I am so pleased and honored to have been invited by the Guild Literary Complex to attend the Kapittel Stavanger International Festival of Literature and Freedom of Speech. It was an incredible cross-cultural experience in Norway. You can read about our experiences on the blog Dispatches from Kapittel.
Our 25th Anniversary benefit, REVEAL, is just two weeks away. Originally, we thought we’d wait for the big day to announce our 25 Writers to Watch—a collaboratively-assembled list of 25 emerging-to-mid career writers whose works are making waves in both Chicago, and around the country. These are some amazing writers, so please join us in congratulating:
Click here for the complete list!
Here is the excerpt:
Feminism. Poetry. Chicago. Celebrating the life of being a brown girl in the city. These are topics near and dear to Erika L. Sánchez, aka the “Latinamisfit.” Like others here, the 29-year-old from West Town is a writer. Her timeline offers a much-needed diversity of perspective. And mirth.
Twitter philosophy: “I like interacting with other women on Twitter. It’s a way to engage in conversations with people who are afar. I talk about food constantly because I’m always hungry. And I do like to promote what I think are important articles about immigration and women issues.”
On December 19, 2013 7:30 pm at Gozamos in Pilsen
Address: 1900 S. Carpenter., Chicago, IL | Cost: Free
Gozamos.com is proud to host a night of poetry at our new space in Pilsen. We’ve invited three Chicago poets to share their words, so come join us in celebrating local artists and their work. The night will be hosted by Hector Luis Alamo Jr. This is a free event and refreshment will be available with a donation. Doors open at 7:30pm, the first reading will begin at 8:00pm.
About the Poets
Erika L Sánchez is a poet and writer living in Chicago. Her nonfiction has been published in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, NBCLatino, Truthout, Salon, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and other publications. Her poems have appeared in Pleiades, Witness, Hunger Mountain, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Copper Nickel, and others. She is a CantoMundo fellow, recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, and winner of the 2013 “Discovery”/Boston Review poetry prize.
Jacob Saenz is a CantoMundo Fellow whose poetry has been published in Poetry, Great River Review, OCHO and other journals. He has been recipient of a Letras Latinas Residency and a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, and he currently serves as an associate editor for RHINO.
Denise Santina Ruíz is a Puerto Rican writer, mother, designer and agitator. She was a two-time finalist for the annual Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Competition, and has featured in such events/venues as the Annual Barrio Arts Festival, the Athenaeum Theater, Batey Urbano, Ponce-at-night, Guild Complex’s Palabra Pura and Columbia College’s 2nd Story among others. Denise recently wrote and performed in the performance piece, “Unnatural Spaces,” from the Guild Complex’s Poetry-Performance Incubator. She has also taught poetry and creative writing to youth in the Humboldt Park community where she was born and raised and is the owner of “Madre de Perla Designs.” She believes in real talk, revolution and statement earrings.
I’m so pleased to have been interviewed by Maria Hinojosa for Latino USA on NPR. Please listen to our conversation about Latina Sex Stereotypes:
For Latina women it can often seem like there are only two types of representation they see in the media. They’re either sexy and “spicy” or religious and family oriented. But is that really the case?
Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa speaks to writer, poet, and sex columnist for Cosmo for Latinas, Erika L. Sánchez about growing up in a “traditional” Mexican family while being an American girl, feminism, and facing fear.
I’m so honored to have been chosen along with such talented women for the Discovery/”Boston Review” Contest. Here are two pictures from that incredible night as well as my poem published in the Boston Review.
Julia Guez, Eileen Myles, Raena Shirali, Timothy Donnelly, Erika L Sánchez and Catherine Blauvelt
Summer boredom flutters its
sticky wings. You guzzle
cooking wine, gag on the old whiskey
you find in the pantry.
In the warmth of your bedroom,
you pierce your navel
with a safety pin, slice
the skin you hide beneath
your billowy dresses. Glitter-eyed
in the murky dance clubs,
you snort blow until the dregs
trickle down your throat and
shock your sluggish heart.
You dance in the frenetic
lights, the untz untz vibrating
your face and skull until
morning. But everywhere,
the pain suckles you. Everywhere,
you hold its lumpy head to your breast
like a saint. A fat man in a basement
tattoos a scraggly moon
on your hip, anything to smother
the soft and constant vertigo, to stitch
a spirit so riddled with leeches.
Some evenings you brim
with the sky’s quiet bruising—
colors as beautiful as the spilled
brains of a bird. Such a fucked
holiness, you think. Weeping,
you read Walt Whitman—the blow,
the quick loud word,
the tight bargain, the crafty
lure. You hold a mirror to study
your tender socket. May we eat
and drink in remembrance
of the body. Oh how the salt sings.
One morning you cut your hair
slowly then shear it altogether.
Whether that which appears
so is so, or is it all flashes
and specks? In that slurry
of August, the silence climbs you
like a man until you hear
the meaty flaps of God inside you.