Poem Sampler

U.S. Latino/a Voices in Poetry

Exploring Latin@ American poetry and culture.
By The Editors
Black and white collage of poets.


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 Chávez 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@ or Latinx, 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.

The editors would like to thank J. Michael Martinez, Carmen Giménez Smith, and Francisco Aragón for their help in compiling this selection. (Last updated June 2017.)


POETS (in alphabetical order):

Marjorie Agosín

Jack Agüeros

Francisco X. Alarcón

Rosa Alcalá

Miguel Algarín

Julia Alvarez


Luis Alberto Ambroggio

Gloria Anzaldúa

Francisco Aragón

William Archila

Rane Arroyo

Alfred Arteaga

ASCO artist collective (GronkHarry Gamboa, Jr.Patssi ValdezWillie Herrón)

Naomi Ayala

Jimmy Santiago Baca

Rosebud Ben-Oni

Richard Blanco

Daniel Borzutzky

Peg Boyers

Julia de Burgos

Rafael Campo

Xochiquetzal Candelaria

Brenda Cárdenas

Reyes Cárdenas

Albino Carrillo

Ana Castillo

Sandra M. Castillo

Adrian Castro

Xavier Cavazos

Lorna Dee Cervantes (Harriet blog posts)

John Chávez

Eduardo Chirinos

Sandra Cisneros

Judith Ortiz Cofer

Steven Cordova

Lucha Corpi

Eduardo C. Corral

Margarita Cota-Cárdenas

Cynthia Cruz

Victor Hernández Cruz

Carlos Cumpián

Silvia Curbelo

Blas Manuel De Luna

Mayda Del Valle

Juan Delgado

Natalie Diaz

David Dominguez

Carolina Ebeid

Margarita Engle

Martín Espada

Rhina P. Espaillat

Sandra Maria Esteves


Blas Falconer

Robert Fernandez

Sandy Florian

Carrie Fountain

Gina Franco

Diana García

Carmen Giménez Smith
Harriet blog posts)

Aracelis Girmay

Jennifer Givhan

Gabriel Gomez

Guillermo Gómez-Peña

Kevin A. González

Rigoberto González (Harriet blog posts)

Ray Gonzalez

Laurie Ann Guerrero

Roberto Harrison

Juan Felipe Herrera

Jen Hofer
(Harriet blog posts)

Angela de Hoyos

Javier Huerta 
(Harriet blog posts)

Maurice Kilwein Guevara

Tato Laviera

Raina J. León

Frank Lima

Ada Limón
(Harriet blog posts)

Sheryl Luna

Anthony Madrid

Marie-Elizabeth Mali

Carl Marcum


David Tomas Martinez

Demetria Martinez

Dionisio D. Martínez

J. Michael Martinez

Valerie Martínez

Paul Martínez Pompa

Farid Matuk

Hope Maxwell Snyder

Shara McCallum

Olivia Maciel

Rachel McKibbens

Pablo Medina

Jesús Papoleto Meléndez

Maria Melendez

Orlando Ricardo Menes

Nancy Mercado

elena minor

Andrés Montoya

José Montoya

Pat Mora

Cherrie Moraga

Juan J. Morales

Tomás Q. Morín

John Murillo

Kristin Naca

Raúl Niño

Urayoán Noel

Achy Obejas

Deborah Parédez

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

Willie Perdomo

Gustavo Pérez Firmat 

Emmy Pérez 

Craig Santos Perez

Pedro Pietri

Miguel Piñero

Ruben Quesada

Luivette Resto

Verónica Reyes

Alberto Ríos

Louis Reyes Rivera

Iliana Rocha

Aleida Rodríguez

Linda Rodriguez

Luis J. Rodríguez

Levi Romero

Jacob Saenz

Raúl R. Salinas

Trinidad Sanchez, Jr.

David Shook
(Harriet blog posts)

Mark Smith-Soto

Gary Soto

Virgil Suárez

Carmen Tafolla

Jennifer Tamayo

Roberto Tejada

Lorenzo Thomas

Mónica de la Torre (Harriet blog posts)

Edwin Torres

J. L. Torres

Lidia Torres

Rodrigo Toscano (Harriet blog posts)

Emma Trelles

Frank Varela

Angie C. Trudell Vasquez

Lourdes Vásquez

Robert Vasquez

Dan Vera

Cecilia Vicuña

Rich Villar

Tino Villanueva

William Carlos Williams

Emanuel Xavier

Lila Zemborain





Originally Published: May 12th, 2017
  1. October 16, 2013
     Thomas Porter

    I recommend the following poets from San Antonio, TX:
    The late poet/activist Trinidad Sanchez, Jr. "Why Am I So Brown" and "Jalapeno Blues."
    The poet/educator Fernando Esteban Flores for "Ragged Borders"; "Red Accordion Blues"; and "Blood Songs."
    Poet Jacinto Jesus Cardona for "Pan Dulce."
    And last but not least heavy-hitter poet Reyes Cardenas for "Chicano Poet" (a compilation of his works from '70 to 2010).

  2. October 22, 2013
     Maria Melendez

    Please also include my comadre and sister southern Colorado poet, Juliana Aragon Fatula. Her book, Crazy Chicana in Catholic City, is published by Conundrum Press and has been praised by a number of prominent writers, including Sandra Cisneros. Conundrum will also be publishing her second collection.

  3. October 24, 2013
     Maria Melendez

    Please also add Naropa alum Tim Z. Hernandez, author of the following three poetry collections:
    *Natural Takeover of Small Things, University of Arizona Press, 2013.
    *Culture of Flow, Monkey Puzzle Press, 2012.
    *Skin Tax, Heyday Books, 2004.
    Tim is a phenomenal writer, performer and community builder who has worked for years as head of Colorado Humanities' Writers in the Schools Program.
    Thank you for all you're doing to raise the visibility for vibrant poetry...that happens to be Latino!

  4. March 18, 2014
     Jason Mierek

    I highly recommend inclusion of another Naropa alumnus
    (from the Buddhist Studies, rather than Poetics,
    program) José M. Tirado. His poetry has been regularly
    published on Counterpunch.org ("Trail Dance" is a
    wonderful example), The Galway Review ("Unwelcome
    Reminder"), and Cyrano's Journal ("The Only Thinking
    Animal"). A New York-born and Miami-raised Puerto Rican,
    ordained Jodo Shinshu Buddhist priest, graduate student
    in psychology, and political commentator who lives with
    his family in Iceland, José brings a unique voice to the
    world of Latino/a poetry.