10 New Poetry Collections by Latinx and Caribbean Writers

This is a very useful article on recent poetry collections “that celebrate diasporic identity and rage against oppression.” Many thanks to Peter Jordens for sharing this link. Angela María Spring reviews ten collections for Electric Literature.  She includes collections by Eloisa Amezcua, José Ángel Araguz, Ángel Domínguez, Roberto Carlos García, Raina León, J. Estanislao López, Aline Mello, Jasminne Méndez, Yesenia Montilla, and Ana Portnoy Brimmer (whose book cover is shown above). Spring writes:

This has been a particularly powerful year for Latinx and Caribbean diaspora poetry. While perusing these ten collections, two vital things made themselves abundantly clear: this first is just how strongly interwoven our community truly is. Many of the poets in this list reference each other, whether through poem dedications or in the acknowledgement pages or forewords, which makes absolute sense since they are editors and teachers and have created spaces to amplify and shelter us, while simultaneously producing their own groundbreaking work. 

The next is that for those of us from Latinx and Caribbean diasporas in the United States, our bodies are so often oppressed, repressed, and used as political tools (or pawns), it makes it impossible to separate our individuality from politics, thus rendering all our poetry “political.” There can be no more room for the white-supremacist diminishment or separation of the “political poem” in contemporary poetry. Let us banish the idea that any poem, written by any poet, is not political. Silence from anyone, but especially from those who hold the most privilege and have the most proximity to whiteness within the Latinx and Caribbean communites, is no longer an option. June Jordan’s poem “Calling on All Silent Minorities” encapsulates this perfectly, calling us to action: “HEY/C’MON OUT/WHEREVER YOU ARE/WE NEED TO HAVE THIS/MEETING/AT THIS TREE/AIN’ EVEN BEEN/PLANTED YET”

Mi gente, we must plant the tree. Now let us celebrate these poets who are planting right now. [. . .]

[. . .] Angela María Spring (she/they) is the owner of Duende District, a mobile boutique bookstore for and by people of color, where all are welcome. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is poetry editor at The Washington Independent Review of Books. You can find their most recent/forthcoming poems in A Public Space, The Slowdown, Night Heron Barks, The Acentos Review, Muzzle Magazine, and PANK. Her essays and reviews are at Catapult, LitHub, and Tor.com. Follow them on Twitter at @BurquenaBoricua.

For full reviews, see https://electricliterature.com/7-new-poetry-collections-by-latinx-and-caribbean-writers

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