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Read Now! The Inaugural Issue of ‘Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color’

Read Now! The Inaugural Issue of ‘Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color’

Author: Christopher Soto

September 4, 2014


 Bridges span liminal (threshold) spaces between worlds, spaces I call nepantla, a Nahuatl word meaning tierra entre medio. Transformations occur in this in-between space, an unstable, unpredictable, precarious, always-in-transition space lacking clear boundaries. Nepantla es tierra desconocida, and living in this liminal zone means being in a constant state of displacement–an uncomfortable, even alarming feeling. Most of us dwell in nepantla so much of the time it’s become a sort of “home.” Though this state links us to other ideas, people, and worlds, we feel threatened by these new connections and the change they engender.

– Gloria Anzaldua


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.


Nepantla is not an apolitical literary journal. We stand strongly against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism, xenophobia, etc. We do NOT believe in the notion of “craft” as an excuse to justify oppressive language. If (for some reason) you, the reader, feel discriminated against by the language used in our poems then please let us know. Keep us accountable. We have done our best to provide a safe space for the QPOC community. We hope you enjoy the fierceness!


(click image above to access the full online journal)


Joy KMT  to whom it may concern:
Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes  The Terror of Clean
Xandria Phillips         r e a s o n s  f o r   s m o k i n g
Crysbel Tejada    Ominous Light
Eduardo Martinez      I NEVER WANTED TO SPEAK
Darrel Alejandro Holnes      Prometí Nunca Hacer Drag
Roberto F. Santiago        Florals
Justin Phillip Reed         You Construct Intricate Rituals
JP Howard                         Diva Doll
t’ai freedom ford         the beautiful people
Danez Smith      On Grace
Kevin Simmonds           I expected to be sad in New Orleans
Dwayne Martine  Aporia
Paul Tran                THIS TIME, THERE WAS NO
Joey De Jesus    Eastchester Bay [ending with an offering]
Pamela Sneed         Survivor 2014
Myriam Gurba  Constellated
Mariah L. Richardson         Butter Cream
Muriel Leung           Cry Wolf
Naima Woods      Necropsy
Kazim Ali             Bird Hospital
Cam Awkward-Rich    Another Middle-Class Black Kid
Tries To Name It
Yani Robinson      Lou Sullivan’s Birthday
Rajorshi Das           My Father’s Boyfriend
Roberto Montes       no subject) –
Chen Chen               Spell to Find Family
Lara Weibgen         I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Derrick Austin     Major Arcana: Judgment
Rosebud Ben-Oni              She Calls Once That Is A Lie
Metta Sáma            {insert terror}
Amber Atiya  if my slumlord allowed pets

To download an epub file of the Nepantla Journal click here.

Christopher Soto photo

About: Christopher Soto

Christopher Soto (aka Loma) is a queer latin@ punk poet & prison abolitionist. For more information, visit

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