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Poetas en Nueva Yol
(with apologies to Forrest Gander)
A brown poet does not automatically know the work of other brown poets. It is an education, one that usually does not happen in the classroom. Anthologies, the generous ones, include a brown poet or two, probably Gary Soto, probably Martin Espada. Both are great poets, but come on. It is an education that happens in the main stacks of the UH Anderson Library where instead of studying for classes I was enrolled in I read all the Chicano poets I could get my dirty paws on. My education of brown poets from New York didn’t begin in earnest until earlier this year when I went to NYC for a couple of ACENTOS readings (Big Ups to Rich Villar and his crew) and a Con Tinta reunion (Saludos a El Pasoan Rich Yañez, who more than anyone else has convinced me that ours has to be a retrospective age). The following is a list of 6 Poetas I was fortunate enough to see perform during my stay.