Artists have more power and influence than they realize. Art is also important in terms of forming community and maintaining sanity. Solidarity is a beautiful thing, and is lifesaving. As much as this regime wants to deny our existence, and stifle our words, we cannot let them do this. We must be heard.
I call these works “migratory texts”; texts that are about migration & situated during a migratory passage or passages but also texts that actually move, that gyrate, that are elliptical & necessarily fractured & fragmentary. In tracking these poetics, the notebooks I am using as a self-archival allow me to also perform the theoretical frameworks I’m interested in, in a very personal way.
I'm convinced that geography shapes a person. And I'm working on a theory that I like to call the Western Gothic ethos. Growing up in the West, the open spaces, they inculcate a deep and sustained level of isolation in a person. You may live in a city, you may be surrounded by people, but you don't have to go far before you find yourself in a place with no one around.
I try my best to always write with intention, asking myself the questions: What am I writing? Why am I writing this? Who am I writing this for? Sometimes it can be writing just for me initially, but then the bigger picture always comes into focus. I’m writing for my ancestors who made it possible for me to get to where I am today. I’m writing for my family, friends, the Native youth I work with, my community, and all of those who could benefit from this gift I’ve been given, and I write for those who will follow. I hope they’ll be encouraged to use their gifts as well.
As a Latina poet from a small desert community on the California/Mexico border, I strive to speak for and with the women with whom I grew up: the mothers, daughters, childless women, tías, and nanas. My writing is concerned with the complex relationships many women of color have with family and tradition, which are so rife with ambiguities. They’re often liberating and subjugating forces, both strengthening and repressive, with mythical dimensions and at the same time utterly real.