Day #18: The Acentos Review
Celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting 30 days of literary publishers who produce poetry you can listen to, watch, or read, in 5 minutes or less.
There’s a stunningly quiet, incisively observant, kind and curious young woman I know. I’ll call her L because she’s also shy. L asked me a while back why it was so hard to find poetry reflective of her experiences, a life spent often in overlooked shadows of well-known cities here and there.
From the Mission Statement:
The Acentos Review shoots from the spring that is the Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase and The Acentos Foundation in supporting the work of Latinx writers.
The Acentos Review publishes poetry, fiction, memoir, interviews, translations, and artwork by emerging and established Latinx writers and artists four times a year. The LatinX community is international and so, too, do we pledge to represent that international community. We welcome submissions in English, Spanish, Portuguese, a combination of two languages, as well as the use of indigenous languages.
The debate may rage forever as to who or what constitutes Latinx art. Here, there is no such identity crisis. We are already here, writing the histories of our neighborhoods, following the traditions of our ancestors, as well as the poetic traditions that came before us. To paraphrase Baldwin, the poet’s task as historian is to keep the story new, even when the telling is costly. This is the aesthetic we foster at Acentos. It is always about the word, the work, and it all begins here.
Because L is a native Californian, I chose two poems by Jesús Cortez set in Anaheim, California.
The first one begins like this:
I sometimes gaze at the palm trees,
such a California thing to do,
cliches and romanticism—
but nobody thinks of
Lincoln Avenue for postcards
or for poems or tales of
FROM LINCOLN AVENUE BY JESÚS CORTEZ
Keep talking to your neighbors, yes, and also to those you pass on the street on your way to somewhere else. Keep listening more.
Keep reading poetry.