How to make language fun— and create a more inclusive world (with Juli Delgado Lopera)
Do you remember the first time you used “Google” as a verb? Or a time before there were “selfies”? Language is constantly evolving, and as a result provides limitless opportunities to change how we see the world. Juli Delgado Lopera is the author of the acclaimed novel “Fiebre Tropical” (Feminist Press 2020), which was recently awarded the LAMBDA Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction. A Colombian now living in the U.S., Juli breaks down boundaries of English and Spanish in their work by de-stabilizing our notions of language, gender, and geography. In today’s episode, they explain the benefits of bending the rigid structures that language upholds and suggest exercises that can help us appreciate and find joy in words. “Fiebre Tropical” was a finalist of the 2020 Kirkus Prize in Fiction and the 2021 Aspen Literary Prize. Juli is also the author of “¡Cuéntamelo!” (Aunt Lute 2017), an illustrated bilingual collection of oral histories by LGBT Latinx immigrants. Their work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in places such as Teen Vogue, The Kenyon Review, McSweeney's, The Rumpus, The White Review, LALT, Four Way Review, Broadly, and TimeOut Mag. They are the former executive director of RADAR Productions, a queer literary non-profit in San Francisco.