Interview with Felecia Caton Garcia

Felecia Caton Garcia at the Mexicanx Initiative English language group reading (Sent by Julia Rios; photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?

I was born in East Los Angeles, raised in rural Missouri, and now I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

What kind of creative work do you do?

I write poetry and fiction, and I like to think I am a creative academic and professor, as well.

Had you ever been to a Worldcon before?

No, I had never been to a Worldcon, or, in fact, any con at all before!

What did you expect being part of the Initiative would be like? How did your experience compare with that expectation?

I didn’t have many expectations going into it, and I’m sorry to say that I had so many family issues arise during those few days that my attention was divided the entire time. Nonetheless, I met amazing people, made fantastic connections, and learned so much.

Felecia Caton Garcia and Iliana Vargas (Photo by Julia Rios)

Tell us about a highlight of your Worldcon experience.

I know this is a complete cliché, but I have to say that I was pretty amazed to walk through the door of George R. R. Martin’s Losers Party — in the stuff of legend, it’s the equivalent of finding myself at seeing Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock or The Ramones at CBGB.

Recommend any or all of the following: a song, a written work, a piece of visual art, and a movie. Tell us why you love them!

A song: “Como El Agua,” by Camaron de la isla y Paco de Lucia (I used to dance at the National Institute of Flamenco, and this music will never leave my blood.)

A written work: Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange (The borders collapse! SuperNAFTA and El Gran Mojada fight it out! Time and Space ripple with history and justice! What’s not to love?)

A piece of visual art: Zephyrus, 2002, oil on panel by Tino Rodriguez (I saw this for the first time when I was at WorldCon at the San Jose Museum of Art—I love it—all the pain and pleasure and divinity of the flesh.)

A movie: Pan’s Labyrinth (dir. Guillermo del Toro) (Duende.)

What was the funniest thing that happened during your trip?

I spoke Spanish.

Also, at some point, someone needed to take off her high heels to walk to the Losers Party, and, astoundingly, someone else (I think it was Gabriela) pulled out a pair of fancy chanclas from her purse! Like what in the actual heck? Were they to throw at people who spoke too long at the Hugos? I was delighted.

Where should new people to start familiarizing themselves with your work?

My collection of poetry Say That is available on Amazon — you can also find my work online at The Poetry Foundation.

Pablo Defendini