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?
5 thoughts on “When did this start?”
Guillermo, I missed you at the poets night at the Sekula Library last week. Alyssa and I were there but we didn’t see you. There were lots of new (to me) poets who read: from Mexico City, Chicago, and other places. Lady Mariposa was the featured poet and the Mariachi Poet was MC. Rosa of La Rose sang with her guitarists. Alyssa read two of her new poems-she’s getting good and I’m proud of her. Hope to see you soon. P.S. Why am I not listed with the 16 authors you know? Is it because you’ve never read my books? Come on–tell me the truth. Anne
Oooh, I’m busted. I haven’t really updated the list and, honestly, my mom has your books, not me. I could always borrow them, but I’m infatuated with my Kindle at the moment. I’ve gone into hiding, as I like to say when people question my absence. Really, I’m not a fan of the new regime and until things return to normal, I’ll probably sit this readings out. I’ve been meaning to contact you, so it’s great that you found me first. I’m thinking of applying to the MFA program at UTPA. I’m gonna need some references/recommendations from people who know how I work and/or know my writing. I was wondering if you’d be so kind. I haven’t finished filling out the application yet. Have to write a personal statement why I’m awesome enough to be accepted into the program and what I play do with my degree upon graduation. What you read here was a rough draft of said personal statement – more like a stream of consciousness. I also have to submit a short story with it. Plus the three letters of recommendation.
Sure, I’ll be glad to give you a reference. What’s the “new regime,” and what has to happen to “return to normal?” Enlighten me; I’m confused. Anne
P.S. Why don’t you and I collaborate and write romance novels under assumed names?
First of all, thank you! You’ve made my day. Now I gotta find two more people who will vouch for me. Secondly, you’re the second person this week who asked me to collaborate with them. The first being a car salesman from Fiesta Chevy who, after asking what I do to get by, wanted help with his screenplay. I had to turn him down because screenplays are hard to write. Though, (not so anymore) secretly, I’ve been working on writing one for a number of months now. Romance novels, though. I don’t know if I could write romance novels. I’m sure there’s nothing to it, just gotta find the right formula.
Anyway, I’ll contact you via e-mail so you can get my (semi) new address, though I’m sure I’ve contacted you from it before. I could be wrong. Who knows.