From WMUK 102.1 FM, Kalamazoo, Michigan's NPR affiliate, Arts and More program:
Poet Mariela Griffor grew up in Chile where she became a political activist against the military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s and 80s. Now Griffor lives with her family near Detroit where she serves as the Michigan Consul to Chile.
WMUK’s Zinta Aistars spoke with her about her new book of poems called The Psychiatrist which comes out Wednesday. Griffor says she was involved in politics from a very young age and it really shaped her life.
“Those 17 years of military dictatorship really shaped the consciousness of Chile and it was very tough, it was very difficult," she says. "A lot of people decided not to do as much. But then I would say a lot of people with a political consciousness decided to be more active and I was one of them. I became very active politically.”
Griffor says everything activists did caused a lot of repercussions later in life. During the turmoil in Chile, Griffor’s fiancée was assassinated. Griffor, expecting their child, was exiled to Sweden. Many of the poems in The Psychiatrist deal with her experiences in a Swedish refugee camp and reflections on her past in Chile.