LPM Staff

Poetry and life as one

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Originally from … Mexico City. Arrived in the U.S. right before my 7th birthday. I learned English the hard way, total immersion; I was 8 years old when English found its place along the Spanish.

In the Valley … for the last 6 years. I am a graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson and earned my first master’s from Thunderbird.

Highlights: My book Blood Rivers was published in October of 2009 and was a finalist for the Andrés Montoya Prize at the University of Notre Dame and includes the poem, “A Woman’s Hands in a Time of War,” a finalist for the Bodine- Brodinsky Prize.

What’s your writing style? My poetry is accessible. I admire edgy, but it isn’t me. I write about how my body processes life in any given moment. I can write about a hummingbird in my garden, the death of a loved one or my visceral reaction to racial prejudice and hatred.

What inspires you? Every poet I know always has a notebook handy to write an observation or record a word that inspires. An overheard conversation can shift an entire perspective … I also have a writing discipline every morning in the wee hours. I am inspired by beauty and the multiple ways other writers use language.

Must-read fellow poets: My favorite poet is Pablo Neruda. His voice is the voice of the world. I also love Rumi, Betsy Sholl, Richard Jackson, Lana Hechtman Ayers, Diane Frank and Benjamin Alire Sánchez. Too many more to mention.

On your epitaph: John F. Kennedy once said, “When power leads man toward arrogance, then poetry reminds him of his limitations.” I believe that. I would want to my epitaph to read, “A person who saw poetry and life as one.”

Your advice for aspiring poets?
If you are compelled to write, then you are a writer. If you are compelled to sing with language then you are a poet. My advice is to read, read, read. Study your craft and never doubt the power of your voice.

Corset

We all have our corset of wounds;
not reaching water in the desert,
being suddenly blind, or just dying
from the inside out,
as fleshy parts bask
in cashmere and grey silk.

Age trades one type of locura for another:
la droga, tequila, pastillas, prayer,
numbing what inner or outer slaughters
we cannot control.

We have cast ourselves through
the gene pool onto the earth,
not knowing if we are
a child of sonata
or the mold of a holocaust.

Lisha Adela García
www.lishagarcia.com

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