First Language(s): Spanish
Second Language(s): English
Mari-Carmen Marín was born in Málaga, on the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain, but moved to Houston, Texas, in 2003 after receiving her Ph.D. in English. An avid reader and lover of literature from an early age, she began to write poetry to give a specific shape to, and be able to order, the chaotic and complex feelings and ideas running rampant in her. Her debut book of poetry has been published by Legacy Book Press in 2021 (www.maricarmenmarinauthor.com).
What was your favorite book as a child?
When I was little, I loved reading any of Enid Blyton’s children's books, especially the ones in which toys came alive at night and had adventures. As I grew older, I enjoyed reading Blyton’s The Famous Five series, or Purita Campos’ graphic novels series called Esther y Su Mundo (Esther and Her World). Agatha Christie’s novels were also among my favorite readings.
Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
I have always enjoyed inventing stories. At first, I did it to entertain others. I liked having an audience of kids or adults asking me questions about the characters I created. As I became older, I wrote to understand myself and anything and everything happening to me. I used to write prose, but in 2008, I needed to put boundaries to my chaotic thoughts, and poetry became the best genre in which to contain all that chaos. Poetry became therapeutic and transformative.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
Probably moving to the United States to start a new life when I was thirty. It was always my dream, but I never realized how big of a change that was going to be for me. All my family lives in Spain, and I am considered the most adventurous member of the clan :) I disagree, though, since I consider myself very cautious and in constant search of security.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
It depends on what I am writing or reading. If I need a lot of concentration, I don’t use music, but music has inspired me to write many poems and I constantly use instrumental music in my English classes while my students work. I am especially inspired by Spanish bands, like La Oreja de Van Gogh, or Spanish flamenco pop artists like El Arrebato or Pablo Alborán.
My poem “Almería” came to me after watching a video that my father sent me of a violin version of the song, “Malagueña Salerosa”. Music from Spain triggers the passionate side of my identity that feeds my creativity.
Issue Fall '21