Speaking to the multifaceted experience of being a Latina, these poets have made a name for themselves using the power of their carefully crafted words. The fearless Latinas on this list are speaking their truths even if it is controversial and in turn shedding light on what it’s like to be a Latina today in all its complicated glory.
Elizabeth Acevedo, a born and bred New Yorker, infuses her poetry with Dominican flavors and the grittiness of the city.
The topics she tackles include European beauty standards (“Hair”), the intricacies of love (“Bittersweet Love Poem”), violence against women (“Spear”) and mixed cultures (“Afro-Latina”) and the only thing more fierce than her words is her delivery. She gesticulates as if the words come from her core not just her lips making her performances as passionate as her poetry.
She is the author of the chapbook, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths and her debut novel, The Poet X coming out March 6.
Lines from “Hair”:
My mother tells me to fix my hair. And by “fix,” she means straighten. She means whiten… My mother tells me to fix my hair, and so many words remain unspoken. Because all I can reply is, you can’t fix what was never broken.