(Pics inside!) It's been a crazy summer. View in browser
Photo of Li Yun Alvarado speaking, including the words

Hi ,

In the June newsletter, I wrote: "As for summer plans, I'll be staying close to home and prepping for this new baby's arrival this fall."


Joke was on me. 

There was so little nesting to be had it's not even funny. In some ways it's been one of the busiest (not always in a good way) summers our family has had.

As overwhelmed as I have felt though, there were several bright spots, including three publications (yay!), an online course created, offered, and delivered, and a "selfie" with Elizabeth Warren.

If you're curious, you can link to the publications and read about my summer highlights (and lowlights) below. I've included the good with a sprinkling of the bad & the ugly (because I'm not quite ready to share ALL the details of the heavier parts of this summer).

I share all this to pull back the curtain a bit and as a reminder:

  1. that #lifehappens and we can't be too hard on ourselves when things don't go as planned; 
  2. that not everything going on in a writer's life makes it onto social media, so don't get too caught up comparing based on that limited information;
  3. that we have to #CelebrateEveryWin. Big or small, we have to try to take pleasure in any of the good that life throws our way, especially since we never know when the next bump in the road is coming.

Now if you don't have time for all of that text below, you can scroll to the very bottom to see my Summer Photo Album.

Finally, some folks have asked me to share, so here is a link to our Baby Registry. Surprising no one who knows me, it is full of picture books and MexiRican onesies.

Wish me luck on wrapping up some projects, facing upcoming twists and turns, and actually preparing to welcome this baby into the world next month!

Picture of Li Yun Alvarado
Li Yun

P.S. How was your summer? 

P.P.S. Don't forget to scroll all the way to the bottom for pictures!

Publications Recap

"Chicana in New York City: Gloria Anzaldúa on Spirituality and the City" was published in MELUS. This scholarly article was 8 years in the making!

"Poe Park" appeared online in Aster(ix), where it was published in print in 2017. This is one of my favorite Bronx poems. It was inspired by an assignment in one of the workshops I took with Elisabeth Frost over a decade ago. Here's a preview...

Poe Park

Bronx, NY (1847-Present)

From this cottage,
where he heard
his young cousin
bride, Virginia

Read the rest here, then share it with the poetry, Bronx, and Edgar Allan Poe lovers in your life!

"Family Physician" was published in Bellevue Literary Review. I wrote it during my first pregnancy, and it feel timely that it found a home during my second one.  

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liyunalvarado✍🏽👨🏽‍⚕️🙏🏽 . . . #Repost @blreview with @get_repost ・・・ A sneak peek at our new issue: “Family Physician,” a #poem by Li Yun Alvarado. #bellevueliteraryreview #poetry #poets #poems #poetrycommunity #poetsofinstagram #litmags #reading #litmag #readersofinstagram #read #medicalhumanities #medhum
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Summer Recap
  • Perfect Job; Not So Perfect Time: I applied for and didn't get the perfect job as an Academic Writing Coach. The opportunity came my way out of nowhere at the most imperfect time. I didn't get the job, but I learned a lot through the process of applying. In particular, I learned about the power of being my authentic self and being very clear about what I would need in order to take on a new professional position. During the online interview process, I revealed my pregnancy and said explicitly that I could not work with any organization that was not in a position honor the 12 week maternity leave I planned to take starting the end of October. Not only did I move onto the next two rounds of interviewing, the potential employer noted that I had inspired her to hire TWO new coaches because she was committed to building an organization that was in a position to honor maternity leaves. I didn't get the job -- I believe in part because of another curveball thrown my way (see below) that made it clear this wasn't the right time for me to take on this work. But woah, it feel SO good to advocate for myself and to get so far in a process after three years completely outside of the traditional labor market.
  • Can we say #Medicareforall? I got some shitty news about my Papi's health, which sent my summer into a flurry of unexpected activity, travel, negotiations, planning, you name it. Ish got real. And has stayed real. And will continue to be real. I just have to say #Medicareforall because dealing with health insurance logistics -- even when your loved one has "good" coverage is BS. 
  • Un Verano en Nueva York : Unexpected trip to NYC to spend quality time with my Papi before I can't fly because I'm too pregnant or have an unvaccinated newborn who I'd rather keep off of planes for a few months. Mami also came to NYC, so both my parents got to see me pregnant this time around -- something they didn't get to do during my first pregnancy. Joy!
  • Logistics are my Middle Name: I also spent a lot of time helping transfer my father's care from NYC to Puerto Rico. My brother has been a saint and done most of the heavy lifting on managing Papi's medical care for months since they were both in NYC. I was grateful for the opportunity to finally provide some more hands on support and do the coordinating with my familia on the island.
  • A huge SHOUT OUT to social workers and medical professionals. They are the real MVPs. I don't know how I would have navigated all the moving parts without their help. And thanks in large part to all of that help, we got Papi back to his beloved island with pretty much a smooth continuation of care.
  • Heat Wave! I'm not going to lie, I was not thrilled about NYC heat waves while pregnant and schlepping around my toddler. I don't know how you NYC Mamas do it on the regular. Respect.
  • Mami & Mini Me Time: Two+ weeks of primary parenting while living in my friends' homes was no joke, but considering my son is about to be promoted to "big brother" status it was really special to have this trip with just the two of us. 
  • Get thee to a therapist: Got back to Long Beach and started therapy because when you see the storm coming, you buy extra food and water. The storm is coming, so I have shored up all kinds of reserves—including the professional kind. I also made time to meet up with some SoCal Ricans at the beach #happyplace #oceantherapy
  • "Poe Park" was published online in Aster(ix)
  • ¡Persiste! Went to see & took a pic with Elizabeth Warren. NBD.
  • True Love Leads to Housework... and Home Repairs: (August into early Sept) We're still in the midst of a bathroom shower replacement (to avoid further water damage that had begun to show itself). We luckily have a second bathroom, but any kind of work on the house while pregnant and caring for a toddler SUCKS (says the lady who since January has lived through a serious roof leak, several rounds of mold remediation, drywall reinstalls, a roof replacement, and now this shower replacement. Is it 2020 yet?). This is the unglamorous side of homeownership that homeowners talk about amongst themselves but need to caution potential buyers about, so they can go in with eyes WIDE open. On the upside, this year’s repairs led us to the contractor jackpot; we've finally found one we love and trust who has handled almost all of these projects for us -- priceless.
  • What must get done, did not get done. I’m usually excellent at working to deadlines, but with so much going on, I had to let go of a plan to finish a picture book manuscript I’ve had percolating for two years. I was trying to have it ready in time by the Lee & Low Books New Voices Contest deadline (8/31), but I also needed a bunch of naps. The naps won. I’m a little disappointed, but am also feeling #sorrynotsorry about it. I have faith that the book will come together at the right time, or that there’s another project that is meant to emerge instead. We’ll see what happens and I’ll keep you posted.
  • Belly Blessed: My amazing friends gathered to celebrate my growing belly and our little one "Baby Waves." We did yoga, wrote some comunal poems, indulged in chocolate mousse cake, and I enjoyed a footbath while a friend decorated my belly with mehndi. It was the most perfect treat to cap off an unexpectedly eventful and at times overwhelming summer. I am truly blessed and eternally grateful.

That was my "low key" summer for you. Check out the photos below and let me know how your summer turned out.

Picture of Li Yun Alvarado
Abrazos again,
Li Yun
Summer Photo Album
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liyunalvaradoMy parents got to see me preggo this time around. #grateful
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liyunalvaradoSunday Vibes in the LBC 🇵🇷 ✊🏽 . . . #rickyrenunció #llevatealajunta #diasporicans #puertoricansinaction #tallerbula #boricua #caliricans . . . @los_angeles_boricuas
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liyunalvaradoAbout tonight... . @elizabethwarren 2020 . ¡Persiste! . I thanked her for leading on debt relief for Puerto Rico. She said, “We won’t forget Puerto Rico.” 🇵🇷 . . And yes OF COURSE I wrote here a note! . . #warren2020 #elizabethwarren #elizabethwarren2020 #writermami #writermom #boricuawriters #boricua #persist #shepersisted #persiste #🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷
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liyunalvaradoThe baby & family spoiling has begun! So grateful for amazing friends who shower us with gifts, included much needed hand-me-downs 🙏🏽 . 🤰🏻Baby Waves 🌊 . . . . #nesting #30weeks
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liyunalvaradoOn Sunday Baby Waves 🌊 and I 🤰🏻were treated to yoga, a foot bath, mehndi, collective poetry composing, decadent chocolate mousse cake, gifts, and best of all hours and hours with the best company and with nothing on the agenda but being present and enjoying this little wonder. . What a blessing to have this creative, nurturing community that holds me down & lifts me up — especially during one of the more intense years I’ve had in a while. #communitycare . I’m forever grateful mi gente 🙏🏽 You made my summer and I needed it more than you may ever know 🙏🏽 . . . Special shout out to @nativesol for the outfit & earrings. #shoplocal #4thstreetlb . And to @healing_phases for the necklace! . . PS After that burst of wonderful excitement, delivering my online course last week, and going to see Elizabeth Warren today, I’ll be ready to retreat, nest, and enjoy these last few weeks with some time all to myself (on days M is at preschool & before Baby Waves 🌊 splashes onto the scene). . So if you reach out and don’t hear back from me it’s because I’m reveling in some much needed alone time before everything gets really real again! . Feel free to text & check in though — love feeling the love even as I go within. . And if not before then, I’ll see you after I’m a Mami of Two 😳😊😍💫🌊
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Li Yun Alvarado

2436 East 4th Street #1180, Long Beach
United States


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