The people who count for VIDA count because they love literature. It would probably be an understatement to suggest they prefer reading over math. We wanted to learn more about what drives the individuals who make the annual VIDA Count possible. And because we are so grateful to these interns for so generously volunteering their time, we’ve launched a fundraising campaign to pay our Counters.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Lucia! I’m a poet from Buffalo, currently studying literature at SUNY Geneseo. I especially love examining texts using feminist and post-colonial theories. This fall I’ll be starting an MFA, though I’m not exactly sure where yet—the letters have just started slowly shuffling in. Right now, I’m working for Writers & Books in Rochester, doing publicity for H_NGM_N, and reading for The Adroit Journal and Slice Magazine. I am a sucker for tiny animals and tiny babies. Last Halloween I went as Persephone because Louise Glück’s Averno taught me too many things. (I can show you a picture of me if you like—I was very spooky)
Why did you decide to become involved with the VIDA Count?
To me, existing as poet involves more than reading widely and writing innovatively—and, to this end, working for equality in the literary community is imperative. I’ve always been a promoter of VIDA, sharing the Counts, bringing up the great work VIDA does in conversation, directing people to the hard data on the VIDA website about the gender disparities in publishing. Being a woman who writes, the work that VIDA does is crucial. One day my mentor, Cori Winrock, suggested the internship opportunities at VIDA, and I knew I had to apply. I had to be involved. Not to mention, as a woman who studies sociology, I couldn’t resist some good ol’ data collection.
Do you have a favorite book / poem / novel / short story?
Poetry: Patricia Lockwood’s Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals
Novel: Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things
What literary journals would you suggest readers be on the lookout for?
Gandy Dancer! It’s one of the best undergraduate journals out there. It’s both in print and available online. They choose work from SUNY students and alumni—it’s an amazing resource of emerging writers—not to mention its great aesthetic (and I’m only a little bit biased as its former managing editor and web designer). I also find that with each issue, there isn’t one genre pulling the weight of the journal—the poetry, the fiction, the nonfiction, the art—even the reviews and interviews—are spectacular. Also, as their staff rotates, the last issue happened to have an all-female staff! Check it out! http://www.gandydancer.org/
Lucia LoTempio studies literature at SUNY Geneseo with a personal focus on feminist and post-colonial theory. Hailing from Buffalo, NY, she plans to get an MFA in a place where there are no “seasons,” just the potential to be sweating 24/7. Her poetry has been or will be featured in Weave Magazine, The Boiler: A Journal of New Literature, and Gandy Dancer. She was the 2014 winner of the Mary A. Thomas Award in Poetry. This fall, she is working for Writers & Books in Rochester and continuing her tenure as Managing Editor for Gandy Dancer.