"Founded on the theft of land and with an enslaved labor force, America has always had a complicated equation. These crimes are not historical, but continue through the twentieth century (stolen property and assets of Japanese citizens interned in camps, involuntary indentured labor of the imprisoned population) and into our present day. Only by examining rigorously and critically these foundational values can we reckon with the creation of a better and more just future for all those who live on this land. The poets in this anthology bring a spirit of not just resistance and dissent, but of creating that new future."
"Repressive regimes = urgent poetry. It’s a terrible ratio. Today the powerful poets of Misrepresented People respond to our current tyrannies—and our presiding tyrant, Donald Trump—with unbelievable intensity and the richest, most diverse musical tones and gaits. What exacting laments, what soulful sorrows, what justice-driven hungers run through this vital gathering, where 'Rage is a promise kept,' as Sjohnna McCray sings. So maybe a poem never changed anyone’s vote. But I’m emboldened by these poets, as I believe poetry changes—it deepens, widens, enchants, enlivens, and empowers—every single reader’s mind. Let’s name the brutal, resist the greedy, condemn the unjust, and in Timothy Liu’s words defend 'this scorned tract of earth called home.' And let’s do it with song."
Born in Guatemala and raised in Arizona, María Isabel Alvarez received her MFA from Arizona State University. Her writing has been published in Black Warrior Review, Sonora Review, Gulf Coast, Arts & Letters, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Sundress Academy for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Follow her on Twitter: @maria_i_alvarez
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