First Language(s): Lithuanian
Second Language(s): English
Laura Elizabeth Pinto’s scholarly work was shortlisted for the Ontario Speakers’ Book Award, and she received a Canadian Governor General’s Gold Medal, among other honors. Her creative writing has appeared in Decomp, HAD, and the Sociological Review Magazine’s Fictions Series, and others. She began her life speaking Lithuanian before acquiring English around the time she began preschool.
What was your favorite book as a child?
My Močiutė (grandmother) couldn’t read Meškiukas ir Jo Draugė to me often enough! I was taken by the beautiful illustrations, and the theme of friendship across species. Years later, I learned that this was a translation of Little Bear’s Friend from the original English by Else (not Elzė as I was led to believe!) Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.
What was the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
I’ve been writing creatively (poetry and prose) since I was a child for pleasure and amusement. I began taking my writing craft seriously (systematically studying and practicing) around 2015, motivated by the possibility that scholarly research would reach broader audiences if I could transition to research-as-creation.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
I’m not the adventurous sort! I suppose taking on the long-term care system when my father (like thousands of other vulnerable, elderly people) was mistreated. It was exhilarating to apply my newfound expertise of legislation and research to confront institutions head-on, hold my own in contentious meetings, and make the final months of my father’s life a little better. The thrill continues as I march forward in public advocacy for vulnerable seniors, through interviews and writing.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
Never! I’m most comfortable, focused, and at peace in silence.
Issue Fall '23