Name: Edward Vidaurre
Hometown: East Los Angeles, CA
Residence: McAllen, TX
What is your earliest memory of writing?
High School. I would write love letters to girls and never give it to them. I loved words, I would write full pages from the dictionary and lyrics to favorite songs.
How did you become a writer?
I became a reader before I became a writer. I don’t remember reading a single book in school until my senior year. My English teacher was teaching Macbeth and I said something like, “No one in my hood talks like that, why should we even learn this?” The following day she gave me the book, Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown. The book changed my life not only as a writer but it gave me that hope that there was life outside of the hood.
Tell us about your writing process.
It’s unpredictable. I write when I am alone mostly. Early in the morning or late at night when my wife and daughter are sleeping. I surround myself with books, so when I get sidetracked from writing I start to read.
What are you working on now?
I am editing my 5th manuscript and a chapbook. The manuscript I’ve titled Jazz Violence and the chapbook is tentatively Ramona and Rumi: a love story during oligarchy… It’s about a poet I named Rumi and his muse Ramona.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?
I never attended college or any type of university, I don’t hold back in my writing in fear that it may not be good enough. I write from the heart, inspired by what I read, see and feel. But when I have short moments of it I read or write haiku poems.
Which writers and teachers have most influenced you as a writer?
Richard Wright, Luis J. Rodriguez, Cohen, Lorca to name a few. I love the poetry of Robert Bly, Anne Sexton, but the one who I really give credit the most to is The BUK, Charles Bukowski, a bad motherfucker who gave no shits and just wrote. Let’s not forget the beat generation either, especially Ginsberg.
What books have had the biggest impact on your trajectory?
Love is a Dog from Hell by Bukowski, Lorca in New York, Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen. I’ve been inspired by some C.S. Lewis, Brian Allen Carr, and recently, Juan Felipe Herrera and Francisco X. Alarcon
What’s your advice to aspiring writers?
Read other authors. Go back to books you started and never finished and finish them, keep a journal, workshop with peers, submit your writings and celebrate the rejections. Be your toughest critic. Edit, Edit, Edit!
***For more on Edward Vidaurre, see:
- “Bard’s Barrio: Edward Vidaurre” – Travis M. Whitehead (Valley Morning Star)
- Read Chicano Blood Transfusion
- “Chicano Blood Transfusion: Edward Vidaurre” – enCORE Cultural Arts Source
- Buy Edward Vidaurre’s Books
- Read Edward Vidaurre’s work at Writers of the Rio Grande
- Follow Edward Vidaurre on Twitter