The ALA Book Conference & 2014 International Latino Book Awards

On June 28th, immediately after the completion of my Voices of Our Nations Arts (VONA) workshop at UC Berkeley I boarded a plane to Las Vegas for the American Library Association Book Conference and the 2014 International Latino Awards where I would be signing copies and attending an awards ceremony for my award winning book, Letters to My Daughter. I was not prepared for the 105 degree heat … Continue reading The ALA Book Conference & 2014 International Latino Book Awards

For colored girls

She will learn from early that she carries history in her hair. Generations of thick tangled tresses. Genetically made up to be wild, not tamed or managed or straightened. Tautly twined coils stretched like the goatskin that cover djembe drums each lock relentlessly rebelling. Defiant like sugar cane, too relentless to conform, to transform, to be altered into something that she wasn’t really destined to … Continue reading For colored girls

Asphalt Dreams (on Palmetto Street)

   A tree grows in Brooklyn and so did my dreams on the cracked asphalt of tenement building stoops a flower trying to break through but roses don’t bloom here that’s what I was told Never believing that I could ever see a world beyond my periphery struggling with tunnel vision I watch passersby and they watch me, holding my baby close, never expecting me … Continue reading Asphalt Dreams (on Palmetto Street)

The Chosen (Part 2)

A few years ago I wrote a poem titled The Chosen which spoke of my struggle to conceive. It was probably the most personal poem I’ve ever written. With the birth of my beautiful daughter I felt that it was necessary to write a follow-up poem because I have finally been chosen to be a mother. These past five months have been the best five months of … Continue reading The Chosen (Part 2)

De Donde Vengo Yo (Where I’m From)

This want of knowing is greater than the need of oxygen in my lungs For, to be alive and not know who you are or where you’re from is not the same as living. De donde vengo yo is not a question. It is a statement. An affirmation of where I’m from. Because where I’m from, history wears the face of family. It’s my grandmother’s … Continue reading De Donde Vengo Yo (Where I’m From)