Tabs open on your screen right now:

work email
KROnline interview with Safiya Sinclair
RollingStone piece on South America’s 8 scariest serial killers
The Guardian story on Puerto Rico’s power outages
Kavita Das’s essay, “Groove,” in Guernica
Shamala Gallagher’s “On Shining and Staring / On Ruin,” in The Offing
Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts database search
Sarah Stillman’s “Taken,” in The New Yorker
the Campaign for Youth Justice website

If you had to brag about yourself:
Have you seen these eyebrows?

Your writer crush:
Do I have to pick one? Melissa Febos, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Walton Muyumba, Solmaz Sharif, Shamala Gallagher, Ghassan Abou-Zeineddine, Angela Palm, Rachel McKibbens.

Favorite lyric:
from Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come”:

I was born by the river in a little tent /
Oh, and just like the river I’ve been running ever since /
It’s been a long time, a long time coming /
But I know a change gonna come /

Any place in the world:
Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Best breakfast:
Café con leche, pan sobao, amarillos, aguacate.

Sweetest thing:
Driving up and down winding mountain roads, the music blasting, singing along to Hector Lavoe or Ismael Rivera or Sam Cooke or Otis Redding, stopping to buy pinchos from chinchorros on the side of the road, and finally, getting to the beach.

Your rituals (writing or not):
I watch lots of hair and makeup tutorials on Youtube and Instagram. I have music playing almost all day. And coffee. So much coffee.

Least impressive thing about you:
My bank account.

Favorite space to write:
In my journal, on the beach.

Guilty literary pleasure:
I wouldn’t label any of my pleasures “guilty.” More like “shameful.” Or “reprehensible.” Yeah, let’s go with that.

Best book nobody talks about:
Suki Kim’s Without You, There is No Us. This book is phenomenal. Some people are talking about it, but not nearly enough, in my opinion. I seriously think if this book were written by a man, the whole world would’ve stopped and paid attention. Here is a skilled, smart, fearless investigative journalist who went undercover in North Korea, risked everything to write this book. It’s not just well written and important—it’s groundbreaking.

Character (TV, book, movie) you most identify with:
Are you asking a queer Puerto Rican who comes from poverty to identify with people on TV? Characters in books and movies? I’ll write you an essay.



Jaquira Díaz is the 2016-18 Kenyon Review Fellow in prose, and recipient of a Pushcart Prize, the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and an NEA Fellowship to the Hambidge Center for the Arts. Her work is forthcoming in The Best American Essays 2016 and Rolling Stone, and appears in Pushcart Prize XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses, The Guardian, Kenyon Review, Brevity, and Ninth Letter, among other publications.