When I met Orlando Ruiz, he unabashedly told me of his propensity for playing Pokémon Go, love of hockey and weight-lifting, and pride in his ride – a Subaru WRX that runs on E85. Ruiz has many interests that play a huge part in the way he identifies as a true “melting pot of cultures,” and makes him immediately likeable.
Amarelis Martinez was born during one of the most devastating storms in recent memory. The category 5 tempest, Hurricane Hugo, robbed Puerto Rico of electrical power. Martinez’s mother gave birth in a lightless and waterless hospital room with nineteen other women while the hurricane raged on outside. Her birth, Martinez suggests, set the tone for the rest of her life. She can go without much and still make it – head first.
An intensely curious person by admission, Ani Palacios’ fascination with all matter of subject seeps into her writing. Each book is different: one gives advice to new immigrants in the United States, another shares the journeys of a handsome (yet fictitious) Peruvian Texan musician, No Strings Attached shares the secret to unconditional love, and her award-winning novel Nos vemos en Purgatorio is a semi-autobiographical story of a Latina in the corporate world. We met at Columbus Metropolitan Library and discussed Palacios’ journey as an author and her creation of Pukiyari Publishing which promotes Latino authors from around the world right here in Columbus, Ohio.
Ever since she was young, Jasmine Rosario’s dreamed of being “a badass female musician.” Based on our conversation at Lineage Brewery near her home in Clintonville, it’s safe to say she’s reached this goal. Rosario is a songwriter and guitarist for the Columbus, Ohio-based band The Original Soundtrack. The music she plays and writes for this project is inspired by her love of rhythm – a musical influence she attributes to her family and Puerto Rican culture.