This week on Black and Published, Nikesha speaks with Cleyvis Natera, author of the novel, Neruda on the Park. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York City, Cleyvis has received honors from PEN America, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Hermitage Artist Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA). Her fiction, essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, URSA Fiction, The Rumpus, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Skidmore College and a Master of Fine Arts from New York University. Cleyvis worked a corporate job in insurance for two decades ascending to the executive level before pivoting her career to become a full-time writer.
In our conversation Cleyvis explains how attending elite programs did not prepare her for the rejection and failure she experienced within the publishing industry. Plus, why it was important for her to address toxic masculinity, the climate crisis, and capitalism in her story about a family in crisis. And the sacrifices made for her and that she's made herself that have helped to shape who she is as well as her career.