I did not begin reading poetry by Latinx writers until late 2018 when I started my MFA program. Before then I read mostly white (read: White European) poetry and struggled to not only find myself, but to relate to the stories being told. So, when I was invited to a Latinx open mic in Brooklyn, I jumped at the opportunity. And it didn't disappoint. (For more info on Capicu, the Latinx open mic, click here.)
I was able to network with amazing writers (emerging, established, somewhere in between). I got to hear others talk about similar struggles that I could related to. I felt understood. And I was able to meet Tammy Lopez, slam-poet extraordinaire and author of Swallow: Small Poems like Large Pills.
Written in the (now-trending) Instagram famous short-form popularized by poets like Rupi Kaur and Narriyah Waheed (among others), Lopez reflects on feminism, love, and personal experience.
Interestingly, though, the design of the book, as explained quickly by Lopez in her book, allows the reader to choose any poem to read without being forced into a beginning, middle, and end. The page numbers more of aesthetic than really needed (unless, like me, you prefer to read in order and follow along with Goodreads challenges in mind).
Full of tight lines that pack a punch on meaning, Swallow is a pleasant read that passes much too soon.