We had the good fortune of connecting with Briana Muñoz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Briana, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
When you are no longer enjoying it, step away. Give yourself a break and return to it. If you’re having trouble creating, be patient with yourself. Don’t force creativity.
The times I don’t feel like writing or feel stagnant with my craft, I throw on some audios of my favorite poets for inspiration or I run over to a poetry reading to still absorb and surround myself with voice and stanza.
The only call for giving up that I could acknowledge (even if temporarily) would be to protect or tend to your mental and emotional health. You know artists… We feel more.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In 2019, I published my first, full-length poetry collection titled Loose Lips, published by Prickly Pear Publishing. In the year of 2020, even through out of all the chaos, I have wrapped up a second, full-length poetry collection titled Everything Returns to the Soil/ Todo Vuelve a la Tierra. I am incredibly excited about this second book as it’s very much rooted in my culture and a bilingual book. I’ve been fortunate to have such great opportunities come to me. I’ve been writing poetry since I was 10 years old. Around age 20, this is when I really began going after it though. To address your question about challenges along the road, my poetry journey has been strangely easy but this has been because of the great mentors and poets and teachers and family support in my life, as mentioned earlier. In 2015, I read at my first poetry festival in Tijuana, Baja California, MX. In 2017, I read at the International Poetry Festival of Havana, Cuba. In 2018, I read at a literary conference in Quito, Ecuador. I have been so blessed.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
We’re talkin’ pre-Covid era, I assume.
Eat/Drink: Mohawk Bend – Great vegan food options, tasty cocktails.
Arts District – CRAFT BEER Yuko Kitchen in DTLA – It’s definitely top 5 of my restaurant list. I’m a big live music gal so I’d most definitely take them to catch a show around town. Echo Park Lake to picnic or people watch.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I will always be indebted to my parents and my mentors (teachers). My father, a horse trainer and performer, always told me that it’s important to do something you enjoy. My mother, who creates art through dance. When I’m asked about my journey in poetry, I always say, mentors have played such an important role. Sonia Gutiérrez, poet and professor, who was the first one to offer to sit down with me and chat about the world of poetry. Thank you. Odilia Galván Rodríguez, poet and publisher. Thank you. Rocco Versaci and Carlton Smith, my creative writing teachers at Palomar College. Thank you.
Other: Interviews : http://yourartsygirl.blogspot.com/2019/08/episode-27-briana-munoz.html?m=1 http://thenervousbreakdown.com/bmunoz/2019/08/briana-munoz-the-tnb-self-interview/ Where to buy her book: https://www.amazon.com/Loose-Lips-Briana-Muñoz/dp/1889568066