5 Latinas Using Poetry to Help Women Like Them Feel Seen


#WeAllGrow Latina poets

Photo Credit: Robson Muzel @muzel_la

Poetry is an art form that is both highly regarded and regulated by Western- European standards. If you google “good poetry” the authors that come up are all unsurprisingly dead white men like William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, and T.S. Eliot. Even the limited scope of white female poets that are widely read, represent an upper class that had the privilege, leisure, and education to write and seek publication. Historically women of color have been, of course, underrepresented and for the most part, their stories have been ignored. But today the tide is changing and although academic spaces still remain the tastemakers of what is considered American canon, BIPOC women specifically, are deciding for themselves what stories resonate with them. Five of the poets that performed at the #WeAllGrow Summit: Yesika Salgado, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, Melania-Luisa Marte, Kim Guerra, and Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown are just a few of the Latinas that are changing the game by creating their own lanes of expression by re-claiming their voices in and out of academia. Their art creates the kind of complex narratives that not only challenge the confines of the genre but also challenge concepts related to womanhood, identity, race, sex, love, relationships, machismo, intergenerational trauma, and all of the nuances of the Latina experience left out by the old dead white dudes. We wanted to know, in their own words, in what ways their art has helped them, healed them, and impacted their readers.

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