Wendy C. Ortiz w/ Rios De La Luz

At Corporeal Writing we’re all about opening the platform, continuously working on new ways to expand participation and experience, and breaking open what writing means.

We’ve created this new series of visiting writer workshops with some pretty phenomenal mammals. We are delighted to have humans in our community interview the writers who will be leading these collaborative workshops at Corporeal Writing Center.

In this fourth installation we present author, writer and psychotherapist Wendy C. Ortiz answering some questions from Corporeal comrade and author Rios de la Luz who has also lead a collaborative workshop with Corporeal Writing.


Rios: What were the last three nonfiction books that changed the way you write the genre or expanded the way you think about creative nonfiction?

Wendy: Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob

 Rios: What kinds of journaling do you recommend for writers who are exploring their voice?

Wendy: Any kind of journaling. I go in and out of having a collection of notebooks, some of which are separated by subject, to having just one notebook jammed with everything I'm thinking about. I recommend an "active imagination" notebook for writers exploring voice, as well--a private place where a writer can have long conversations with the "self" or whomever shows up when the writer is asking themselves open-ended questions about anything, grounded in curiosity. 

Rios: What advice would you give to the younger versions of yourself as a writer?

 Wendy: Be patient. Go as slow as you need to go. 

 Rios: What forms of exploration are you currently doing in terms of your own writing?

Wendy: I'm taking a lot of notes about film and tv shows I appreciate and trying to write screenplays, which feels like one big experiment. 

Rios: What does writing from the body mean to you?

Wendy: It means starting from a place of groundedness in my body as much as possible, which for me means a meditation practice and learning other ways of being rooted in my body--and then when I'm writing, never neglecting the body in what I'm writing--attempting constantly to catalog and expand on all the myriad sensations, feelings, shifts, etc. I experience, no matter what I'm trying to write.

There are still seats available for Wendy’s workshop, The Nonfictional body on Saturday, September 14th 10am-4pm at Corporeal Writing Center :: 510 SW 3rd Ave. Portland, Or. 97204

Learn more about Wendy C. Ortiz HERE.

Learn more about Rios de la Luz HERE.


Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of Excavation: A Memoir, Hollywood Notebook, and the dreamoir Bruja. In 2016 Bustle named her one of “9 Women Writers Who Are Breaking New Nonfiction Territory.” Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Joyland, StoryQuarterly, FENCE, andMcSweeney’s, among many other places.Wendy is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles.

Rios de la Luz is the author of the short story collection, The Pulse between Dimensions and the Desert, and the novella, ITZÁ. Her writing focuses on queer stories, body stories, and the interweaving of witchcraft into storytelling as healing. Her work has been featured in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Luna Luna Magazine, Corporeal Clamor, Broadly, WOHE Lit and St. Sucia. You can read her non-fiction work in the upcoming anthology, Burn It Down (Seal Press, 2019).