M. A. Dubbs is an award-winning Mexican American and LGBT+ writer who hails from Indiana. Dubbs writes poetry, fiction, micro-fiction, and interactive media. Her writing has been published in literary magazines and anthologies across the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. She published her first collection of her poetry and short fiction, Aerodynamic Drag: Poetry and Short Fiction, in 2021.
Read her featured piece: Hoosier Balladry*
*CW: Historical references to slavery, Trail of Tears
Meet HLWW Guest:
What were the inspirations behind your book, Aerodynamic Drag: Poetry and Short Fiction (2021)?
My book is a collection of writings written mostly throughout my college and young adult life. I viewed the journey into adulthood much like the journey of humanity learning to fly: difficult, terrifying, and liberating. I split the pieces into categories on the mechanisms of flying. Thrust is the journey of youth and disillusionment, Friction is the exploration of my LGBT sexuality, Drag is processing the world through my traumas and neuro-divergence, and Lift is about finding peace and hope within oneself.
With your multi-disciplinary focus of short fiction, poetry, and visual/interactive media, what do you see as the connecting thread between all of your work?
I would say almost all of my pieces reflect back on my personal experiences with trauma, mental illness, and recovery. My identity as a Mexican-American, a woman, and a member of the LGBT community also influence and come out in my writing. They are things that tint my world view and perspectives and show up in any art I create. It helps me hold space that being authentic can be both raw but beautiful.
How do your ties to the Hoosier state show up in your writing?
I have several Hoosier locations that have shown up in my writing: IU Bloomington campus, Little Eagle Creek in Indianapolis, flora and fauna native to Indiana, parking lots of my old high school, etc.. I would say what most often shows up for me is that my writing is pure Midwest. There’s simplicity, there’s humility, there’s resilience and hope. I think those are things that can translate to any part of the world.
What are your favorite books/pieces of writing?
I am a major fan of Toni Morrison and enjoy her many books on feminism and race. I am also a fan of Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry and short fiction and have always enjoy his grisly and grotesque images. Lastly, I also enjoy John Dos Passos and his fiction reflecting on capitalism and classism.
What advice would you give other aspiring writers and creators?
Like anything else in life, writing takes continued practice. It’s okay to create even if your art isn’t where you want it to be. Art doesn’t have to be perfect to be valued or valid.