The mezcla, or the remezcla, is where we are going to find our strength, our vision, our power, and it’s in these pages where you’ll find the blueprint, which is simultaneously frightening, magical, and real.
Welcome to this somos mas moment.
The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4
Felicia Rose Chavez
LatiNEXT celebrates the embodied narratives of Latinidad.
A BreakBeat Poets anthology that opposes silence and re-mixes the soundtrack of the Latinx diaspora across diverse poetic traditions. Poets speak from an array of nationalities, genders, sexualities, races, and writing styles, staking a claim to our cultural and civic space. Like Hip-Hop, the book honors what was, what is, and what’s next.
The LatiNEXT anthology is broken up into sections of the Mexican loteria – La Muerte, El Bandolon, El Mundo, La Bandera, and La Sirena.
Each section is full of poetry by the Who’s Who of International Latino poets, including Elizabeth Acevedo, Jaquira Diaz, Carlos Andres Gomez, fèi Hernandez, Antonio Lopez, Jennifer Maritza McCauley, Jasminne Mendez, Lupe Mendez, Nancy Mercado, Mario Josè Pagán Moralès, Reyes Ramirez, Julian Randall, Joseph Rios, Peggy Robles Alvarado, Sofia Snow, Elisabet Velasquez, and Javier Zamora.
Vivid. Powerful. Provocative. Disturbing. Enraging. Empowering. These poems will resonate with readers. Some eyes will be opened. Some will cry. Some will rage. Some will shout in solidarity. All will be moved. All will be happy to claim the title of LatiNEXT.
Here are some of my favorite lines:
i need breath and un pastelon calientito
and representation in the senate this is big stick mi pana speak
---Tonight’s Blackout by Karl Iglesias
When we first left
the bigots cheered, it took them long enough.
Said, this is our great nation again,
even as it turned to ash beneath their greed.
And what a sad world they were left
without our spices, our sweet lotions and loud laughs,
our thick bodies and poetry.
---Parable of the Mustard Seed by Octavia Butler
i once walked into
my grandfather’s shadow
dug for Spanish
with a stick of dynamite
felt it explode
on my mother tongue
& he called them flowers
i spoke English
& he fed me more Spanish
---Where I Inherit My Silence by Karla Cordero
am i fucking up your language?
maybe i mean to.
maybe i mean to remind spanish that it’s as uncomfortable on my tongue
as english french and latin before it.
maybe i mean to remind U this is nobody’s country.
maybe i mean to remind U that we haven’t heard the future yet,
maybe i do mean to fuck up your language
---A Letter from the X in Latinx by Wren Romero
Felicia Rose Chavez is a native New Mexican with an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Iowa. An award-winning educator, she is currently at work on THE ANTI-RACIST WRITING WORKSHOP: HOW TO DECOLONIZE THE CREATIVE CLASSROOM, forthcoming from Haymarket Books. Visit Felicia at www.feliciarosechavez.com.
Josè Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, CITIZEN ILLEGAL, was a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Award, and won the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. Visit Josè at www.joseolivarez.com.
Willie Perdomo is a Nuyorican from East Harlem. He is the author of THE CRAZY BUNCH; THE ESSENTIAL HITS OF SHORTY BON BON, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; SMOKING LOVELY, winner of the PEN Open Book Award; and WHERE A NICKEL COSTS A DIME, a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award. Visit Willie at www.willieperdomo.com.
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