Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sheryl Luna in Acentos Review

It was during the inaugural CantoMundo gathering back in the summer of 2010 that I first had the honor of meeting Sheryl Luna. Apart from being a CantoMundo fellow, Sheryl is also the winner of Letras Latinas’ inaugural Andres Montoya Poetry Prize for emerging Latino/a poets for her collection Pity the Drowned Horses—which I look forward to reading. Four poems by Sheryl Luna appear in the August 2011 edition of the Acentos Review, a journal devoted to the publication of Latino literature.

Although I had already met Sheryl Luna, this was my first encounter with her work and also with that of the other poets in this issue.  The poets here are a diverse bunch; there are young and emerging voices like that of Jose Chapa, 21, and Francisco Castro Videla, 19, writing in Spanish and English, all the way from Argentina. There are also older and more established voices such as the Salvadoran-born Cesar Enrique Castro and of course Sheryl Luna. It was also refreshing to find a rare gem in this issue: gender balance. The issue features four men and four women.

I was particularly moved by Jose Chapa’s poem “About Some Boots” and Sheryl Luna’s “The Cough” and “This is the way we come to light.” The voices in these poems are particularly powerful and haunting in that they display the ability of language to celebrate life while confronting heartache and loss. In this first reading of the Acentos Review it was my pleasure to navigate my way through the rooms and hallways of this house for Latino/a voices. You can bet I will be back at its door, knocking.

--Lauro Vazquez

No comments: