xyz1. When did you start writing poetry? When and/or how did you know that it was something you loved doing?

Hip Hop brought me into poetry. Sitting in the backseat of my momma’s minivan, en route to elementary school, I used to memorize lyrics from The Fugees, Common, KRS-One. But it wasn’t until high school that my pen was put to the pad—when my sister introduced me to a mix-tape of Slam Poetry and I started performing in competitions.

2. Describe some aspects of your writing process (how you get ideas, how long you usually spend on a project, your editing process, how you know when a piece is finished, etc.)

This is a difficult question to respond to. Every poem is different. Sometimes I will write a poem in five minutes and merit it worthy of being framed on the walls of the Vatican. Sometimes I will write a poem for five years; let it sit in the garbage disposal and only keep the fragments which refused to be washed down the drain. It so often seems that the poems will do whatever the poems want to do.

3. How do you choose what subjects to include in your work? Is there anything you most like to write about and why does it intrigue you?

I’m more intrigued by concepts as opposed to subjects. Being queer, Latino, xyz characteristic, it is easy to reference the various subjects that are prominent in my work. But I want the reader to delve deeper, ask the poem the difficult questions, and wait patiently for a response. Currently much of my writing focuses on the idea of ownership. What does it mean to own our bodies, our histories, ethnicities, the land we take resources from, our spirituality, our life and death? What do we own and what do we rent?

4. How did you find out about the St. Sebastian Review? Why did you choose
to submit work to us?

I discovered St. Sebastian Review through the Lambda Literary Foundation. I submitted my work because I wanted to (and always want to) support queer literary arts.