Future Perfect: Mira Gonzalez

Poet Mira Gonzalez solidifies her spot in the online literary community with her first book, her prolific tweets, and Tao Lin’s encouragement.
  • By Rosie Haney
  • Photographed by Jacqueline Di Milia

Like many young writers, Mira Gonzalez turned to books at an early age for entertainment, a break from her homework, and to help define her place in the world. After years of writing alone, she was discovered and encouraged by no other than literary phenom Tao Lin (who originally found her through her hilarious and insightful Twitter, and now the young scribe has successfully published her work in Muumuu House, Thought Catalog, and Hobart, not to mention on her own Tumblr. Last year Gonzalez added her first book of poetry, I Will Never Be Beautiful Enough to Make Us Beautiful Together, to her portfolio. The 21-year-old writer’s mint green tome touches on subjects both banal and unsavory with hints of melancholy, candor, wit, and a mature awareness that’s landed her on a plethora of 2013’s best-of lists, as well as critical acclaim from the likes of Dazed & Confused, The Rumpus, and Victor Vazquez (a.k.a. “Kool A.D.” from Das Racist). Gonzalez comes from quite the creative family (her mother is an artist, and her stepfather is Chuck Dukowski of Black Flag), but she tries not to worry about her parents when she’s dreaming up her intensely personal poems. “When my book came, out my grandparents wanted a copy and I was like, Oh...that’s not a great idea.... When I’m writing, I’m not thinking, Oh, it’d be really bad if my dad read this!”

“A lot of my writing is very personal and I’ll write it, then I’ll read it and think, Wow. This should not be public. But that’s the sort of thing people are going to read and identify with.”
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WAS THERE ANY PARTICULAR BOOK THAT INSPIRED YOU WHEN YOU WERE STARTING TO WRITE?

I’ve always loved reading, since I was very young. As I got older I started to read books by Murakami like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and Norwegian Wood. I think that’s what inspired me to start editing my writing into something people would want to read. At some point, maybe when I was 19 or 20, my friend lent me Bed by Tao Lin. I read it and it’s still one of my favourite books of all time.

HOW IMPORTANT HAS THE ONLINE WRITING COMMUNITY BEEN FOR YOU AND YOUR WORK?

It’s the main thing in my life at the moment. Writing in general is something that makes me feel good and less alone, and like I can express things in the way that I want to express myself. I’ve been able to meet people who understand my point of view because they know me through my writing, which I feel is my most honest form of expression.

DO YOU THINK BEING DIFFERENT OR “NEW” IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN IT USED TO BE NOW THAT THE MEDIA IS SATURATED WITH SELF-STARTER CREATIVES?

This is interesting to me because I think I’m better at distinguishing myself to people online than I am to a big publisher online. A lot of my writing is very personal and I’ll write it, then I’ll read it and think, Wow. This should not be public. But I realized if that’s how I feel about a piece of writing, then that’s the sort of thing people are going to read and identify with. The most outlandish, vulnerable, oversharing things I’ve written are what people have been the most receptive to. A lot of it is about honesty. If you approach things earnestly with a sense of purpose, people will be open to it.

WHAT BOOK DO YOU READ OVER AND OVER? The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO DINNER PARTY RECIPE? Apple oatmeal cookies
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE HOME? My bed
WHAT’S YOU’RE ONGOING FASHION OBSESSION? Oversized clothes, Dr. Martins, and lots of jewelry.

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