Latina poets occupy an important place in today’s literary landscape. Coming from diverse backgrounds, they share an understanding of what it means to exist within the margins of society. As artists, they possess a dedication to their craft and a commitment to experimentation. Their voices—sometimes lyrical, sometimes autobiographical, sometimes politically charged—are distinctly female. Whereas previous anthologies have merged the works of Latino and Latina poets, this collection is the first to showcase Latina poetry on its own terms.
For years readers have admired the poetry of prominent Latina authors Cherríe Moraga, Ana Castillo, and Sandra Cisneros. Building on their inspirational legacy, Other Musics heralds a new generation of Latina poets whose work blends traditional forms and styles with postmodern innovations. These poets do not fit neatly into one category. They come from all walks of life, from remarkably varied class, ethnic, occupational, and educational backgrounds. Their topics and concerns are wide-ranging. All of the poets, according to volume editor Cynthia Cruz, are creating “a new kind of music,” one that embraces the “in-between” and bicultural world that Latina women must constantly straddle.
The fifteen poets featured in this anthology are Desirée Alvarez, Karen Bradway, Xochiquetzal Candelaria, Diana Maria Delgado, Natalie Diaz, Carolina Ebeid, Sandy Florian, Carrie Fountain, Leticia Hernández-Linares, Ada Limón, Sheryl Luna, Kristin Naca, Deborah Paredez, Emmy Pérez, and Carmen Giménez Smith. Along with an ample selection of each of their poetry, Other Musics features an artist statement by each poet, in which she discusses her work, her writing practice, how she became a writer, and her views on the purpose and mission of poetry in the contemporary world.