Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with April Hernandez from our tenth issue.
Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?
April Hernandez: I find that a lot of lived experiences kindle my creativity: memories, strong emotions, life events, the media I consume, the places I’ve been, and the people in my life.
Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?
April Hernandez: When it comes to writing: I really look up to poet Jessica Pierce, who was my high school writing mentor, and author Justin Hocking, who was hands down one of my favorite college professors. I also admire my partner in life, Gabriel Isaac Lakey, who is an incredibly talented videographer, and my best friend, SarahAnn Harvey who is the founder of Pile Press.
Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?
April Hernandez: I think growing up in Portland and Oregon in general moves my work. We have so many types of environments here that it is hard not to feel influenced by the natural beauty of where I am fortunate enough to live.
Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?
April Hernandez: As I mentioned before, I get inspired by lived experiences, and my poem “Recipe for When You Miss Him” appearing in Tiny Spoon’s 10th Issue is a great example of that. When I was in my junior year of college my brother Michael committed suicide. It was a lot to handle and I found that writing really helped me not only process his death but grieve him as well. I think the same can be said about my writing in general: I use it as a way to process my feelings about events that happen. Once I get everything down on paper, I usually will then type it up and make revisions and stylistic choices from there.
Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?
April Hernandez: In terms of my own writing, my creative nonfiction chapbook “Getting to Know the Stoveman” was just recently released through Bottlecap Press, and it is a project that I am really proud of. The summary for it is as follows:
“Getting to Know the Stoveman is a collection of vignettes that delves into the idea that love is more than big gestures and rather finding its warmth in the small yet habitual acts of care given by the people around you. After learning her estranged uncle has passed away, Hernandez helps pack up his possessions and in the process she discovers that their similarities run deeper than the blood that they share.
Through her sincere yet offbeat tone, Hernandez’s memoir finds love in small actions and encapsulates a bigger story using focused and simplistic vignettes. Her writing, while being tied to specific moments in her life, draws on universal themes of love, loss, and death that all can relate to and connect with, in both their happiest and their darkest of times.”
I am also the Co-Coordinator and submissions reader for Pile Press, which is a journal that publishes work by women, non-binary and fluid creatives. We are currently working on our sixth issue, so be on the lookout for the release date on that!
Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?
April Hernandez: As someone who reads as much as I do, narrowing it down is very hard for me. I would say one of my favorite books of 2022 is Fruiting Bodies by Kathryn Harlan. It is a collection of short stories that involve queer characters, typically women, who are on the edge of change. There are elements of fairytales, myths, and gothic literature that really add to the collection as a whole. In terms of a visual recommendation, I would highly recommend HBO’s The Last of Us. This is probably one of the best adaptations I have seen in a long time and I think anyone can enjoy it- not just those familiar with the game. Just go in with the knowledge that it is a very depressing but beautiful show.
Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?
April Hernandez: I am a huge bookworm! I absolutely adore reading and am constantly adding to my TBR pile. One other thing I would like to mention is that I co-produce (and sometimes appear in) some of my partner’s works, including his films. His first film that he has co-written and co-directed, “Punched After the Fact,” will hopefully be hitting the festival circuits this year. Here is a link to the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woOPQQIXLJg
Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?
April Hernandez: My personal Instagram is @april.alexis and the Pile Press Instagram is @pilepress