My name is Angelique Imani Rodriguez and I am a Bronx Boricua bibliophile, writer, and editor. I run the Boricongo Book Gang, an online book list that focuses on the works of writers of color. and I also offer developmental editing services via AIR Edits. In 2018, I decided to develop a collection of work written by writers of color that focused on food and all of the cultural, emotional, and spiritual significance it has for us. I called it Fried Eggs and Rice: An Anthology by Writers of Color on Food, named after a simple meal that speaks volumes to the experiences I and my family have had.
By the end of 2019, I had close to 30 writers involved and was on the second round of edits with some of them. Then 2020 arrived, COVID-19 happened, and it rocked me. Some people thrived in isolation, had huge surges of creativity and productivity in their creative lives. I was not one of those people. Instead, I overworked, over-drank, over-ate, and sat in a creative funk. Occasionally, I would check in with the writers, make grand promises about how this time it was different and this was the plan. But nothing came of it, because ultimately, I was burnt out from work, looking for an escape from everything happening, and numb to creativity.
This does not excuse anything, this is just what happened.
At the end of 2021, I asked myself what this project looks like two years into what I have now dubbed the Great Avoidance and I had to accept that this project may not look like what I originally conceived. I had to remind myself that one of the main reasons for Fried Eggs and Rice was to share the work of these phenomenal writers who believe in this project and what it stands for. And that is still what I intend to do through a new collaborative effort between myself and Elisabet Velasquez, writer of the acclaimed 2021-released novel-in-verse When We Make It, a creative peer, and also a contributing writer to the project.
Will this eventually become the anthology I once envisioned? Absolutely. But it is my honor to introduce you to Fried Eggs and Rice: A Series by Writers of Color on Food, works submitted by writers across the nation for a project that is very dear and significant to me.
Beginning February 2022, every month a new piece by a different writer (along with a recipe and a writing prompt!) will be announced via Elisabet Velasquez’s Uninspired monthly e-newsletter and posted directly to this website.
Fried Eggs and Rice speaks to the soul and ancestry of our food, the profound connections and emotional impact of what we eat and how we prepare it. I hope through this series, that you will be able to connect with these writers, their worlds, and their work.
Thank you all. See you next month!
Angelique Imani Rodriguez