My name is Michelle, I was born in Oakland, California. My parents are immigrants to this country, making me a first generation born in the U.S. My mother is from Brazil, my father is from Mexico, making me, trilingual. I received my bachelor’s from San Francisco State University, in Anthropology with an emphasis in culture and language. I was a preschool teacher for about 6 years, until I decided to fall face first into my passion; writing. I currently host a blog titled Curls and Words.
Personal Website: https://www.curlsandwords.com
Mushroom Montoya circumnavigated the globe after killing young boys, old men, women, and children in Vietnam. Now, as a shaman, he heals the planet one person at a time. As an author and poet, he heals the planet one poem and one book at a time. As a bereaved father, he advocates for organ donation. As an adoptive parent, he advocates for adoption, especially of older children who all too often don’t get adopted. As an architect, he designed the country’s largest sleep studies lab for the Veterans Medical Center in Long Beach, among many other facilities.
Osiel “Osopolar” Gonzalez is a Cuban immigrant who resides in Minnesota. He studied Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, and received his M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Currently, he teaches Spanish Immersion Social Studies to 7th graders. His interests include chess, basketball, writing, and singing. His poem “Soy” is inspired by Gloria Estefan’s song “Hoy,” and draws upon the landscapes and history of Latin America, as he imagines them. It attempts to create a mood of reverence and hope. The poem emulates the rhyme and rhythm of Jose Marti’s “Versos Sencillos.”
My name is Rachel Gomberg and I am submitting three poems I wrote in separate files attached to this email. A little about me, I was born in Philadelphia to a Brazilian immigrant mother and Jewish father. Although my father is from the States, he speaks Portuguese fluently and has always embraced Brazilian culture—something that has always inspired me and made me even closer to my roots in Brazil. My father has Russian and Middle-Eastern ancestry as my mother, being from Brazil, is actually also half Paraguayan and has a Spanish surname, despite not knowing any Spanish. Being from such a mixed background I have always felt closest to my Latin American roots and have taken it upon myself to learn both Portuguese and Spanish. Currently, I am an elementary Spanish teacher working at a charter school in Philadelphia, where I still reside. Starting in my teenage years I became more and more curious about Brazilian culture and would notice my Brazilian family often complaining about their country while stating that life in the United States was a “dream” to them. When I graduated high school, my graduation gift was plane tickets to Brazil where I stayed with my family. I was finally old enough to understand poverty and imperialism, and I learned about the dictatorship in Brazil, later discovering the United States funded it. Upon my return, I continued my political education about U.S. imperialism in Latin America and the more I learned the more I felt more aligned and connected with my “Latinidad” and less aligned with being “American” (or being proud to be born in the United States). That being said, the poems I have chosen are written in each of the three languages I speak—Portuguese, Spanish, and English.