3. What poets changed the way you thought about writing?
The poets that truly have influenced and made me see that poetry is an artform are Pablo Neruda. His 100 Love Sonnets was a revelation that a poet can pen his desires, his longings, his amor on the page and it could connect with some so close to your corazon. Poets like Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and Anais Nin, these poets and writers have opened a new world, of honest, body, spirit and mind poetry that cuts deep and truly resonates with me. Even modern erotic love poets like Kim Addonizio, Dylan Krieger, Alexis Rhone Fancher and Amber Decker inspire me with their timeless carnal verses. They make me realize that it’s not just about skin to skin, not just the act but the movement, the touches, the voice, the body of the poem that reflects the cravings that connect with the reader on the page.
Sandra Cisneros and Juan Felipe Herrera have also influenced me, as their poems have inspired me to reconnect with my Latino culture. Some of my new poems code switch and use both Spanish and English. I feel like I am finding new shades of myself writing these new Spanish flavored poemas and this is thanks to poets like Cisneros and Herrera. I know that Cisneros is know for her prose but her poems, to me, reflect not just her own experiences but are like a mirror into my own life.
Tiana Clark, Leila Chatti and Kaveh Akbar. These three are champions of modern American verse as they pen the most dynamically inspiring poems reflecting own unique cultural voice. Clark, Chatti and Akbar are the three poets these days that are lighting the spark and inspiring me to go deeper and reflect my own story. Every time I read one of their poems it’s like a creative eruption occurs inside me as their lines, stanzas, breaks and themes inspire me to go deeper by challenging me to create and craft poems that show more of a piece of myself and my own universe. What poets like Tiana, Leila and Kaveh have taught me is that the personal is universal, no matter what your story, your voice you craft in your poem, the more personal, the more it will reflect and connect with reader on and off the page.