Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tonight I'm thinking about a man I never met, Raul Salinas, the Chicano poet, activist, and scholar who passed away yesterday. So much of his story parallels and intersects with the stories of Puerto Rican activists, writers, and political figures.
And at the moment I'm also thinking about invisibility: how our work and history is so often ignored, forgotten, erased. And what of our literature?
There's so much to say, much of it caught on the roof of my mouth. To those who read this...help me out. What is visibility? What do we really seek out when we ask to be noticed by people, venues, awards, universities? And who are we pushing against? How, why, and where do we/should we influence the dominant culture?
I feel there's so much to say here...yet I don't know where to start.
Rich Villar is the author of the poetry collection Comprehending Forever (Willow Books, 2014). He directs Acentos, an organization fostering audiences and community around Latino/a literature, and he has been quoted on Latino literature and culture by The New York Times and the Daily News.