Entertainment

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.

Credit: Elefante / YouTube

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

Credit: Tizoker1 / YouTube

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

Credit: EnClave LA / YouTube

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

980x (4)
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

980x (5)
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

980x (6)
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

980x (7)
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

980x (8)
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.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Lil Nas X’s Next Big Drop Is A Children’s Book Called ‘C Is For Country’

Entertainment

Lil Nas X’s Next Big Drop Is A Children’s Book Called ‘C Is For Country’

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty

Turns out Lil Nas X has more than just country rap up his sleeve. The 21-year-old “Old Town Road” rapper has a penchant for literature too.

On Tuesday, the rapper revealed that he’s written a children’s book called C Is for Country.

“I’m dropping the best kids’ book of all time soon!” the rapper shared in a Tweet earlier this week before adding that he couldn’t “wait to share it” with his fans and young readers.

Nas’s children’s book is being published under Random House Kids, a division of Penguin Random House. It is currently available for preorder on their site.

According to the Random House Kids’ website, the book is a story about Lil Nas X and Panini the pony.

“Join superstar Lil Nas X—who boasts the longest-running #1 song in history—and Panini the pony on a joyous journey through the alphabet from sunup to sundown. Experience wide-open pastures, farm animals, guitar music, cowboy hats, and all things country in this debut picture book that’s perfect for music lovers learning their ABCs and for anyone who loves Nas’s signature genre-blending style,” Random House describes in its explanation.

The book is illustrated by Theodore Taylor III and promises “plenty of hidden surprises for Nas’ biggest fans.”

C Is for County comes out Jan. 5.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Afro-Latinas Inspiring Us To Live Out The Dream With Their Poetry

Things That Matter

Afro-Latinas Inspiring Us To Live Out The Dream With Their Poetry

acevedowrites / Twitter

When you’re a Latina who’s walked through life receiving a slew of comments, like “you’re pretty for a morena” or “you could be cute if you fixed that pelo malo,” you know that it isn’t always easy finding women in media who look like you. Let alone in the fields of academia and literature. With our world seemingly turned upside down, FIERCE is paying homage to Latinas who have worked to empower Black women through their words and thoughts on Afro-Latinidad.

Check out some of our favorite powerful Latinas celebrating our roots below.

Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo is an Afro-Dominican spoken word poet and author who hails from New York City. With each line that she delivers, Acevedo does members of the Latino community a favor by highlighting and praising its African ancestry. Her work lovingly celebrates the influence her Blackness has impressed upon her own cultural traditions. “My first language I spoke was Spanish/ Learned from lullabies whispered in my ear/ My parents’ tongue was a gift which I quickly forgot after realizing my peers did not understand it./ They did not understand me,” she says in her poem “Afro-Latina.” Besides holding an impressive presence on Instagram, Acevedo has addressed TEDTalk stages, appeared on BET and Mun2, and authored books like “The Poet X” and “Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths.”

Follow her on Instagram here.

Sharee Yveliz

View this post on Instagram

Vanité

A post shared by Sharee' Yveliz 🌈 (@senoritacherryy) on

The “I Mean, I Guess” author has an African-American father and a mother who hails from the Dominican Republic. She has spoken openly about feeling isolated from both cultures. Her poem “Negra Bella” is about empowerment and finding your own way.

Follow her on Instagram here.

Danyeli Rodriguez Del Orbe

Del Orbe is a formerly undocumented immigrant from the Dominican Republic who writes and performs spoken word poetry. Her Instagram page features a collection of her poems, thoughts presented as a stream of consciousness, photos, and memes. Her poetry works to shed light on issues facing the Afro-Dominican community, including the immigrant experience. Braiding her desires to promote resistance and visibility for low-income immigration, Del Orbe’s work is definitely one for any poetry enthusiast to watch.

Follow her on Instagram here.

Ariana Brown

Ariana Brown is an African-American-Mexican-American poet whose experience of being raised in San Antonio, Texas largely inspired her to create the Afro-Latina representation that she often missed out on while growing up. Brown’s poetry takes on so many of the issues Latinas are forced to deal with, including race, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation. In poems like “Inhale: The Ceremony,” the Black writer addresses the ways in which African ancestry is often erased and discredited in history as well as in modern cultures.

Follow her on Instagram here.

Yazmerlin Rodriguez

View this post on Instagram

📸: @_urbanpicasso

A post shared by Yazmerlin Rodriguez (@yazmerlinrod) on

Through her numerous posts on Instagram, Rodriguez’s use of the social platform proves that as an artist she prefers to dabble in more than just one art form. She models, opens up about her long-term pursuit of education via physical therapy, and writes epic poems that will excite the heart of any Latina who has ever doubted the beauty and power of her rizos. The Afro-Dominicana from the Bronx, New York uses her poetic verses to remind readers that Black Latinos are “proof of survival and resilience” and that “‘Black don’t crack’ is more than just skin deep.”

Follow her on Instagram here.

Venessa Marco

If you have yet to be blessed with the words and observations of this Cuban-Puerto Rican, prepare for an earthquake of emotion that her words will undoubtedly bring out in you. Back in 2014, the Afro-Latina made waves across the Internet when she performed her spoken word poem “Patriarchy.” The piece speaks to the constant sexualization from men and media that so many women often endure. These days, Marco is still stomping down the patriarchy and fighting against colorism, racism, sexism, and other systems of oppression.

Follow her on Instagram here.

Aja Monet

Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet, writer, and lyricist from Brooklyn, New York. Back in 2007, when she was 19, she became the youngest poet to ever become the Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion. For any Latina finding herself enraged, disheartened, or infuriated by today’s post-2016 election, Monet’s politically driven poems will give you something to lean on. Her work speaks to the everyday struggles of being a Black woman, racism, Trump, sisterhood, solidarity, and displacement. She has two published books, including “The Black Unicorn Sings” and “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter.”

Follow her on Instagram here.

Tonya Ingram

Ingram became a New York Knicks Poetry Slam Champion back in 2011 and was a member of the 2013 Nuyorican Grand Slam team. The Bronx-born poet has published her work for two books: “Growl and Snare” as well as “Another Black Girl Miracle.” Each and every one of her words is steeped with intention and speaks to the Black girl’s experience with a strong sense of wisdom and self-love.

Follow her on Instagram here.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com