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.