We had the good fortune of connecting with Victoria Hurtado-Angulo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Victoria, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
You know, I initially started my studies in Psychology and wanted to pursue my career as a Behavioral Therapist. I realized that I have always tapped into writing poetry, but considered it just as a passionate hobby. This was more than a hobby. It is my art, aside from drawing, painting, photography, and making music. I have consistently written poetry with the intention to be honest and confessional for more than nine years. Once I pursued English, Creative Writing at CSU Long Beach, it opened my eyes to a future where I’m around other poets. Being a poet means many things to me, but it is mainly being able to treat word choice as a surgeon would to a heart transplant. Every word is intentional and chosen to best fit a particular moment described to make the reader go “oh, that hit me”. I have to be precise with my white space, line breaks, form and words, if I want to make the poem my very own. Original. I like that poetry is this hidden world and it is a place where I’ve developed as a person by unlearning the world and becoming someone different each day I’m given. It is not easy to write a good poem. It takes discipline, imagination and an odd mind. It takes an observer with an eccentric view of life. I pursued poetry because I can write what I want and actually affect someones’ emotions. I chose to be a poet because I can hide or manifest my existence whenever I want. Lord knows I am a person of many alter egos and I practice unpredictability, like a religion. Charles Bukowski once wrote “poets are everywhere”, making each one unique in their style and how they’re presented in this world. You won’t know if they’re a poet until you see what cluster of words they put together with precision, introspection, and vulnerability.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Well, I just published and printed over 100 copies of a book I worked on during the pandemic called “Wet Thoughts, Peeling Paint and Still Frames” with my poet friend Cameron Capanash. We wanted to make this book a space for well-deserved exposure for Long Beach poets, short story writers and visual artists. We hand-picked each artist and are currently looking up foundations and food banks to donate the funds from selling this book. Every penny goes towards the BLM movement and for COVID-19 relief funds. I wanted to give back to my community somehow and combined it with something on my bucket list. This is a very informal anthology of creators. I am very proud of each person featured and have good relationships with them. The process of making the books was not easy. We have two editions because we sold out of the first one, which was hand-stitched. We made the second edition with Printing Connection OC. I came into this business with zero experience in knowing the basic standards of making books. I am grateful to call this book my own. The book has travelled out-of-state and out-of-country. I have learned a lot from this project and will consider doing it again. Since we are sold out, you ca reach the .pdf version in my bio from Instagram (@eccentric_vic).

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Long Beach is a very cool place to live. There’s music, art and diversity. If it’s a week-long trip, it might go something like this: Monday: Get lobster sandwiches and coffee at Honeybee’s in the morning. After eating, we go kayaking. If it’s still the morning, Take a break and chill at Rosie’s dog beach. Tuesday: Check out the Bixby Park farmers market in the morning. Bring snacks from farmers market to Bluff Park to relax. Wednesday: Go to the Hilton hotel and pretend we’re visitors, so we can use their pool. Scavenge for food samples as a form of snack. In the evening, go to a local show for bands and see friends. Attend the after-party. Thursday: Go to the Japanese Garden at CSU Long Beach in early afternoon and have a picnic. Check out the El Dorado Nature Center and explore. Friday: Get together with friends at a park to read poetry and have an unplugged jam session. Everyone has to bring one instrument and contribute to the session. Saturday: Take the LB transit boat ride to the Queen Mary and screw around on the ship. Eat at Sir Winston’s and stay in the evening, so it gets eerie. Queen Mary is haunted. Sunday: Brunch at Michael’s Pizzeria. If my friend skates, we have a skate session at Michael K. Green Skatepark and scum hole in the late afternoon with friends. At the end of the day, we watch thought-provoking movies and drink until we sleep.

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?
I want give appreciation to my close friends and family for supporting my work. I’d like to thank my fellow L.A. county poets for critiquing my poems and challenging me. I especially would like to thank Bill Mohr and Patty Seyburn for being my mentors for my poetry. I have learned a great deal about how to be an effective poet and how to practice the poetic stoicism that inspires me to write after a long day of mundanity. I’d like to thank all of my heroes who have helped me come up with poems, such as the homeless man down the street, the lady who feeds birds, although they don’t accept her gifts, the people who have traumatized me, dead stuff, and many more. I want to acknowledge the strong relationships between different mediums of art in the L.A. county. I have met most of my friends through the Long Beach music scene, the roller-skating community, and visual arts community. Last part is thanking my poet role models in no order of favoritism: Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Ntozake Shange, Muriel Rukeyser, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bukowski, Wanda Coleman, Alicia Ostriker, Frank O’Hara, Walt Whitman, Sharon Doubiago. I’m sure I’m missing more names.

Instagram: @eccentric_vic
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/victoria-hurtado-angulo-95711b161

Image Credits
Maria Angulo – intuit foto, Ali Laredo, Alejandra Ceceña, Jazmin Castaneda

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