Vickie Vértiz

Discipline/Field: Nonfiction Essay

Based in: Los Angeles, CA

About: Vickie Vértiz is the Author of Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut, winner of the 2018 PEN America Poetry Prize. Twenty years ago, in the middle of a public policy career in anti-poverty work and advocacy, she changed course to begin telling stories of real families who are continually ignored and forgotten in Los Angeles and in the narrative and literature of the USA. Her essays, journalism, and poetry center and celebrate the beautiful and complex familial, economic, and gender-specific experiences of working-class, queer women of color.

Project Title: Like a Virgen: On Art, Addiction, and Wanting Shit I Don’t Need is a collection of genre-bending essays on sex, pop culture, consumerism, and looking for joy in a world that’s falling apart. As a California Writing Resident, Vértiz will finish the last two essays in the book about long-distance queer crushes, Mexican mothers’ loathing of cleaning, her foray into queer BDSM spaces as a recovering Mexican Catholic, and the pitfalls of dating addicts while being oblivious to their using. She believes these stories will illuminate other ways to love and live, and help readers find more joy in their lives.

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