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New to the Archive: U.S. Latino/a Voices in Poetry

By Harriet Staff

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In this installment of “New to the Archive,” we’d like to draw your attention to our latest poetry sampler which brings together a broad collection of Latin@ poetry from our online archive. To introduce the sampler, our editors write:

In his introduction to El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry (1997), Martín Espada wrote, “The common expectation is that literature born amid social and economic crisis by nature must be didactic and polemical, obsessed with simplistic affirmations of identity and written in a raw idiom unconcerned with nuance,” but that a look at Latino/a poetries “will frustrate that expectation.” In their recent introduction to Beyond the Field: New Latin@ Literature (2013), editors John Chavez and Carmen Giménez Smith explain the new landscape: “Over the last ten years, U.S. Latin@ writers have produced poetry and prose whose influence is yet to be seen, but whose cultural work is exceptional in its scope, variation, and vision” and that “the term ‘Latin@ writing’ is as complex as each member’s varied life experience suggests.”

The work of these following poets deftly addresses Latino/a (or Latin@, without imposition of gender) heritage as a powerful force that has altered and shaped the landscape of American art. At times, their poetry has appeared not in print, but in performance and spoken word; it has not always been written as individuals, but in collaboration. Working from their own unique perspectives, narratives, and styles, these poets engage the social, political, and personal while tackling conceptions of cultural homogeneity and normativity to open a discussion about language, history, class, and society.

This collection is intended to be broad and inclusive, in order to introduce new readers to Latino and Latina poets in the United States. To make suggestions for additions to this sampler, please contact us.

We’re thrilled to include this rich collection of work in our archive. Surf over here to read through our sampler.

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Posted in Poetry News on Friday, October 11th, 2013 by Harriet Staff.