Edythe Rodriguez is our May 2023 Tiny Spoon Resident! You can sign-up for her workshop here. We interviewed Edythe about her creative visions, inspirations, and writing tips!
Her LIVE, donation-based workshop, Actually, The Poems Keep the Score: Writing Memory, Family, and The Shifting Self, will be held on May 20th & 21st from 12-2 PM MST / 2-4 PM EST.
Workshop Summary: In this generative workshop, we’ll be writing/righting the past. Through childhood vignettes and investigating our complex family histories. By centering remembrance. By healing past our traumas and the people who handed them to us. We are unlocking and remaking memory. The workshop is donation-based, no one will be turn away. Donate on our website to register or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org today!
TS: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you? Do you follow any rituals or creative exercises to spark your writing process?
Edythe: I love a good writer’s cliché. Small internet cafes, matcha lattes and a lit candle. I have a neo-soul writing playlist and everything. I think my favorite one is writing when I’m not supposed to be. When I’m up against a deadline or at work, I sneak off to write. My pen works better under pressure, sometimes.
TS: What inspired you to begin and maintain these practices?
Edythe: Writing (and reading) for me was always an escape from something else. I think that’s also why I wrote so much about world building and refuge. I use my poems to create safety and live in another moment when the current one doesn’t feel bearable.
TS: Does your writing intersect with other creative practices?
Edythe: I’d say it intersects with the idea of poet as witness and all the other art forms I get to admire. Going to museums. To art shows. To plant shops. Look at a pink princess philodendron and tell me you don’t want to write a poem about that.
TS: If your work was a song, what would it be?
Edythe: Every song LaRussell ever made.
TS: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends who have been influential to your work?
Edythe: Sonia Sanchez. Amos Wilson. Lucille Clifton. Shakeema Smalls. Marcus Garvey. Ashia Ajani. Amiri Baraka. Danez Smith. Tonya Foster. M. NourBese Philip.
TS: Are there any natural entities that move your work?
Edythe: I feel like spirit moves in my work. And it moves me to begin the work in the first place. I’m also a Virgo sun, Pisces moon, Leo Rising. Just enough earth to ground the work. enough water to put my heads in the cloud, to lose realism in service of the impossible. And enough fire to burn us all in the making.
TS: What is on your reading list this season?
Edythe: Concentrate by Courtney Faye Taylor, Heirloom by Ashia Ajani, and (I’m suuuper late to this beauty) The Sobbing School by Joshua Bennett.
TS: Can you share your philosophy on sustaining creative communities?
Edythe: This became my favorite part of being a writer and being able to grow a whole family from the page. Black women writers are truly my safe space and getting to commune with the people that I center in my work is so invaluable to me.
TS: What advice would you give to emerging writers?
Edythe: Read. Explore. Be inspired by your own small, everyday greatnesses. And advice is less valuable than you think. Be your own North Star.
TS: What projects are you working on? Can we find you at any upcoming events, etc.?
Edythe:My chapbook We, the Spirits is forthcoming with Button Poetry at the end of this year / beginning of next so stay tuned for that! The best way to keep up with all my things is on Instagram @edythejai.
TS: Where can people learn more about what you do? (website, social media, etc., if you wish to share it)
I’m on Instagram and Twitter at @edythejai and on my website www.edytherodriguez.com.