Interview with KiKi Reyes: MFA Alum & the “Mexican Jenna Hamilton”
Kiki Reyes is one of the first graduates from AUSB’s MFA in Writing & Contemporary Media program. She talked about some of her favorite times during the program and shared what she has been doing after her time at Antioch.
What you’ve been doing since graduation?
Since this past December, I’ve been working as a Communications Coordinator at nonprofit “Art Without Limits.” AWoL is best known for strategically matching arts and business professionals with emerging artists for intensive, one-on-one and free mentorships. I was recently hired as a Writing Center tutor at Santa Barbara City College, my former community college. I’ve been submitting my fiction/non-fiction work to several organizations and I’ve been anxiously writing away. I’ve was also been invited to read my non-fiction work at Santa Barbara’s Outloud March Literacy Reading.
So, do you have any plans for the future? Whether to continue education or further writing?
My plan, for now, is to finish my short story collection “We’re Not That Kind of Mexican,” and publish it by the end of this year. I’m striving for a career in Journalism, so I’ve been searching for freelance jobs with magazines or newspapers on the side (hit me up). I eventually want to pursue a PhD in Chicano Studies/Mexican-American Studies and teach Chicano/ Mexican-American Literature.
Are you working on any projects, currently?
My current project is like many writers, my website: theofficialkikireyes.com where I call myself the “Mexican Jenna Hamilton.” Like the quirky Jenna Hamilton character from “Awkward,” I’ve been blogging for several years. I feel like I can relate to her because she uses writing to navigate and make sense of the situations that go on in her life. My blog posts vary from politics, love, education, social media, and my writing career. Inspiration sparks in all aspects of my life, and I want to share it with you!
What is your favorite AUSB memory?
My favorite memory at Antioch was delivering my Capstone project, a theatrical reading of my short story “We’re Not That Kind of Mexican” from my short story collection of the same title. I was a nervous wreck during the hours leading up to the presentation, but I was able to confidently perform my story and my audience seemed to love it.
Another fun memory was when I first met my Cohort—the Anacapa eight. We were having Sunday dinner at the community hall and I walked in late. I met many experienced writers, who became my best friends.
Do you keep in touch with anyone since graduating?
I went to see our program director Ross Brown at the Santa Barbara Outloud January Literacy Reading earlier this year. He didn’t know I would be there so I surprised him! I do catch up with cohort here and there. I love them and miss them dearly.
Where can we find you?
One day you will find me everywhere, but for now…
You can find me at theofficialkikireyes.com or on Instagram @theofficialkikireyes