Eduardo Andres Rios Pulgar, or E.R. Pulgar — as written in his published work — is a senior at New York University who has always known that his life’s calling is to be a writer. One conversation with him on journalism and creative writing proves that the one thing he’s meant to achieve is literary acclaim, and at just 22 years old, he’s already come a long way.
Pulgar has been completing his studies within the Gallatin School of Individualized Studies. “My major is essentially a combination of journalism, creative writing and visual studies, and I call it the Poetry of Music Criticism,” says Pulgar. His individualized major has allowed him to create a unique fusion of storytelling that will eventually allow him to achieve his literary goals.
In the journalistic world, Pulgar has published with V Magazine, Billboard U.S. and Argentina and Paper Magazine, which has established him as a music, fashion, arts and culture writer. Contributing to these publications has allowed him to explore the subjects that he is passionate about.
“I was very lucky when I interned at V Magazine. They set me up to interview Giorgio Moroder. He was basically the man who created disco. If we didn’t have him, we wouldn’t have electronic music as it is now,” says Pulgar.
It’s almost as if fate were laying down the bricks to form Pulgar’s path to becoming a music correspondent — that and his talent for writing. Pulgar allows his fascination for music to guide the flow of his writing; he writes about the artists or bands he follows when he finds the opportunity and builds the right connections.
Though, sometimes Pulgar has a strong enough following that the opportunities find him. Publicists for upcoming artists typically reach out to writers for coverage and Pulgar is one of those writers who finds himself on the frontlines. His strategy is to have a wide range of contacts and that’s what has led him to his success.
When he first wrote for Billboard, it wasn’t as easy as calling a few people in his network. “The Billboard piece basically happened by accident. I met this Billboard editor on the street one summer and I got his phone number from a friend of mine who is a publicist, and we started working together. So I pitched him several things and one finally stuck and it ended up being an interview with Porches, and I did it all while I was in Argentina. I did it over the phone.”
Alongside being a music and fashion writer, Pulgar is a poet. To Pulgar, journalism and poetry are both in a constant conversation with each other. “Journalism can be written in a very poetic sense. There are a lot of poets who are called culture critics, and [critics of] music itself, which is what concerns me…I want to write about music in a tangible way even though it’s not a tangible thing. It surrounds us.”
The term “writing style” is tossed around by people when discussing novelists and journalists alike, but the synthesis of the two is what gives Pulgar’s work its unique voice.
Currently, Pulgar is working on two projects. The first is an anthology of poems containing works from poets in Spain and New York. Pulgar’s own poem, “Chekhov’s Gun,” is nestled within its pages. The poems stand as their own work; however, what ties the poetry together is the poet’s connection to the Bowery Poetry Club in New York.
“All of the poems live on their own, but the book itself is tied together by the theme of community. All the poems are by writers who have either performed or been involved with Bowery in some way.” The Bowery Poetry Club is located on the lower east side of New York City and is a popular place for open mic, aspiring poets and artists.
Pulgar’s poetics are bigger than just New York, though. While studying abroad in Argentina, he was able to focus more of his time on his own personal-poetry collection, holding onto and focusing on his own voice, which he says is “very critical, very queer and very reflective.”
Being away from the New York seems to have given Pulgar some time to reflect on subjects that have drifted into his mind. He defines his writing process as mostly being “very messy and chaotic,” but he is maturing into a professional writer every day.
“I’ve come to realize that stillness is very important, so being able to take in something by writing a lot of notes or taking a lot of pictures, and then sitting down to see how to bring these things together [is important],” he says,
However, Pulgar finds that writing can be both exhausting and energizing. He finds the reasons he has for writing to be the most energizing. To Pulgar, writing is love; it’s the way that he explores the world around him and how he finds himself. He finds that writing for the sole purpose of making money is what can be exhausting.
His philosophy is that even though writing assignments that build portfolios can be helpful, they take away from the kind of writing that he wants to focus on. Poetry is an art that can be abstract yet subjective, but at the same time omnipresent. Pulgar desires to bring his voice into poetry by making it his obsession and he plans to publish a series of chapbooks following graduation.
Moving forward, Pulgar found that his time in Argentina allowed him to explore his writing further and his goal now is to move to Argentina after graduation. There, he will hopefully obtain a position as an editor in a music or art publication, and continue to pursue the rest of his creative endeavors.
For other young writers chasing their literary dreams like Pulgar is doing, keep going and never give up — get your work out there where it belongs.