Adolfo Córdova Ortiz Author and journalist from Mexico

Photo: Michael Orth

Photo: Michael Orth

Adolfo is writer, journalist and researcher. He lives and works in Mexico City. Adolfo was born in 1983 in Veracruz. He studied Literature for Children and Young Adults in Barcelona. Adolfo has written several award-winning books. He teaches courses and workshops at universities in Mexico and abroad. Together with his wife, the photographer Mariela Sancari, he took part in Cornelia's Artist in Residence Program in 2019.

Website
Photo: Michael Orth

Photo: Michael Orth

How did you come to start writing?

I started like many young people do, while being an adolescent. I wanted to express, somehow, everything that was happening to me, my desires and the big and small injustices I witnessed. So I started writing poetry and rebellious poetic prose... and I used to read them in front of my classmates and create small handmade books that today I wouldn’t dare show to anyone in the world. But I still cherish them and regard them as important in my process.

I grew up and matured through writing. When I was in Belgium for a year before starting university, I wrote travel chronicles and nostalgic poems. While studying journalism at university, I invented surrealistic stories. My very first dragons and fairies characters were born along with my writing for a newspaper in Mexico City.

I have always wandered between fiction and nonfiction and, now that I reflect about it, it was in order to achieve the same thing as when I started: to understand myself and the world around me.

And how did you come to be one of the "Artists in Residence" of the Rim of Heaven project?

Back in 2017, an editor asked me to interview Cornelia via Skype at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara in front of a live audience. Before starting our conversation and allowing her fans to enter the conference room, Cornelia told me that she wanted to start an Artist in Residence Program for young emerging creators.

I felt very excited about it and some months later I asked another editor of mine at Fondo de Cultura Económica if she could share with me Cornelia's email. I wrote her a thanking note for the splendid interview she gave me and her readers and I also asked her about the residence program.

Thus began a new conversation about dragons, jungles, islands, and even chocolates. And a little over a year later, we landed in California. Magic.

Photo: Michael Orth

Photo: Michael Orth

How did you like your stay at the farm? Have you found inspiration?

Our stay at the farm has been one of the most refreshing and stimulating experiences I have had as a writer. Everything there inspires you. We named our studio "Tibet" because it is based on a hill on the property. It is very quiet and we found peace there.

It was a perfect place to concentrate, think and create. But we also enjoyed touring the property through the beautiful stone and wooden paths between fruit trees and flowers; playing with Jake and Tabby, the lovable dogs; looking at the fantastic works of art from Cornelia’s collection and her many wonderful books –you could find literary treasures everywhere!–, making jokes with Angie, sharing meals with the other residents and talking for hours on end with Cornelia, witnessing the way she works, feeling her energy and love and being grateful for her generosity.

Mariela and I were both in Artist in Residence Program in different countries before and have always longed having a community to talk to and share our processes. So, our long conversations with Cornelia and the other residents, her remarks and comments about our work, but also about literature, music, artistry and life in general were key to our fabulous stay there. There is nothing more enjoyable for me than the combination of art and nature and the Rim of Heaven has it all.

What did you bring back home from there?

Besides plenty of beautiful memories and new friendships, I have so many new stories to be written! Cornelia's farm is not only a residency, it is also an incubator. I have new ideas for projects that I want to do. And most important: I have had a hard time starting my island’s book, I was very distracted giving workshops, finishing other books, traveling for work, and the residency and the conversations with Cornelia and Mariela helped me finally to find the tone of the stories. So I could say that I brought back home one crucial answer and many promising questions.

El dragón blanco y otros personajes olvidados (The white dragon and other forgotten characters); published 2016 by Fondo de Cultura Económica

El dragón blanco y otros personajes olvidados (The white dragon and other forgotten characters); published 2016 by Fondo de Cultura Económica

Para la niña detrás del árbol; published 2015 by Pearson

Para la niña detrás del árbol; published 2015 by Pearson

La hoguera de bronce. Historia de bosques y selvas; published 2017 by Secretaría de Cultura

La hoguera de bronce. Historia de bosques y selvas; published 2017 by Secretaría de Cultura