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9 L.A. Poets Giving Latinos A Voice

It is National Poetry month and these are nine of the hottest poets in and around the L.A. area spreading the word like wildfire.

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One of the best poets with a knack for reciting raw emotional energy, Sedillo’s first book of poetry For What I Might Do Tomorrow, was published by Casa de Poesia in 2009. He is also a two-time national slam poet and was the grand slam champion of the Damn Slam in Los Angeles. If you see him ask him to recite “L.A. is full of Pigs.”

Felicia “Fe Evaone” Montes

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Not only is she is a co-founder and coordinating member of two important women’s collectives, Mujeres de Maiz and In Lak Ech, Fe has also been involved with her community since an early age. Like her peers, she maintains a deep rooted belief that art is a tool for education, empowerment and transformation. She self-published her own poetry book titled Ten Fe and is known for her innate ability to blend hip hop, poetry and spoken word.

David A. Romero

Credit: All Def Digital / YouTube

Hailing from Diamond Bar, California, Romero is only the second poet to be featured on All Def Digital, Russell Simmons’ YouTube channel. He’s also opened for Ozomatli and La Santa Cecilia. Currently touring, Romero is often featured alongside his literary partner in crime, Matt Sedillo.

READ: New U.S Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, the Chicano’s Literary Rock Star

Iris De Anda

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Iris is a very punk poet who comes from Mexican and Salvadorean descent. She believes in the power and strength that comes with the word. You can find Anda, author of CODESWITCH: Fires from Mi Corazon, hosting “The Writers Underground Open Mic” every Third Thursday of the month at the Eastside Café in El Sereno.

BusStop Prophet

Photo Credit: Francisco Escamilla / Facebook

Born Francisco Escamilla, BusStop Prophet is an East L.A. native. He is a teaching artist with the non-profit Street Poets. He can often be found at events reciting poetry on the topic of popular education.

Xitlalic Guijosa-Osuna

Photo Credit: Xitlalic Guijosa-Osuna / Facebook

Guijosa-Osuna’s poetry varies from everyday happenings, domestic abuse, memories of old friends, lovers, to even guayabas (yes, the fruit) and their greatness. She is a firm believer that words help heal the mind and soul.

John Martinez

Photo Credit: John Martinez / Facebook

Originally from Fresno, Martinez is a writer’s writer. He has held several readings throughout Southern California and Mexico. He is a regular contributing writer to La Bloga and Poets responding to SB1070.

Anna Ureña

Photo Credit: annaurena.com

From South Central Los Angeles, Ureña writes prose and theatrical dramas. She authored Anhelo, a collection of Spanish language poems. She currently hosts a weekly podcast, Another Voice From The Crowd that features various writers from the Los Angeles literary scene.

Abel Salas

Photo Credit: Abel Salas / Facebook

Salas is a native Texan who made East L.A. his second home. A former road manager for La Mafia, he is currently the editor-in-chief of print and online mag Brooklyn and Boyle. He has coined his style as “Literaloco–Literatonto.”

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This Month, Isabel Allende Is Releasing a Memoir and HBO Is Releasing a Mini-Series Based on Her Life

Fierce

This Month, Isabel Allende Is Releasing a Memoir and HBO Is Releasing a Mini-Series Based on Her Life

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March is a busy month for Isabel Allende. The most successful Spanish-language author of all time released a new memoir, “The Soul of a Woman”, on March 2nd. On March 12th, HBO released a mini-series based on her life entitled “ISABEL: The Intimate Story of Isabel Allende”.

Both of these projects focus on the unifying themes of Isabel Allende’s life. How she has defied the patriarchy, bucked expectations, and pursued her dreams while the odds were against her.

The HBO mini-series, entitled “ISABEL: The Intimate Story of Isabel Allende”, covers a lot of ground. From Allende’s childhood in Chile, to the chaotic years of her uncle’s assassination (who happened to be Chile’s president), and her subsequent flight to Venezuela.

The series will also touch on different phases of her life. Her career as a journalist for a progressive feminist magazine. Dealing with her all-consuming grief when her daughter died in 1992. Publishing her first novel–“House of Spirits”–in 1982.

A scene from the trailer of “ISABEL” sums up the hurtles that Allende had to overcome to create a career for herself in the male-dominated world of publishing. “They are going to raise the bar because you’re a woman,” her agent tells her bluntly. “You’ll have to work twice as hard as a man in order to obtain half the prestige.”

Allende’s memoir, “The Soul of a Woman“, on the other hand, reflects on her life through a distinctly feminist lens.

Her publisher describes it as “a passionate and inspiring mediation on what it means to be a woman.” And it doesn’t appear that Allende is shying away from the label of “feminist”. One of the first sentences of her book states: “When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, even before the concept was known in my family, I am not exaggerating.”

Despite being 78-years-young, Allende’s beliefs–about feminism, freedom and intersectionality–are incredibly modern. Throughout her lengthy press tour, Allende has been candid about the life experiences that have shaped her beliefs–mainly how witnessing her mother’s suffering at the hands of her father contributed to her “rage against chauvinism.”

Today, Allende remains incredibly in touch with the progressive issues of the moment, like the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements.

“In patriarchy, we are all left out: women, poor people, Black people, people with disabilities, people with different sexual orientations,” she recently told PopSugar. “We are all left out! Because it divides us into small groups to control us.”

Above all, Allende believes that we all–especially women–should recognize that we have many of the same goals and dreams. And we’re stronger when we’re united. “Talk to each other — women alone are vulnerable, women together are invincible,” she says.

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Latinas Are Sharing Important Book Reading Clubs And Favorite Reads

Fierce

Latinas Are Sharing Important Book Reading Clubs And Favorite Reads

There’s a reason why, in the age of television and Youtube, books continue to be read, loved, and adored by readers: when it comes to stories, books elevate the imagination in a way that can engage all of the senses. In times like these, where so many of us are in isolation and feeling alone, reading can, fortunately, do so much for the soul, and being apart of a book club (even if it is on Zoom) can help bring excitement to the monotony of our daily lives.

Fortunately, FIERCE Latinas are recommending book club suggestions as well as reads.

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The list below will surely fit the bill for all of your reading desires and help you get over any type of boredom you might have.

This club reading a Hollywood drama.

Amazon

“We actually have a book club called Pasando Páginas! We are currently reading the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.” – hijasunidas


@cafeconlibros_bk is reading Little 🔥Everywhere 12.27!” –boardroombombshell

“I started a book club last year and while it’s small, our reads are mighty.” –steezplz


“I just finished “Clap When You Land.” I was never impressed by Acevedo until this book. It blew me away. She focuses more on trauma and grief in adolescence and it’s pretty damn near perfect. HIGHLY recommend.”- abbeyliz7

This club only reading books by Latinas.

Amazon.com

“I started a book club with friends this year. We only read female authors from Latin America. So far, my favorites have been “Delirio” by Laura Restrepo and “Los recuerdos del porvenir” by Elena Garro.” –merimagdalen

“Always Running by Luis J Rodriguez was the first Chicano book I have ever read!!!!!” –valeriec01

This book club introducing readers to Chicano literature.

Amazon.com

“Always Running by Luis J Rodriguez was the first Chicano book I have ever read!!!!” valeriec01

“Visionaries a Private Reading Group for BIQTPOC hosted by @femmegoddessco.” –moniii_xoxo

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