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Spotlight On Writers
- Where, do you hail from?
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.
Christina Schwarz, the author of the New York Times Bestseller “Drowning Ruth,” on Gabriela M’s poetry:
“With lush language and lavish imagery, Gabriela M. evokes a fantastic world ripe with emotion.” - Christina Schwartz