Interview with Poet, Jennifer De La Cruz
BY MONIQUE QUINTANA
The following interview was originally published in the fall of 2016 on our former blog, Razorhouse.
The Fresno Women’s Reading Series seeks to promote female-identified and non-binary voices in California’s Central Valley through events that are open to the pubic. Monique Quintana interviewed one of its’ participants, Jennifer De La Cruz.
Monique Quintana: What genres do you write in, and how did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Jennifer De La Cruz: I primarily write spoken word and some free write poetry here and there. I knew I wanted to be a writer as a high school student, when I discovered how healing it felt to put my pain onto paper.
MQ: What do you find to be most challenging as a woman writer?
JDLC: As a woman writer, I would say it is quite challenging to not write from a female-only perspective, which can often feel judgmental or critical to a male listener. The majority of my pieces are pretty “feministic” in content.
MQ: What women writers would you recommend?
JDLC: I would recommend Jaz Sufi, who is a spoken word artist out of Berkeley, CA., Kat Magill, who is a poet out of Los Angeles, Rupi Kaur, who is a very well-known poet and writer, and Alyesha Wise, who is also out of Los Angeles. These are the female writers who have inspired me the most.
MQ: What moments stood out to you the most about the Fresno Women’s Reading that you participated in this past December?
JDLC: I think what stood out to me most was being able to be in a room filled with women of all different ages, skin tones, and body shapes. It’s not often that we, women, can do that and enjoy one another. The room felt empowering.
MQ: What do you do to prepare to read in front of the crowd?
JDLC: I usually take a ton of deep breaths.. I definitely always have to use the restroom (LOL), and I tend to pace back and forth as I recite my poem over and over in my head.
MQ: What kind of events and projects for women writers would you like to see in the future?
I would love to see woman’s open mic and/or poetry slam event take place in Tower District. I think that would be a ton of fun! I’d love to see women writers get more involved in Art Hop each month as well.
Jennifer De La Cruz is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern who enjoys having a career in which she can meet the needs of other people. She was born in Southern California, but has lived in the Central Valley for close to 28 years. Jennifer began writing as a teen that struggled with depression, but started sharing her work publicly in 2014. She is excited to be able to share her story and inspire others through writing and performing. Jennifer has competed and performed in various open mics and slams throughout the Central Valley, Southern California, and Hawaii. She was a participant in the Fresno Grand Opera’s Opera Remix event in 2015, as well as their Music & Verse event in 2016. Her most recent work titled, “Dear Pornography” was published by xxxchurch.com, and she has future plans to write a chapbook. She feels honored to be able to stand alongside Fresno’s local talented women, and she believes, “Poetry allows its writers to share life’s deepest sorrows and its greatest joys.