Author Spotlight: Samantha Moya

Author Spotlight: Samantha Moya

Samantha Moya is a data specialist with a Ph.D. in Political Science. Her work has been featured in several publications. She resides in Denver, Colorado. You can find Samantha on Twitter, Instagram, and on her website. Her piece ‘One Day It Will Be the Last Time’ can be found in Epoch Press’ Issue 4, ‘Transitions’, which you can buy here.

‘Transitions’ is such an evocative theme, what compelled you to submit for this issue?

With the pandemic, I think most of us would say that the past year and a half has been full of transitions. Beyond the pandemic though, I had a multitude of big personal transitions in my life. In the first half of 2020, I got engaged and moved in with my partner. I had never lived with anyone before, outside of my parents in my childhood home, and this came with both the joys and hardships of adjusting to a new place, and the learning curves of owning a home and building a life with someone. Then, in the back end of the year, my father passed away after battling terminal illness. Grief, and trying to reestablish life after the passing of someone so foundational to who you are as a person, was a particularly rough transition of my 2020. This period was the major influence for my poem, “One Day It Will Be the Last Time” in Issue 4. On a broader thematical note, the subject matter “Transitions” called out to me because I am fascinated by how people react in times of upheaval. It is revealing of one’s character and always interesting to see who we come out as on the other side of it.

Do you have a routine for writing? If so, what is it and how has it evolved?

As my family grew and I became more serious about getting work published, I’ve had to make writing more of a routine. Most mornings I carve out some time to either write a new poem or edit an old one. I’d usually have a set day of the week when I would get work out to potential publishers. Until that point though, I tended to write mostly when I felt inspired to do so. It occupied portions of my weekend before I met my husband. I’ve been writing stories since I was a toddler so it’s always been a hobby I come back to, even when I’ve taken lengthy breaks from it. When I was in graduate school, it also was a nice contrast from writing argumentative research papers.

Do you find that CNF comes easy to you as a writer and/or what is challenging about it? For poets: What is most challenging and most rewarding about using real life in your poetry?

Of all forms of writing, poetry has always come most naturally to me. I’ve dabbled in essays and creative non-fiction works, but poetry is always the form I find myself gravitating back to. I think I am a solid interrogator of my life – I’ve never been afraid to pull back the curtain on myself, my family, or on my raw emotions regarding a variety of subjects or personal experiences. This is the rewarding part, simply because I’ve always been naturally introspective, and poetry is a real outlet for that interiority. But once I start from a place of my truth, it’s fun to play with it, build on it, consider different ways of writing it. That’s where the challenges come in – always finding the inventive ways of showing and not just telling, of creating the evocative image. Sometimes it happens on the first try and I barely edit a poem at all, others I have poured over for hours trying to get the mood and imagery just right.

What is a song is on repeat for you right now?

I’ve listened to Julien Baker’s album “Sprained Ankle” probably a million times, but I’ve been listening to a song off it, called “Rejoice” quite a bit lately. Listening to her music always sounds like you’re eavesdropping on someone in a confessional or in the middle of their therapy session, so it’s great for getting into a writing mood.

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