5 Minutes with Teaching Artist Desiree Kannel

Gemini Ink’s new Teaching Artist, Desiree Kannel, is a writer and teacher from Southern California. She has a teaching credential from California State University Long Beach and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She is the author of Lucky John, published in 2020 by Black Rose Writing. Her short stories have appeared online and in print anthologies. After she became an AWA facilitator in 2010, she began Rose Writers Workshops and leads workshops, retreats, and classes throughout the year. Desiree now resides in San Antonio, Texas with her cat Malcolm.

Hi Desiree, What part of being a Teaching Artist are you most excited about?

I am very excited to be working with young writers again! I really enjoy guiding their creative journeys and seeing what comes out. As a person new to the San Antonio area, I am also excited to meet other writers and learn more about SA’s writing community.  

What books are on your nightstand?

On my nightstand is Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems. I read one or two each night. In my reading corner (I don’t read in bed because I’ll fall asleep!) are Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime and Small Island by Andrea Levy.  

How do you start to write something new?

Most of my stories come from something I’ve seen or heard in the world – usually from family. It will be that one line or image that just sticks with me and then grows into characters and a situation (hopefully).  

What is your biggest inspiration when writing? 

My biggest inspiration is all the writers I’ve met and worked with over the years. I made some invaluable connections while in my MFA program and we inspire and support each other, even a decade after graduating. Also my daughter. I want her to know that following your dreams is important, no matter what others may say.  

What piece of writing have you composed that you are most proud of?

My novel, Lucky John, was a  story I never gave up on and, after 10+ years, was published in 2020. 

What part of Gemini Ink’s mission resonates with you the most?

Gemini’s commitment to the community through classes and workshops, especially for young writers who may not otherwise have access to creative writing instruction.  And how Gemini values all voices! 

Do you have a website, social media, or any other links to recent writing you’d like to share with us? 

Yes! Please follow me on Instagram and Twitter @RWWrites. Find out about my creative writing workshops at rosewriters.com and my publications on desireekannel.com 

And just for fun…

Who are your favorite music artists?

I love old-school 80’s hip hop!  

What are your favorite binge-watching series’?

British murder mysteries. Right now I am devouring the Broadchurch series.  

Tell us something that will surprise us!

I was also a writer in the classroom for an arts organization in California called Angels Gate Cultural Center. I taught 5th grade in schools throughout Los Angeles County.  

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