Amy’s Favorites: Latinx Poetry
Be Recorder by Carmen Gimenez Smith. A collection of poems that explores way of reckoning with being a minority American citizen in our turbulent society.
The Carrying by Ada Limon. Limon, who is of Mexican-American descent, here writes a poetry of correspondence between herself and the poet Natalie Diaz. Bright Dead Things, her first book of poetry, is equally skilled at finding the extraordinary in the everyday.
The collected poems of Octavio Paz. This existential, surrealist poet from Mexico sought to find the duty of creative people within social structures.
Kingdom Animalia by Aracelis Girmay. The poems in this collection explore death in vibrant ways, so we begin to see life as “the only kingdom, the kingdom of touching.”
My wicked, wicked ways by Sandra Cisneros. The author of The House on Mango Street writes poems with spice and vigor and sparkle.
The other side = El Otro Lado by Julia Alvarez. A classic of contemporary Latinx poetry, Alvarez’s book explores how her Dominican Republic roots have worked their way into American soil (and how they haven’t).
A place to stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Baca spent five years in prison for drug charges; this book details that story and how he emerged from prison a poet.
Selected poems of Gabriela Mistral. Mistral is the first Latina to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. In addition to writing moving poems about love, everyday life, and death, she was an advocate for the rights of women and children.
Twenty love poems and a song of despair by Pablo Neruda. The Chilean poet Neruda was also a diplomat and politician. This volume is an excellent introduction to this well-known writer’s work, but all of his books are memorable.
Virgin: poems by Analicia Sotelo. Sotelo explores women, myth, and the experiences of being Mexican-American in poems that are accessible, lush, and a little bit snarky.