Author: Elizabeth Huergo

  • She was warned. Nevertheless, she persisted.

    The exact words attributed to Mitch McConnell are actually “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Yes, of course, some are dismayed by what has become a “left-wing meme.” However, leaving that rather flat, dismissive assessment aside, McConnell’s words reveal some rather unpleasant expectations of women—even today in the “first world.” […]

  • “Story Water”

    Getting to know your characters is the most important aspect of plot for me. A good story develops from the decisions, the reactions and responses a character makes in relation to given circumstances. The economy collapses! But who your character is will determine what she does in response: marry a millionaire, start her own business, […]

  • John Berger

    The great John Berger passed away just a few days ago on the 2nd of January. He was a wonderfully prolific writer who made art history, the way we see the lives of artists and their productions, come alive. He was a playwright and a novelist. On a personal level, though, three of his “poetic […]

  • Inspiration

    Yolanda Lopez’s image of the seamstress as Virgin Mother is especially inspiring to me because my mom was a seamstress from the age of 16 to her retirement, and she held our family together with a strong work ethic and a great deal of faith. The word “inspire” is especially important to writers–whether poetry or […]

  • In Memoriam: Mavis Gallant

    “No, I had no idea what was in store for me [when I arrived in Paris]. None whatsoever. But I had a typewriter, so I started writing.” Mavis Gallant   I am ashamed to admit that I learned of Mavis Gallant’s work rather late—in 2007, after coming across an interview conducted by Stéphan Bureau and translated by Wyley […]

  • Borders/Embargoes, II and III

    “…behavior could be judged by moral criteria as right or wrong,  but action is judged for neither its motivation nor its aim, only for its performance.” Hannah Arendt, qtd in Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun, Wafaa Bilal and Kari Lydersen  II. To anyone looking through night goggles, the eight figures […]

  • Borders/Embargoes, I

      “When you tell a story no one else tells anymore , you say: ‘I invented this, it’s mine.’ But what you’re really doing is remembering…what the memory of your forefathers left in your blood….” Ariel Dorfman, “Myth as Time and Language [in Miguel Angel Asturias’ Men of Maize]” I. In the moonlight what appeared […]

  • Lanham and Orwell

    I learned a great deal about voice from Richard Lanham, especially two of his books: Style: An Anti-Textbook and Revising Prose. In the latter, Lanham outlines a multi-step technique he refers to as the “Paramedic Method” or “PM.” Once I learned the technique, I never let go, reading my papers out loud, marking each stumble […]

  • Boal and Freire

    In Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal takes on the task of stripping theatre to its roots, insisting that “all theater is necessarily political, because all the activities of man are political and theater is one of them.” Theatre at its most elemental was the “dithyrambic song”—free, “created by and for the people.” The history […]

  • An Interview with Meg Medina

    Meg Medina is a Cuban-American author who writes picture books, as well as middle-grade, and YA fiction. The first American citizen in her family, Medina was raised in Queens, New York, by her mother and a clan of tios, primos, and abuelos (aunts/uncles, cousins, and grandparents) who arrived from Cuba over the years. In her […]