Latino Poetry Analysis

Literary magazines and anthologies

(Critical Explorations in Poetry)

The literary magazines and small press publications of the burgeoning Chicano, Nuyorican, and Cuban American literary culture are an essential source of information on the initial development of Latino poetry. Among the magazines of varying regional or national renown, significance, and circulation were the Chicano periodicals De Colores (Albuquerque, New Mexico), El Grito and Grito del Sol (Berkeley, California), and Tejidos (Austin, Texas); the Puerto Rican diaspora magazine The Rican (Chicago); and the Cuban American review Areíto (New York). Some of these small journals were edited by leading poets, such as Maize (San Diego), by Alurista, and Mango (San Jose), by Lorna Dee Cervantes. These and numerous other journals, whether interdisciplinary or purely literary in focus (and many of them highly ephemeral), provided a necessary publishing outlet for the alternative voices erupting throughout the United States during the 1960’s and 1970’s. These publications grew to afford a rich historical record of a momentous turning point in American literature.

No serious study of the origins and development of Latino literature of any genre can be undertaken without considering Revista Chicano-Riqueña (1973-1985) and its continuation, Americas Review (1986-1999). A long-running literary magazine founded by the scholar Nicolás Kanellos, the journal focused on creative writing, with interviews, literary essays, scholarly articles, book reviews, and visual art complementing each issue. Beginning with the premier issue, the work of most of the major Chicano, Nuyorican, and, as coverage quickly expanded, other Latino poets appeared in the pages of these magazines, in many cases marking the first appearance of a writer on the literary radar. Tino Villanueva, Alurista, Cervantes, Victor Hernández Cruz, Gary Soto, Ricardo Sánchez, Tato Laviera, Sandra María Esteves, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and Pat Mora—to indicate only a few—figure among the Chicano and Nuyorican poets featured. In addition, the magazines published the poetry of writers better known for different genres, such as Rolando Hinojosa, Carlos Morton, Miguel Piñero, and Tomás Rivera. Many of these poets and other writers helped shape and influence the journal by doubling as contributing editors or editorial board members. Special or monographic issues focused on particular topics within U.S. Hispanic literature. The celebrated Woman of Her Word: Hispanic Women Write, edited by Chicana poet Evangelina Vigil (volume 11, nos. 3/4, 1983) anthologizes the finest Latina writing of that time. Several issues emphasize the Latino writers active in various regions of the United States, including Chicago (volume 5, no. 1, 1977), Wisconsin (volume 13, no. 2, 1985), Houston (volume 16, no. 1, 1988), and the Pacific Northwest (volume 23, nos. 3/4, 1995). The tenth and twentieth anniversary anthologies (1982 and 1992) provide a selection of the major poetical works published in the...

(The entire section is 1240 words.)