WEBVTT 00:00:08.000 --> 00:00:09.000 Speaker: Thank you all for coming today. 00:00:09.000 --> 00:00:16.000 We have the honor to host Emilly Prado who resides in Portland but is initially from the San Francisco Bay area. 00:00:16.000 --> 00:00:20.000 I see a lot of Funeral for Flaca books, yay! 00:00:20.000 --> 00:00:28.000 Today, Emilly will be presenting on their writing journey as well doing a reading from Funeral for Flaca. 00:00:28.000 --> 00:00:33.000 I don't want to give much insight into the biography so that you can go back and read the book. 00:00:33.000 --> 00:00:35.000 Also today, you're going to learn a little bit more about her. 00:00:35.000 --> 00:00:46.000 This book just won the Shortlist Pacific Northwest Booksellers, I don't know the exact title but, it's a huge deal. So, yay! 00:00:46.000 --> 00:00:57.000 Let's give a round of applause for that. Again, we are, we're really thrilled for the turnout today. This book is incredible. 00:00:57.000 --> 00:00:64.000 I had the chance to read it during the Yosimar Reyes book club, and instantly just made an impact in my life. 00:01:04.000 --> 00:01:13.000 So, I'm so honored to able to present and host to you on our campus today. I'm going to stop talking so we can give Emilly the floor. Thank you. 00:01:18.000 --> 00:01:23.000 Emilly Prado: So, I'm really excited to be here today. My name is Emilly Prado. My pronouns are she/her. 00:01:23.000 --> 00:01:32.000 And I'm just honored that you all are here today in this space. It's really nice to be around people and especially here at this beautiful campus. 00:01:32.000 --> 00:01:39.000 So, thank you all for being here, for being present. And, thank you also for organizing and purchasing books. 00:01:39.000 --> 00:01:43.000 If you haven't gotten one yet, there are I know free copies so, I hope you get one of those. 00:01:43.000 --> 00:01:46.000 And then, after we'll have a chance to do some signing. 00:01:46.000 --> 00:01:52.000 But, I'm here today to talk a little bit about my writing journey, why I write, 00:01:52.000 --> 00:01:56.000 and to do that I'm going to take you through a little bit of my background. 00:01:56.000 --> 00:01:65.000 So, before I talk about myself, in order to tell you how I have arrived here today on this day, I like to bring it back to my family. 00:02:05.000 --> 00:02:09.000 I have a photo here of my mom and my dad. 00:02:09.000 --> 00:02:16.000 My mom was born in Apatzing'n, Michoac'n and she came to the United States when she was two years old with my grandma. 00:02:16.000 --> 00:02:26.000 My dad came to the United States, he was actually born here and then grew up in Michoac'n, then came back to the U.S. when he was in high school. 00:02:26.000 --> 00:02:34.000 And, that's when he and my mom met in the bay area. This is a photo when we were back in Mexico visiting. There was a flood. 00:02:34.000 --> 00:02:41.000 I remember being very afraid of the water. So, that's why I am being held up in the air and that's my sister playing in the background. 00:02:41.000 --> 00:02:48.000 So, I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. I have a big sprawling family. 00:02:48.000 --> 00:02:55.000 If you read my book, you'll know a little bit more about that. But, essentially I have four brothers, sorry, four sisters, and three brothers. 00:02:55.000 --> 00:02:63.000 And, we have different fathers and mothers. But, we all are a wonderful family of siblings that get along well. 00:03:03.000 --> 00:03:09.000 And, just a visual here, this is where my parents immigrated to the United States. 00:03:09.000 --> 00:03:17.000 And, of course, I headed up north when I was in college to go to Portland State University. I've been here since 2009. 00:03:17.000 --> 00:03:22.000 And, in that time I've written two books, I'll tell you a little bit more about how I got there. 00:03:22.000 --> 00:03:27.000 Alright so, this is a question that I get a lot. 'why do I write?' 00:03:27.000 --> 00:03:36.000 And, this question to me is connected a lot to the same reason of why I continue to write, why it's important to me, 00:03:36.000 --> 00:03:41.000 and why I hope that some of you all in this room might be interested in potentially writing down the road. 00:03:41.000 --> 00:03:52.000 And, it begins with a trip back to middle school. For some of you, I think that the time that I was in middle school you maybe were infants. 00:03:52.000 --> 00:03:60.000 So, this was in 2003 to 2006. This is a photo of me when I was in sixth grade. 00:04:00.000 --> 00:04:11.000 This was a time where I had gone to elementary school and did pretty alright. But, by the time I got to middle school I was struggling a lot. 00:04:11.000 --> 00:04:17.000 I remember being in the schoolyard and hearing some friends of mine that I had, 00:04:17.000 --> 00:04:21.000 who were talking about their GPAs and how awesome and smart they were. 00:04:21.000 --> 00:04:30.000 And, I remember them talking about how their GPAs were in like the high three point something. And at that time, I had thought of myself as kind of smart. 00:04:30.000 --> 00:04:39.000 And, I remember I had been trying really hard to get 3.0s and 3 point maybe 1's. 00:04:39.000 --> 00:04:46.000 So, I remember hearing that and feeling really deflated where I had folks talking about how easy school came to them. 00:04:46.000 --> 00:04:53.000 And, that was sort of one of the moments where I realized I maybe wasn't who I thought I was going to be in school. 00:04:53.000 --> 00:04:61.000 So, throughout middle school, I ended up sort of doing progressively worse and worse. 00:05:01.000 --> 00:05:14.000 I was really trying to figure out where I fit in, where I feel like I was comfortable. And, a lot of that exploration came through music as well as fashion. 00:05:14.000 --> 00:05:17.000 So, here's me looking really super punk, according to myself. 00:05:18.000 --> 00:05:22.000 I went to Mervyns and I got this shirt. And, I was like, 00:05:22.000 --> 00:05:25.000 I think red was very punk to me is what I thought. 00:05:25.000 --> 00:05:32.000 And, then in seventh grade, it just got worse and worse. And, then in eighth grade, I almost failed. 00:05:32.000 --> 00:05:37.000 I was suspended. I was struggling a lot. 00:05:37.000 --> 00:05:46.000 If you would've asked a teacher or an adult in my life then how they would have described me, these are some of the things that folks would've said. 00:05:46.000 --> 00:05:52.000 Which wasn't completely untrue. But, was something that I knew that I carried with myself. 00:05:52.000 --> 00:05:57.000 So, talk back to adults, I didn't care, I was a bully. 00:05:57.000 --> 00:05:63.000 And, I think that there's an essay in there that I will write eventually about, more about what that experience was like. 00:06:03.000 --> 00:06:08.000 And, ultimately it came down to folks thinking I had a bad attitude, right? 00:06:08.000 --> 00:06:17.000 I didn't care. On the inside, I was actually struggling a lot. 00:06:17.000 --> 00:06:24.000 And, one of the things that I was experimenting with at the time like I mentioned, was music. 00:06:24.000 --> 00:06:32.000 And, I found a copy of The Rose That grew From Concrete. Which was a collection of poems written by Tupac Shakur. 00:06:32.000 --> 00:06:39.000 I had liked Tupac's music, but at that point, I became obsessed with Tupac's music. 00:06:39.000 --> 00:06:49.000 I had never seen a book of poetry that was written in a style that was accessible where basically Tupac if you haven't read this collection, 00:06:49.000 --> 00:06:55.000 writes the way that he raps and the way that he speaks. Which is full of slang and shorthand. 00:06:55.000 --> 00:06:60.000 And, at that time too, I was really into this idea of things being real versus fake. 00:07:00.000 --> 00:07:07.000 And, I remember reading Tupac's words and thinking, 'oh this is real. This is talking about things like systemic oppression and poverty,' 00:07:07.000 --> 00:07:13.000 and all of these things that I sort of have known and witnessed and seen but, I didn't have the language myself yet. 00:07:13.000 --> 00:07:22.000 So, I started making my own poems. I was really into Microsoft Word. So, this is my gorgeous art that I created in Microsoft word. 00:07:22.000 --> 00:07:32.000 And, if you had read my poetry at the time, which this is a poem that I wrote when I was in seventh grade. I won't read it all for you. 00:07:32.000 --> 00:07:42.000 But, the words explain that I was in a lot of pain, as this one is titled. It talks about my experience, sort of existing. 00:07:42.000 --> 00:07:51.000 And, knowing that I was depressed essentially but, I didn't know how to communicate that with others. 00:07:51.000 --> 00:07:60.000 I didn't know who else to tell but, I did start turning to poetry. Which is not the form I continued to write in but is definitely part of my roots. 00:08:00.000 --> 00:08:07.000 And so, on the outside, like I mentioned, I was, you know, the kid with bad attitude, who would talk back to people. 00:08:08.000 --> 00:08:17.000 But, on the inside, if you were to know me better, you would know that I had, what I would later come to find out in the eighth grade, untreated depression. 00:08:17.000 --> 00:08:23.000 I had really low self esteem. My family was going through the separation of my parents 00:08:23.000 --> 00:08:32.000 and honestly these cycles of trauma and abuse that have stemmed from beyond my own life, my own experience. 00:08:32.000 --> 00:08:39.000 And, I didn't have access to understanding my emotions. How to communicate. 00:08:39.000 --> 00:08:46.000 You know, my mom ended up raising me and my siblings, as a single mom. She did her best but she was working a lot. 00:08:46.000 --> 00:08:55.000 And, she also didn't have the learning of what it's like to step back and think about how you feel versus how you sort of present yourself, right? 00:08:55.000 --> 00:08:60.000 I know that she wanted to help but, she just didn't really know how at that point. 00:09:00.000 --> 00:09:08.000 And, if I were to boil it down a lot of this too, looking at Tupac's words, is that I was a brown girl, I was in a white suburb. 00:09:08.000 --> 00:09:14.000 And, a lot of the things that I was dealing with that maybe weren't apparent to some of my teachers 00:09:14.000 --> 00:09:20.000 but, was navigating racism, Eurocentric beauty ideals, and also the competitive nature of school. 00:09:20.000 --> 00:09:29.000 And, all of those things together were a lot for one person, right, to handle. And, I think that that's what a lot of my work tries to explore. 00:09:29.000 --> 00:09:39.000 Understanding how I got to where I was in different aspects of my life instead of trying to put a bow on it and say that it's all fine. 00:09:39.000 --> 00:09:44.000 Really sitting with the feeling of discomfort sometimes that comes from revisiting those times. 00:09:44.000 --> 00:09:55.000 I did find an outlet momentarily in school. I was in seventh grade, this is our school newspaper called The Ralston Rampage. 00:09:55.000 --> 00:09:64.000 Which no longer exists. But, I channeled some of my love for Tupac into this long article that I wrote about the life of Tupac. 00:10:04.000 --> 00:10:09.000 I also put an excerpt from his work dedicated to those curious by Tupac in the corner. 00:10:09.000 --> 00:10:15.000 And, this could've been the moment where I'm like, 'yes!' And, then I turned it around, and then school was there for me. 00:10:15.000 --> 00:10:20.000 But, the truth is, that if you look closely it says, 'paraphrased by Emilly Prado. 00:10:20.000 --> 00:10:29.000 Which essentially, the teacher that I had, assumed that I had summarized one article that I read. 00:10:29.000 --> 00:10:36.000 At the time, I was good at writing but I would sort of look at the different styles of writing that were out there and emulate how they were written. 00:10:37.000 --> 00:10:41.000 I didn't really have my own writing voice yet. And so, I wasn't quite accused of plagiarism. 00:10:41.000 --> 00:10:48.000 But, when my peers saw that mine was the only one that said, 00:10:48.000 --> 00:10:58.000 And so, there was a moment where, again, sort of reiterated what I felt like I already knew, which was school wasn't the right environment for me. 00:10:58.000 --> 00:10:68.000 And, it's not, you know, any fault necessarily of any one individual teacher but, I didn't have folks in that particular place that were there to affirm me. 00:11:08.000 --> 00:11:14.000 Or maybe sit back and ask why I talked back, and why I had a bad attitude, right? 00:11:14.000 --> 00:11:22.000 I did actually try therapy for a while. Like I mentioned, that's when I found out that I had depression. 00:11:22.000 --> 00:11:30.000 But, I wasn't connecting well with the therapist. And then, also at the time too, my mom warned me against medication. 00:11:30.000 --> 00:11:34.000 And was like, 'this is something that might affect you for the rest of your life. 00:11:34.000 --> 00:11:40.000 Which really scared me at thirteen making a decision for the rest of my life. And so, I kind of continued to struggle. 00:11:40.000 --> 00:11:45.000 I knew that I liked writing and eventually would find more sources for writing. 00:11:45.000 --> 00:11:53.000 But, music was the thing that was there to give me a sense of hope in a time where I didn't really feel hope. 00:11:53.000 --> 00:11:60.000 So, I'm going to read a small section from my book now. My book is called Funeral for Flaca. 00:12:00.000 --> 00:12:10.000 It is a collection of personal essays that explore my experience coming of age from the time I was about five to twenty nine. 00:12:10.000 --> 00:12:16.000 I'm thirty now so, not that long ago. And, every essay here is the title of a song. 00:12:17.000 --> 00:12:22.000 And, the reason why I came up with that formula, part of it was the encouragement of a mentor. 00:12:22.000 --> 00:12:30.000 But, the main reason was that one of the first essays that I wrote for this book before I knew I was writing a book which was the majority of this process, 00:12:30.000 --> 00:12:36.000 was me not really realizing this could be a book, but was the song, Keep Ya Head Up. 00:12:36.000 --> 00:12:40.000 That was a song that I credit with sort of saving me. 00:12:40.000 --> 00:12:46.000 And, I couldn't think of a better title to encapsulate that time in my life, that particular song. 00:12:46.000 --> 00:12:50.000 And, so that is actually the song that the collection was built around. 00:12:50.000 --> 00:12:59.000 And, as you all know, I like Tupac. I got my blackberry tattoo in honor of Tupac which is from a line in that song. 00:12:59.000 --> 00:12:64.000 And, I'm going to read a short section here for you all. 00:13:04.000 --> 00:13:15.000 One thing also to know, the essays progressed from the different ages and I tried to emulate the voice of myself in those particular ages. 00:13:15.000 --> 00:13:23.000 So, if you read the collection when I'm five, my tone of voice is younger. And, as I grow older, my voice changes. 00:13:23.000 --> 00:13:34.000 And, that was something that I wanted to do to help immerse the reader and also honor the voice, what I thought of the voice of myself at that time. 00:13:34.000 --> 00:13:41.000 Alright, so this one is called Keep Ya head Up. And, if you feel like reading along, it is on page 49. 00:13:41.000 --> 00:13:45.000 praying to God to make me white. 00:13:45.000 --> 00:13:53.000 I stopped placing my fingers at the side of my bed nightly hoping I would wake up with blue eyes and blonde hair. 00:13:53.000 --> 00:13:59.000 Long before I stopped the whisper praying to God in my head for the same want. 00:13:59.000 --> 00:13:67.000 For a while, I tried coating strands of my hair in lime juice and scrubbing my knees with lime halves until they were rubbed raw. 00:14:07.000 --> 00:14:09.000 Like how Rosa from Aguililla taught me. 00:14:09.000 --> 00:14:17.000 I believed her when she said they would make me lighter even though Rosa's eyes, hair, and skin were still darker than mine. 00:14:17.000 --> 00:14:25.000 I figured it just took time and patience. I want to believe her and I wanted to believe in God too. 00:14:25.000 --> 00:14:31.000 I thought he wouldn't mind if I used all natural ways to speed up the process. 00:14:31.000 --> 00:14:38.000 If I used the earth to make me look less like her. I just wanted to feel like I belonged. 00:14:38.000 --> 00:14:46.000 When I got to a new middle school in sixth grade, I was tired of trying to fit in. 00:14:46.000 --> 00:14:51.000 If I'm going to be treated differently by kids, and parents, and teachers, I might as well look and act differently. 00:14:51.000 --> 00:14:55.000 I'm not fooling anyone pretending I'm just like everyone else. 00:14:55.000 --> 00:14:60.000 My first experiment in being loudly different was going punk. 00:15:00.000 --> 00:15:08.000 I picked out a black Ramones t-shirt from Urban, a necklace made up of silver metal balls during back to school shopping with my mom. 00:15:08.000 --> 00:15:13.000 Hot topic had the perfect cool belt. Red leather with silver studs. 00:15:13.000 --> 00:15:21.000 Macy's had a less punk selection but I found a red DKNY tank top that had buildings and a sassy slit down the front. 00:15:21.000 --> 00:15:28.000 My mom wouldn't let me dry my hair red for picture day so I poured on the sun-in spray in the bathroom. 00:15:28.000 --> 00:15:33.000 Erika had tried using sun-in to get auburn hair but turned to orangey-brown instead. 00:15:33.000 --> 00:15:37.000 She went to a real hairdresser after that. 00:15:37.000 --> 00:15:41.000 I figured the rest of the bottle and orange colored hair was good enough for me. 00:15:41.000 --> 00:15:47.000 After I got my Ramones shirt, I downloaded their music from the internet with Napser. 00:15:47.000 --> 00:15:53.000 It took forever to download, like 2 hours but, I got a couple of songs and listened to them on repeat. 00:15:53.000 --> 00:15:61.000 Beat on the Brat and I Want to be Sedated were my favorite. I was kind of surprised punk wasn't as loud and as fast as I thought it was supposed to be. 00:16:01.000 --> 00:16:05.000 I wanted things I could shout with when I wanted to scream, which was often. 00:16:05.000 --> 00:16:12.000 I found some other punk music that was louder and faster and angrier just like me. 00:16:12.000 --> 00:16:21.000 I changed my IM screen name to LincolnPark41. Dedicated 50% to Lincoln Park and 50% to some 41. 00:16:21.000 --> 00:16:29.000 Avril Lavine was also real cool, so I bought her CD. I loved listening to her slow shouty songs. 00:16:30.000 --> 00:16:35.000 Not the ones on the radio and I would blast them from my red, bubble shaped boombox when I took showers. 00:16:35.000 --> 00:16:42.000 I thought it was cool to call these pain-laced screaming tracks 'underground' because they weren't on the radio, 00:16:42.000 --> 00:16:45.000 even though they were on a major record label. 00:16:45.000 --> 00:16:55.000 I always wanted to be the one in the know, discovering tracks before they were on MTV, TRL, or better yet BET's 106 & Park. 00:16:55.000 --> 00:16:61.000 There weren't very many kids at Newton, but the ones I did see, didn't look like me and weren't cool with me. 00:17:01.000 --> 00:17:09.000 I thought I had totally convinced my Latina friend Monique to go punk with me because she said yes. But then she chickened out before picture day. 00:17:09.000 --> 00:17:18.000 She was such a poser. I, on the other hand, begged my mom to pay extra to get a red background for picture day. I looked very punk. 00:17:18.000 --> 00:17:25.000 I liked punk music and the fashion. But there weren't enough punk kids I could actually hang out with. 00:17:25.000 --> 00:17:31.000 I didn't want to be a poser hanging out with only preppy kids so I slowly stopped being punk. 00:17:31.000 --> 00:17:39.000 My mom was hella mad because I asked her to spend 50 dollars on a black Dickie's jacket and stopped being punk a week later. 00:17:39.000 --> 00:17:46.000 I felt kind of guilty but when I was preppy again for a while, I just couldn't wear stuff like that anymore. 00:17:46.000 --> 00:17:55.000 I don't know why she didn't get it. Not long after, I began experimenting with being a chola. It came easy. 00:17:55.000 --> 00:17:64.000 I already had a lot of red clothing from being punk. Rap, R&B, and oldies were in rotation on the soundtrack of my upbringing. 00:18:04.000 --> 00:18:07.000 Along with the Spanish language cumbias, pop, and even rock. 00:18:07.000 --> 00:18:11.000 My mom was even a homegirl back in the day, rocking feathered hair and Pachuca style. 00:18:11.000 --> 00:18:20.000 My uncle Baby still talked like a cholo. Being a chola was my birthright. It was in my blood. 00:18:20.000 --> 00:18:29.000 I changed my IM screen name to ghettomexican650 and made an AOL email this time to match. I was going to be chola forever. 00:18:29.000 --> 00:18:37.000 Although Belmont was hella white, Newton Middle School, unlike Garibaldi Elementary School, had black and brown kids who looked like me. 00:18:37.000 --> 00:18:42.000 Most of them came on buses from East Palo Alto and Redwood Shores. 00:18:42.000 --> 00:18:55.000 But I learned that a few of them lived in Belmont too, just on the other side. For the first time in my life, there were other people I could hang out with like me. 00:18:55.000 --> 00:18:61.000 People who were not white and people who also didn't quite fit in because of the color of their skin. 00:19:01.000 --> 00:19:11.000 And, I'm going to pause there. But, if you continue to read that, you'll learn a little bit more about what it was like being a chola. 00:19:11.000 --> 00:19:20.000 And then also about my experience through the rest of middle school. And then particularly why that song is so important. 00:19:20.000 --> 00:19:28.000 So, I will let you all sit with that and come to that when you have a chance to be sort of quiet and still to yourself because there is some heavy content in there. 00:19:28.000 --> 00:19:35.000 I'll just give a vague content warning. So, this is me by the time I was a chola. 00:19:35.000 --> 00:19:40.000 As you can see, I got the look down. And, I like to think of myself now as further emulating all of things in one. 00:19:40.000 --> 00:19:52.000 And on the right here is a scan that I took this morning of my diary that my sister gave me. And this was the first time that I ever had a diary. 00:19:52.000 --> 00:19:61.000 I had sort of like these weird questionnaire things that I got at the grocery store that was like, 'Rate how much of a princess you are on a scale of 1-10. 00:20:01.000 --> 00:20:14.000 But, this is the first time that I had unlined, no questions paper that I could really fill up how I wanted. And, it didn't have that label. 00:20:14.000 --> 00:20:17.000 I made that later with a label maker, which I really like label makers. 00:20:17.000 --> 00:20:24.000 But at the time, it was completely open and a space where I could write about whatever I want. 00:20:24.000 --> 00:20:29.000 And so at that time, I started to write down my thoughts. 00:20:29.000 --> 00:20:39.000 It was a space where I could be as loud or as sort of salacious as I wanted to be, and it ends up being a place that I can find therapeutic. 00:20:39.000 --> 00:20:43.000 I would come to my journal, and write about things. 00:20:43.000 --> 00:20:47.000 I would know that I was upset, and by the time I could finish writing, I could figure out why I was upset. 00:20:47.000 --> 00:20:52.000 I could talk shit about somebody. 00:20:53.000 --> 00:20:60.000 Excuse me of my French, but I could do that in this journal, and no one was there to tell me that I was being too much of anything, 00:21:00.000 --> 00:21:05.000 and that was incredibly liberating. 00:21:05.000 --> 00:21:13.000 I credit the journal and the diary with being the place where I figured out where I fit in in the world and also how to actually get to know myself better. 00:21:13.000 --> 00:21:22.000 And so, I wish, again, I could be like, 'That's the point where I turned it all around. But I continued to struggle through highschool. 00:21:22.000 --> 00:21:27.000 There was an alternative program, a few different programs that I tried when I was in high school, 00:21:27.000 --> 00:21:34.000 and I basically knew that I wanted to do better for myself because I wanted to get out of my suburb, that was my main goal. 00:21:34.000 --> 00:21:44.000 And I found a program eventually called Middle College, which is a program that allows students to take community college classes. 00:21:44.000 --> 00:21:52.000 And it was a small cohort of us, about 70 students of juniors and seniors, so really small from my 2,000 student high school. 00:21:52.000 --> 00:21:61.000 But I found, surprisingly enough, that being able to pick my own schedule and decide what time of day I wanted to go to school, 00:22:01.000 --> 00:22:06.000 what I wanted to study, was actually the thing that I need to feel invested in. 00:22:06.000 --> 00:22:12.000 Like I could show up and be smart again. So, at the time I ended up doing well. 00:22:12.000 --> 00:22:17.000 I did so well that I actually graduated high school early, which was something I never would have thought, 00:22:17.000 --> 00:22:20.000 but I was really sort of ready to move on from that chapter. 00:22:20.000 --> 00:22:28.000 I did only end up applying to one school, and I just mentioned that because even though I was on this upward trajectory, 00:22:28.000 --> 00:22:34.000 there was still a part of me that felt just incapable of being a student and sort of carrying 00:22:34.000 --> 00:22:39.000 that baggage of middle school and high school and so many years of thinking I was bad at school and not capable. 00:22:39.000 --> 00:22:48.000 That I was playing it safe, and I was like I'm just going to apply at PSU and I don't think it's worth trying to apply to other schools, 00:22:48.000 --> 00:22:53.000 even though part of me wanted to, but I sort of, convinced myself that that wasn't possible. 00:22:53.000 --> 00:22:61.000 And I'm happy I went to PSU and I think it was the right choice for me, but I want to note that because even as things were sort of, 00:23:01.000 --> 00:23:06.000 starting to work themselves out, I was still struggling sort of internally, with my own sense of worth. 00:23:06.000 --> 00:23:12.000 Eventually, though, I did graduate from Portland State. Here's a picture with my abuelita on graduation day. 00:23:12.000 --> 00:23:20.000 I graduated with a B.A. in Child and Family Studies. I was going to become a kindergarten teacher, and I was really ready for it. 00:23:20.000 --> 00:23:25.000 I graduated with some honors though I was mad at myself that I didn't get higher honors. 00:23:25.000 --> 00:23:31.000 And again, it seemed like everything was going really well on the surface, 00:23:31.000 --> 00:23:45.000 but I had actually been discharged from the hospital the day before this, and I found out that I was bipolar. 00:23:45.000 --> 00:23:52.000 I checked myself in, and the next day is when I, I had been there for four days 00:23:52.000 --> 00:23:56.000 and I got out just in time to graduate because that was really important to me to be able to walk. 00:23:56.000 --> 00:23:62.000 My parents didn't graduate from high school. My grandmother did not either, right. 00:24:02.000 --> 00:24:04.000 So, I was the second person in my immediate family. 00:24:04.000 --> 00:24:11.000 My sister was first to graduate so it was really important to me that I would try to be out in time for graduation. 00:24:11.000 --> 00:24:19.000 And what actually happened was that in my last quarter at PSU after working my butt off for quarter and quarter and quarter after quarter, 00:24:19.000 --> 00:24:28.000 I realized that being a kindergarten teacher wasn't the right fit for me. I love kids, I love teaching, but I knew that that schedule was going to burn me out. 00:24:28.000 --> 00:24:35.000 I was already burnt out from just being in the classroom, and here I was, you know, thinking that this was it, right. 00:24:35.000 --> 00:24:44.000 You go to college. You get exactly what you want to do, and that sets you on to your next path, but I found that I wasn't there, and I felt really lost. 00:24:44.000 --> 00:24:51.000 So, in summary, 2011 was the year that I graduated, but it was also a year that I was struggling with a lot. 00:24:51.000 --> 00:24:56.000 I had a heart break. I was dating someone for a long time. That's in my book if you want to learn more. 00:24:56.000 --> 00:24:69.000 And on the upside, I did find a therapist I really liked, and in the hospital and right after was actually when I had the realization that I did want to be a writer. 00:25:09.000 --> 00:25:16.000 And so, even at this sort of like, low point of being like, 00:25:16.000 --> 00:25:23.000 I didn't know yet how I would do that. I didn't see any models of folks who had done that before me, but I knew it was something that I wanted to do. 00:25:23.000 --> 00:25:36.000 And so, I started an internship at Bitch Media which is a feminist publication based in Portland and my very first article for them was one, 00:25:36.000 --> 00:25:40.000 I was sort of, fresh out of college and trying to put the peices back together of my life. 00:25:40.000 --> 00:25:47.000 And so, I was working part time and doing just enough so that I could get by and then also do an internship in my free time. 00:25:47.000 --> 00:25:55.000 And I wrote an article about Domitila Barrios de Chungara who is a Bolivian rights activist. 00:25:55.000 --> 00:25:60.000 She does a lot of work around labor rights and has done a lot of work in the sort of field of feminism 00:26:00.000 --> 00:26:07.000 but also bringing a brown lens and a Latina lens to what it means to be a feminist 00:26:07.000 --> 00:26:13.000 and that was really important in my foray into a feminist media outlet to put my twist on things. 00:26:13.000 --> 00:26:21.000 Over the years, I started to keep on writing a little bit. During this whole time, I was working different jobs. 00:26:21.000 --> 00:26:25.000 Part time, full time even at times, but I just kept writing. 00:26:25.000 --> 00:26:37.000 Finally in 2016 is when I decided to go freelance, to become a freelance journalist and so I nannied to cover all of my rent and my utilities, 00:26:37.000 --> 00:26:43.000 and then I decided I would supplement everything else with journalism and so that's how I was able to take that leap. 00:26:43.000 --> 00:26:49.000 Just making sure my bases were covered and trying to go for it. My same self doubt was there. 00:26:49.000 --> 00:26:54.000 I was worried that I would fail. These are real thoughts that I had. 00:26:54.000 --> 00:26:60.000 I didn't know what the path forward was, and I didn't know if I was going to be capable, but I kept trying. 00:27:00.000 --> 00:27:05.000 Over the years, I have contributed to more than 30 publications. 00:27:05.000 --> 00:27:12.000 All of my work, if you read it now, you can see sort of, the thing that ties it all together which is community. 00:27:12.000 --> 00:27:18.000 I wanted to make sure that my writing amplified the voices of folks from historically marginalized communities, 00:27:18.000 --> 00:27:28.000 whether that's people like me who are latina or queer or first generation or other communities who have been marginalized in some way, 00:27:28.000 --> 00:27:32.000 and so that's the lens that I always try to bring to my work even in, 00:27:32.000 --> 00:27:39.000 top right is an article I wrote for Marie-Claire which was a critique to the film 'To the Bone,' and so in that critique, 00:27:39.000 --> 00:27:47.000 I talked about my own experience having an eating disorder and how I thought that the film contributed to the white washing and sort of, 00:27:47.000 --> 00:27:54.000 homogenous view of what it looks like to have an eating disorder and so that is something that I continue to carry into my work. 00:27:54.000 --> 00:27:62.000 I also make zines. I am a big advocate in self publication. There are some zines there that are actually the same that you see up here. 00:28:02.000 --> 00:28:09.000 My book actually started as a chat book. So this is something that I made all on my own. 00:28:09.000 --> 00:28:18.000 I learned how to do the binding. I designed all the different pages, and that is what led to my book eventually. 00:28:18.000 --> 00:28:24.000 And I just share that because you don't really know sometimes where your work is going to end up, 00:28:24.000 --> 00:28:31.000 but if you are drawn to make work, whether that's writing work or visual art or whatever you're into, 00:28:31.000 --> 00:28:36.000 those places can find a home later, but the fact that you are taking them seriously and putting time into them, 00:28:36.000 --> 00:28:42.000 that's worth it on its own, and I had this sort of bonus where, 'Cool, I got a book out of it too. 00:28:42.000 --> 00:28:51.000 And I wrote a book called 'Examining Assimilation,' which is the book for 7th to 12th graders explaining the concept of assimilation, 00:28:51.000 --> 00:28:55.000 and it's like a book that you would find in the nonfiction section of your school library. 00:28:55.000 --> 00:28:61.000 And so that's what my book looked like, I had a whole launch for it, I treated it like it was a real deal book, 00:29:01.000 --> 00:29:06.000 I did a little photoshoot that I arranged here, and I was able to get some press out of it, 00:29:06.000 --> 00:29:15.000 and I just want to reiterate that sometimes we wait until what we think is the very perfect moment or scenario to celebrate our work, 00:29:15.000 --> 00:29:22.000 but you've got to be your own champion, and that's what I was doing; I was just trying to put it out there so that folks could check it out. 00:29:22.000 --> 00:29:29.000 My book came out in July of last year and again OPB was really nice and they covered my book, 00:29:29.000 --> 00:29:33.000 and it is twice as long as the original chat book version, 00:29:33.000 --> 00:29:43.000 and I also noticed that between when I wrote it back then and now some of my own feelings on my life have changed, even in just two years. 00:29:43.000 --> 00:29:49.000 So that was really interesting to get to go back and recount what that was like. 00:29:49.000 --> 00:29:53.000 I want to give us enough time for a Q&A, so I think I'm going to skip my second reading, 00:29:53.000 --> 00:29:60.000 and I just want to share before I leave that I did another year of graduate school that I dropped out of. 00:30:00.000 --> 00:30:08.000 I went to a lot of community workshops. I did this certificate program that enabled me to write a book, and I'm actually in school again now. 00:30:08.000 --> 00:30:13.000 I am a student in the MFA program at Randolph College in Virginia, 00:30:13.000 --> 00:30:20.000 and I feel very excited to be where I think my path has been pushing me this whole time. 00:30:20.000 --> 00:30:27.000 You don't have to do an MFA to be a writer, but for me, it felt like a gift to get to dedicate my time to learning about writing 00:30:27.000 --> 00:30:32.000 because I convinced myself for a lot of my academic career that it wasn't worthy of pursuing. 00:30:32.000 --> 00:30:43.000 And so I'm doing it now. I graduated, you know, from college 10 years ago and just wanted to reiterate that my path continues to be very up and down, 00:30:43.000 --> 00:30:47.000 and my self doubt continues to follow me sometimes, 00:30:47.000 --> 00:30:54.000 but I just keep sort of chugging along and having moments where I know that I need to keep pushing forward on my path. 00:30:54.000 --> 00:30:58.000 This is what it's been like for me, over and over. 00:30:59.000 --> 00:30:63.000 I think I'm doing really well and then all of a sudden I'm like, 'Oh no! I'm at the bottom again,' 00:31:03.000 --> 00:31:08.000 But you just got to keep, you know, riding those waves just like our brave friends here. 00:31:08.000 --> 00:31:14.000 And so, to close it off with why I write, I write for little me. 00:31:14.000 --> 00:31:22.000 I write for folks who have ever felt like they don't hear their stories enough like their stories aren't worthy. 00:31:22.000 --> 00:31:24.000 I write for the folks who are in that photo with me. 00:31:24.000 --> 00:31:31.000 I write for little Canelo there, who appears in my book, and for anyone who's ever felt like their stories weren't enough. 00:31:31.000 --> 00:31:33.000 Thank you. 00:31:40.000 --> 00:31:42.000 So, I'm happy to take questions. 00:31:42.000 --> 00:31:48.000 Audience Member: So, your writing deals a lot with events that happened years and years before. 00:31:48.000 --> 00:31:53.000 Are there any techniques that you used in writing your book to help you with recall? 00:31:54.000 --> 00:31:61.000 Emilly Prado: Yeah, so actually, I'm doing a writing workshop after this that's called 'Seeding the Senses,' but essentially, 00:32:01.000 --> 00:32:10.000 what that workshop is is doing a lot of visualization, and just giving yourself the space to really imagine what things are like. 00:32:10.000 --> 00:32:16.000 I think a lot of times something still I'm working with is that I can get really caught up on what was the exact detail, 00:32:16.000 --> 00:32:26.000 especially because I was a journalist. And pretty much everything that you remember is actually a little bit different every time you remember it. 00:32:26.000 --> 00:32:34.000 That's just the way that our brains work. And so, I lean into that to allow me to imagine into different spaces that maybe I can't remember. 00:32:34.000 --> 00:32:44.000 And there's also, just, you know, thinking about particular scents, or, you know, different things that I do remember, and I try to go off of that. 00:32:44.000 --> 00:32:51.000 And sometimes, some of the work of making it really immersive comes later where I'll, sort of, get the sort of drafting point down, 00:32:51.000 --> 00:32:56.000 and then later I'll go back and try to figure out, like, 'What other details can I add here?' 00:32:56.000 --> 00:32:64.000 Sometimes, I do also consult other sources, like if I have photos from that time, I will use that as a jumping off point as well. 00:33:04.000 --> 00:33:08.000 Audience Member: From Tupac, you said that you love listening to Tupac. 00:33:08.000 --> 00:33:18.000 What is one quote that actually really stood out to you that makes it different from how everybody else quotes Tupac's words? 00:33:18.000 --> 00:33:22.000 Emilly Prado: Yeah, so, the line specifically, and that's kind of where, actually, my tattoo comes from, 00:33:23.000 --> 00:33:35.000 it is from 'Keep Ya Head Up,' and it's 'Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice. I say the darker the flesh and the deeper the roots. 00:33:35.000 --> 00:33:44.000 And that, for me, really spoke to me at that time because although Tupac was definitely speaking to his people, to black people, 00:33:44.000 --> 00:33:49.000 I found strength in hearing someone be so proud of the color of their skin. 00:33:49.000 --> 00:33:57.000 And as someone who was the darkest in my family, who was also standing out in my community because I was darker and being made fun of it, 00:33:57.000 --> 00:33:65.000 it was so affirming to hear him celebrate the color of my skin, and the color of folks who have darker skin, right? 00:34:05.000 --> 00:34:17.000 And it was really empowering to think of the color of my skin as being linked to ancestors, and heritage, and resilience, and that's what really spoke to me. 00:34:17.000 --> 00:34:19.000 And so, that's why I have a little blackberry here. 00:34:19.000 --> 00:34:24.000 Audience Member: First of all, thank you for sharing your story. 00:34:24.000 --> 00:34:33.000 I think, you know, often times when we think about, you know, publishing our own life in such a public way, 00:34:33.000 --> 00:34:39.000 especially if we went through, like, difficult times, sometimes it's hard to make that decision to be public about it, 00:34:39.000 --> 00:34:44.000 so do you have any advice for those who want to publish a book about their life, 00:34:44.000 --> 00:34:49.000 but you know, have to think about what are their families going to say, or have to have that tough conversation? 00:34:49.000 --> 00:34:54.000 And then, a follow up to that question is during college, did you ever have, 00:34:54.000 --> 00:34:64.000 like, an opportunity to publish something but didn't because you thought it wasn't enough, or did you let opportunities go throughout that time as well? 00:35:04.000 --> 00:35:06.000 Emilly Prado: Thank you, that's a great question. 00:35:06.000 --> 00:35:09.000 They're all great questions also, let me just note that. 00:35:11.000 --> 00:35:22.000 But, yeah so, okay, first part of your question was about sort of inspiration about how you go about writing, and especially with the publication part. 00:35:22.000 --> 00:35:30.000 So, I always like to distinguish that the writing is separate from the publishing. And so, you can write and be a writer. 00:35:30.000 --> 00:35:35.000 You can also be someone who wants your work published, and that those aren't necessarily the same thing. 00:35:35.000 --> 00:35:45.000 I do think that when you do publish your work, there is a level of, sort of, vulnerability that you are offering to the world and whoever reads that, 00:35:45.000 --> 00:35:51.000 which can be really scary. For me, some of the things that helped me work through that is that, 00:35:51.000 --> 00:35:60.000 especially with my book, it talks a lot about my relationship with my family, and particularly my relationship with my dad. 00:36:00.000 --> 00:36:11.000 A lot of that also, because of explaining the context, is actually my mom's story, and I was really nervous about that, 00:36:11.000 --> 00:36:16.000 so what I chose to do in that situation was actually have a lot of phone calls with her where I was like, 00:36:16.000 --> 00:36:22.000 Would you mind sharing what your take of this memory is? 00:36:22.000 --> 00:36:30.000 How would you feel about me writing it?' And luckily, my mom has always been, actually, the one who believed the whole time that I should be a writer. 00:36:30.000 --> 00:36:34.000 And I'd be like, 'What are you talking about Mom? How do you even be a writer? Like, I shouldn't be a writer when I grow up. 00:36:34.000 --> 00:36:39.000 But she was the one who was celebrating that and that's very lucky. 00:36:39.000 --> 00:36:45.000 At the same time, after publishing my book, I have had conversations with people, some of my family, 00:36:45.000 --> 00:36:49.000 who didn't like certain parts of it. And that was really hard. 00:36:49.000 --> 00:36:52.000 It's still something that, especially since it's fresh, right, that was in July, 00:36:52.000 --> 00:36:61.000 it is something that I think ultimately is leading us in the right direction that I want to go, which is to be open about things, 00:37:01.000 --> 00:37:07.000 if we have problems, right, to talk about them as opposed to whispering and talking about people behind their back. 00:37:07.000 --> 00:37:15.000 And so, for me, I'm like this is maybe a step towards breaking cycles of trauma, and I hope it's in the right direction, so it's hard. 00:37:15.000 --> 00:37:22.000 One more thing I'll say on that note is that if you are someone who wants to write your stories but are afraid of what people might think, 00:37:23.000 --> 00:37:26.000 whether it's your family or other people, try to just get through the writing. 00:37:26.000 --> 00:37:35.000 You can decide later, at another point, to publish, but don't limit yourself and let that person, like for me again, it's like my tia is like on my shoulder, right? 00:37:35.000 --> 00:37:42.000 She's the one that's like, 'Oh, don't write that. I just try to push that away, and then later I can decide if I want to publish it, 00:37:42.000 --> 00:37:46.000 so as much as you can, consider your writing time as sacred and yours only. 00:37:46.000 --> 00:37:52.000 And in college, I didn't publish anything through my school. 00:37:52.000 --> 00:37:59.000 I tried to apply for the school newspaper, and they never wrote me back. So I think I have bad luck with schools. 00:37:59.000 --> 00:37:67.000 But, I did do a lot of blogging at the time and so I made my own street fashion blog where I would take pictures of people, 00:38:07.000 --> 00:38:13.000 and I made a website, and I would interview people. And like, little did I know, that was, again, sort of roots and training for journalism. 00:38:13.000 --> 00:38:20.000 But that's why I'm such a big fan of self publishing because I haven't had luck in a lot of institutions originally, 00:38:21.000 --> 00:38:29.000 so when all else fails, you know, you've got yourself a copy machine and your handwriting, and there you go, you've published something. Thanks. 00:38:29.000 --> 00:38:35.000 Audience Member: So, I don't really have a question, but I just wanted to say thanks, like, I'm really inspired. 00:38:35.000 --> 00:38:40.000 Like, I want to be a teacher, and I want to, like, share my story with people. 00:38:40.000 --> 00:38:47.000 I have a crazy life, I have been through a lot of stuff, scary things, but like, you're giving me strength, you know? 00:38:47.000 --> 00:38:53.000 So, you should feel good about doing this type of stuff because even in my, it has to affect other people too, you know? 00:38:53.000 --> 00:38:58.000 I'm really inspired because I've been thinking about, like, if I want to do history or if I want to write 00:38:58.000 --> 00:38:64.000 because in history we're really limited of what we can teach people, but if I do the writing, 00:39:04.000 --> 00:39:08.000 then I can tell my students that we can talk about real stuff and, like, they can share their stories too. 00:39:08.000 --> 00:39:12.000 So, I'm just really inspired. I just wanted to say you're doing a great job. 00:39:12.000 --> 00:39:18.000 Emilly Prado: Thank you so much. And I just want to also say, you know, we don't have to pick one thing too. 00:39:18.000 --> 00:39:22.000 Like, I know plenty of people who I know that have full-time jobs, some of them who are teachers, 00:39:22.000 --> 00:39:26.000 some of them who have a lot of other things going on, and they continue to write. 00:39:26.000 --> 00:39:35.000 So, I don't also want you to think that. You can write and you can be a teacher, you can do all the things, so I believe in you and thank you. 00:39:35.000 --> 00:39:40.000 We'll get to you eventually, I know, I've seen you for a while. 00:39:41.000 --> 00:39:43.000 Jurassic Park shirt, for next time. 00:39:43.000 --> 00:39:51.000 Audience Member: Hi, I was just wondering what your journey with mental health and, 00:39:51.000 --> 00:39:60.000 kind of, getting help and realizing there are these things beneath the surface that are affecting you. 00:40:00.000 --> 00:40:05.000 Did that, like, how did that affect your writing process? 00:40:05.000 --> 00:40:11.000 Did that change how you think about the words once they've gotten onto the page and did it, 00:40:11.000 --> 00:40:16.000 maybe, make it more difficult, or make some things clearer for you? 00:40:16.000 --> 00:40:23.000 Emilly Prado: Yeah, that's a great question. So like I mentioned, I first learned that I had depression when I was thirteen. 00:40:23.000 --> 00:40:27.000 At that time, I didn't really end up getting support for it. 00:40:27.000 --> 00:40:33.000 And so I sort of knew this about myself, but I sort of was like, 'Whatever. I don't know. This is just the way I am. 00:40:33.000 --> 00:40:42.000 Right? It wasn't until, actually, college when I went back to, like, maybe I should find a therapist. 00:40:43.000 --> 00:40:47.000 Maybe there's someone who can help me. And again, it took a couple times before I found the right person, 00:40:47.000 --> 00:40:54.000 but luckily right before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I just was, I had been going through a lot of grief. 00:40:54.000 --> 00:40:60.000 So, a friend of mine passed away, and that was really hard for me. 00:41:00.000 --> 00:41:08.000 And then, again, I don't remember if I saw her right before I broke up or, like, right around the same time, but it all was sort of culminating. 00:41:08.000 --> 00:41:12.000 And I felt like a lot of college was, like, holding all these things and being like, 00:41:12.000 --> 00:41:19.000 and it's so much pressure and once one thing started to fall, 00:41:19.000 --> 00:41:28.000 it felt like everything was falling. And I knew I didn't want to feel like that, and that therapist really helped me. 00:41:28.000 --> 00:41:36.000 I didn't know that I had bipolar disorder though until I actually went to the hospital, just because she couldn't give me a diagnosis outright, I guess. 00:41:36.000 --> 00:41:41.000 And the reason why I went to the hospital was just like, I didn't feel right. 00:41:41.000 --> 00:41:50.000 And I, sort of, was trying to self-diagnose with WebMD, and I was like maybe I have ADHD because a lot of the symptoms actually are similar to mania. 00:41:50.000 --> 00:41:57.000 And I had never experienced mania, so basically, it was noticing that something felt different, 00:41:57.000 --> 00:41:65.000 I didn't know what, and I felt very desperate to find a solution that would, like, fix everything. 00:42:05.000 --> 00:42:10.000 And it turns out that having that diagnosis, it didn't just fix everything, which is actually 00:42:10.000 --> 00:42:16.000 what my next book I'm writing, and the book that I've been writing since I was hospitalized for ten years. 00:42:16.000 --> 00:42:22.000 It's about my experience specifically with bipolar disorder and mental health and what it was like to go through that. 00:42:22.000 --> 00:42:29.000 And it's taken me that long because it's a very hard story to tell, and to revisit, and to reflect on. 00:42:29.000 --> 00:42:34.000 But I hope that you know, I finish that in the next couple years and that can be out at some point. 00:42:34.000 --> 00:42:41.000 But, there was a point where I was questioning a lot of what I was writing, 00:42:41.000 --> 00:42:46.000 but there are a lot of famous people who have had bipolar disorder, so that was really affirming. 00:42:46.000 --> 00:42:56.000 So I think, like, what I'll say from that is also finding folks with maybe similar diagnoses who are doing things that you're interested in, or are thriving. 00:42:56.000 --> 00:42:60.000 And, like, that can also be a source of strength where you're like, 'Okay, they've done it. Now it's my turn. 00:43:00.000 --> 00:43:08.000 And for me too, especially with being open about mental health, when I was hospitalized I really wanted a book about it, 00:43:08.000 --> 00:43:17.000 and I could find a memoir written by a Latina about bipolar disorder, and I still can't. 00:43:17.000 --> 00:43:20.000 And so, even though sometimes I'm like, 'Do I still want to write this?' 00:43:20.000 --> 00:43:26.000 That's the impetus where I'm like, 'I needed that book, I didn't have it, and there's still not one. I have to write it. 00:43:26.000 --> 00:43:32.000 So, that was a long answer, but it gives me fuel, even though it's hard, thanks. 00:43:32.000 --> 00:43:37.000 Audience Member: Yeah, thank you for sharing your book with us. 00:43:37.000 --> 00:43:40.000 And I was really curious, I know that you were influenced by Tupac. 00:43:40.000 --> 00:43:47.000 I'm always interested in writers and how they're influenced by other writers and other books, 00:43:47.000 --> 00:43:54.000 so I just wonder if there's any nonfiction or fiction authors and book titles that really stand out to you that you just enjoyed reading, 00:43:54.000 --> 00:43:58.000 just diving into, and that influenced you as the writer you are today. 00:43:58.000 --> 00:43:68.000 Emilly Prado: Yeah, so when I was a kid, I didn't read a lot. I think there was, like, the 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' books, 00:44:08.000 --> 00:44:11.000 so I really liked those, but that was about it. 00:44:11.000 --> 00:44:18.000 And I think part of it was, again, like, I wasn't really being supported or being shown this other book by this other person that I might like. 00:44:18.000 --> 00:44:26.000 One of the books that made me think differently about nonfiction was, it's a book called, 'In Cold Blood,' by Truman Capote, 00:44:26.000 --> 00:44:32.000 which was sort of, actually, in the middle of fiction and nonfiction because there are some things that are actually fictionalized. 00:44:32.000 --> 00:44:43.000 But, I read that book and I was like, 'Wow, you can write nonfiction in a way that's really engaging, and it reads like fiction, like a novel. 00:44:43.000 --> 00:44:48.000 And so I was really interested in that. More recently, I have been reading a lot more. 00:44:48.000 --> 00:44:54.000 I was, sort of, like, practicing with getting my reading really high so that I could do my MFA and not feel really behind. 00:44:54.000 --> 00:44:61.000 But I still feel like, again, just being honest about my background was like I have not read a bunch of books like some people have 00:45:01.000 --> 00:45:10.000 who have studied writing and reading their whole life, but I'll say that there is a book that I love that I recently read called 'Mean,' by Myriam Gurba 00:45:10.000 --> 00:45:22.000 that is sort of like a hybrid collection of some poetry and prose about her experience with sexual assault, and also CTPSD, which CTPSD, 00:45:22.000 --> 00:45:24.000 which is something that I have. 00:45:24.000 --> 00:45:31.000 So, that's a book that I really love. As far as fiction writers, I love Jesmyn Ward, and she has a book called 'Salvage the Bones. 00:45:31.000 --> 00:45:39.000 I basically try to read as many books by women of color and folks from marginalized identities as I can, 00:45:39.000 --> 00:45:41.000 but I still love books, like I said, Truman Capote. 00:45:42.000 --> 00:45:47.000 That still is a book that inspires me. So, those are some for now. 00:45:47.000 --> 00:45:55.000 Other folks I'll just say is, like, Carmen Maria Machado is an amazing memoirist who also does fiction, fiction first actually. 00:45:55.000 --> 00:45:64.000 And one more person, I'll say Mara Jacobs who wrote a really beautiful graphic memoir that really inspires me also. 00:46:04.000 --> 00:46:05.000 So, there's a lot. 00:46:05.000 --> 00:46:09.000 Speaker: Can we please give Emilly an applause, thank you. 00:46:10.000 --> 00:46:16.000 Emilly Prado: Thank you, thanks y'all.