Interested in reading some great new poetry by a Latina writer? Look no further. Dr. Thelma T. Reyna’s term as Poet Laureate of the Altadena Library District in California runs from 2014 to 2016. Part of her work during this period is to promote regional poets in a variety of literary events and edit an annual poetry anthology.
Reyna’s fourth book, Rising, Falling, All of Us (2014), a full-length volume of her new and collected poetry depicting people from all walks of life, was introduced at an international writers’ conference in Lake Como, Italy, with its debut reading in front of an audience that included Pulitzer Prize winners.
Reyna’s fiction and poetry can be found in numerous publications, both online and in print. Her blogs, The Literary Self and American Latina/o Writers Today bring attention to underrepresented writers from Latin America.
Her first book, The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories (Outskirts Press, 2009) earned four national awards. Her poetry chapbooks, Breath & Bone (2011); and Hearts in Common (2013), were semi‑finalists in two national poetry chapbook competitions and are available through Finishing Line Press and Amazon.
This literary gem is also writing a series of 12 book reviews of pioneering Latina authors in the United States whose books were all award-winning, ground‑breaking works and are now classics.
According to interviews, Reyna feels that a writer’s prime assets are inquisitiveness and a genuine interest in people, surroundings and life in general together with supporting other writers who will in turn support the writer.
Born in Kingsville, Texas, but residing in Pasadena, California, most of her life, Thelma was the second oldest of nine children of school dropouts who were teenagers when they married. Her parents divorced after 20 years, her father became ill and was on disability for the rest of his life, and her mother and grandmother had to raise all those children. Thelma received a Ph.D. from UCLA and is an editor/writing consultant/ghost writer in her own company, The Writing Pros, based in Pasadena.
Who’s your favorite poet? Tweet us@!