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10 Latina Poets Whose Collections Should Be On Your To-Read List

Poetry collections are having a wonderful moment right now and we’re hopeful that it will continue to bloom as more poets of color are working to get their work out into world through small presses and even self-publishing.

Many Latina poets start sharing their work across mediums such as Instagram, through the slam poetry scene and through their own poetry collectives. Recently, several talented Latinas have released collections of their work that are just the words we need right now.

Here are 10 Latina poets with collections to add to your to-read list!

1. Tesoro by Yesika Salgado

Credit: Instagram @yesikastarr

The poet’s second collection of poetry is available November 1st from Not A Cult Press. If you are a fan of Salgado’s work from her slam poetry performed with her troupe, Chingona Fire, to her first collection, Corazon, you will want to grab this book and not put did down until its finished. If you are new to her work, follow Salgado on Instagram, and then order her book. Her poems about love, both romantic and her journey to self-love, will make you sigh, cry, yell and want to give yourself some much needed compassion.

2. Beast Meridian by Vanessa Angelica Villareal

Credit: Goodreads

This poet’s debut book out from Noemi Press has received wonderful buzz for its unique poetic narration that explores generational familial and cultural trauma, and imagines paths towards healing and reconciliation. This collection has been on several “best of” lists and is widely praised as a raw navigation of the violences that women, especially Latina women endure, and must face in order to reclaim the self.

3. The Carrying by Ada Limón

Credit: Goodreads

If you aren’t already reading Ada Limón’s work, you have some work to do! The Carrying, Limón’s fourth collection of poetry, has already set the bar high for poetry this year, depicting emotionally acute struggles that readers are not often exposed to-ruminations on chronic illness, infertility, and aging. In each of her collections, Limón is unafraid to be vulnerable with her readers, and with herself.

4. Lima :: Limón by Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Credit: Goodreads

This book is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2019 and promising to be a must-read. As a Canto Mundo fellow, Scenters-Zapico has been a part of the Latinx poetry community for some time and her work reflects on life as a woman in the borderlands, illustrating the toxic masculinity that expects women to endure suffering in silence. Her work incorporates traditional corridos and music from her childhood to challenge borderland injustices and violence against women that is a part of the way immigrants are treated. This book will prove to be a force to be reckoned with.

5. Night Blooming Jasmin(n)e by Jasminne Mendez

Credit: Goodreads

Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e is a wonderful hybrid collection of essays and poems from Dominican American poet Jasmine Mendez. In this collection, the poet explores her ongoing struggles with chronic illness and infertility. This poetic memoir tells her story and navigates the way that women of color are frequently dismissed by the medical community. This masterful hybrid work shares inconvenient truths about Mendez’ diagnoses, falling in love, irreparable changes to her body and finding power in telling her truth, though it may not always be hopeful. Out now from Arte Público Press, you can pick up your copy at local bookstores, and find Mendez on her poetry tour!

6. Lessons on Expulsion by Erika L. Sanchez

Credit: Amazon

Though her wonderful new YA Novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is getting a lot of (rightful) attention, Erika L. Sanchez’s debut poetry collection will floor you. Her poems navigate the borders between countries, culture, the dead and the new possibilities of the living. The images that Sanchez uses will haunt you, like this line from “La Cueva: “Briefly, we see they’ve learned to wipe the smeared mirrors inside them.”

7. Virgin by Analicia Sotelo

Credit: Goodreads

Analicia Sotelo’s debut collection explores the poetics surrounding the minds of women and the ways in which we subvert the expected narratives of naivete and complicity. This collection incorporates autobiographic elements with storytelling that speaks to a wider feminine voice that is both mythic and relateable to those who have needed a voice as careful, as vulnerable, and as potent as Sotelo’s.

8. Nightbloom and Cenote by Leslie Contreras Schwartz

Credit: Goodreads

Schwartz’s second collection of poetry speaks to the themes that many of the other collections on this do: the legacy of abuse for young Latina women across familial generations and their resilience to survive and to heal. In one poem of this collection, the poet speaks to the resilience of living beings despite the labels imposed on them: “Call all thriving things illegal: /  The magnolia tree, its roots, / That vast network of veins that feeds itself / And others like it in dry soil, / Pushes space through concrete sidewalks / To breathe … Every tough, gnarled thing holding / Its own life in a fist of vitality is illegal.” This collection can be found from Saint Julian Press.

9. Muted Blood by Monica Teresa Ortiz

Credit: Black Radish Books Site

This debut collection from Tejana poet Monica Teresa Ortiz explores the intersections of queerness, ethnicity and language and how they are policed in spaces that seek to silence these voices. Told in a triptych, or three-part structure, navigates a decidedly Texan landscape while also nodding to Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, creating a conversation around fluid ideas of gender and culture and the ways that we connect across our stories.

lo terciario/the tertiary by Raquel Salas Rivera

Credit: Goodreads

Raquel Salas Rivera the 2018-2019 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. A widely published poet with several chapbooks and full length collections, their work is bilingual and speaks to decolonizing the queer Puerto Rican experience in the face of a growing debt crisis and the ongoing colonial control of the US over the territory. This poet’s prolific work has made them someone to follow and to read as someone who challenges what poetry can be.

Read: Latina Reads: 7 Classic Literary Works Created By Costa Rica’s Most Beloved Women Writers

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Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series


Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series

Fans of magical realism rejoice. On Wednesday, Netflix announced it acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will be turning the literary masterpiece into a Spanish-language series.

This is the first time the 1967 novel, considered “one of the most significant works of the 20th Century,” will be adapted for screen. For years, the author, who died in 2014, refused to sell the film rights, believing the story could not be done justice through a two-hour project, according to Deadline.

Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo García Barcha, García Márquez’s sons, who are serving as executive producers on the show, believe a series is an appropriate approach to the book.

“For decades, our father was reluctant to sell the film rights to Cien Años de Soledad. He believed that it could not be made under the time constraints of a feature film, or that producing it in a language other than Spanish would not do it justice,” Rodrigo Garcia told BuzzFeed News, adding that the “current golden age of series,” with “the level of talented writing and directing, the cinematic quality of content,” changed the family’s mind.

“The time could not be better to bring an adaptation to the extraordinary global viewership that Netflix provides,” he continued.

The series will be filmed in Colombia.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” tells the story of the multi-generational Buendia family, whose patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia founded Macondo, a fictional town in the South American country.

The book has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 46 languages.

In a statement, Francisco Ramos, Netflix’s vice president of Spanish-language content, said, “We know our members around the world love watching Spanish-language films and series and we feel this will be a perfect match of project and our platform.”

He’s right. Since announcing the adaptation, fans of the magical realism novel have been celebrating the news.

There’s no word yet on when the series will debut and who will star in it.

Read: This Film About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is At The Center Of The Most Expensive Sundance Documentary Deal Of All Time

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13 Poetry Books To Sneak Into Your Families Stockings This Christmas

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13 Poetry Books To Sneak Into Your Families Stockings This Christmas

Latinx poetry is passionate, proud, and provocative and for the holiday season, it’s also the perfect gift. The beauty of poetry is that there’s something for everyone and this list is a mix of the best Latinx poems for a multitude of experiences. From folklore to love to family and roots, there’s a poet out there that’s covered it. Here are 13 of the best collections of poems by some of the most acclaimed and empowered poets in the game.

“Loose Woman” by Sandra Cisneros

Instagram @officialsandracisneros

Beloved Mexican writer/poet Sandra Cisneros released this collection in 1995 and it still holds up today. She doesn’t shy away from the erotic or the downright graphic writing in a candid and reflective style. You can expect explicit language and an all-around IDGAF attitude in these poems from one of the fiercest Chicana writers.

Buy it here.

“Virgin” by Analicia Sotelo

Instagram @analiciasotelo

“Virgin” is Analicia Sotelo’s award-winning imaginative debut that fuses autobiography with mythology while tackling aspects of femininity. From the young girl who is hopelessly in love to a modern-day Ariadne with a diverse mix in between, the stories illustrate a multitude of sentiments that women experience at different stages of life and love. Throughout the collection, she refers to folklore, history and even cuisine to deliver her insights on the ways of women.

Buy it here.

“Corazon” by Yesika Salgado

Instagram @yesikastarr

Beloved poet and social media queen Yesika Salgado is known for her raw honesty and “Corazon” exhibits that vulnerability in relation to love. From deep love to heartbreak, Salgado feels it all and lets her heart spill over onto the pages so that you feel the truth in her words. She released a follow up to “Corazon” called “Tesoro” that revolves around similar themes on love particularly the idea of surviving heartbreak. Learn more about “Tesoro” by reading FIERCE’s interview with Salgado.

Buy it here.

“Migrare Mutare” by Rossy Evelin Lima

Instagram @gladytas

Rossy Evelin Lima is an international award-winning Mexican poet and “Migrare Mutare” is her third poetry book published in 2017. She grew up in Veracruz and at the age of 13 emigrated to the U.S. and this collection chronicles her evolution and acclimation as an immigrant. The bilingual collection has been praised for its depiction of the modern-day immigrant.

Buy it here.

“Nostalgia And Borders” by Sonia Guiñansaca

Instagram @thesoniag

“Nostgalgia & Borders” is a chapbook by queer migrant poet Sonia Guiñansaca that paints a vivid image of the migrant experience. Born in Ecuador, she discusses the shift from undocumented to documented and migrant rights.  This is the third reprint of the book and it includes 18 poems.

Buy it here.

“peluda” by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

Instagram @ellomelissa

Melissa Lozada-Oliva went viral with her spoken word poems like “My Spanish” and her poetry collection “peluda” is just as captivating. The book is an exploration of femininity specifically regarding body hair while also touching on family, immigration, Latinidad and class. She’s funny, self-deprecating, blunt, and unapologetically confident, drawing the reader in with her powerful words just as well as she does during her performances on stage. Learn more about her and other talented Guatemalan writers by checking out our roundup.

Buy it here.

“Love, and you” by Gretchen Gomez

Instagram @chicnerdreads

Anyone who has ever been in a toxic relationship will appreciate this achingly honest collection by Boricua poet Gretchen Gomez. In 142 pages she takes you through the devastating lows in the midst of the turmoil of getting out of an unhealthy relationship to the highs of finding self-love. Learn more about her follow-up “Welcome to Ghost Town” by reading Fierce’s interview with Gomez.

Buy it here.

“The Verging Cities” by Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Twitter @nascenters

This debut collection from Natalie Scenter-Zapico straddles the border between sister cities El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The poems revolve around the drug war violence, border patrol agents, undocumented immigrants, and the trauma of the residents.  Published in 2015, the book has won several awards and her second publication “Lima :: Limón” is set to be released in 2019.

Buy it here.

“Bright Dead Things” by Ada Limón

Twitter @adalimon

In “Bright Dead Things”, Ada Limón examines the formative  moments in life that bring both happiness and heartbreak.  Limón delves into the identity-building experiences as she moves from New York to rural Kentucky including falling in love and losing a beloved parent. Released in 2015, the book was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Buy it here.

“Karankawa” by Iliana Rocha

Twitter @la_ilianarocha

Iliana Rocha’s debut collection “Karankawa” delves into personal histories and the ways in which we can sometimes fill in the blanks to reconstruct memories. The title is inspired by the now-extinct Karankawa Indians whose history worked in omissions. Taking this concept of mythologizing memories, Rocha writes about the burdens and desires  in life. The book won an AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and a Society of Midland Authors Award.

Buy it here.

“The Pink Box” by Yesenia Montilla

Instagram @jessiepoet144

Afro-Caribbean poet Yesenia Montilla’s collection alludes to “the pink box” throughout which is meant to guide the reader through the sensitive subject matter. As the poems progress, it becomes apparent the box is meant to be a vessel through which to discuss the commodification of art made by women and the myths surrounding female artists. The topics she discusses include food, family, race, NYC city life, addiction, and pop culture.

Buy it here.

“Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths” by Elizabeth Acevedo

Instagram @indigonerdFollow

Dominican poet Elizabeth Acevedo’s first poetry collection brings together folklore poetry centering around mythological, historical, gendered, and geographic experiences of a first generation American woman. Alluding to how some exist as “beastly” beings, Acevedo’s characters travel from the Dominican Republic to New York City. This 32-page chapbook is full of homages to Acevedo’s roots, family, and body positivity all in her characteristic passionate and eloquent style.

Buy it here.

“Landscape with Headless Mama” by Jennifer Givhan

Instagram @springeralexis

Mexican-American poet Jennifer Givhan’s award-winning collection, “Landscape with Headless Mama” illustrates what it’s like being a mother battling mental illness. Givhan describes the book as a “surreal survival guide” and incorporates folklore  and Latin American fine art. It views motherhood through the lens of cultural and familial myths incorporating surrealism and magical realism to weave together an achingly honest depiction of motherhood.

Buy it here.

Read: These 13 Books On Self-Care Will Help You Start the New Year Right

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