An Interview With Ingrid Calderon

Ingrid is a poet. A damn fine poet at that. She’s featured in the latest Patchouli Press chapbook, Sunny Side Down: A Tribute to Charles Bukowski, she is a resident of Los Angeles and she has been published both online and in print. But why does she write? Who or what gets her creative juices flowing? Read on my friends.

Why do you write?

What a loaded question! But seriously, I write because it feels good to write. I write because writing is what I believe I was put here to do. I write because I can’t draw. I write because it is the most systematic way I can convey what life feels like in my skin. I remember being very very young and being enamored by art and music, but was never drawn to them at my core. But as soon as I picked up a pencil and a notebook, it was love.

At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t want to sound like “woe is me”, but it was when I was bedridden after being hit by a motorcycle on my 9th birthday. Being bedridden makes your soul die as a kid. But I recall looking out my window and knowing that I could write about anything that came to my mind without fear. Perhaps I didn’t know it then as much as I know it now, but the gift of hindsight is beautiful that way.

Which writers have influenced you?

Charles Bukowski, Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller, Pablo Neruda, Willa Cather, Anne Rice, Charles Baudelaire, Federico Garcia Lorca…

Do you find living in Los Angeles influences your work as it did with such writers as Bukowski?

Absolutely! All my writing of relevance was written in Los Angeles. This city is seething with inspiration and chaos. I live in what is known as Historic Filipinotown and am in the hubbub of what feels like a vast ocean of exotic (yet sometimes pretentious) fish. It’s dirty and beautiful and filled with culture and colors not found anywhere else. It is dichotomy in action. It often feels and looks like a city on the brink of an apocalypse.

Tell me about your writing habits .

Oh man, I’m so boring in that way. I do most of my writing either at my corporate 8-5 job, at home in my small studio apartment, which luckily lends a fantastic view of Downtown L.A. or lately, and only as of lately in bars like The King Eddy, that’s in the middle of skid row. I also enjoy getting to my therapists office about an hour early and writing there. It’s in a beautiful building on Figueroa and 7th street right in the middle of Downtown. I feel like I’m floating above an unassuming city writing about all my doubts and observations while left unscathed.

What projects do you have coming up?

I’ve been granted the opportunity to host a once-a-month poetry night at Book Show Bookstore in Highland Park, CA entitled ‘Friday Night Poetry: They’re Just Words’. I’m currently working on creating a zine alongside artist/painter John Collins, regarding the inevitability and turbulence of the human condition through illustrations and words. I’m also working on a chapbook where I’ll be paying tribute to the ghosts of my ancestors, my parents, and my inner demons. Basically a cultural metamorphosis.

Visit Ingrid’s portfolio here

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