We had the good fortune of connecting with Andres Sanchez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andres, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Poetry has been a way to connect with community. I have met a lot of folks that are all on their writing journey and I enjoy the creativity and the diverse subjects that people find important to write about. My writing hits many intersectionalities and I talk about identifying as a trangender person, but I also talk about mental health, my migration to the U.S. and how all of these things affect my relationship to people whether romantic, familial, or platonic connections. Trans stories are not heard of as often, so I have taken my writing to tell my story through poetry and possibly reach young trans/gender queer individuals that may be experiencing challenges. I hope that my healing journey serves as an inspiration to others that may have had a rugged path. I believe that my story is universal and many people can connect their own stories to mine.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am really proud of my book, This Body. I wrote it with so much honesty and vulnerability. I didn’t hold back in talking about parts of myself that I had not told anyone about. I wanted to put work out into the world that would inspire others but also that would bring light to the challenges that are faced by me as a trans individual. As a young person, I didn’t have many role models that identified as LGBTQ and so I hope that my story connects with other individuals that are questioning their gender identity and sexuality and know that it is all normal. My coming out journey was not easy by any means. I feel like everyday I come out a little more.
I started writing when I was in high school. I still have some writings from then in a folder somewhere in my closet. I keep them as a reminder that I always loved writing and that I need to honor my love for poetry. Now that I am a poetry teacher, I try to push my students to challenge themselves to look at their poetry as art that needs to be well curated in order to be impactful. In our weekly workshops in class, I see so much amazing potential in the my students. They wow me with the chances that they take in their writing and also they bring so many important topics that need exposure and discussion.
I continue to write and create new things. I have so many ideas that sometimes it feels overwhelming, but I have a list of everything that I want to write and come back to it when I need inspiration. Exposing my story has been the main challenge. I often ask myself if I am doing enough work to give my work/story more exposure. There are so many great writers that it is often about finding the audience that will best resonate with my work.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the Huntington Library, Museum, and Botanical Gardens. I would take them to Griffith Park and the Observatory., the Long Beach Aquarium, and the boardwalk. The view of Downtown LA at night is a sight to see. I would take them to Olvera Street, and Echo Park . To eat, I love Guisados, we would have coffee at La Monarca, and of course we would need to go to eat tacos from Tacos El Sapo in Long Beach, and we would definitely need to go to Grand Central Market.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My journey as a writer began to develop when I was selected to participate in the Community Literature Initiative program. I was part of the 6th cohort of students that went through the program. The programed supported me in developing my manuscript and with the help of my peers and my Teacher, Hiram Sims, I finished my book in a year. I went on to be the teacher’s assistant the following year and continued to work on my book at the same time. My manuscript, This Body was picked up by the World Stage Press and it was published in December of 2020. The book has opened up many doors and I have been asked to do readings, writing workshops, talks, interviews to discuss my book and read my poems. 2021 was an exciting year for me as I was also able to travel to read my poetry out of state, which also combined my love for travel.