• Q&A With WriteByNight Coach mónica teresa ortiz

     

    mónica teresa ortiz (they, them) was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle, and is the author of “muted blood” and “autobiography of a semi-romantic anarchist.” They have facilitated writing workshops for women factory workers in Mexico, The Operating System based in NYC, as well as for the Central American collective and multimedia production house, Tierra Narrative. ortiz is also currently a Freedomways journalist in residence. Follow mónica on Twitter or on Substack at Riding with the Poet.

     

     

    Where are you from?

    Born and raised in Texas.

     

    Where did you study?

    Did my undergrad at UT Austin, received a BA in English Lit, did my MFA in poetry at UT El Paso.

     

    How did you get your start as a writer?

    I always loved to write since I was young, but my first creative class was at the university, which was a poetry class taught by Khaled Mattawa.

     

    Who are some of your influences?

    Hmm. I think Eduardo Galeano, Audre Lorde, Nicanor Parra, Ashraf Fayadh, and Dionne Brand are poets I turn to the most, but I also am deeply influenced from reading Rolando Barthes, Amiri Baraka, Ernesto Cardenal, Alfonsina Stoerni, Aimé Césaire, Édouard Glissant, and Suzanne Césaire.

     

    What is the hardest part of writing for you?

    The most difficult part for me is during the editing process, going from one draft to the next.

     

    What’s the last book you read and what did you think of it?

    I finished reading Max Liboiron’s Pollution Is Colonialism and thought it an important read.

     

    What’s the last movie you saw that was based on a book and how was it?

    I saw Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car at Lincoln Center, based on the Haruki Murakami short story from his collection Men Without Women. It was an incredibly layered film, about art and life, and honestly, it’s a classic. One of the best films I saw in 2021.

     

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