When I wrote about heart / I imagined a muscle of infinite distance writes Lorna Dee Cervantes in the poem “The Latin Girl Speaks of Rivers.” This “Latin girl” has landed in Cascadia and may be doing the best work of her life inspired by everything from the trees that give The Evergreen State its nickname, to local legends like Theodore Roethke and people like Joni Mitchell, James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg and Langston Hughes who was evoked in that poem I referenced.
To come from her Native Northern California to Cascadia, and its strong Anglo presence may be just the kind of tension Lorna Dee needs to make poems that are both harsh and beautiful. That rely on her capacity for writing every day, living the life of the poet, translating life events and the challenges that race and gender can create into poetry that will outlive her. A poetry that is a few decades ahead of the culture from which it was produced.Lorna Dee Cervantes a Native Californian (Chumash) is an award-winning author of six books of poetry. The former Professor of English at CU Boulder, she lives and writes in Seattle and is our guest on the Cascadian Prophets podcast to talk about her latest book April on Olympia.
Living Ecoplasm For the Procession of the Species:
Not a Poem for Francisco X. Alarcon Who Wanted a Love Poem Before he Died:
The Suns Rays Burn Love Today:
Dancing With Roethke (For the Blue Moon Tavern):
& when you finish listening to the podcast, check out this bonus track on Cascadia and her relationship with her mother.