Juliana Delgado Lopera

Artist in Residence, 2019

A portrait of a person against a light background.

Artist Statement

My practice is influenced by every writer, every poem that I encounter. I have learned to write from a place of vulnerability, to be disciplined and maintain a solid creative practice by listening to the writers that don’t cease to marvel and excite me. I’ve learned through my community that writing doesn’t solely happen on the page, but is rather a cosmology of experience, of voices and feelings that come through engaging both consciously and unconsciously with a writing community. My characters embody the experience of female, immigrant, misfit, monolingual Spanish speakers. Of growing up in families that seem unaware—or live in denial—of their systems of abuse. Of coming of age in a place that doesn’t recognize them. Their concerns include religion, female bodies, queerness, uprootness, matriarchal disfunction, boredom, the debased natural world, their limited options, and rebellion. My writing pushes itself outside of the page and takes on the life of drag, art installations, and queer history.

While at Headlands

During my time at Headlands I will be working on Papi a novel-in-progress set in Bogotá, Colombia in the 1990s.  Papi  follows Lucía, a 12-year old girl whose father, Papi, an awkward slightly closeted gay man, recently retired after being fired from his job at a bank. I’m originally from Bogotá, born in an extremely conservative household. In this novel I’m reimagining a queer lonely childhood inside a Colombian context. A narrative about grief, queerness, female sadness and joy. I am writing the novel as I usually do, in Spanglish (fusing both English and Spanish) but this time I am doing research on the history of dialect in Bogotá and incorporating some of this in the novel.