Julie Corrales is an autodidactic Chola poet, single teen mother, hoochie, feminist, survivor.
What projects are you currently working on? I’m working on a screenplay about assimilation, codeswitching, Chicanismo, cholas, and friendship. It’s a comedy. I continue to write poetry for fun and for publication. I also co-host Virtual Palabra, a bi-monthly poetry night with featured poets and an open-mic.
How has the pandemic affected or shifted your practice? Connection! There’s less personal connection. I’m not bumping into other poets on the street or at events and it hurts! I miss listening to the street. There’s poetry in the street, in people’s drunk dialogue, bar chatter, bus stop convos. There’s generally less life to write about.
What has your journey been like as a creative/artist/small business owner? Our artistry is inextricably tied to our identities. My artistic journey has been parallel and intertwined with my personal journey. The marginalization I’ve always experienced is expressed in my poetry and has shaped my artistic journey. I’ve written to survive since I was 11 years old. My first poem was published in a journal in 2019 – the first time I ever even submitted. I didn’t gain attention in journals or college courses or big venues. I was welcomed in Barrio Logan, local galleries, local shows. Like in everything I do, it has been from the bottom up.
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming, or rising artists/creatives? Never sacrifice your voice for artistic devices. Yes, old established tools – especially in poetry – can give us a lattice on which to weave our art, but is your art meant for the lattice? Or for the ground, the concrete, the clouds? Take your art to who it’s meant for. Don’t go to an open-mic night in La Jolla and talk about your cholo tio. They’ll clap, maybe invite you back and try to force a lattice on you. Go first to your community – sharpen your art there. Then take it elsewhere. Otherwise, you’ll end up writing for “them” and “we” will not clap and snap and suwoop when you recite it.
Follow Julie Corrales on IG @Chubby_Chicana_Poet