When Chicana feminist Gloria Anzaldúa released the groundbreaking book “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza,” she triggered an awakening among many Latinas, including me, struggling to find their place in the world.
Growing up on the border means having plural identities, a cultural fluidity that runs through the veins. When I left the borderlands to live in Austin more than a decade ago, I was confronted with my own multiple identities for the first time. Too Mexican for some and not Mexican enough for others. Anzaldúa taught us that existing between two worlds was not only OK, but it was powerful.
Anzaldúa’s work has been celebrated in everything from scholarly research to documentaries, and now her words have inspired the anthology “Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan borderlands,” edited by Austin-based poet Ire’ne Lara Silva (who was featured in our Emmy-nominated project “Austin Gente”) and poet Dan Vera.
The unprecedented collection, which showcases more than 50 diverse poets who reflect on the idea of borders and Anzaldúa’s work, will be the focus of a poetry symposium on Feb. 18 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. A free workshop on how to write poetry and essay hybrids starts at 3 p.m. followed by a reception and reading at 5 p.m. Visit austintexas.gov for more details.