Claudia D. Hernández Recommends...

“Whenever I’m out of words or my mind is jammed I usually do one thing: exercise. This takes the form of running or cycling. I usually go to the park for a quick run—four to five miles does the trick. During my run, I listen to trova, but it depends on my mood and what I’m writing about. I can listen to anything from The Velvet Underground to Rage Against the Machine to get my mind going. Sometimes when running doesn’t help, I begin a ritual. I go cycling. I take my bike on the riverbed in Southeast Los Angeles for a thirty-two-mile ride from South Gate to Long Beach. I wear my cycling gear from head to toe so that I don’t get sunburn. I listen to my favorite band Bomba Estéreo. I put only one earbud in the right ear and leave the left one out to hear the other cyclists passing by. I take a poetry book with me in my back pocket. I ride to the marsh, my favorite place in the riverbed, a quiet place where birds, ducks, and turtles have made their home in the ponds. Tall grass, plants, and trees surround me; the marsh is the place where I can get inspired once again.”
—Claudia D. Hernández, author of Knitting the Fog (Feminist Press, 2019)