06/12/2018 Recent alum Cristina Cortez (’18, MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics) has been awarded a Mineral School artist residency. Mineral School nurtures literary, performing, and visual artists to generate new work and present that work to the public. Cortez is part of the fourth cohort of residents, who will spend two weeks this summer living and working at the Mineral School, a transformed 1947 school building located in a small lake town at the foot of Mt. Rainier. Says Cortez, “I'm a world traveler and find that being in a new place spurs and influences my creative work. A residency at Mineral School would allow me to enjoy the calm and natural setting that I need to ease myself into the act of writing, while giving me the chance to get away from my routine of student life. During the residency, I intend to write a collection of poems about my traveling experiences using surrealist techniques in response to Fernando Pessoa’s quote, ‘Everything that surrounds us becomes part of us.’ I believe place is part of who we've been, are and will be.” Cortez is a first generation Latin-American writer who holds a degree in English Creative Writing & History and a minor in Latin American & Caribbean Studies from Hofstra University. She is also a member of Golden Key Honors Society University of Washington chapter. In 2017 she presented a TEDx Everett talk “Tearing Down Walls – Building Bridges” on the power of belief in potential. Watch her talk.