7 Poems By Latinx Writers To Inspire You To Give The Genre A Try

by Kerri Jarema
INTI OCON/AFP/Getty Images

Poetry tends to be one of the most divisive genre of writing around; it's either something you love or don't (or you haven't found the right poem yet.) But poetry is so much more than what you remember from English 101 freshman year; not only are there tons of modern poets who give new perspectives to the genre, there are countless incredible writers who probably were never taught in your school. And with Hispanic Heritage Month well under way, now is a greater time than ever to dive into some of the Latinx poets you might have missed or, probably, have never even heard of before.

The seven poems below mix well-known classics from the likes of Pablo Neruda, with modern writers like Carmen Giménez Smith for a preliminary list of just some of the incredible Latinx poets out there whose work you can delve into, discuss and devour. If you've been looking for a reason to get more into poetry, consider this your gentle reminder. And if you're looking for more Latinx voices in poetry when you're done here, check out this extensive list from the Poetry Foundation; you won't be able to walk away without finding a new favorite.

'I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You' by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

Read more here.

'Farewell from Welfare Island' by Julia de Burgos

It has to come from here,
right this instance,
my cry into the world.
The past is only a shadow emerging from

Read more here.

'Pillow Talk' by Carmen Giménez Smith

I am an odalisque in pieces.
Frisson should happen every single time,
but doesn't. Instead it stammers
like a bike light.

Read more here.

'she longed to be an island' by Margorie Agosín

She longed to be an island,
She loved the unbridled madness of them, the islands,
She longed to arrive to an island that, perhaps, wasn't an island

Read more here.

'The Reliquaries' by Valerie Martinez

Seaside, and the fragment of one running—
calves, ribs, green eyes into water.
There he goes. Waves. Buoying up
as into sky. And the seagulls fly,
seeing it as relief, a story.

Read more here.

'Words Are Birds' by Francisco X. Alarcón

are birds
that arrive
with books
and spring
the wind
and trees

Read more here.

'Loose Woman' by Sandra Cisneros

They say I’m a beast.
And feast on it. When all along
I thought that’s what a woman was.
They say I’m a bitch.
Or witch. I’ve claimed
the same and never winced.

Read more here.