Existing in the Liminal: An Interview with Adriana E. Ramirez

I had the pleasure of conversing with Adriana E. Ramirez, who visited Chatham for our event, “Dialogues: Writing in Divided Times.” Ramirez is a world-renowned performance poet, and her nonfiction novella Dead Boys won the 2015 PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize. Ramirez currently resides in Pittsburgh and teaches at Carlow University. She is co-founder of the Pittsburgh Poetry Collective and ran Steel City Slam for ten years. Our conversation focused on her upcoming book, The Violence, due in 2018, but we also discussed a wide variety of topics including the current state of journalism, the poetry scene in Pittsburgh, and themes of recurrence in Battlestar Galactica.  

The Fourth River: I just want to give you an opportunity, first, to talk about your upcoming book, The Violence.

Adriana E. Ramirez: I am neck deep in it right now. It’s about a civil war called The Violence in Colombia from 1948-56. This guy running for president, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, he was essentially a populist, the working people loved him. He’s assassinated, and a weeks worth of rioting ensues, kicking off a civil war. This was not the first war between liberals and conservatives in Colombia. But this one obviously went much longer than three years.

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