Comadre noun
1 godmother of one’s child
2 mother of one’s godchild
3 neighbor, female friend familiar
4 gossip familiar

As a kid, I heard my mother had someone called a “comadre” back in Colombia. It sounded like a BFF (best friends foreva), who knew how to cook better than you and would tell you when your man was messing around. Not a neighbor, not necessarily your child’s godmother, definitely more than just a female friend. A comadre.

My friend the poet Marta Lucia, who likes to reclaim words, referred to the women in our writing community as comadres and I get it right away. A comadre is the one who helps you send out your manuscript, drags you to the open mic poetry readings, and scours the bookstores for that one novel you just have to read.

I’ve expanded the notion of comadre to include the many people and institutions who have helped me on my journey as a writer y como mujer.


Adelina Anthony

Joy Castro

Angie Cruz

Carolina DeRobertis

Linda Gonzalez

Minal Hajratwala

Erica Kremenak

Lorraine Lopez

Erika Martinez

Bushra Rehman

Applied Research Center

Barbara Deming Memorial Fund

Blue Mountain Center


The Macdowell Colony

Macondo Foundation


Healing & Spirituality
For several years, I experienced a debilitating chronic pain that made it difficult to write. Some folks know it as repetitive stress injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendonitis. The experience took me into the field of mind/body medicine. Here are some resources that helped me:

Dr. John Sarno’s book The Mindbody Prescription became my essential text in returning to health.

I took an amazing workshop on community healing with the African healer Sobonfu.

Spirit Rock teachers helped me deepen my meditation practice.

And Louise Hay’s work taught me about affirmations and the correlations between emotions and illness.