Does Your Inner Writer Crave A Creative Cluster?

Last month, Proyecto Latina turned the Bridgeport Coffeehouse into a temple of Mujeres Maravillosas. This gathering of urban scribes brought out writers of all genres. I would’ve never imagined this creative cluster of Latinas coming together in the Bridgeport neighborhood to crank out new writing or wrap up work in progress. Having grown up in this neighborhood there were never any Latina writers  living here and working on their craft. Happy to say this is the first of many, as we alternate our writing meet-ups between the south and north side once a month.

Writing Meet Up  Snapshot

Here is who showed up and what they were working on to inspire you to write and come out to the next writer meet-up. The lovely and talented Coya Paz was putting the finishing touches on the script for Unnatural Spaces and Maria Zamudio left the investigative journalist at home to channel her inner fiction writer.

Paloma Martinez Cruz is ready to conquer the world with her writing!

Paloma Martinez Cruz was working on a review of Cherríe Moraga’s A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness for Letras Femeninas journal while Irasema Gonzalez had her writer face on. Later, I discovered instead of writing she was working on something else rather than focusing on writing. However, in her defense she’s been working hard as one of the writers for Unnatural Spaces opening in October. Writer and neighborhood resident, Latienda Williams came out and was working on her screenwriting project. We were excited Janet Garcia came to the gathering. She is our literary cheerleader and we hope to jump start her own writing soon.

I was also excited to reconnect with writer Maribel Mares. I met Maribel when Irasema and I snuck out of an AWP Avant Guard Latino Poetry panel. Okay, we did a lousy job sneaking out because Maribel came chasing after us to connect. She came to the gathering because after a long writing hiatus she is now writing again and has an interest in sharing stories about 56th and Kedzie.
Cristina Correa, Amalia Ortiz and Ivonne Canelleda also showed up and I can’t wait to follow up with them to see what they accomplished during the writing session.

So how was I impacted by this writing meet-up?

Well, I find my own writing is like shattered glass; it’s everywhere, little bits and pieces scattered here and there, sharp to the touch. I wrote 3,000 words during the session. Out of those 3,000 words I’m pretty sure only 50 of those words were any good but I will keep mining the good stuff because sooner or later I’m bound to strike gold.

After the writing meet-up, we sashayed across the street to Maria’s Community Bar and chatted about everything from creative writing MFA’s, zombies on Archer Avenue and the element of water as a writing prompt. Lastly, if your inner writer is craving a creative cluster of writers to create and collaborate with come to the next gathering and sip some coffee, write and walk away inspired.

Maribel Mares is all smiles after the writing meet-up.


Here are the details for the next writer’s gathering. Mark it on your calendars and happy writings!

Thursday, Sept. 27th 6:30pm to 8:30pm

@ Julius Meniel Café  

3601 North Southport (Corner of Southport and Addison)

Chicago, IL

CTA – Brown line Southport stop or Red line Addison stop

Street parking only.

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