FEATURED ARTIST: Rosi
Tell me a little about yourself…
My name is Rosi and I kind of hate interviews because talking about myself is weird. I’m SOCAL based.
How long have you been writing?
My writing isn’t a continuous labor. I write when I have something to say. I started compiling and writing for my zine in the summer of 2012 and still edit and add to it to this day.
How’d you get your start, or get discovered?
I started because the scene I was running around in, the vegan straightedge scene, didn’t feel very comfortable to me, even though a lot of it purported to be “anti-oppression”, “feminist”, “queer-inclusive”, “anti-racist”, etc., blah, blah, blah. I felt like it allowed only certain people to flourish within it, like it was a microcosm of the larger white patriarchal society it was contained within and against which it was “rebelling.” The second big factor was that I just got out of a relationship with a white person whom I love to death, but it just made me realize a lot of things about my identity and my relationship to whiteness.
What prompts or inspires you to write?
I write only when I’m pissed or sad ha-ha, mostly about gender and race injustice. That stuff gets me the most heated.
Any advice or solution for writer’s block?
For writers block, I guess don’t force it if you want good stuff. When it won’t come out well the first time, forcing myself to write never works. It just gets worse and worse. That’s why I only write when I’m angry, because it just erupts out of me.
Where can we check out and buy your work?
What do you think sets you apart from other writers?
I don’t know, this is a weird question. I don’t want to pit myself against other writers, but I guess I don’t like writing academically. I think a lot of people like that, but I wouldn’t say that sets me apart at all, because a lot of people write like that. I mean people write like that every day all the time always. I guess the only reason I point it out is because a lot of zines I’ve been introduced to are hyper-academic, but I count Tumblr-writing as writing too, and Facebook, anywhere anyone writes, and that’s all usually un-academic.
What do you get out of being a writer? How has it improved your life or been a benefit to you and/or others?
Writing is often times cathartic for me. That’s why I do it. It’s also affirming as fuck when people tell me how much it resonates with them. That’s seriously the best part.
What’s the weirdest or most astonishing and controversial work that you have ever written and how so or why?
Hmm, I’m unsure of how to answer this question because I don’t think anything I write is controversial. Unless you’re asking me to think from the perspective of “mainstream” politics, right? That’s probably what you mean actually. Maybe the thing I’ve gotten the most backlash from was when I wrote about how the “black male rapist” myth that was birthed with the “abolishment” of slavery has pervaded our culture and evolved and disguised itself today. I pointed out this social phenomenon where people will instantly adopt heavy AAVE when they’re being facetiously sexually-predatory. (Also when they’re being super confrontational or saying something they think is outrageous. This is a separate stereotype [the “sassy black lady”] but this one, for some reason, is easier for people to spot.) When I say “the most backlash” I mean backlash from all political spectrums, like a lot of liberals got really defensive because they’ve succumbed to colorblind ideology. Here’s the post: yellowxperil.tumblr.com/post/66323125655
What do others seem to love about your writing, as far as feedback you have gotten?
Uuum, people say my writing is really honest and lucid I guess, like they say I speak to a lot of things they really, really feel but have never realized or contextualized because I’m coming from a very marginalized existence and I guess there isn’t a lot of literature available for people like me and I mean “honest” as in like… hard truths about stuff that’s difficult and not very glamorous to admit, like internalized anti-Vietnamese-ness, white envy, self-hate, that kind of stuff. I also think a lot of people like how unapologetic I am, like, especially because a big portion of my audience are Asian women. We’re socialized to be quiet and accommodating, so I think it’s empowering for a lot people to read my stuff because the voice I use when I write is really, it’s kind of a spectacle, but it’s really unforgiving, purposefully, because it’s stuff that has built up inside of me for a long time. Years of quiet accommodation, you know? Gotta get it out somehow.
What is your advice to fellow writers if any, to encourage them to begin or to keep doing what they do?
Write so that it feels good or bad, whatever you wanna’ feel.
How would you describe your writing style?
Polemic rants ha, ha. Lots of cursing too.
Do you have any future plans for your writing?
Nope. Just gonna’ keep editing and adding to my zine forever, and tumbling too. That’s where all my essays get their start because it’s accessible and I have an audience.
What do you want others to take away from your writing, if anything?
Mmm… Be more critical, especially of yourself. Never trick yourself into believing you or anyone has transcended problematic behavior.