Today we’d like to introduce you to Sebastian Moya.
Sebastian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up on the border between El Paso, TX and Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua. My family was personally affected by the violence that upended the area from 2008-2010 (and still does), and I was ready to try somewhere else. My acceptance to USC and my Latin@ family in Los Angeles was a welcome way to start fresh. However, my background being raised bi-culturally between Neruda, Dickinson, Mario Benedetti, and F. Scott Fitzgerald had inadvertently prepared me for the juxtaposition Los Angeles has to offer. I graduated with a degree in Narrative Structure and have since taken up poetry and short fiction to attempt bridging the gaps between American and Mexican idealogy. However, at my core, I am a romantic. Much of the poetry in my upcoming collection “BlueTo” is an attempt to understand Los Angeles through experiences with the passing of time and romanticizing a place that many come to with high hopes only to leave with a deeper respect for expectations.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
All things considered, my privilege is immense. I am a white man that can experience the beautiful parts of Latin@ culture without the stigmatism and harsh treatment of being brown, which is a very real thing even in a place as diverse as Los Angeles. My only real struggle is trying to find a voice that deserves to be listened to in a sea of my peers sharing stories of tremendous suffering, intrigue, and incredulous circumstances.
BlueTo – Poetry Collection – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a poet and a writer of short fiction. I am currently working on a collection of fifty-two poems that sequence the fifty-two weeks of the year. They trace the seasons and sensations one may feel in Los Angeles throughout a year and are meant to be read sequentially each week. At the moment, I am a writer attempting the romanticize a city that defies being romanticized.
My fiction is what I would call “post-magical realism.” It is my desire as a writer to understand the fascination by my Mexican and Latino@ heritage to mythologize the tragic and to make it my own. I enjoy Allende and Gracia Marquez as much as the next guy but bridging the gap between an American mythology of the American dream that has caused the extraordinary (and terrible) circumstances of my Latin@ roots fascinates me. Being of both literary traditions, I’d like to be the Ven diagram.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is accomplishing whatever goals you have set for yourself. That’s a pretty simple answer, but whatever goals you set are based on the meaning you ascribe them. So success is the checkbox, and the meaning you give your life is the list. That’s where things get fun.
I can only speak to my own “list” of things that make me happy. I like helping others, writing what makes me feel fulfilled, and spending time with loved ones. If I can keep checking those things off every once in a while, I’d say I’m pretty successful.
Then again, every writer I’ve met is plagued with the secret desire to be recognized and I am not immune to that. If I can get one poem out there that can change how people feel, how they see the world, or that gives their day one more ounce of color, that’s a major win.
- BlueTo Collection – $20
- Instagram: @sebistentialism
Juan Pablo de los Rios – personal photo