Introducing Cid Galicia
January 13, 2023
Today we want to shine a spotlight on team member Cid Galicia. Cid is currently in his final semester in the MFA program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. When I first met Cid about a year ago, what stood out to me was the energy and enthusiasm he had for the program and the people he was connecting with. He was eager to learn more about TGLR and our team and didn’t skip a beat before volunteering to be a part of it. He joined in the spring as a reader for our 2022 HoneyBee Prize (our 8th issue). A few beats later, when an opportunity at a more permanent spot as an editor opened up, he was the first to throw his hat into the ring.
Now, as we near the release of our 10th issue, I’m excited to finally, *FINALLY*, officially introduce him and share more of what he’s shared with us about himself and his writing life, beginning with why he decided to pursue an MFA.
Honestly, it was covid. The idea of an MFA and transitioning into the higher education community has always been a goal, but it continuously seemed like a far-off destination. During covid, I was very lucky that no one in my family was deeply affected. I had peers and coworkers who had the opposite and even deaths in their families/communities. That is when my mortality/finiteness kind of slapped me across the face. I had this realization that if I had any remaining goals I wish to pursue/achieve, I should have started yesterday. I was on an amtrak train home for the holidays (I love writing on trains) and that was the moment I decided I would begin pursuing graduate school for my MFA.
I love the fact that he pinpointed the exact moment, which made me curious if there was some point in time or event that sparked his passion for writing in the first place.
As with many writers, at a young age, I found myself in a different mindset than many of my peers. And, in order to clear my thoughts and calm myself, I just began to consistently journal. In high school, after a struggling freshman/sophomore year, I was finally able to test into AP English classes. I had an amazing teacher, Ms. Majerison, that year who introduced me to poetry, and that is when I became deeply interested in the craft and began to pursue it on my own.
I then asked some of the same questions we’ve asked our contributing authors over the past year including what fuels his desire to write and also what the biggest influences in his writing have been.
Human relationships are the most fascinating experiences to me, and all platforms: friendship, family, young, old, intimate, and platonic. I love watching, observing, and experiencing them personally. I love thinking and writing about them. Most of my poems stem from that idea of human connection.
One of TGLRs previous poetry editors, Ally Guenette, completed her thesis on discovering your writer-genealogy–which I thoroughly enjoyed. Interestingly, and cliche enough, my first adolescent inspirations were Poe and the rap group Bone: Thugs In Harmony. Back then, rap/rappers really had a lot of strong poetic connections. Later was introduced to Rilke and T.S. Eliot. I was drawn to Rilke because he also had a deep focus on love and relationships and Eliot for his long poems and vibrations of form and the musicality in his work.
By his own account, Cid has “been in a ravenous state hungry for experience, growth, and community” and has found what he’s been desiring in each semester of the MFA program. Here’s a little more of what he elected to share about his experience with each of his mentors in the program thus far…
Semester 1: Elizabeth Powell
She was my first mentor in the program and met me exactly where I was–an adult educator who had not been in academia for decades. She helped me navigate the university topography again and reassert my voice. My first poetic love is for old forms: sonnets, sestinas, and villanelles. She, however, pushed me outside of those and, in response to my forced evacuation from Hurricane Ida, introduced me to hybrid poetic writing as a new vein for written expression.
Semester 2: Maray Hornbacher
This lady is a badass! Can we say badass and post it? Anyway, I was feeling on fire after semester 1 and wanted to see how I could push myself. I remember my first impression of her, my first semester, was something like this: I bet she’s awesome, but she would burn me alive! Not this semester, but one of them for sure! By the end of my time with her I had written over 40 pages of critical writing and had 2 poems accepted to journals! Marya is fire!
Semester 3: Kate Gale
If you can survive The Marya you can pretty much figure your way through just about anything. I decided to take myself to the next step and that was to ask if Kate Gale, head editor of The Red Hen Press, would accept me as an intern for the optional third-semester internship option. Through that experience, I have been able to work through the many moving parts of literary press anatomy. My highlights have been managing the creation of a poetry anthology, making my blog posting debut, and teaching poetry through their Writers In The Schools program.
That sounds like an action-packed ride for sure and though everyone’s experience is different, I’m 100% with Cid in that applying for the program was one of the best decisions of my life. It is, after all, part of what led me to the “good” life I’m living right now. This is precisely why I’m always curious about other people’s thoughts about the phrase “The Good Life.” Cid’s Response:
Now that I have roots in The South–specifically New Orleans, when I hear The Good Life I think of live music, dancing, drinking somewhere with the Open Container law, writing near The Mississippi, and a good make-out session. That sounds really good to me.
Cid’s recent publications include “Letters to Marya” in Trestle Ties and “Danni” in the Elevation Review. He’s also got several poems forthcoming in 2023: “2am Dances With My Father.” in South Broadway Press, “We Swayed Furtively” and “Mongamish” in Roi Faineant, and “Club Dances and Car Window Kissing” in Trampoline.
Cid… Thank you for jumping in on this journey with us and for the fantastic energy you bring to the team. I feel fortunate to have met you and look forward to future shenanigans! Best of luck with that 4th semester!!
PS. More about all of our TGLR editors is available on our Masthead.