Mari-Carmen Marin was born off the southern coast of Spain in the beautiful city of Málaga. As a young girl, she fell in love with literature and soon began writing her own poetry as a way to bring her comfort and direction. Poetry provided her with a sense of order to her chaotic and complex feelings and ideas. She obtained her Ph.D. in African American literature from the University of Zaragoza in northern Spain. Shortly thereafter in 2003, she moved to Houston where her work has continued to blossom. Her poems have been published in numerous esteemed publications, including Wordriver Literary Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Dash Literary Journal, Months to Years, The Awakenings Review, Lucky Jefferson, San Fedele Press, Willowdown Books, The Comstock Review, The Green Light Literary Journal, Mothers Always Write, Breath & Shadow, The Ekphrastic Review, Poets’ Choice, Kaleidoscope, Toho Journal, and Poetica Review. Mari-Carmen is currently a professor of English at Lone Star College in Tomball, Texas.
While in Houston, she prepared for her new career in poetry by completing Stanford Continuing Studies courses through Stanford University, as well as numerous poetry workshops guided by poets like Dave Parsons, Tony Hoagland, Courtney Kampa, Kirstin Andersen, Mong-Lan, and Beth Lyons.
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Swimming, Not Drowning, published by Legacy Book Press, is a memoir in verse that takes the reader on the poet’s journey through her struggles with an anxiety disorder that often led to depression. The first part, “Deep Water,” explores the author’s childhood, family, personality, fears, disappointments, the generalized public unfamiliarity with mental illness, and other factors conducive to the onset of depression. The second part, “Drowning,” depicts what it feels like to be trapped in the disabling claws of the depression monster. The last part, “Swimming,” is a testament of hope, reassuring the reader that with patience, understanding, and support, everybody can learn how to “swim” the deep waters without drowning.