Javier Zamora @ NewBorder
Javier Zamora is a CantoMundo fellow and a poetry candidate at NYU’s MFA program in creative writing. His poems have appeared in numerous publications. In 2011 Javier Zamora won the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook contest for his Nueve Años Inmigrantes. Having to immigrate to the U.S. at the age of nine in order to be reunited with his parents, Javier Zamora literally and metaphorically chronicles his journey across those troubled waters and landscapes separating him from his parents in order to arrive “somewhere that feels like home.”
Javier Zamora is currently featured at NewBorder for his poem “Immigrating is Loving Two Women” along with commentary in which Javier expands on his poetic process as well as this particular poem’s use of the words “shimmer” and “scything” in order to write a poem that paints a picture of what the imaginary—in this case national borders—can do to human beings.
ire’ne lara silva @ Kuikatl
re’ne lara silva is a CantoMundo fellow and the author of Furia (Mouthfeel Press, 2010). Her two poems “Dieta Indigena” and “The Geo-Physics of De-Tribalization” are currently featured at Kukatl. Here is a favorite excerpt from “Dieta Indigena:”
our first food
the corporations have created maize
which bears no viable seed
they would have us eating maize
born infertile born artificial born dead”
For me these particular both denounce and lament the continued degradation of indigenous communities through the America while at same time celebrating those communities that despite hundreds of years of oppression continue to outlive their oppressors.
Cynthia Cruz @ Plume
Cynthia Cruz is the author of Ruin (Alice James Book) and a second collection, The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books). She is a CantoMundo fellow and was the Hodder Fellow in Poetry (2010-2011) at Princeton University. Cruz, a former reader of the PALABRA PURA reading series, (Letras Latinas was once co-sponsor and curator of the series) is currently featured with her poem “The Birthday Ceremony” at Plume.
Lisa Wells contributor to The Rumpus once described Cynthia’s as “spare, fierce, dark little packages that managed to feel both mystical—almost like fairytales—and contemporary.” “The Birthday Ceremony” reminds me of Cynthia Cruz’s aesthetic desire to get at the “center of truth,” much like the way in which the objects we own reveal what we often do not communicate to the world.
Joseph Rios @ New Border
Born and raised in the Central San Joaquin Valley, Joseph Rios studied literature at UC Berkeley. In 2011, he co-founded Quinto Sol Remembered to recover the history of the first Chicana/o press and its journal, El Grito. His poetry has been published in The Acentos Review, BorderSenses Literary Journal, and Poets Responding to SB1070. His poems “La inmensidad” is an ekphrastic poem inspired by the work of Malaquias Montoya. As Joseph Rios explains in his commentary to the poem, he had the opportunity to meet Malaquias Montoya at the release party for edition of In the Grove which paid tribute to the work of Malaquias Montoya’s son, Andrés Montoya. As Joseph Rios explains in his commentary to the poem, it was then that he “decided to give up journalism and become a poet.”