Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika L. Sánchez.
Erika, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My parents immigrated from Mexico. I was born here and grew up in Cicero, Illinois. I’ve wanted to be a writer since the age of 12. I graduated from UIC then got a Fulbright Scholarship to Madrid, Spain. After that, I attended graduate school at the University of New Mexico where I got an MFA in Creative Writing. My 20s and early 30s were tough. It’s hard to make it as a writer, so I had a series of awful jobs to pay the bills. Now, many prizes and publications later, I teach at Princeton and it feels surreal.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I love writing more than anything. It’s what makes me feel most alive and connected to the world. I write in all three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I would describe my work as feminist, first and foremost. My ultimate hope is that people are transformed by the work in some way. I aim to foster empathy and create beauty.
Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
I think it’s always been difficult for artists, particularly those who don’t come from wealthy families. Making a living from your art is downright impossible at times. I honestly don’t know if it’s gotten better or worse. I think people need to respect what we do and not expect us to work for free. I love being a writer, but I’ve worked really hard and expect to be compensated for my time. (I do, of course, make exceptions at times and volunteer my services for organizations doing important work.) Also, if you want to support artists, please buy and promote their work.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can purchase my books at your local bookstore. If you’d like to find out about my appearances or just keep up with my shenanigans, you can find me at erikalsanchez.com, Twitter: @ErikaLSanchez, Instagram: @ErikaLSanchez, and Facebook: www.facebook.com/writererikalsanchez/ I’m easy to find on the internet.
- Website: email@example.com
- Instagram: @ErikaLSanchez
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/writererikalsanchez/
- Twitter: @ErikaLSanchez
Headshot by Adriana Díaz