Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Writer: Sonya Lara

By Sonya Lara

What’s your current favorite possession?
All the letters my friends and I have written to each other. 

Most beautiful word in all the world?
Iris. Something about the “s” being drawn out at the end. 

Alter ego?
Winnie the Pooh – I rock crop tops and am always hungry. 

What’s for dinner?

What are you reading?
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. 

Who is your most recent writer crush?
Samantha Irby – she’s brazenly honest and incredibly funny.

Song lyrics currently stuck in your head, go:
“I’d rather be a forest than a street / yes I would / if I could / I surely would” – El Condor Pasa (If I Could) by Simon and Garfunkle.

You’re a new addition to the Crayola box. Congratulations! What is your new name?
Miss Independent. 

What task(s) are you putting off?
Buying a lamp for my bedroom. My credit card balance is mad at me right now and the thought of buying one more thing is overwhelming. For now, I’ll just use the flashlight on my phone and pretend I don’t mind being in debt. 

If you were a city, you would be ___?
Chicago: the art, the food (DEEP DISH PIZZA), the skyscrapers, all the different languages – enough said. 

What was the last gift you gave someone?
A cartoon portrait of one of my best friends, her boyfriend, and her cat.

What were you like as a college or graduate student?
Let’s break this down a little more…
Community college (freshman and sophomore year): restless
Year off: wildly bored
Four-year university (junior and senior year): always smiling with pockets of breakdowns
2 years off: lost and questioning
Grad school: reflective 

Here’s your free ticket to any time or place. Where are you going?
London – I have a friend I’ve been itching to visit across the pond for years now. 

Sonya Lara served as the Associate Fiction Editor for The Madison Review at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her BA in English-Creative Writing. Currently, she is the Co-Founder, Poetry Editor, and Social Media Manager for Rare Byrd Review, an Editor-at-Large for Cleaver Magazine, the Managing Editor for the minnesota review, and an MFA poetry candidate at Virginia Tech. Her work has appeared in Prairie Voices, Wisconsin’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology, Trestle Ties, and Heavy Feather Review. For more information, visit


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