Quick Temper with Gaby Garcia


Gaby Garcia is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet whose work has appeared in North American Review, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She is a James Hearst Poetry Prize finalist, founder of the podcast On Poetry, and served as a Teaching Fellow at Columbia University, where she received her MFA in Poetry.

Here’s Quick Temper with Gaby:

Why do you write?

Because I’m a masochist who is in love with bending language. I grew up in a bilingual house and became fascinated with the limits of linguistic expression, the bizarre magic trick of code-switching. That sense of constant disorientation really drove my curiosity and obsession with words. I write to satisfy urges in me that will never fully be satisfied. I will always be chasing after the next poem.

Who do you hope reads your work?

Anyone, everyone, whomever.

Where does the anger in your work come from? How does it manifest?

My anger is intensely female, and comes directly from the body of my teenage self. Casual sexual assault, eating disorders, and a sense of being profoundly disposable – these were all a part of my life during those years, when I experienced myself as little more than male property. I write for that teenage girl, so she can expel the violence and disgust and green apple vodka from her body. She’s an explosive motherfucker, and I relish every opportunity to let her free on the page.

Angry book recommendations for angry readers?

The Vegetarian by Han Kang, The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, and Beyoncé’s Lemonade (it’s my list, I make the rules!)

Gaby Garcia will be reading with An Angry Reading Series on May 11. Come through!

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