Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color is an intentional community space. Our mission is to nurture, celebrate, and preserve diversity within the queer poetry community. Through this journal, we are attempting to center the lives and experiences of QPOC in contemporary America. Thus, we view the journal (and our reading series) as part of a whole artistic project and not individual fragments of work. We believe that (here) the high lyric must encounter colloquial narrative. Here, we must provide space to celebrate both our similarities and our differences. We are one community with an array of experiences; we write in different formats, in different tones, of different circumstances. Nepantla is not the sort of journal that can project a singular voice (not if we want to reflect the various realities of our community). Nepantla is a journal of multiplicity, of continual reinvention.
I am one of the many contributors in the inaugural Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color. My poem, Florals (page 13), is very important to me because it is a work that tries to tackle the confused resilience of youth. That headstrong nature that is often beaten out of us by institutions and popular culture (sometimes for better, but usually for the worse).
As a young queer person of color, the speaker is not privy to all of the jargon and theory that we college-minded individuals take for granted. Despite (or perhaps in spite of) this lack of framework and rhetorical arsenal, the speaker knows they are different and does not allow for the world to change them as another sense act of violence/injustice. Even as a child the speaker knows: Difference makes magic. Magic makes change.