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It might have been a mistake when fellow writer Ronnie Garza let it slip that I was a “staple” in the local poetry community. Otherwise, I’m just being humble. I don’t believe anyone would agree with either or. I managed to go from hiding in the shadows to leaving them to returning to them in only a span of five years. It’s a feat that I don’t think anyone has managed before, at least not in my world. It started when René Saldaña, Jr. introduced me to Amado Balderas in April of 2005. Had it not been for that single moment, I don’t think I would have stumbled into the Nueva Onda Poet’s Cafe, or taken stage. Which would have led me to not have the balls to run for president of the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. I wouldn’t have taken over the poetry group, renamed The Nameless Poetry Group, during Amado’s absence. I wouldn’t have met great writers like Richard Sanchez or Dr. Anne Estevis. Nor would I have met Amalia Ortiz, Dagoberto Gilb and Richard Yañez – also great writers, but not local ones. El Senor and I wouldn’t have been friends and X-Cell One Would have just been a cell phone store to me, rather than the moniker of Donovan Maldonado. I wouldn’t have had the balls to approach the Pan American with the article for the cafe, which would have led me to never meeting David Robledo for a job with The Paper of South Texas, discarding my chances of ever meeting Reverend Adam Zuniga. I wouldn’t have made such great friends and acquaintances like the Abbies, Mike, everyone from EMO. Which means, I wouldn’t have heard of Mike’s bookstore and I wouldn’t have been one of his outstanding customers. And if it wasn’t for that fateful night in April, I wouldn’t have been even considered a staple of anything because I would be unknown and the name Guillermo Corona would just be on some roster. To say this started with Amado, however, is giving one man too much credit. Credit that is easily spread throughout every English teacher who believed in me. To my grandfather, whose tales inspired me to read and write. To my mother who fed and still continues to feed my addiction every birthday and Christmas by buying me books, notepads and whatnot. To the friends who held me up when life was getting me down. How do I get to every single person who has inspired me, supported me, pushed me toward some greater state of being, of thinking, of writing? And to ponder why I want to return to college is silly. I only would I like to work hard to get my work published some day, I’d like to be that first domino to fall setting off a great chain of events in other people’s lives. Is that so hard to understand?

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