My Moms and Learned To Live, Junot Diaz

“My mother and tías warn me about dating Colombian men: “Esos no sirven. They say the same thing about the 1970s television set in our kitchen. “That TV no sirve para nada.” It doesn’t work.”
From Even If I Kiss a Woman by Daisy Hernandez

Aster(ix) Recommends

From our sister journal Kweli, check out the story Beauty Treatments by celebrated writer and activist Ru Freeman.  “The moment that Marianne, no-last-name, the Grand Dame of Venus Day Spa & Bistro, laid her salve-softened 77 year old hands on her feet, Maya cringed inwardly.”
We’re excited about this year’s National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35, Kirsten Valdez Quade’s new book forthcoming in March 2015, NIGHT AT THE FIESTAS (W.W. Norton & Company) Check out her new story in The New Yorker, Ordinary Sins: “Last night Crystal dreamed she was sitting naked on the corduroy rectory couch next to Father Paul, who was snipping at her fingers with orange-handled scissors.”
Rita Indiana: Taking Caribbean Music and Literature to New Heights

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