First, let me say thank you to the entire Spillwords team for giving me the opportunity to talk about me. It is a pleasure and an honor. I was born in Europe and I lived in different countries before I came to the US. I call America home. I call my formative years ‘the European period.’ Europe is the place in which my soul hides when things get tough; the place where my creative juices first started. A magic place filled with beauty and pain. A place to which I return very often. These days I think of myself as a European and an American at the same time. I think at myself as a mix. But then I say to myself: “Wait, Gabriela. A mix? That is the definition of an American.”
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
America’s diversity of cultures. America’s resilience. Of course, America is a beautiful country. We all know that. But most fascinatingly America is a country of dreamers. We are all dreamers.
What turns you on creatively?
Pain, suffering, love. Things that I can never forget. John Fowles’ words are tattooed in my soul: “Forgetting’s not something you do, it happens to you. Only it didn’t happen to me.” (John Fowles, ‘The Collector’).
I love oceans and islands. I love tropical climates. I love green. Everything is green in the tropics. There are so seasons. As I wrote in one of my poems: “Your love, eternal summer with no births and deaths.” I was thinking of the tropics when I wrote that.
I have very few moments when I get stuck creatively. Usually when I am extremely tired. Then I turn again and again to the writings of my favorite novelist: Lawrence Durrell. His books are all over the house. I pick one and start reading from somewhere in the middle. After a while, it feels like somebody pours inspiration in my veins. I get transported in another world. A world in which creativity flows in all directions.
There are other writers that have almost the same influence on me: Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez, Federico García Lorca, Arthur Rimbaud, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
My favorite word? I have many. One of them is ‘dream’.
A poetic sentence?
“You is always I Even in a dream”
Those lines are part of a poem that I wrote called ‘Dream’
What is your pet peeve?
Injustice. Abuses. Lies. As Voltaire wrote: “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
What defines Gabriela M?
Courage. Determination. The capacity to give and to receive. My forever love for arts and literature, and for the profession that I am in. The nights in which I write and the ones in which I plan for a better tomorrow. The hope that one day we all will live in a better world. The incapacity to understand hate and jealousy. A sense of disgust toward people who consider themselves better than others and think that they have the right to oppress or mock others. To name just a few things that I think define me.
APRIL 2019 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH / 2019 AUTHOR OF THE YEAR at Spillwords.com
Gabriela Marie Milton [Spillwords name Gabriela M] is a #1 Amazon bestselling poet and an internationally published author. Her literary work appeared in various magazines and anthologies. She is the author of the #1 best-selling poetry collection 'Woman: Splendor and Sorrow', Vita Brevis Press, July 2021 and, the author of 'Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings', Vita Brevis Press, April 2020. Under the name Gabriela M she was awarded 2019 Author of the Year at Spillwords Press (NYC). Her piece 'If I say I love you' was nominated for 2020 Spillwords Press Publication of the Year (Poetic). Gabriela is also the editor of MasticadoresUSA. She blogs at Shortprose.