Author Archive

Hurricanes and Home-Building in If I Survive You

Jonathan Escoffery’s debut novel shows us how the people of Miami try to survive both the day-to-day obstacles and the hurricanes that threaten to destroy their houses, their jobs, their city, before they can even turn it into the home they want.

Punch Me Up to the Gods’ Letter to the Past, Present, and Future

Brian Broome’s 2021 memoir is a letter to Black boys and Black men who have been “molded, not with fingers but with punches.”

Boomerang / Bumerán’s Exploration of the Importance of Writing

Immediately after opening Achy Obejas’ 2021 collection we see how she undertakes the mission of writing words that could still save her, us, our world.

Writing Death

“I never got the privilege to grow old with, or even get a chance to say a proper goodbye to, Pompilio or HS, and they never got to see some of the beautiful things I’ve somehow managed to. But writing about death lets me take my ghosts with me.”

The Pleas of Green: Sighs of Our Ailing Planet

Niyi Osundare’s newest collection of poetry lets the earth speak. He shows us how the planet is ailing via the direct address and the personification of the environment, forcing us to consider how we might help protect Earth from those who are killing it.

Ariel Francisco’s Poetry as Documentation

Governments may want people to provide documentation proving that they are, in fact, people, but poets provide documentation for the people. It is the poet’s job to document the moments that would otherwise be lost—to document moments for the people.

Finding Home in An American Sunrise

Joy Harjo’s 2019 collection accesses the painful memories and losses that so many of her people have suffered. But the strength of her poetry goes beyond just recounting the pain.

Solmaz Sharif’s Look and the Reclamation of the Stories of Those Redacted and Erased

While Solmaz Sharif’s poems tackle large subjects that concern large populaces, you can also see the power of the personal in her work. In fact, it is her personal journey that makes her 2016 collection universal: the closer you get to a subject, the more universal it becomes.

Milk Blood Heat’s Dreams Lost

Dantiel W. Moniz’s stories explore characters dealing with the loss of the people they share a home with; we see how their subsequent isolation and retreat to the worlds in their heads forms a connective tissue with the loves they’ve lost—and can result in the losing of oneself.

Community and Junk Food in Christopher Gonzalez’s I’m Not Hungry But I Could Eat

In Gonzalez’s book, we see characters going out to eat with each other, enjoying “junk” food that may be bad for them because it is the food they know, the poison they enjoy. In a world that poisons them daily, enjoying a meal with a friend is the best