Wendy C. Ortiz

India Downes-Le Guin

Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of three books: Excavation: A Memoir, Hollywood Notebook, and the dreamoir Bruja.

Project Description:Part autoethnography, part memoir, with lyrical interludes called “diastoles”—the pauses between beats when the heart chamber fills with blood—Subversive Heart is an exploration of the experiences that have shaped Ortiz politically, as well as a meditation on anger and its relationship to unmetabolized grief. Coinciding with this deeper look at the formation of her political consciousness, Ortiz was diagnosed with a heart condition called atrial fibrillation. As she attempted to “fix” this condition in various ways, Ortiz began wondering how anger might play a role in her heart’s manic thudding. Subversive Heart interrogates the heart as it’s conceptualized both literally and metaphorically in popular culture, and how the heart relates to anger and grief. Subversive Heart explores how political consciousness can be shaped from anger and grief and seeks to artfully render various moments of politicization that either helped metabolize the ensuing rage in one woman’s life as well as when the rage and grief recklessly ate up the channels.

Residency: 2022 Next Book