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Interviewed on Plume for Writers Podcast

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I was so happy to receive an email from Sam Tetangco to join an LGBTQ writers roundtable for the Plume: a writer’s podcast, which she co-hosts. I met Sam when we both served on AWP’s LGBTQ Writers Caucus in 2019. She served as the President and I was, surprise, the communications officer. It was a […]

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Interviewed on DC Public Library’s Podcast

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When Jenny Cavallero, a D.C.-based comedian, writer, filmmaker, actor, and disabled person, approached me about being interviewed for DCPL’s Access This podcast, I was excited and in awe. Sometimes, the imposter syndrome voice grows louder in my head. Sometimes, I’m able to shush her and remind myself, hey, Marlena, you’ve published books, you’ve been writing […]

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AWP 2021

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On Wednesday, I moderated the panel “Disability’s Influence on Literature: Realism As A Craft Concept” at AWP 2021. We had an incredible turnout — 194 people joined us! This important conversation was sponsored by AWP and featured Eileen Cronin, James Tate Hill, and T.K. Dalton (you can buy our books on Bookshop). If you missed […]

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Poetry in a Pandemic

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It feels like March 2020 and December 37th at the same time, somehow. The world feels so uncertain right now. This country feels so uncertain and hostile — this is not new. When I’m anxious, confused, and trying to understand myself and the world around me better, I turn to writing and reading. It’s how […]

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Thank you, Nancy 💜

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I can’t believe Nancy Podcast is coming to an end. It’s been an incredibly important podcast for me as I came to terms with my sexuality and started the process of coming out to my family. Haven’t fully finished that journey — I’m learning that it’s a continual, never-ending process — but maybe this episode […]

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Last flight for On that one-way trip to Mars

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Sadly my first book, On that one-way trip to Mars, is now out of print. My publisher Bottlecap Press informed me that they sold the last backstock copy, so that’s a wrap on my voyage to Mars. On that one-way trip to Mars was published in May 2016 and was nominated for an Elgin Award in 2017. I […]

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Social Distancing and Poetry

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While self-quarantining and social distancing, it is more important than ever to engage in activities that bring you joy. That is why I’m so excited to be able to host a virtual writing workshop with MoonLit! MoonLit, founded by Kristen Zory King, offers low-cost, accessible and engaging literary programs in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Join […]

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Climate change planning must include the disabled 🌍♿

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Update: Read my feature on climate change and disability in the January issue of Entropy Inherited. Sneak peek: I have an essay on the intersections of climate change and disability coming out in the January issue of Entropy Inherited, a monthly climate newsletter run by Denali Sai and Natalie Kiley. Entropy Inherited is a monthly climate newsletter […]

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Find me at these poetry events in 2020

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Last year really flew by for me. Is this what getting older feels like? If so, I’m going to try my best to live more in the moment and appreciate what’s happening as it does. I’m not trying to sound cheesy, that’s just one of my resolutions for this year. Speaking of this year, I […]

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Poetry mentorship? Yes, it’s a thing!

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“Sometimes all you need is someone to assure you that you’re a writer, and then you start to believe it, you start to live it.” This fall, I was invited to serve as a poetry mentor for an emerging writer through AWP’s Writer to Writer Mentorship Program. The mentorship program matches emerging writers and published […]

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Give the gift of reading 🎁📚

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Still need to do your holiday shopping? Why not give the gift of reading this season. If you’re looking for poetry I’ve got you covered. Crumb-sized: Poems (Unnamed Press, 2017) On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press, 2016) Make me the happiest poet this holiday season by buying my books — or truly, any […]

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Summer reading

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Looking for some summer reading? I’ve got you covered! Find me and other local writers at these upcoming bookish events: Poets in Protest Reading Series Wednesday, June 12I’m honored to be a featured reader at Poets in Protest Reading Series: LGBTQ+ Pride, along with Chris Thomas, Rasha Abdulhadi, Angel, and Mysfit. The reading is at Loyalty Street […]

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Micro-fiction published in Paper Darts ✨🚀🔴

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Paper Darts Magazine chose my quirky sci-fi story about astronauts getting periods in space as a finalist in their Cleanliness micro-fiction contest, judged by Esme Wang. “The Interplanetary Sanitation Workers Get Sent to Kepler-186F” is an imagining of an all-women space crew — I’m also working on a longer version for my Forecasts series. I’m always […]

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The power of sharing secrets

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Earlier this summer, I attended a zine-making workshop at East City Books, held by The Lily News. The Lily, a product of The Washington Post, is an all-woman run newspaper, based on the first U.S. newspaper edited by and for women, which was published from 1849-1853. The Lily was the first U.S. newspaper by women. We’re […]

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Bookversary! 📚

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My book turns 1 whole year old today! (My book’s a Leo too). The best gift would be if you bought it and put it on your very own bookshelves. You can find Crumb-sized in most local bookstores and online. Happy reading!