Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the 2013 Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange poetry winner and a 2015 Barbara Deming Fund grantee. She has work published in American Poetry Review, crazyhorse, CALYX, and Acentos Review among others. A short dramatization of her poem “Our Lady of the Water Gallons,” directed by Chicano activist and Hollywood director, Jesús Salvador Treviño can be viewed atlatinopia.com. She curates the quarterly reading series HITCHED and co-founded Women Who Submit. Her debut poetry collection, Built with Safe Spaces, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications.
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo’s Book Coaching Statement:
This process is to be a conversation between the poet and the reader, and as your book coach, I plan on approaching your collection as a reader confident in my poet’s intentions to take me on a journey of words, images, and sounds. I will do this by first reading the collection as a reader, and not as a poet or an editor, looking to understand your work as you intended it, and looking for the images, themes, language and forms that sing to me as an audience member to your work. I will then return to the work for a second read looking for the places the collection does not sing in order to help you elevate those moments by asking questions, suggesting readings that speak to your work in a constructive way, and offering writing exercises.
My own mentor, Eloise Klein Healy, once told me that when you are close to a finished manuscript what is missing becomes clear. As you continue to turn and work each piece, it will be my job as your coach to help you see those missing moments and discover the manuscript as a whole artistic experience.