9 Afro-Latinx Writers Reshaping the Poetry Landscape

Melania Luisa Marte

Poetry isn’t just for highbrow bookworms and literature buffs. Recently, Instagram phenomenons like poet Rupi Kaur and her 4.4 million followers, as well as inspiring trailblazers like Amanda Gorman, have shown that poems can touch millions while advocating for feminism, racial justice, radical self-love, and resistance. However, while social media is great for letting poets and writers get their word wizardry out to the masses, let’s face it: there is still not enough representation of Black and brown writers in the literary landscape, and there’s definitely not enough Afro-Latinx representation. It’s time that changed.

Today, we highlight Afro-Latinx poets that master and use this beautiful and powerful tool to honour their cultural identities, find connection, seek clarity, elevate their communities, or simply share their truth. From Elizabeth Acevedo’s empowering ode to natural hair to Melania Luisa Marte’s celebration of Spanglish and the duality of being Black Latina and American, these poets’ work makes it easy to understand why they deserve a place at the literary table.

If you’ve never read poetry or think it isn’t for you, these writers invite you to give it a chance. You may find that poetry can be, as Darrel Alejandro Holnes tells POPSUGAR, a way to digest reality “in moments when we struggle to process the world around us.” Jasmine Mendez recommends viewing poetry like the lyrics to your favorite song. “Poetry is everywhere, and there is a type of poetry and poet for everyone – you just have to find the one that speaks to you,” she tells POPSUGAR. With that said, we recommend that you read these poets, follow them, buy their books, and find the poem that speaks to you.

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