About my poetry

As a Latina writer from a small desert community on the California/Mexico border, one major goal for my writing is to try to speak the multivalent voices of the women I grew up with—the mothers, daughters, childless women, aunties, and nanas who have become the voices of my writing. My poetry is concerned with the complex relationships many of us Latina women have with family; it is both a liberating and subjugating force, can be both buttressing and repressive. It is both mythical and real.

The first poetry collection I wrote shaped itself around the story of my experience with infertility, pregnancy loss, depression, and, finally, emergence into motherhood through the adoption of my now three-year-old son. My greatest writing achievement is thus my greatest life achievement—the realization of myself as a creator whether or not I can biologically bear children. I have since shaped that first manuscript into two separate collections that include the voices of other women and question the very language that delineates “mother” versus “other” (or, woman who is not a mother), but that first collection titled “From the Ashes of My Cervix, I Rise” signals the strength I found to live through the strength I found to write; it speaks to the vital and life-supporting nature of poetry and reminds me daily of why literature is so important.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Thelma T. Reyna
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 17:30:14

    Hi, Jennifer. The role of mothers, especially in our Latino culture, is the strongest of all other roles, I think. Your poetry topics are timeless. I look forward to learning more about your work. Much success to you!


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