From Lorna Dee Cervantes (posted on her blog): "Please, if you like this piece: 'Towards the Mater of Chicana/o Poetry - Towards What Matters', then go ahead and copy it, repost it on your blogs and sites, republish it -- with proper credit, of course, as I retain copyright. Please credit this blog and include url." The Poetry Foundation was going to publish it and due to "technical difficulties" the essay did not make it online.
I was present when Lorna read "Towards the Mater of Chicana/o Poetry - Towards What Matters", at AWP this spring.
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I still remember reading Emplumada as a senior in college (not in class... but at the suggestion of a professor from another department who organized a public reading honoring Audre Lorde, who had died a year prior, and women writers. It was the first reading I ever participated in. At the event, I read Lorna's title poem "Emplumada," one of my friend Flavia's poems, and two of my poems). I was about to graduate, and I was utterly amazed by the Emplumada poems that I had not read until I was nearly in graduate school. I am still astonished by the beauty of these poems and Lorna's subsequent work. It was a treat to meet her ever so briefly at AWP this year to have her sign a copy of her newest book Drive: The First Quartet. To all of you poetry teachers out there... please help your students find books that are going to feed them. I am eternally grateful to the professor who helped me find one of the first Chicana writers I ever read, one of our most important writers. It was a real awakening for me... I knew that I had to take my education into my own hands from then on.
I am saddened by what Lorna has gone through as a guest blogger at the P.F. On Aug. 29th, I showed clips from a video about the Chicano Moratorium and Ruben Salazar in my Chicana/o Lit. class. No students had heard about Aug. 29, 1970 before (I hadn't either as an undergrad). I came home to read Lorna's blog and doubted that anyone at the P.F. knew of Aug. 29th either. Whether they know of it or not doesn't really matter. My point is that this is further evidence that there is still a lot of work to do... I need to get my --- in gear and keep moving forward. I admire all of you out there who keep up the good work (groups like Amigos and PDS immediately come to mind).
I send gratitude to Lorna for her work and generosity.
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I want to congratulate Sheryl for her finalist honor for the Colorado Book Award in poetry!!!!! Great news.
And check out Diana Delgado's poems online. Lovely work.