Vanessa Mártir is an emerging writer fresh from Tin House’s winter workshop, where she spent time with Dorothy Allison and Lacy Johnson to shape her two memoirs.

In this interview — just as in her writing — Vanessa is candid about being unmothered and about her journey toward healing following her brother’s death from heart and liver failure after a 15-year struggle with heroin addiction. As she says, “I had to let grief kill me a little bit so it could give me life. I’m a woman on a journey, with a mission, and I am unstoppable.”

On Twitter, your handle is @Vanessa_LaLoba, “Vanessa The Wolf.” What does the wolf symbolize for you?

womenwhorunwiththewolvesThe wolf came to me in a dream as I was reading Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ Women Who Run With the Wolves. I felt personally connected to the wolf’s wild nature and the fact that they’ve been…

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