The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Creative writing instructor debuts published poetry book

By Ashley Bradley/ne news editor

English associate professor Rebecca Balcárcel published a book of poetry, Palabras in Each Fist, in January.

A NE Campus reception and book reading is scheduled at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 in NCAB College Hall.

The book of poems details three aspects of her life, Balcárcel said. The first discusses how her mom and dad are different culturally — her father is Guatemalan and her mother is Anglo. The second part talks about being both a mother and a wife, and the third shows her philosophies in life.

Balcárcel said the oldest poem in the book is almost 20 years old. She said the bulk of them were written over the past 10 years.

“I put all of the poems on the floor,” she said. “I looked at all of them and thought maybe there are some patterns here.”

Balcárcel teaches creative writing on NE Campus and said it helps her writing stay on task.

“Teaching does help me examine my craft,” she said. “By having to tell others how to do it, I have to know how to do it.”

She said being in the field helps her to keep reading and keep contacts with fellow authors.

“It helps me stay in touch with the world of creative writing,” she said.

English instructor Rita Wisdom said she read the book and thought it was about growing into an identity.

“We are happy for her that she’s published Palabras in Each Fist, which is filled with beautiful poems about growing up, about family and about life,” she said.

“I especially love the way Rebecca peppers her poetry with Spanish and the way she coaxes images from flat words on a page.”

NE Campus student Jason Strnad said he is trying to clear up his schedule to attend Balcárcel’s reading.

“She is a very passionate teacher and lover of creative writing,” he said. “I’d like to look at her work.”

Balcárcel’s book can be purchased on or at the reading.

She said she enjoys being a poet and strives to improve her writing every day.

“[I enjoy] looking at the world and asking what it is like to be human,” she said.

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