During the pandemic lockdown, I participated in two workshops that saved my sanity and offered a sense of literary community. The Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington, DC hosted a creative writing workshop based on the work of the Latin-American Boom and other authors. Boom + Toolbox was instructed by Luis Felipe Lomelí and Carlos José Pérez Sámano.
What I loved about the workshops was reading poems and stories, and dissecting how they worked. We read authors that include Gabriel García Márquez, Amparo Dávila, Jorge Luis Borges, and Laura Esquivel. We were given license to experiment and take risks. I was able to get outside of my head during that crazy challenging lonely time.
What started as a six-session workshop, went on about twice as long, because we all enjoyed the community and the discussions. As a result, we also got to come back for a new session, Boom + Toolbox II. I am so grateful to the Mexican Cultural Institute and to both Luis and Carlos. I did a lot of writing during those sessions, and our work was collected into two anthologies.