Monday, November 06, 2006
Rigoberto González: Poetry Foundation Blog
I am Chicano. Such a simple sentence, such a complex statement. The phrase is an act of empowerment, a recognition of cultural lineage, an affirmation of identity. I can make Chicano relevant to this blog and the Poetry Foundation’s invitation to speak to issues of poetry and poetics by declaring that I am a Chicano poet. That I write Chicano poetry. I can already feel people cringe at the language I’m using. But the truth is that I’m not interested in speaking to those who scoff at poetry that dares to call itself political or that dares to engage ethnicity, history, and the personal narrative. A much healthier and more constructive exercise is to address those who don’t know what Chicano poetry is (and who want to learn) and those who are uncertain about committing to a word that is more than a word—it is a declaration of activism.