Speaking on Being ‘Virus Overachievers’
Interviewer: Kathryn Destin
Featured Guest: Martina Clark
In the very first episode of “Speaking In First Draft,” host Kathryn Destin interviews Mentor Martina Clark about the first draft of her memoir and audiobook “My Unexpected Life: an international memoir of two pandemics, HIV and COVID-19.” With 4.6 stars on Amazon from over 3,000 reviews, this deeply personal yet, humorous piece details Martina’s international career and activism as an HIV+ woman and draws parallels to the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen in to hear Kathryn and Martina discuss the emotional labor of memoir writing and activism work, overcoming stigma in public health, and why spaces like Girls Write Now are crucial for representation in storytelling.
Kathryn is a nonprofit researcher and writer and also was the 2022-23 Editor-In-Residence for Girls Write Now. An only child from Harlem, NYC, Kathryn looks for community in many spaces centered on her interests such as cooking, comedy, Blackness, queerness and investigative journalism. She is a Girls Write Now mentee and is fascinated by film, media and writing as avenues for social advocacy and activism. As a young creative, she is excited to utilize various mediums to speak against injustice and share stories from marginalized voices.
Martina Clark is a professor and the award-winning author and narrator of My Unexpected Life: An International Memoir of Two Pandemics, HIV and COVID-19. She writes memoir, personal essays, and travel narratives. Before teaching, she worked for the United Nations system (UNAIDS, UNICEF, Peacekeeping) for decades. She has been living with HIV for more than half her life – 31 years and counting – and survived COVID-19, original recipe. Martina has traveled to more than 90 countries and conducted condom demonstrations in at least 50 of them. She's traveled by boat, bus, and plane, but never by elephant or camel.