19---> perry & ferlinghetti

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Name: Perry Guevara
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Current City: Atlanta, GA
Occupation: PhD Candidate
Age: 30


What does poetry mean to you? 


Poetry is language in extremis, reaching for the edges of legibility as it attempts to speak the ineffable.


Favorite Poets: 


Since the age of 16, I’ve loved the poems of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I’ve read A Coney Island of the Mind more times than I can count. I also love Edna St. Vincent Millay, Frank O'Hara, and John Donne, especially his holy sonnets.


Favorite Poem


Nanas de la Cebolla” by Miguel Hernandez


Why do you like this poem? 


“Nanas de la Cebolla,” or “Lullaby of the Onion,” demonstrates language under duress. It refuses to surrender its lyricism and remembers that tenderness is possible even in desperation. Robert Bly beautifully translated this poem to English, but Joan Manuel Serrat’s 1972 musical version is simply stunning. Here’s my favorite verse:


En la cuna del hambre
mi niño estaba.
Con sangre de cebolla
se amamantaba.
Pero tu sangre,
escarchada de azúcar,
cebolla y hambre.

5---> kristina & baldwin

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Name: Kristina Robinson
Hometown: New Orleans
Current City: New Orleans
Occupation: artist/occasional teacher
Age: 31


What does poetry mean to you? 

Sound and freedom from linearity. The kind of writing that makes me feel the least limited by English. Being an Afroindigenous Black-American from Louisiana, English is both my second and only language. I find the language least frustrating when writing poetry, mostly because I can break free from the penitentiary of grammar. It also accommodates intermediary, non-binary thoughts, ideas, moods and non-conclusions whereas prose in English always feels like it has the weight of a gavel behind it. I like to write it too, but poetry is where I feel most like myself.


Favorite Poet/Poem

I really love “Guilt, Desire, and Love” by James Baldwin


Why do you like this poet/poem?

I like this poem because it’s a direct look at love and why it eludes many/most people.